Sunday, August 3, 2014

Day 43 Gee Brief... VERY brief (I'll add pics later)

August 2
Ritzville, WA to Umatilla, OR ....we made it to Oregon!!!

At the beginning of the day, I posted a roadpic of J and I looking off toward Umatilla. The title was " Oregon or bust!!!"

Well, we DID bust!! TWICE!!! For the first time in this 3,000 mile plus journey I got a flat WHILE CYCLING. In fact I got TWO flats!!!

The first one caught me unprepared. I had gotten so used to NOT getting flats while on the road, that I neglected to load my air pump. It had been removed during one of Jenard's recent tune-ups and I never put it back on. So an hour of good, energized riding time was lost while I waited for J to navigate the multiple mile stretch between exits in order to get to me with the pump.

The second flat, I had the pump. However, I could only get the pressure up to about 75 pounds in the tire. These particular tires take 100 to 120 pounds, and the little road version of an air-pump that fits on the bike just couldn't quite do it. Truth is, my little non-Schwarzenegger like arms just couldn't do it. Had I been able to operate the thing with my LEGS, that would have been different! So I put 75 pounds pressure in and rode on until J could catch up with me with our full blown air pump. Added the extra air pressure and moved on.

Other than fixing flats and of course riding, I spend the majority of the day making videos that poked fun at Washington state's "identity crisis". I had always thought of Washington as a state with trees, apples and Seattle. I also was familiar with another heavily treed area called Snoqualmie. But that's it. Well, the eastern portion of Washington is blowing that image right out of the water. They have wheat, grassy plains, corn, and canyons.  Yes, CANYONS. Not as big as the Grand Canyon. Actually, mini-versions, but these canyons are lined almost completely with wheat! or grass. I kept wondering, "Where the heck am I?...Colorado? Iowa? Ohio? Wyoming?" Wyoming got the "Most Varied" award in my book, as far as landscape. But Washington, now holds my coveted, "Over Achiever" award for the state that is trying most to be like EVERYONE ELSE!!!

Coming into Oregon, was such a delightful feeling!!! Route 395 actually crosses the Columbia River twice. The first time was very exciting, because it meant I was very close. However, the first time was still in Washington. The river then proceeded east while I headed south. Then, as I approached the Oregon border, the river snaked back, heading west. I crossed the Columbia River AND the Washington/Oregon state border simultaneously. It was WONDERFUL!!!!

We have been in our last time zone since we crossed into Idaho. We are now in our last state before we reach Portland, and then the Pacific Ocean.

My brother in law's sister, Peggy, commented saying that it must be bitter sweet to approach the end of our journey. My personal answer to that is a sort of yes and no....with no being more the winner. I LOVE riding my bike, but to be honest, I'm looking forward to the morning that I wake up and don't have to log 90 miles on it! The mornings have been temperatures, and the morning wind was often in my favor. But by the time 10/am to 12/pm rolled around, the sun usually became brutal, and the WIND!!! Oh mann!!!

I'm definitely looking forward to the next two days ride into Portland. Everything I've read seems to indicate that it's going to be absolutely and literally gorgeous. I mean, there are apparently a number of gorges along this route, or is it all just one BIG gorge? See for yourself at the link I've been looking at:  Columbia River Guide.

Thanks for following us, and sharing this journey. Let's go kick some road butt!!!!! Remember, we are now ON the Columbia River. And what do rivers lead to???? Hmmm????  That's right! Rivers lead to Pacific Oceans!!!!!!  Yeee haa!!!!


  1. You're so close! Pretty soon you'll be able to smell the Ocean! Congrats on getting so far, just a little more to go!

  2. Hey Gee, "my brother in laws sister, Peggy?) I know it's been a while since we last saw each other, but I'm the guy that married your awesome sister. (And, by the way has an awesome brother.) It's me. Dave. To much cycling.