Living the Dream
Sitting here in Starbucks in Chelan enjoying my first rest day, it is surprisingly easy to summarize the first 5 days of this epic tour. One word.
I have spent many days in the past few years in my saddle and each day has always been a gift in its own. However the previous few days have been a true testament to the goodness that surrounds us all, if only we took to the time to see it.
It is hard to describe the past few days in such a short blog post so instead you get my “cliff notes” version for now.
My tour started with a short stay in Vancouver where I stayed with Vadim, a friend I made in Joshua Tree this past New Years. During these 4 days I had a chance to relax, get psyched and hang out with my partner for this tour, Joshua Armstrong. He also has a killer blog going, Perpetuating Adventure, that you NEED to check out.
My worries of touring with someone else have all melted away as Josh is quickly proving to be an ideal touring partner. Between his mechanically brilliant mind and my touring experience and know-how, we are making quite the team. Now if only I could keep up with the dude! He is also riding a self-built bamboo bike on this tour, but that’s for another post! Gratitude, check.
In addition to the general stoke of starting a tour, the biggest gift from the universe thus far has been the tremendous amount of goodwill from people on the road. It is hard to truly describe how good it feels to meet strangers on the road, share stories, and be fed and cared about. While we are set up to be totally self-sufficient, the daily gestures of kindness have left us on a “high” every single day. This has been a most joyful start so far.
Even in these five days it is hard to name everyone who has shown us kindness but if you are reading this right now, thank you very much.
Ok, enough mushy crap. Down to cycling updates.
This tour saw us starting out in the drizzly and lush Vancouver area (AKA Pacific NorthWET) and cycling for a couple days into the farmlands of Western Washington. It was nice to see the scenery change before our eyes and also ride through fields and fields of land that ultimately feeds us. Not to mention being offered a sheltered spot behind a barn for our tents in Lynden. Gratitude, check.
The next few days saw us cycling up and up and up higher into the heart of the Cascades, right through North Cascades National Park. The cycling was killer, especially up Washington Pass, but once again it was amazing seeing the climate and landscape change with every crank of the pedal.
The descent down the eastern slope of the Cascades more than made up for the days of climbing and instantly it was 10 degrees warmer and noticeably more arid. Ah yes, my kinda place!
We are now in more amazing farmland, mainly apples, with more eastern Washignton to explore.
I have also realized that the eastern slope of the Cascades, Mazama in particular, is a place I could see myself living. Warm and open people, great produce, AMAZING climbing and skiing and jaw dropping scenery. WOW!
Today is our rest day, well deserved after 5 days of intense cycling. It only dawned on us last night as we were sitting on the shore of Lake Chelan that we had chosen to take our rest day in one of Washington’s major recreation centers on Labor Day weekend. Oh well. Finding a “stealth” site for the night was eventful as we were woken up at 11 PM by the sprinklers in the baseball diamond we had chosen to call home for the night. Whoops! However all was not lost. In the morning as we were making our way to the showers in a nearby campground, a man approached Josh. It turns out he was with his wife and another couple in an RV and wanted to feed us breakfast when we were done with our showerso. They to were cyclists who had done cross country tours a few years back and recognized what we were up to. No Way!!!! The couples were great company and have invited us back for dinner tonight for burgers and beer. Once again, thank you Universe!
For now, I’m off to relax on the beach, swim a little and take a loooong nap. Thanks for reading and don’t forget to subscribe to my post.
peace, love and bicycles,
Vancouver to Lynden 60 miles
Lynden to Sedro-Wooley 66 miles
Sedro-Wooley to Newhalem Creek C.G. 68 miles
Newhalem Creek C.G. to Mazama OB Base 64 miles
Mazama OB Base to Chelan 82 miles
Total thus far 340 miles!
Total $$$ spent on camping $0
The route thus far: