Monday, August 8, 2011


First and foremost, the trip is over -we made it safely to the west coast on Thursday, July 28th, 2011 at approximately 1:13pm Pacific time.  Secondly, our kickstarter project was a complete success, and we sincerely thank everyone who contributed to it.  Lastly, we deeply apologize to all of our regular readers for the delay in making this post (as usual).

We left the Radio Room restaurant/cafe in Portland and made our way to St Helens, OR -a short 30 mile ride.  Our excitement to almost be done with our unforgettable journey seemed to propel us at nearly supersonic touring speed (15mph).  We met up with our incredible hosts for the night, Ron and Patty (family friends of Caitlin), in town and shortly thereafter were dining in their beautiful home in the hills of western Oregon.

We chatted about our trip thus far at great length throughout the night, sharing photos and stories.  As it was nearing sunset we heard what sounded like a loud rusty door hinge coming from outside.  Patty informed us that her donkeys, Harley and Larry, were letting us know that it was now their dinner time.  We went outside to the barn and met the boys up close and in person.

Donkeys are incredibly loving and docile, much like giant dogs in a way.  Caitlin, of course, immediately took a liking to them and as with most of the family pets we have met on the trip, wants one of her own.  Yeah, I'm sure the city of Philadelphia won't mind if we get a donkey...

We spent the night in comfort and awoke to a delicious breakfast of eggs, sausage, toast, and hash browns courtesy of chef Ron.  Ron was even nice enough to drop us off a little outside the city limits of St Helens on highway 30 -the only road we would be on until Astoria.  The nearly 70 mile ride to Astoria was, unlike the terrain from the Jersey shore to Philly, full of long rolling hills and steep mountain-like passes...

view from Ron & Patty's house

Not only was the terrain a bit rough, but as we were climbing the first major pass of the day I heard the infamous hissing of air that can only mean one thing: a major puncture flat.  Luckily we were less than 50 yards away from a scenic lookout area where we could pull over and change the tire.  We reluctantly began our tire changing routine that at this point in the trip had become all too familiar.  Once we had the tube replaced, I pumped it up and inspected the tire only to find a bulging, exposed tube...not good.

Upon further inspection, we noticed that the walls of my rear tire, which I had purchased in Cleveland, OH, were literally falling apart.  A few long patches of the woven rubber-like fabric walls of the tire were fraying -leaving only a thin layer of weak rubber tubing between the integrity of the tire and the unforgiving concrete.

Combined with the fact that this flat put our total number of flats for the trip to over 20, the situation majorly dampened our spirits -especially since we were so close to the end.  We had heard from someone, somewhere that if your tire was falling apart in a way such as this, you should lay a dollar bill (or duct tape) along the damaged parts of the tire to provide a makeshift barrier protecting the fragile inner tube from the road.  So we did as we had heard, crossed our fingers, and continued on our way to Astoria -a short 45 miles away...

aftermath of the dollar bill barrier

The weather was beautiful (70-80 and sunny), and along the way we stopped at a local fruit stand in Clatskanie, OR and later, a nice restaurant in Westport, OR that was famous for their pies.  While we were dining in the restaurant we picked up the iconic yellow mustard squirt bottle only to find that it was not filled with your run-of-the-mill yellow mustard; rather, it was filled with a locally produced marionberry mustard.  Marionberries are a hybrid berry, a cross between the blackberry and raspberry (see picture below for detailed origin).  The mustard tasted like nothing I had ever had before -an intensely sweet berry taste masterfully combined with the sharp, distinct flavor of mustard seed.

As we neared Astoria we climbed a brutal 2.5 mile hill that we were told would be the last major hill of the ride.  Naturally, we celebrated by snapping a photo at the summit, but we soon realized that our celebration was premature...As we descended what we thought would be our final hill and peered into the distance, utter disappointment and frustration descended upon our already beaten spirits.

After a brief period of stress-releasing expletives, we sucked it up and pushed our way through hill after hill until we finally reached Astoria.  Astoria is located at the mouth of the Colombia River -where it spits out into the Pacific Ocean.  The history of Astoria goes back 200 years, and it is a beautiful small town full of great places to eat, shop, and drink.  We treated ourselves to a hotel room and headed out to dinner at one of the breweries in town -Ft George Brewing Company.  It was a Wednesday night, and the place was packed so we sat at the bar where we met a few nice people who worked in the Coast Guard and were stationed in Astoria.  After getting a few suggestions on what to eat and drink from them (as they were frequent patrons of Ft George's) we delighted in a few hand-crafted brews and freshly cooked meals of locally procured ingredients.

