Anthony and I woke up at 6:00, unable to sleep anymore, even with the late night before, excited to go. We took care of those last few details in the house - fresh water for the cats (who were being looked after by his mom while we were gone), locking the windows - and then waited for Davan to wake up, not wanting to wake her after the late night. I stretched a little...
Davan was up by 7:00 and we were off.
This is the rig that Anthony and Davan were hauling. We took to calling it the beast. It was very unwieldy, especially that first day. Bunny is in her specially made seat with her rain cover on because it was a little drizzly.
And here I am, with the little nimble bike, as we called it. Early in the day this day, we realized that if someone needed to push a button to cross a street or stop to pick something up, that was my job. The beast was too unwieldy for that sort of thing, which Anthony discovered after overstretching for a crosswalk button and causing the bike to fall over. Davan took her foot out of the cage and put it down, saving herself and helping to save the bike, so there were no injuries, just a little bit of feeling shaken.
I started off carrying my clothes, Davan's clothes, the tool kit and the U lock. That left the tent, sleeping bags and mats, Anthony's clothes, the "kitchen" and food for Anthony.
We rode from home down a familiar route toward Blue Lake Park. Davan and I, over the summer, rode the 7 miles to swim in Blue Lake before riding the 7 miles back home. This day, there was no swim and no turning back.
Riding on the bike path along Marine Dr, we crossed paths with two bicyclists who asked where we were traveling. I explained that this was day 1 of a three week trip and they were impressed if maybe a little skeptical.
Breakfast was eaten overlooking the Columbia and brought our first rain. We put on our rain gear and kept eating. Luckly it didn't last long and we were able to enjoy our Peace Bomb with raw almond butter and fruit spread and our apples.
We made our way to the St John's Bridge, which was our first, but not last, experience with a not overly bike friendly bridge. We opted to use the sidewalk, but passing another bike coming our way and working our way around the two supports was...um...interesting. We were glad to have it behind us.
Shortly after the bridge, we gave my parents a ring on the cell phone and they headed out to meet us for lunch. They'd been out of town for a couple of weeks and wanted to see us before we headed out. We meet and ate with about 34 miles under our belts. Lunch was more or less a repeat of breakfast and marked the end of our relatively easier ride with entering the hills of the coastal range.
At around 55 miles, we passed a camp ground Anthony had picked out as a possibility for camping, but we wanted to get a little more riding in before stopping. Shortly after that, we hit construction. There was a 4 mile or so long construction zone, through which we were supposed to follow a pace car with a line of other cars. Sadly, the terrain was mostly assent and we were left way behind by the pace car. Not knowing if we'd have room to pass when the cars came the other way, we rode as hard as we could, trying to get through. We passed the cars coming the other way right at the end and there was plenty of room. Whew. Still, it was quite a burst of effort at the end of the day.
We stumbled upon a campground called Big Eddie, which was very nice. It was full, but they let us camp in the day use area and only charged $7/tent for hiker/bikers, making it the cheapest camping we paid for the whole trip.
We got the tent set up and went to hand wash our clothes for the first time. We were each in charge of our own clothes and it was a learning experience for all. We were more or less successful, though, and, after hanging them to dry on our new REI travel clothes line (thanks, Mom), we started dinner.
Dinner our first night was bulgar wheat, red lentils, freeze dried veggies and seasonings in a soup. Tasty and filling.
We went to bed early, to read out of our family book for the trip (The Voyage of the Northern Magic) and fall asleep, proud to have done 62 miles our first day and feeling good about the trip.