How To Start An Adventure
So I ticked the box next to something on my bucket list recently. An 1100 mile bike tour down the coast of the Pacific Ocean. Now, far too long after completing it, I shall tell the tale. In this, Part 1, I will tell you how I got to this point. Who provoked it. Why I did it. Just maybe you’ll be so inspired by this relatable story that you too, will find your way to the seat of a bike. A bike called ‘Destiny’. Like mine was. Her name’s different now, because that’s a silly name for a bike…
College was over. I needed adventure and had nothing to stop me. So obviously, I applied and got a job down in Antarctica. That’s a whole ‘nother thing, if you want to hear about that thing, maybe I can tell the story another time. During training, I found myself amidst a myriad of interesting people. One of these told me about crossing the country by bike. He and a team rode together, having raised funds to help build homes for those who couldn’t afford them. As good as the cause was, I was caught up in the romantic notion of crossing the country under my own power. The seed had been sown.
Years had passed, I had circled the globe, but no bike rides. In the interim I had hitch-hiked out to Seattle and met a new friend with dreams of bike touring. We made plans for the summer, to ride around California on the coast and inland. It wasn’t meant to be, as I booked some wedding work and was stuck without time. With her summer availability now not matching my late fall free time, it was put off indefinitely. Lingering, in the back of my mind, I thought about it often.
It was now the middle of the busiest season of my life. 2015 was the year of saying ‘Yes’, both in life and work. At this point I knew that the end of the wedding season would be late in October. I literally had nothing planned until the next spring. This kind of free time made me think to myself, “What do I do?” There were more ideas than I can write down here. All were adventurous, most taking me out of the country. It struck me however, that it would be the perfect time to start a bike tour. Not according to the experts, who say you have to go in summer. It’ll be cold, the weather will be bad, parks will be closed. We’ll see about that.
October 25th, 2015 0100
The last wedding wrapped up and I slept. Seven hours later, my car was pointed towards Seattle.
There was a plan. We would be starting in Vancouver, BC and heading down to San Diego, CA. Hopefully upon finishing we would feel up for walking across the border for a celebratory margarita. Just to be able to say we did Canada to Mexico. We would camp, at hiker/biker campgrounds, where it was cheap. Utilizing the generosity of strangers and social media we would also use Couchsurfing and Warm Showers. Hotels would be avoided at all costs. I would work on a photo project with other bike tourers as we went along. We would start out slow and work our way up on daily mileage. A trial run would be made on Bainbridge Island to make sure the gear we had was sufficient.
I still had to get out there and pick up my travel partner in Boise, ID. For more information on how we met, go to this blog. I stopped in Portland, OR for the first time and was in Seattle for Halloween. While the story isn’t super exciting, I’ll let some of the pictures tell it. Like parking next to a herd of buffalo near hot springs or waking up to find my car covered in the mountain’s first snowfall. Staying out all night on Halloween with Midwest friends in Seattle. Learning to sail, fish hatcheries, watching informational videos at the Church of Scientology, and eating Voodoo Doughnuts. Sometimes the journey to the journey is half the fun.
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