Ft Stevens State Park.  Unfortunately, but extremely fitting for the way the trip went, we also awoke to my completely deflated rear tire.  I knew it was a slow leak, so we pumped it up and went to breakfast at an awesome little place called The Colombian Cafe -serving delicious Latin American food complete with a selection of homemade jellies, salsa, and bread.  After breakfast we walked across the street to the bike shop where I bought a new rear tire (Schwalbe Marathon) to ensure that the last 10 miles of the journey would be flat-free.

a small sample of the amount of patches on our tubes

As we pedaled what would be the last ten miles of our nearly 4000 mile journey a very surreal feeling succumbed us.  Was the trip really over?  What else could go wrong?  What are we going to do now that we don't have to bike 50+ miles/day?  All these questions and more ran through our heads as we neared the Pacific.  Biking through Ft Stevens State Park made it seem like we were in the middle of a forest -miles away from the coast; however, after a few miles we reached the beach at an old shipwreck named the Peter Iredale.

The frigid water of the north Pacific made the howling wind seem like a sand-paper slap in the face.  We promptly dipped our front tires in the ocean and had a nice beach-goer snap a picture.  We were excited, relieved, and in awe of the fact that we were done.  We spent the next hour or two sitting on the beach, marveling and reminiscing of all that had happened to us along our journey.

Emergency reserve bottle of water (wood-er) filled in Philadelphia -now in the Pacific.

Our hosts from St Helens were nice enough to give us a ride back from Astoria so we waited at the beach for Ron to arrive with the truck.  We loaded up our bikes and gear, and drove back to St Helens -reliving each brutal hill in the comfort of an enclosed cabin, and with the luxury of a gas pedal.  We returned to St Helens and went out for a celebratory dinner of fresh seafood at a local restaurant called The Klondike Restaurant and Bar with an interesting history (supposedly haunted).


The next day we slept in and relaxed for the first time in what seemed like months.  Ron was so nice that he even gave us a ride into Portland from St Helens.  We said our goodbyes and spent the next few days staying with a good friend of ours whom we had met in Copenhagen when Caitlin and I were both studying abroad there.

We flew back from Portland to Milwaukee where we picked up a minivan from my mom to drive back to Philadelphia.  It feels good to be done with the trip, but "real life" will definitely take some getting used to after the unbelievable summer we've had.

Stay tuned for another post about our antics in Portland! (hopefully we'll be able to get this one done a little bit faster now that we're going to be in one place with a solid internet connection for a while)

Until then, keep your wheels on the ground.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Welcome to Oregon!


We've made it to Portland and we'll be at the Pacific Ocean tomorrow in Astoria, OR.  It's certainly been a life-changing 3 months as we've traveled across this great country on our bicycles, and we're eagerly awaiting the moment we get to the ocean.  As much fun as we've had during the trip, we both look forward to getting back to 'real life', although our emotions will be quite mixed as we dip our front tires in the Pacific.

Our travels across Oregon have been some of the most memorable of the entire trip (not only because it was the most recent leg of the trip, but more so because of how beautiful this state is).  We left Boise and spent the night camping along some abandoned railroad tracks in Weiser (pronounced weezer), ID.  We were planning on trying to camp at an RV Park in town, but when we asked the host if they allowed tent camping, he actually told us no (the first time throughout the whole trip).  Instead of accepting our money in exchange for a small piece of land to pitch our tent, he told us that we could just camp along the railroad tracks about 50 yards away...what a great business man.

We left Weiser and crossed the Snake River into Oregon biking past fields of garlic, spinach, corn, and wheat.  We headed north toward Baker City, slowly making our way to the Columbia River.  Once again we were forced to take the Interstate for about 15 miles before we were able to get onto a frontage road.  The day was hot and filled with a steady climb over rolling hills and gorgeous high plains desert landscape.  We passed an old abandoned limestone mill situated in a canyon just outside of Huntington, OR, but other than that the day was mostly desolate cattle range.

When we arrived to Baker City, OR (some 70 miles later) we passed by a little girl selling lemonade on the corner of a street for 25 cents/cup.  We promptly pulled over and refreshed ourselves with three cups.  We got to talking to her mom who was overseeing the business venture.  We asked about camping, good places to eat, etc. and she informed us of a farmers market going on just down the street.  Without a second thought we biked down the road to the Baker City Farmer's Market.

