500+ Miles In!!!!

The odometer just clicked over 500 miles and we are well on our way. We have made it through Washington and are halfway down the stunning Oregon Coast. Continually surprised at the number of fellow bikers we are meeting including Woody and Kia who camped with us on their way to Portland.

Our New Friends Kia and Woody

Our old friends Randy and Johnny from Coffman Cove tracked us down in the middle of Washington. We were quite surprised to see them and had a great time hanging out with the two of them.

Old Friends Randy and Johnny

Soon after, we were greeted into Oregon by the enormous 4-mile long Astoria Bridge. Once in Astoria, Cynthia Jones and family put us up for the night, feeding us a delicious dinner and breakfast. From there we got aspirations of surf and headed southwest to the beaches.

Hello Oregon!

 

First look at Seaside

Andrew, Chris, and Max took a beach day in Seaside and were met that afternoon by the rest of the group – Colin, Kanaan, and Kanaan’s friend Jen. The reunited group left Seaside for Cannon Beach and the next day’s surf.

Jen and Chris surfing at Haystack Rock

Andrew Surfin'

Heading into the Surf

We put in a full 8 hour workday of surfing and couldn’t be more happy. Surfing may be the highlight of this section of trip. Even though  most the group got tossed and beat-up by the break everyone would have a smile on their face when they surfaced.

Being raised on the stuff, the group had to make the compulsory stop in Tillamook at the cheese factory. After many trips through the sample line and two gallons of ice cream the crew was ready to ride again, albeit at a slightly slower pace.

Required Cheese Stop

The next day Chris, Max, and Colin choose to tour the Tillamook Air Museum while the rest of the group pointed it for Lincoln City. The Museum is located in a hanger erected for World War II submarine spotting blimps and is now filled with warbirds and other planes from WWII to present. Although slightly disappointed that we didn’t see one of the blimps we had a great time peaking into cockpits.

Max, Colin, and Chris at the Air Museum

About half way to Lincoln City we were flagged down riding on Highway 101. Lee Judson introduced himself and graciously offered us some rooms at the Motel 6 in Lincoln City. We were so shocked by such an unbelievable offer that were were almost speechless and could only thank Lee. With a shower and a bed to look forward to, the 2 mile hill before Lincoln City didn’t seem so bad.

Thanks Lee for the Room

We had a clean and restful night at the Motel 6 and were ready for the next day where our good friend Conor Corrigan Bell gave us skateboarding lessons at the Lincoln City skate park. Kanaan acquitted himself quite well and while the rest of us were a little shaky we all had a great time.

Con Gives Us Skate Lessons

The next night we camped on a beautiful beach near Newport which sparked memories of   the kayak trip.

Seal Rock

The following day Colin and Max shot ahead to meet up with Lia in Charleston, stopping for a night in the dunes surrounding Florence. Lia met the two of them at the door of her scholastic beach cottage with two dishes of crab mac-and-cheese and a splendor of treats. The rest of the group found an awesome co-op bike shop in Waldsport and decided to spend some time there. The six should be reunited shortly and them grow larger with the additions of Kanaan’s sister Kaitlyn and our good friend Evan.

First Days of Biking, Indianola to Hoodsport

Andrew, Max, and I (Chris) have begun moving south along the Hood Canal. We are beginning to see the beauty of moving by bike. Slowly we are learning how to ride as a group, drafting and rotating to keep our withered kayaking legs fresh.

Max Climbing the Hill

Our days are now centered around finding food and places to hang out.  We have had great luck meeting nice people and they have pointed us in the right direction.  We take turns watching the bicycles, while the other two shop.

Bikes Parked at the Grocery Store

After getting our food for the next couple of days, we made our way up into the National Forest.  Camp spots have been plentiful.  It has been nice to unload a bike rather than a kayak.

Andrew Keeps the Bugs Out

We spent the next days hiking in the Olympic Forest.  First, we took a short walk up to a great waterfall.  Bathing under the falls we attempted to rid ourselves of our sweaty stench.

Max Sizes up the Falls

Andrew Checks out the Shower Possibilities

The following day we hiked our way up the Duckabush River.  A well maintained trail winded through a douglas fir forest as we gained elevation up the valley.  A forest fire from only one year ago had painted the trunks of giant trees black.  A great swimming hole beckoned us away from the hot midday sun.

Andrew Jumps into the Refreshing Duckabush River

Later that evening we went to buy a dozen eggs from a nearby farm.  We were welcomed by the Springer family who fed us a great dinner and packed our panniers full of food.  Thanks so much for your hospitality!  This morning we packed up our camp and are pedaling south along the Hood Canal.

Andrew and Max Check the Map

Max gives his Nightly Spanish Lesson

We plan to meet up with the rest of the group (Kanaan, Colin and a new friend Jen) in the next couple of days and head out towards the coast.

 

THANK YOU!!!

