Monday, June 22, 2009

Ride Across America - Day One

So the big day, June 21st, 2009, has finally arrived. They are leaving to start their ride from Seaside, Oregon to Bangor, Maine. The plan is to ride an average of 50 miles per day and camp along the way. The miles will vary depending on the locations of available camping spots. There will also be one rest day per week.

Here are the brave cyclists, from left to right, Tom, Bob, Jim and John, at the starting point in Seaside. The plan for today was to ride to a primitive campground 4o miles from the starting point.

My job is to ride to the stopping point and scope out the area. Also, I will pick up any provisions along the way that may be needed at the campsite for that night. The campground they planned on staying at Gnat Creek Park only has 3 campsites. And it is first come first get. Plus it is on an honor system. You have to get the little envelope out of the drop box, fill out the pertinent information, put $5 in the envelope and then put the envelope in the drop box. There is a stub you put in your windshield. When I did my check there was a tent on one campsite and the other two were vacant. So as not to miss out on having a place to stay I filled out the envelope and deposited my $5. Then I put a small soft sided cooler we had and Beau's bed on the picnic table at the site so if any one came along they would know it was taken. Then I was off to meet the guys at the half way point to have lunch and discuss what to do for dinner that evening.

We met at a Supermarket in Astoria. They had a nice deli so we had soup and sandwiches for lunch. Then the guys continued on and I went shopping for food for dinner. I bought deli chicken, potato salad, 3 bean salad and some snacks. Plus beer and water to drink of course. Then I made my way back to the campground.

I passed the guys on the way. They seemed to be doing great and making good time. I got back to the campground and much to my dismay someone had actually stolen my cooler. The cooler was no big deal. But I had all my vitamins inside it. And my iced tea mix and Jim's instant coffee. And my champagne glasses from our hot air balloon ride were in there too. How rude. I always thought campers were considerate of others and didn't mess with your things. I was very disappointed. I think it was someone just passing through as we found out there was a lot of traffic that went in and out of that little park.

It wasn't too long before the guys showed up. They all looked good and said they had a nice ride. There was one hill but none of them thought it was too bad. We had a nice evening and settled in for the night.

Today they are riding 51 miles to St. Helens, Oregon. There is a city park that allows tent camping. It is only $10. And there are real bathrooms with real toilets and showers. Still no electric but showers and toilets are a big improvement. The local library is right next to the park so I am updating blog while waiting for the guys to arrive. Beau is sleeping in the van. It is still very cool here so he is OK in the van. I took him for a long walk in the park prior to coming to the library.

Not sure what the plan is for tonight. More to come when next Internet op presents itself.

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