About five or six vendors had set up shop on one end of the city park, while on the other side of the park musical artists provided a pleasant soundtrack to the park's many patrons.  We talked to a  berry farmer whose farm was located near Salem, OR (just south of Portland).  He was selling blackberries, boysenberries, marion berries, and a few other varieties.  His hands were stained a bluish black (a true sign of a berry man), as he dropped a few samples into our bike-grease stained hands.  We decided to get some marion berries (a black color, but closest to the raspberry family), and made our way to the next vendor.

We made our way to a good-looking vegetable stand with a sign above it that read, "Val's Veggies".  Here we met a lovely couple named Val and Rod who ran an organic vegetable farm near Medical Springs, OR (not more than a few houses and a dot on the map) about 25 miles Northeast of Baker City.  Val's farm was also serving nearly 40 families through a CSA, and they sold wholesale to a group in Portland called Know Thy Food.  We explained to Val who we were and what we were doing and she showed a genuine interest in the project.  She asked where we were planning to stay that night, to which we replied by shrugging our shoulders.  Without a second thought she invited us to stay the night at the farm.  Rod even offered to throw our bikes on the back of the truck and give us a ride to the farm!

When we arrived at the farm the sun was setting so we took a few pictures, helped unload the leftover vegetables from the market, and were treated to a delicious meal of pizza and coleslaw.  We spent the night talking about everything from farming to pre-natal development.  Val and Rod were so nice that they offered us their spare bedroom to sleep in, and we awoke to an enticing aroma in the air.  Val had prepared baked oatmeal accompanied with fresh fruit from the market!  I think we could have been happy spending the rest of the summer there, helping with the harvest and enjoying beautiful views of the amazing eastern Oregon countryside.

We reluctantly left Val's Veggie Farm and headed north to our next destination -Emigrant Springs State Park. Unfortunately, the beginning of the day was brutal; a strong headwind combined with steep climbs.  Even when we were going downhill, we were pushing to maintain a 7mph pace.  Needless to say, by the middle of the day we were exhausted, so we decided to change our destination to a state park that was about 10 miles closer called Hilgard Junction State Park.  On the way we passed an artesian well that Rod and Val told us we had to stop at.  The water was absolutely delicious and we filled all of our water bottles after chugging a few while we filled up.

We passed through the town of La Grande, OR after which we were again forced to return to I-84...This stretch of interstate from La Grande to Hilgard Junction State Park was populated mainly by fast-moving, loud-sounding 18-wheelers.  When we arrived at the park, located just off of the interstate, we were relieved to be off of the road, but worried that the only way out was to get to our next destination was to get back on the interstate for nearly 40 miles.  Just as we were contemplating the gravity of the situation, a woman pulled into the campsite next to us in a Volkswagen camper with a touring bicycle hanging on a bike rack off the rear of the vehicle.

Her name was Barb and she was on her way to lead a bike tour in the San Juan Islands.  She had biked the northern tier route (a cross-country route provided by adventure cycling) a few years back and was pleasantly interested in our trip.  When she asked where we were headed, we both looked at each other with disappointment in our eyes as we knew that the only way to get where we were headed was to travel the interstate for longer than either of us wanted to be on it.  Barb offered to give us a ride if we could fit everything in the van, and so the next morning we took her up on the offer and managed to get everything in the van with ease.  We treated her to breakfast at Main St Diner in Pendleton, OR, thanked her for saving us, and went on our way.

We left Pendleton, again heading north to the Colombia River.  There was a pretty good-sized hill to climb to get out of town, but when we reached the top we were treated to a stunning view of 'amber waves of grain' contrasted by bright blue iridescent skies -it was truly beautiful.

After climbing and descending a series of rolling wheat fields, we came to the cold springs canyon and followed it to the Colombia River.  On our way we both suddenly craved a good cup of tea as a sweet aroma began to tingle our noses.  Farther down the road we realized what we had been smelling, and why were each craving tea -rolling fields of deep purple lavender lined the highway.  Just after this amazing sight and smell, we finally reached the grand Colombia River.

