(August 2 – written by Dave)
We’re heading south from Portland, Oregon tomorrow after a nice break, heading to Ashland Oregon, home of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. We’ll have two riders joining us for a few days on this next leg. Joining us in two days in Corvallis will be Nancy’s brother, Andy and Andy’s daughter (our niece), Anna.
We’ve been on a few tips with Andy, both loaded touring rides and “fast bike” rides in Europe. We’ve had a few laughs along the way – like the time when touring in New Mexico and Andy blew his green slim coated rear tire off the rim, after inadvertently over-filling said tire with an auto garage air compressor (I don’t think you are supposed to do that). There was green slim everywhere and a bang so loud that Andy lost his hearing for a spell. It would have been funnier had he not actually buckled his rim in the process. We almost had to end the trip early…
Andy has been a vegetarian for some time and believe it or not, this proved quite challenging for Andy, and entertaining for us, when we spent a couple of weeks in France. The French are good cooks but they kind of “freeze” when vegetarian is requested. Rather than simply serve a salad or cook a normal dish without meat, all they seemed to be able to conjure up was cheese and potatoes. Andy ate more cheese and potatoes in a week than any person really should. Watching him try to order anything but cheese and potato became quite a spectator sport for us.
Anna (AKA Claire to us) is taking her first multi-day bicycle tour with us. She is a junior at Oregon State University and keen to get into bicycle touring. We are riding through her college town (Corvallis) where she and her dad will join us. We hope that she “reaches all of her travel goals” riding with us. And that she doesn’t forget that we are a lot older than her when we hit the hills.
We’re not sure that Andy or Claire will fall for the “Chris, the Sherpa” trick- where we convince them to carry all the heavy stuff, but we’ll give it a go… (hopefully they won’t read this before we meet up with them).
We’ll only have 3 days with Andy and Claire before they have to turn around and make it back to Corvallis to get back to their normal lives – But soon after this, we’ll meet up with Jan and Kathie, Nancy’s mom and sister, at Crater Lake. Crater Lake, in southern Oregon, is the deepest lake in the US and is renowned for its blue color. Jan has wanted to go there for years and is using our trip as an excuse to get around to it. Actually, Nancy hasn’t made it there yet either, notwithstanding her native Oregonian status, so she is looking forward to it as well. While we did offer to have Kathie and Jan come along on the ride, neither of them seem keen to take us up on the offer so they will drive down to meet us.
The timing on our departure is impeccable, or horrible, depending on your point of view. Temperatures this week are supposed to be into three figures (F), maybe even cracking 105, so it will likely be a bit hot… We’ll ride early in the day and use our experience from touring in the Aussie summers – staying cool with wet towels and also being super hydrated. We’ll have extra sunscreen for our travelling companions (and use as well). We have relatively shorter days planned to accommodate the heat and Anna’s first experience with cycle touring. We want to make sure she has a good time so that we will be able to hear about lots of adventures from her in the future.
We have been in Portland for 2½ weeks but still seem to have a list of last minute tasks to complete (Nancy cannot live without a list…). So, we are doing the usual running around to finish everything off but we are both looking forward to getting back on the bikes.
We’ll see you back on the road…