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A week (or so) in review: People are Awesome.

Greetings from Mitchell, Oregon.  This long past due post is brought to you from Spoke'n Hostel, a sanctuary that has quickly become dear to all four of us.  We will get to that later.  First, let's take you on a trip through our last week -or- so, as we progressed from the coast of Oregan inland.  It's been a crazy ride so far, positive, but crazy.   One very clear theme of the trip must be: THAT PEOPLE ARE AWESOME!  

Day One: 

We departed the coast of Oregon north of Florence at Driftwood Shores Resort.  We enjoyed the sights and sounds of the ocean as we miss our Hawaii home.  The boys - with a little wager from Aunt Sally - enjoyed a polar bear plunge as we prepped for a couple days before the big day.

Once we dipped our tires into the Pacific we headed off with our sights set on Mapleton.  Keeping our miles low that first day we gradually adjusted to our bikes and life on the road.  It was nerve-racking at times as the sounds of vehicles cruised past, but the scenery was spectacular.  We enjoyed our stay at Mapleton RV Park where we were treated with kindness - they even went as far to make a campfire for us.  Pretty sure we were the first tenters of the season. (Actually, they were closed for camping, but didn't want to send us on our way).  Hot showers and respite in the laundry room were two highlights of that overnight.  

Day Two: Mapleton to Fern Lake Shores RV Park in Veneta.  Approximately 36 miles later, and another wonderful weather day, we arrived at the campground where once again we were treated with extreme hospitality.   And thank goodness!  The day's riding had been altered when we decided to change our route and follow Rt 126 rather than the cycling associations' reccomended way since there was not where to stay for the night if we stayed on their track.  The traffic was VERY heavy and our courage was tested. 

 They gave us a lake-side tent site.  

 Along with access to their club house where we cooked our dinner, rested, and did a bit of homework.  Oh, and kept warm.  That is a biggie.  

Day Three: Veneta to Eugene 

This was a short ride in to Eugene where we met Wendell and Dianne.  At only 16.5 miles we were able to take our time.  Again, we encountered heavy traffic for a bit, a lot of road dust and debris and semi truck after semi truck.  A huge relief when side roads took us to the Eugene Bike Trail.  It was like heaven.  

Lunch on the side of the road over looking fields of purple flowers. 

And potty breaks. A lot of them.  The boys have a difficult time with the fact that MOMS have to go too!  

It was great to see Wendell and Dianne again, reach a hotel with showers and beds for all. 

Day Four: Eugene.  A 'zero' day was planned and we took advanatage.  AKA sleeping in and running errands, doing laundry and eating great food.  

Due to incoming foul weather we puzzle-pieced the next legs of our trip a bit...

Day 5: 

Shuttle to Olalie Campground, then rode up and over Santiam Pass to Sisters. 

We chose to ride the climb and descent into Sisters during another fabulous weather day.  Couldn't have asked for better. 

It was tough to get going, even with good riding in the morning.  There were a lot of variables.  In fact, exactly four.  And they were: Jerry, Jess, Aden and Ashby all with their own emotions and trials of doubt.  We decided to take a lunch at a beautiful waterfall along the Mackenzie River. 

Even with the challenges of the day, we still managed to have some fun. And when you travel with a 10 and 12 year old, that means inappropriate snowmen. 

Upon summiting we enjoyed viewing last summer's starting point to our hike along the PCT.  

Everything that goes up, must come down.  But following Mom, definitely means not going too fast.  

Appreciating the shuttle, we put the bikes and gear back into the truck and arrived in Eugene for another welcomed night in the motel.  (But not until we enjoyed a few Margaritas first!). 

Day Six : Eugene to Vida

Rode through Eugune on the bike path - an intertwining route through the town and along the river.  Very nice and very cold.  We are feeling like we are putting our gear to the test now.  Still cold hands and feet.    

Just as we neared our resupply point for dinner and the next day's breakfast and lunch, we also came to a sign reading 'Closed.  Under new management. Opening soon.'.  Great.  Just great.  Off we go in hopes that the small town of Leaburg will have what we need.  Or anything for that matter.  They did.  We also received some advice as to where to go for the night.  He was pretty confident that if we got caught, they wouldn't take us in.  

We were gifted with a beautiful rainbow just as we neared our 'stealth camping' site. 

Stealth camping is not our forte.  With orange flags on every bike, head lamps, charging electronics, chatty voices and shit everywhere, we could be seen from a mile away.  

Day  Seven: Vida to Olalie Campground at Mackenzie Bridge. 

We encountered our first REAL foul weather day of riding.  We knew it would happen, but boy, it was tough.  Numb hands and feet made for grumpy people.  As luck would have it, we met some pretty great souls that day too.  We had high hopes of reaching a cafe for a warm drink and a place to get out of the rain, but unfortunately came to a CLOSED sign.  A big fat closed sign.  Pretty sure tears started.  We drove down the driveway and were beyond happy to see a dear lady come out and offer us a place to rest inside.  With hot chocolate!  And great conversation!  Right by the river!  Watching hummingbirds!  Did I say OUT OF THE RAIN!  

We enjoyed her garden too.  

And fuzzy tree. 

Searching for another break from the weather led us to Indigo Cafe, a road side food truck decked out with tent and outdoor firepit. 

What a relief.  And the food was delish. 

So, there we have it.  A few days in review with a lot more to come.  Stay tuned for more recapping of the BIG JOURNEY soon.  

Again, it's been amazing to witness all the support we have received near and far and along the way.  It means a great deal to Jess and Jerry, and it's wonderful to see the boys accept help and encouragement as we go along.  

Love to all, 

The Ziemers.  

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