Thursday, October 13, 2011

An Anniversary on Two Wheels

Whew! The time is just flying by. I hope we are taking enough time to enjoy these last few weeks on the road... secretly, I think we're enjoying it a little too much!!! 

To keep you in the loop, we wanted to share what's up with Give a Bike:

1. As the miles to Seattle keep shrinking, our fundraising donations keep growing! We've got only 3 more states and have over $22,500 raised for our charities.
2. Check out our last challenge of the year: 11/11/11 Challenge!
3. Two final events in the lower 48!! One of them just happens to be on my birthday!
4. Our timeline:  We'll be riding into Seattle right around Oct 20th and we'll be there for about a week before we head on up to Bellingham to catch a ferry to Juneau, AK. We'll get to hang in Juneau and Anchorage for a few days before we take the flight to state #50!  We waited as long as we could for them to build the bridge so we could ride there, but alas, it has not been built and a plane is our only option to Hawaii.

Some of you have asked, and yes, we did manage to find our groove again, even in the dark, gloomy days that plague the Northwest Coast. After we left The Peace Artist, we were put at ease and have been back in the mode of bike tourist, complete with riding through the rain, and camping with raccoons!

That is, until October 9th! Our anniversary! We had to do something special. Months ago Adam exclaimed that for our anniversary, he wanted to stay in a Yurt. Lucky us, we just happened to find a campground with a Yurt available and booked it for two nights.

We grabbed some shrimp, some yummy bisque, and made a fancy pasta dish for our anniversary meal. Of course, to top it all off we had some Coppola wine and a deck of cards. Can it get any better than that?

Usually our days off include some sort of work needing to be done. But we took the next day literally off! We had no wifi and very limited cell service so we were almost forced to just relax. How nice! It was a true day off.

Yesterday, we said a sad goodbye to our Yurt and were off again, hoping to make it to a state park campground just south of Newport, OR. But to our surprise, we had an email from Rogue Brewery. You may remember Julie, from Pubquest, who we met at the very start of our tour at Blind Lady Ale House in San Diego, she has been following us ever since and helping to get us hooked up with local craft breweries. This is the website to visit if you enjoy a good local beer while traveling!

Pubquest hooked us up with Stacy at Rogue who offered us a free room at the Bed and Beer above the restaurant. What?!? And the anniversary celebrations continue!! We were totally blown away and couldn't wait to get there. We pushed through our last 20 miles in less than an hour and 1/2... we were that excited!  That night we enjoyed a burger and a Rogue beer downstairs before we walked around Bay Market in Newport, OR. 

Halfway through our dinner and beer, we noticed an enormous amount of people in the bar wearing Hawaiian shirts. They didn't seem to know each other, but rather walked in, in individual groups. We thought...this must be a good sign of our future! But instead, we were told that it's Wear a Hawaiian Shirt and Get Free Beer Tuesday! Well, we had no Hawaiian shirts but Adam had a clean pair of Hawaiian boxers upstairs that he quickly ran to get and wear as a shirt.  The things a touring cyclist will do for a yummy beer at the end of a soggy day!

The next morning we were invited to take a tour of the Rogue Brewery with the Brewmaster himself, John Maier..... let me try to explain this brewery in terms of a bike shop (ahhh... our whole lives revolve around bikes now).  Sometimes, you walk into a bike shop and you feel small.  Everything is too clean, too expensive, and too new.  But then, there are the bike shops that you walk into and are immediately put at ease.  It's more or less a garage-type feel, people willing to let you borrow tools in exchange for some good conversation.  Things are used... the way they're supposed to be. Rogue was the garage-style bike shop of breweries. It was exactly what you'd expect from a brewery called Rogue!   And John made us feel right at home.





We left the brewery fairly late in the day, and were looking forward to a short day to Devil's Lake Campground in Lincoln Bay.  But at the top of our only hill of the day awaited yet another surprise for us.  Dave was out taking his Bike Friday for a ride and we stopped to ask him about his folding bike... good for taking on trains and planes...hmmmmm.  Within a few minutes, he offered us a place to spend the night and we followed him another 10 miles north for a  grand total of 20 miles.  Riding with Dave was not only great conversation, but he showed us a few beautiful lookout spots!

After we settled in, Dave invited us out to his favorite seafood restaurant!   We are really living it up!

All of this sleeping indoors craziness is really having a positive effect on me.  I told Adam I'm not sure if I'll be able to camp again! Getting too spoiled!  But with only a week before Seattle, I think a little spoiling is OK.

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