Our first view of the Colombia River

We followed the river along the Oregon side as we headed to our destination for the night -Plymouth Park (located across the river on the Washington side).  We enjoyed a nice shower, and met another tourist at the campsite who had also biked across the country (he was turning 70 next year and his wife was following him in an RV).  The next day we hit the road early and decided to take advantage of the lack of wind and bypass our initial plan to stay at Roosevelt Park (around 50 miles away).  Everyone we spoke to about traveling west down the Colombia River said that we should expect a terrible headwind, so we were happy that on this day there was virtually no wind (although temperatures soared into the upper 90's in the afternoon).  We traveled along the historic Lewis and Clark Trail on highway 14 to Mary Hill State Park making the total mileage for the day about 80!  This was our last 80 mile day, and I highly doubt that I will be doing any more of these kind of days for fun.

The next day we decided to cross back into Oregon on highway 97 because the route in Oregon through the gorge was much flatter than highway 14.  Once again, we were forced to take the interstate on and off throughout the day, however at this point we had gotten used to trucks passing at 60mph.  Biking on the interstate was probably safer than traveling on highway 14 on the Washington side anyways because the shoulder is much wider, and the speed limit on highway 14 was 55mph.  So instead of having trucks passing extremely close to us at a slightly lower speed, we opted to have them pass us with lots of room at a slightly higher speed.

We ate lunch at The Dalles, OR after fixing a flat (one drawback to biking on the interstate is the insane amount of debris e.g. glass, fragmented tire tread etc.) and continued our journey to Hood River, OR.  We spent the night in Hood River after treating ourselves to an exquisite meal at a local eatery (probably one of the best meals we've had on the trip so far).  The next day we awoke to a few scattered thunderstorms which we waited out.  When we left, the winds were blowing at a steady 15mph with gusts up to around 30mph.  This was the only day we experienced the infamous wind of the Colombia River Gorge, so we felt pretty lucky.

From The Dalles and onward, the Colombia River Gorge just gets more and more beautiful.  If you have never seen or heard of it, you need to add it to the bucket list.  We traveled the interstate off and on again for most of the day as we made our way to Portland.  When we could, we took the historic Colombia River Highway (route 30), and passed by what I can only describe as a temperate Fern Gully (think Disney movie). Pictures, let alone words, does not do this area nearly enough justice.  We stopped a few times to enjoy the enormous pines, and breathtaking waterfalls along the route.

We finally made it passed the point where the interstate was the only option to take as we entered the Portland metro.  This city is lined with bike routes and bike lanes, and we took them all the way to one of our good friends who lives in Northeast Portland.  We are now sitting in a restaurant/cafe anxiously trying to finish this post before we take off to St Helens, OR where we will spend the night with a good friend of Caitlin's father.  From there we will bike our final 65-ish miles to Astoria, Oregon, completing a nearly 4,000 mile journey from coast to coast.


Also, if you are reading this and haven't checked out or kickstarter project, please do.  You have three days left to pre-order a copy of the cooking guide for bike tourists that we will be writing this fall/winter -with some hard work and perseverance we will have it available by next touring season.

Thanks for everyone who has taken interest in our trip and project, it truly is amazing and inspiring for us.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Cheese That's Good!...Idaho

Hello all!

After we left West Yellowstone (and Montana), we headed for Idaho! We crossed the continental divide at Targhee Pass. It was a pretty easy climb followed by a long down hill making our total mileage for the day amount to 70.

Our destination was Ashton, ID. After eating lunch along the Snake River in Island Park, the town with the longest Main Street in America (23 miles), we bumped into another cyclist named Marty that was headed east. He recommended that we take the Mesa Falls scenic route. He even mentioned it would be mostly downhill for us! Even though it added about 8 miles to our ride that day, we decided it would be a safer route since the highway we were on had no shoulder and heavy traffic.

Island Park - city with the longest main street in America

The 28 mile scenic route was definitely a good choice. Mesa Falls was beautiful. It was hard to capture a picture to describe how amazing it looked. The mist billowing up from the waterfall created a micro-ecosystem with walls of thick green moss growing on the walls of the canyon. Trees were even able to grow out of the side of the rock because of the effect.

We left the majestic Mesa Falls and went on our way, but the one mile climb out of the overlook was not fun. It was the first time since the Appalachian Mountains that I had to get off my bike and walk! We finally made it to the end of the scenic route and we were exhausted. Our extended stay in Yellowstone filled with 20-30 mile days turned us into wimps, so when we finished our 70 mile day we were more wiped out than usual. Plus, we had no idea where we were staying that night...

