Saturday, August 14, 2010

Day 68

Reese, WA → Plymouth, WA
Net Elevation gain: -105 ft. (512 ft. to 407 ft.)
Average Speed: 11.4 mph
Top Speed: 36.8 mph
Time spent biking: 3 hours 15 minutes
Total time for the day's travels: 6 hours 10 minutes
Miles biked today: 37.2
Total for trip: 3379.9 miles

Some campgrounds feel luxurious, too, it turns out. This morning we woke up and took a long while packing, planning, and writing on the computer. We cooked a good breakfast, too. Sometimes we take it for granted, but we love our stove because we can make such yummy food from almost scratch in almost any place. Good food really helps us maintain our good spirits.

Enjoying the shade and green grass at our campsite.

This preying mantis wanted to come with us.

At times, we have a hard time feeling good about all the pieces of our trip: the biking, the sightseeing, the blog, etc. The blog is an important part of this trip for us, and we really enjoy the writing. It's fun to see how current we can keep it, even if we are falling further behind. The pictures are really fun to see, too. Plus, it gives us a link to our friends and family, and our newfound friends following along from wherever. So, although it gave us a later start when we knew it would be hot out, we loved taking the time to write a bunch in the shade at a picnic table at a quiet and pleasant campground in Washington.

We we did leave, it was getting pretty toasty. It wasn't as overpowering as some days in Montana, but it was hot. We knew we would meet up with the Columbia River today, and that is something we've been looking forward to eagerly. We hoped we'd finally see some lush greenery...but we didn't. Even when we did get to the big river, most everything was still brown and rocky. It was neat to ride along the south side of the river and see trains pass frequently on both sides of the Columbia.

A good shot of the cliffs on both sides of the river.

Some of the rocks were a green color.

Two exciting things that happened in the middle of our hot day were that we crossed into Oregon and we got to go swimming! State crossings are always fun, but the swimming was great. The water was so cool and refreshing. We love to go swimming with our clothes on so that even when we get out and back on the bike, our wet shirts are still keeping us cool for a while.

Yay! Oregon! Our second to last state!

Jenny, about to go swimming.

Portland is on the sign!!

It was such a beautiful clear day.

A large boat in the river.

By the time we rolled into Umitilla we were hungry and it was time for an early dinner. After biking all the way down the main street and then back up to the beginning again, we chose a Mexican restaurant to eat at. You never know what you're going to get from a restaurant you've never been too before, but sometimes things seem to just work out perfectly. The portions were HUGE and the food delicious! The menu was fun because it also was very large and had pictures of every dish to help you choose what to get. Jenny ordered the super burrito and Brett got the steak enchiladas. The owners even let us wear the sombrero on display when they saw us taking pictures.

So much food!

Really, it was a LOT of food! We had leftovers, even though we were tempted to eat it all.

After we were fed, we thought it would be a good time to do some grocery shopping before heading back over the bridge into Washington for the night. The store had a good selection of food and we got stocked up on food for our next few meals. Knowing we weren't going much further tonight, we even decided to get a little watermelon for breakfast in the morning.

Onions! Bags and bags of onions!

These very large spiders were all over the place. Their webs were huge!

The campground we were headed to on the Washington side of the river turned out to be an RV park that was not well equipped to deal with a tent and two people on a tandem bike. There was only one spot left in the whole place, and there wasn't any grass anywhere on the whole lot. Why are people even here? We were just in for the night, but there was nothing of the area that seemed attractive.

Back into Washington for the night.

In the end, we were given a spot where they usually park boats or other extra vehicles. Still no grass, just pea stone that was hard to stake the tent in. We were able to use the Internet, but only with the help of a cord from the nice lady who ran the place. When we decided to go to bed, the wind was incredible. It was so strong and noisy that it was constantly rattling the zippers, and flapping the rain fly. We weren't afraid of rain or cold, so we took the fly off, and Brett tried to tape the zippers so they wouldn't rattle. Still, it wasn't easy to get to sleep. Eventually, the wind did die down in the night which made sleeping more restful.


  1. The landscape is incredible! Wow! And your meal looks delicious! I can see why you had leftovers.

    You must be home by now. What a contrast that must be... taking three months and biking across the country, and then flying back in less than a day!!! I hope your whole being is here when you get back...

    I really look forward to hearing the accounts of your last several weeks of travel! What a sense of accomplishment that must feel like.

    So, so cool.

  2. We sure hope we get the blog to finish this trip, with photos and accounts of each day! We especially want to know how you got to the San Francisco airport with your bike!

  3. Hey guys. I am going to ignore the above posts that assume you are home (even though you probably are) and just take it one day at time, as you are. Ironic to see Umatilla on the sign post. It isn't a common town name I'm sure and, of course we have Umatilla here, just north of Eustis, FL. Very exciting to see the journey nearing its end. How cool to look back on just how far you have come, and not just geographically. Your memories must be stuffed with neat little moments along the way. I love the way, in life, we always tend to forget the bad times in the past but can forever remember and savor the good times. Ride on......

  4. Way to go Bret and Jenny! I check back for other posts but I really enjoyed everything that you did share.

  5. It is a striking landscape, and in my experience, such things are even more striking in person than in photos. I like the one of the cliffs on both sides of the river. And the water looks so blue in the photos of the sign for welcome to Oregon and the sign for Portland.

    That does look like a lot of food, and tasty too! I'm hungry!

    The sign about the "evergreen state" seems rather ironic, the landscape there seems to have little to do with evergreens.