Here's an update for ya!
Day 5 Rest Day
As mentioned in our earlier post, we stayed at Toutle River RV Resort for an extra 24 hours to give our legs a break. After riding a few miles into into a nearby town for lunch, the three of us had time to tune our bikes up, catch up with family and friends, watch a movie and eat plenty of Ramen, ice cream and Jalapeño Cheetos from the convenience store.
Day 6 Toutle River--->Puget Island
The next morning we woke up earlier than usual to beat the expected 97 degree heat on our ride to Cathlamet. Despite our attempts to get an early start, we were quickly distracted by the local skate park to capture our first ameatuer Instagram film. Shortly after we were stopped by a fellow cyclist on the side of the road. Turns out he writes for crazyguyonabike-a blog we frequently looked at in preparation for Pedal the Pacific with info on tours all over the world! He gave us good tips on which roads to take and avoid. Thank you Art!
At our Fred Meyer lunch stop in Longview, we purchased 2 boxes of Peanut Butter Banana Cliff bars (because apparently they're a rare gem among our usual energy bar selections), a generous couple bought Grace's groceries, a kind man donated to The Refuge and we had tons of great conversations with new supporters while reassuring them that three Texas gals could wrangle this heat!
30 miles later we arrived in Cathlamet and ate some chips and guac while waiting to meet our Warm Showers host! Warm Showers is pretty much like couch surfing for cyclists, so we rode another 4 miles onto Puget Island to stay with Kim and Steve at their incredible home. Steve owns the local brewery, so we all got to know each other over pizza and beer right on the river! Another fellow cyclist, Graeme, was also staying with us, so we got to chat about his cycle along the Columbia to study the river's patterns and we all had a blast sharing stories and especially hearing about Kim's love for cycling.
Day 7 Puget Island--->Seaside, Oregon
We woke up to a delicious homemade breakfast of eggs, oatmeal, fresh fruit and coffee and before we caught the ferry to Oregon, we took a picture in front of Kim's garage for our journal entry in her book of Warm Showers guests. After a 20 minute ride across the island, we made it to our second state of the tour!
Our first stop in Oregon was in Astoria to visit the local farmers market. Our highlight of the market was chatting with an older couple, John and Jan. We spent time talking about future plans, Jan's cycle from Portland to Astoria, the importance of living a life of giving and she challenged us to remember that you'll always find great people in this world, no matter how gloom and doom it may seem. This town was like a smaller San Francisco with great food and our first glimpse of the coast as we rode in was truly unforgettable. About 20 miles later we arrived at another Warm Showers location in Seaside, Oregon from a guy named Neil who literally left his house key under a plant for us while he travels for 8 weeks. Thanks Neil!
We've seen some breathtaking views and befriended incredibly unique people, but the greatest part of the journey so far has been how much I've learned in only 7 days. I've learned that I'm a control freak. Somehow, I've lived with a tight grip on relationships, future plans, daily schedules, etc. to create a false sense of security in having everything "figured out." And, quite frankly, nothing really goes exactly as planned when you're on two wheels. Instead of focusing on mileage, elevation and efficiency, I'm realizing that the greatest memories haven't come from making it to our final destination on time. The moments the three of us will never forget are when we stopped on the side of a highway to see a waterfall, taking extra time to ride like dweebs around a skate park and saying yes to wherever the coast may lead ya.