We made it to downtown Ashton and everything was closed. We didn't realize that it was a Sunday, and when you're in a small town on a Sunday you might as well be out in the middle of nowhere. Nearly everything was closed, but we managed to find a restaurant that was open, so we grabbed a bite to eat and looked online for a place to camp. We found Jessen's RV Park just a couple of miles down the road! The place was run by an '87 years young' (as she put it) woman who liked to meet new people. So, she turned her property, a former seed potato farm, into an RV Park. It had a great view of the Tetons, a place to shower, and we camped out underneath some apple trees and enjoyed another beautiful sunset in a wide open Western sky.

Did I mention the ground level trampoline?

The next morning we packed up and hit the road for Lark's Meadow Farms, an artisan raw milk cheese farm. We found the farm through Local Harvest and got in touch with Kendall Russell, the cheese artisan of the farm. Almost as soon as we arrived, Kendall gave us a tour of the creamery and aging rooms.

sunrise at Lark's Meadow Farms

Lark's Meadow Farms produces raw milk cheese from sheep (no, I didn't mean goat) and cow milk. Turophiles (cheeselovers) would say that raw milk cheese (unpasteurized) is the best kind of cheese, and we would have to agree! Raw milk cheese has a much richer and unique flavor that you can not achieve from pasteurized cheese no matter how hard you try.

Besides a two week internship, Kendall is a self-taught cheese-maker, and even though the farm has only been open for three years, they are already selling cheese coast to coast! After tasting a few samples of the five varieties of cheese that they produce: Helen (a raw cow milk cheese), Dolcinea (a raw sheep milk cheese - the most like a traditional Basque cheese), Janice (a hard cheese that is a mix of sheep and cow milk), Leland (a soft cheese that is a mix of sheep and cow milk), and Wild Blue (a cheese with a natural blue mold) it was easy to understand why they have become such a success. Their cheese is styled mainly after the cheeses of the Basque region of Northern Spain/Southern France and are 'peasant style' cheeses--rustic, simple, durable, and delicious!!

Kendall explained to us the process of making cheese, and we did our best to follow -making high-quality artisan cheese is a lengthy endeavor that involves intently monitoring temperature and levels of bacteria then making the right adjustments to obtain the desired taste. When creating raw milk cheese, everything must be clean and fresh. That is why Lark's Meadow Farms uses milk that is less than 24 hours old, and their creamery, milking room, equipment, and animals are kept very clean.

The first step in making cheese is warming the milk to a specific temperature determined by the type of bacterial cultures that will be added. The special blend of bacterial cultures that is added to the warmed milk uses the lactose of the milk to increase it's acidity. Acidity in cheese is what makes it hard or soft. High acidic cheese is crumbly (like feta), while low acidic cheese is soft (like brie).

The bacteria are allowed to sit for a period of time in the next stage called ripening. The bacteria not only change the acidity of the milk, but they also help the milk curdle, i.e., it separates into curd and whey. Whey is the watery protein compound of milk, while curd is the sticky, globby, more "cheesy" protein component. After the ripening period, more enzymes are added to help further the curdling of the milk in a stage called renneting. The milk mixture is allowed to set as the curd and whey separate even more.

The curd is then cut in the cutting stage. The size & shape of the individual curd can be manipulated by using different instruments. Every cut releases whey from the curd, and the more you cut the curd, the harder the cheese will end up being.

After the curd has been cut to the desired fineness it must be separated from the whey and strained. This stage is called hooping, as it was done with hoops years ago. Lark's Meadow Farms uses a series of colanders for this process. The curd begins to take on a more recognizably cheesy wheel shape as it moves to the next stage.

The newly formed wheel of cheese is flipped multiple times over the course of two days to allow the whey to separate uniformly around the wheel. After this resting period, the cheese is pressed to get rid of any leftover whey and salted to allow for the rind to be established.

The final part of cheese making takes the longest amount of time, but is the least labor intensive. Aging involves moving the cheese to a drying room that is maintained at a controlled temperature of 62 degrees Fahrenheit. The cheese is first placed on wire racks to help it lose moisture at a controlled rate. This is where the rind is formed. At this stage the cheese is still being flipped everyday. This is also where mold starts to grow (yes mold is a good thing in the cheese world). The cheese is then moved into another room with wooden racks. The wooden racks help to slow the loss of moisture and also to control humidity in the room. The cheese is flipped less and less as it is aged (at least four months!!).

cow's milk cheese (left) is darker in color because it contains beta-carotene; sheep's milk cheese (right) does not

After we learned the cheese making process, we enjoyed a lovely dinner with the whole Russell/Reynolds family. They were also kind of enough to let us stay the night in their spare bedroom. It was nice to get a warm shower and a cozy bed because the next day we woke up at 4:30 to begin milking the cows and sheep!

sheep not goats!