Thank You from "A Trip South"

We have finished our kayak trip, arriving in Ladysmith, BC on September 1st.   We have had an unbelievable time exploring this wonderful region of the world.  There is no way that this trip would have been feasible without the amazing support of all of you in Juneau!  We would like to shout the biggest THANK YOU to all of you who have supported us in some way.  Seaward Kayaks, KXLL Excellent Radio, Above and Beyond Alaska, Nugget Alaskan Outfitter, Aurora Projekt, Cycle Alaska, Art Sutch Photography and Digital Imaging, Alaskan Brewing Co., Boombotix, Voltaic, Aquabound, Peak UK,  Go Raw, Bumble Bar, Patagonia, Tyry Inc., Wilderness Poets, and Contour.

In addition, the huge support that was lent from the many individuals who donated to our Kickstarter Fund as well as attended our kick-off party has allowed us to capture many of our experiences on film.  We would also like to extend a huge thank you to all of our parents for giving us this once in a lifetime opportunity.  Along the journey we have met a huge array of people who have helped us in every way possible, thank you for making our trip awesome!  Please visit our website,  www.atripsouth.com , to check out pictures from the journey as well as a short film about a major issue in British Columbia.

While you are reading this we will be starting the bicycle portion of our journey.  We will be traveling south from the Olympic Peninsula with the final goal of Tierra Del Fuego, Argentina.  Please continue to check our website for future updates along the way!

THANK YOU!!!

We have arrived in Ladysmith…and transitioned to Bicycles

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The last week of paddling brought with it oysters, new faces and an introduction to urban camping.  First, however, we were fortunate to be able to visit the Strathcona Park Lodge inland about 50 miles from Campbell River on Vancouver Island.  The lodge is dedicated to the education of youth in outdoor and life skills.  Earlier during the trip we had met Brian Gunn, a retired engineer who was visiting communities that could be damaged by the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline (The Vancouver Sun recently wrote an article about his trip).  We were intrigued by his knowledge and perspective and wanted to meet up and continue our discussions.  He invited us to the lodge to present our trip and ideas to the Camp Staff and visitors.

Lucas at the Strathcona Park Lodge

 Next we ventured back to our boats in Black Creek and continued the paddle.  Southwinds slowed our pace and we decided to stick to the direct route down the east coast of Vancouver Island.  Moving into more populated areas made for interesting camping opportunities.  For the first time we had to pick sites based on if we would get hassled by land owners rather than if the beach was nice or fresh water was flowing.   We did however, find a nice spot tucked away on Denman Island.  The shore was completely covered with huge oysters.  After checking with some locals about the PSP threat, we decided that we would have a feast!

Elyse fills up a bag of Oysters

Chris cooking Oysters on the fire

 The winds turned in the coming days and we began to make good time down the coast.  Rain showers in the afternoons made for incredible rainbow paddles.   

Somewhere under the RainbowLate evening paddle

Kanaan decided to take off on a crossing to Lasquiti Island on his way to Squamish to check in with his old school and to put together a short film.  We will be joining back up soon to start the bicycle portion of the trip. 

Kanaan excited to see land

Elyse, Max, Andrew and I (Chris) continued down to Protection Island (just across from Nanaimo) where we met up with a couple we had met earlier at a camp.  The couples names were Rob and Grace and we had an instant connection with them.  When they were fresh out of college they decided that they were going to sail around the world.  With no knowledge about sailing they proceeded to save their money and build a beautiful wooden sail boat.  Thirty years later, they have traveled the world many times over and have enough stories to fill several lifetimes.  We enjoyed spending time with them exchanging stories and life perspectives.  Rob was quick to recognize that like him and his wife, we were a group of dreamers!

Rob and Graces boat "Nanamuk"

It was tough to leave Protection Island, but we pushed off again for the last stretch.  One more night camping and then we were staring at the end of the kayak trip.  Hard to imagine it has gone by already, what an amazing summer!  

Ladysmith, BC ... The home of Seaward Kayaks and the end of our kayak trip

 We had a warm welcome in Ladysmith.  My parents, Maggie and Terry, were snapping photos and giving out hugs.  Nick from Seaward brought us donuts and coffee and helped us haul our boats up the beach for the last time.  We were even surprised by Rob and Grace who had come to greet us at the end!  The next few days the Seaward crew took us in and helped us with the logisitical nightmare of transitioning from kayaks to bicycles.  We were excited to check out their factory and the awesome process of building a kayak.  

Checking out the Seaward Factory

We could not possibly shout a big enough THANK YOU!! to the team over at Seaward.  Partnering with these guys has not only made our trip possible, but it has made it a wonderful success.  We will all certainly be lifelong Seward Kayak customers.  After some big hugs and a great time visiting we had to leave them and get to the bicycles.  The three of us have pedaled down to the Olympic Peninsula, where we shipped home kayak gear and have been getting organized for the journey ahead.       

Bikes loaded up for the long ride South

  Keep a look out for updates and articles in the coming weeks!