26. It is Finished!

Wow!  It is hard to believe as I am sitting in my family room, and Jens is out for a run on Pre’s Trail, that our bicycling adventure is over.   

We enjoyed a day off on Saturday at our house with our bicycling friends, Mark and Pat.  It was nice to host them in our home.  We gave them a brief tour of Eugene.  We did some laundry, ate some home cooking, played some cards and just relaxed.  

On Sunday, after assuring our guests that we would have a flat, easy 40-miler up to Corvallis, we  instead had a quite challenging ride.  We had a stiff headwind the entire ride, and we worked much harder than we had anticipated.  But it was a beautiful ride, and we ended the day with a rooftop dinner at Sky High Brewing and Pub. 

Monday we took our last ride, over to Newport – 53 miles.  There was a lot of traffic, but the shoulders were pretty wide most of the way.  When we rolled into Newport, the coastline was shrouded in fog and it was very, very windy, and cold.  We four pushed our bikes through the sand down to the water and dipped our tires in the Pacific.  We celebrated having reached the Pacific Ocean with a delicious seafood dinner down in Old Town Newport. 

On Tuesday morning, we said goodbye to Mark and Pat, who are continuing on up to Seattle, from where they will take the train back home to Chicago.  We will miss them after riding together many, many miles after we met them in Kentucky in late May. 

Our friend Dianne graciously drove over to Newport on Tuesday to give us and our bikes a ride back to Eugene.  Thank you Dianne!  

As the days have passed since we made the decision to drive around the fires in Montana and Idaho, I feel less disappointed in not having ridden that part of our route, and I am able to focus on what we accomplished.  We bicycled in 11 states, pedaled 3,086 miles, connected with friends along the way,  made some new friends, saw a lot of the U.S., and had many memorable experiences, some good, some not so good. 

As I sit here in the safety of my home and reflect on our trip, I am thankful for so many things about the trip. 

Monday, as many log trucks whizzed close by us, I was reminded how blessed we are to have survived bicycling almost every day for over almost three months over 3,000 with no close calls with cars or trucks.  That really is remarkable when I reflect on how often we rode on roads with little or no shoulder.  The overwhelming majority of motorists were careful as they drove around us. 

Likewise, almost everyone we encountered was curious about what we were doing, and were kind and helpful.  Our bikes and bags and Oregon license plates seemed to draw people to us.  We have joked that our “celebrity status” would come to end when the trip was over. 

We also were fortunate not to have any physical ailments whatsoever, besides the normal aches and pains that come from bicycling all day.  Considering we have 60-something bodies, we feel that is pretty good.

Our bikes were amazing.   We rode over 3,000 miles and had no mechanical problems (other than normal wear and tear) and no flat tires.  Pretty incredible!!

We always had a place to stay at night (ok, the first night out we did have to camp illegally in the woods in a state park because there were no available camp sites).  We did stay in a handful of truly awful places where we would never return, but they were the exceptions to usually having a decent place to stay overnight.  I am grateful to Jens for how much work  he put in to make that happen. He spent a lot of time daily planning.  He is really good at it and I am grateful I didn’t have to do it because it wouldn’t have turned out as well.

We were also very grateful to all of you who prayed for us as well as those of who encouraged us on our blog or texted or emailed us.  It meant so much to us. We always looked forward to seeing the comments or hearing from you.  We often felt alone and isolated out there on the road so it was always nice to hear from people to remind us that we indeed were in people’s thoughts and prayers.

We both feel like we learned a lot about ourselves.  It was definitely a growing and stretching experience, one that will help us as we move onto the next adventure.

I am grateful I was able to see this country on a bicycle.  It is such a different perspective.  There are many places where we would like to go back and explore.  Our country is beautiful, vast and varied, and we were blessed to see a lot of it, and yet I was so aware that I was only seeing a small fraction of it from where we were riding. 

After seeing the states that we rode through, I am grateful to call Oregon home.  The last five rides made me appreciate all over again what a great state we call home.

 I am grateful we have a warm comfortable house to come home to.

Now what ???  On to the next adventure .  .  .  .  


Oregon - Final Few Days

This Post Has 11 Comments

  1. Jeff Svejcar

    Congratulations you two! Thanks for taking us along on your ride.

  2. Rachie

    WOW!! Abso-flipping-lutely amazing!!!! I’m so incredibly proud of you two and your accomplishment! What an amazing journey! Thank you for sharing on your blog as I loved hearing about your adventures and who you’d meet along the way. I am sorry about the dogs! Can’t wait to celebrate this at Labor day! Love you!

  3. Diane Schilling

    🤗 thank you for sharing your journey with us.

  4. Andrea

    Congratulations you two! We are all so proud of you (and quite impressed!)

  5. Cindy Vance

    I have thoroughly enjoyed following your adventure! Congratulations on your amazing accomplishments and your safe return home.

  6. Ralene

    Congratulations and welcome back! Was fun following your big adventure! Hope to see you soon back on the courts.

  7. Terra

    Congratulations! What a great accomplishment! So glad you are home safe and sound! And fun to see Jens again on the tennis court!

  8. Rachie

    Abso-flipping-lutely amazing!!! So proud of you two! What an amazing accomplishment and such a tough but smart decision to not get caught in the fires! Can’t wait to celebrate with you in September!

  9. Rachei

    Well you get 2 comments because I didn’t realize I had already posted the one! ;P

  10. Bob P.

    WAY TO GO!!!!! So glad for you and all the happiness of your journey! Glad you’re back safe. Take care.

  11. Kim

    Congratulations!! Glad you made it home safe. What an amazing adventure.

Leave a Reply