Mike explaining the milking process

much more efficient than doing it by hand

In case you didn't notice, they don't milk animals by hand anymore...thank you technology! Kevin and I now have a new trade in case architecture doesn't work out for me and teaching doesn't work out for him.

We had so much fun we ended up staying another night! The weather was also looking pretty rough that day, and I had to go into town and buy a new tire because my rear tire had a giant hole in the side of it. Luckily, Mrs. Reynolds needed to run some errands, so she dropped me off at the bike shop. I am glad I noticed it before it caused a major problem. Kendall was also nice enough to take some time out of his day and drive us to the famous Idaho sand dunes, which were quite breathtaking to say the least.

that's Kevin if you can't tell

After staying two nights at Lark's Meadow Farms, we finally decided to head out, although we contemplated moving in...haha. We were sad to go because we had so much fun, but we needed to complete our journey! So, we said goodbye to everyone at the farm and rolled on to Mud Lake, ID.

We were a little nervous to head to Mud Lake, ID because everyone we spoke to told us there was NOTHING in Mud Lake. They said it was just a dot on the map. So, we biked the forty miles there and hoped for the best. We arrived in Mud Lake and decided to head down a dirt road two miles to what we thought was a campsite. When we arrived, there was a pit toilet, piles of garbage everywhere, overgrown grass, and a dirty running water. So, we biked the two miles back to the highway and kept moving. We arrived at the town's watering hole (because no matter how small the town is, there always seems to be a bar of some kind) called the Wayside Lounge and Cafe. We sat at the bar, ordered a few beers and a pizza, and struck up a conversation with the bartender. Mary was extremely helpful. We told her we were looking for a place to camp and she recommended the city park up the road. All she had to do was call Chris (the guy who took care of the property) to ask him to turn the sprinklers off for the night. We enjoyed a few more drinks, met really nice people from the community, and then headed to the park.

The next morning we woke up at 'milking time' (4:30am) so we could hit the road by 6am. We had been having trouble with the afternoon Idaho wind and needed to get to our destination before noon because in the days prior, the winds had been picking up to 20+ miles per hour by then. It wasn't so bad to get up that early, plus we were able to see the moon set at the same time the sun was rising.

the moon setting

We made it to Arco, ID by noon and enjoyed a nice meal (milk shakes included) at a burger joint and then camped at the KOA. By the way, can someone please tell me when KOAs became so expensive?

The next morning we decided to hit the road early again to not only beat the wind, but also to secure a campsite at Craters of the Moon National Monument. This was one of the strangest places we've ever been. A remnant of a giant volcanic explosion, the area is blanketed with black, jagged, volcanic rock. We met a friend of Kevin's here who insisted that this area was in actuality, Mordor from Lord of the Rings.

We explored the amazing lava caves and climbed a 'cone volcano' named inferno cone. It was also interesting to learn about the geology of the area; the current geologic hotspot that created craters of the moon nearly 6 million years ago has been pushed east due to plate tectonics and is now underneath Yellowstone National Park, waiting to erupt again...

cooled lava!

inside a lava tube cave

We left Craters of the Moon and headed west through the Snake River plain to Boise, the capitol city of Idaho, passing high plains desert, buttes, and vast mountain ranges along the way. We have been taking a few days off to get a some things together, write this blog post, and prepare for the final leg of the journey -Oregon.

We are estimating that it will take us around 9 days to hit the coast as we travel down the Columbia River Gorge just as the Lewis and Clark expedition did so many years ago. We will end up in Astoria, OR near the end of the month ending our nearly 4000 mile journey across this great country. Both Kevin and I have had an amazing time, but are just plain exhausted -being on the road for over 2 months takes its toll on the mind and body. It will be a mix of emotions when we reach the ocean, and hopefully Kevin will prevent me from tossing my bike in the Pacific.

Until then, keep following and remember that if you're interested in getting your hands on a postcard, souvenir, t-shirt, or our 'foodguide for touring cyclists' visit our kickstarter page. You have 10 days to pre-order, so tell everyone you know!

Hope all is well back east, and rest assured we will return soon enough!