Tag Archives: bicycle tour

Highway 26 the Bicycle Tour from Boise, ID to Portland, OR

Eastern and Central Oregon at a long bicycle glance seem to have more cows then people and more people then fresh vegetables.  Highway 26 snakes through the flats of eastern Oregon, down and over the mountains passes of central Oregon and into the beautiful city of Portland.  The facts in this article are accurate.  The stories are thoughts inspired by the solo bicycle ride.  Just because your body moves as fast as a trotting cow doesn’t mean your mind slows down.

Surly Long Haul Truck accompanied by BOB Yak Trailer west Boise

Leaving the security of West Boise for the open road on the Surly Long Haul Truck accompanied by BOB Yak Trailer

Oct 12
Boise to Vale
9:10AM to 5:10PM
72.5 miles

West Boise stomping grounds

I begin my journey at the Starbucks on McMillian and Eagle.  My parents live 2 miles away.  The bicycle ride idea came about while walking these 4 lane busy roads lined with box stores and nasty restaurants.  Before the move to my parent’s house, I had wandered the Pacific Coast, New Mexico desert, central Idaho, the Chugach Mountains, and Cape Cod.  This summer, when not working at the Flying M Garage coffee shop, I’d wander West Boise.  Everywhere I walked made no sense.  The West Boise desert has been swallowed by artificial greenery.  West Boise resembles the tree lined banks of the Boise River.  Imagine a person who enjoys the desert moving to Portland, where the new resident mows all the vegetation and chops down the trees. These desert loving home owners install sensors that detect precipitation.  When the alarm goes off, massive amounts of energy used to power a dome shell that roles over the sage brush, dirt and lava rock to protect the yard from the desert killing rain.  The desert lovers can’t get enough desert.  They petition to build more hydroelectric dams to power more and more dome shells to protect and build more acres of Portland desert.  This notion seems silly but that’s what has happened to West Boise.  Too little precipitation equals sprinklers that simulate rain, springs, and rivers.

In all my visits to Portland I’ve never seen a yard that looks like a desert.  This has become one of Portland’s selling points.  People who live in Portland are at least content with their climate and yards.

After having one last cup of Starbucks coffee, I take Eagle Road down to State Street (also called Highway 44).  A majority of State Street has wide shoulders.  Upon reaching Middleton I stop at the park for a water break and to take photos of the tank.

"Weapons in Parks" along with Marty Camberlango's "What Energy Crises?"

This tank inspired a series of photos called “Weapons in Parks,” shown at the Flying M Coffee House where I used to work.  Back on the road I found out the park is infested with goat heads, thorns that eat tires alive.
Both the bicycle back tire and bob tire are flat.  I stop at the Shell gas station to change both flats.

Highway 26 all the way to PDX

About 4 miles after Middleton Highway 44 crosses Interstate 84,  I take a left on Farmway Road which intersects Highway 20/26.  This is the highway that I will pedal 457 miles all the way on to Portland.

Sharing the shoulder with the farm machinery

From Parma to Vale, bicycle riders share the shoulder with farm equipment.  At first it’s unnerving to hear the sound of a big combustion engine coming up slow and not pass.  To look over my shoulder means the bike will veer into the traffic lane.  All a person can do, accept the fact that there’s a massive tractor riding their ass and be patient.

Parma Moto Vu, the best place to camp in Parma, ID

When planning the trip the first stop I intended was to be Parma. No, not the famed land of cheese in Italy – we’re still talking Idaho, here. Years ago I camped at the Parma Moto Vu, an old drive in theater that still shows a double feature on the weekends.  I contacted the owner and the theater closed for the season the last week in September.  Parma also has a park that offers camping and showers for $7.00.

On HI 26 there’s lots of cows and mono culture.

The smell of shit
fills the nostrils.
Around the corner
a feedlot
the sight of cows
packed side by side
caked in mud and feces
makes the mind start to think,
Oh hamburger sandwiched between two buns with American cheese
The mouth starts to salivate
and yell, “Yum Yum Yum” at the stinky cows

Several small towns post signs that read “Drug Free Zone.”  I would have appreciated signs that read Vegetable Free Zone or Fair Trade Coffee Free Zone to save some disappointment and time.

Around 5PM I pedaled into Vale, OR.  Stay at the Vale Trails RV Park right off of HI 26.  For $10, I got clean bathrooms, showers, wifi and a grocery store within walking distance.  When I arrived, the bathroom was heated which made patching tubes enjoyable and I was lured into a peaceful sleep.  I awoke at 7AM freezing.  The weather report on the Ipod Touch read 31 degrees.  Need to get an early start because today there’s two passes.  While loading the gear I notice the back tire flat.  At this point my gloved fingers could barely move.  No way am I going to replace a flat in these temperatures.  I load up the rest of the gear and walk to the Starlite Café across town.  Vale and the Starlite Café are very proud of the fact that the Oregon Trail pioneers traveled through the area.  Inside the café murals depict the settlers and the buffalo. Manifest destiny was rather violent.  Unlike today’s travelers, eager to take photos and make an attempt, at least that, to leave nature the way they found it, travelers back then slaughtered nature.  For some reason seeing pictures of dead buffalo makes a person hungry for a buffalo burger.

I slowly eat the buffalo burger, waiting for the sun to hit the park bench across the street.  Around 9:30AM I’m basking in the morning sun working on the flat.

Oct 13
Vale to Brogan
10:30AM to 1:15PM
24.2 miles

By 10:30AM the tube has been patched and the bike is in working order.  On the way out of town I stop by the Bureau of Land Management.  There I pick up a free map showing Oregon campgrounds.  I pedal 22 miles to the small town of Brogan.  There’s a sign that reads “next gas stop 42 miles.” The campground map does not show any campgrounds between Brogan and Unity.  With the late start I decide it best not to attempt the 42 miles.  There’s a city park with water and a port-a-potty but no camp signs.  Private farm land borders each side of the highway.  I like the idea of guerilla camping but don’t like the idea of getting settled and then to have to unexpectedly move.

Surly Long Haul Truck and the Big Agnes Emerald Mountain SL3

Brogan RV Park

I decide to stay at the Brogan RV Park.  The park has a rustic trailer park feel.  The manager can’t remember the password to the wifi.  I am invited into his trailer which acts as a residence and office.  On the modem there’s a password he can’t read because of the tiny print.  I can’t figure out the password but get the impression if I want hang out, pet his dog, smoke cigarettes, and listen to Metallica that would be fine.  Instead I choose to walk to the only store.  The shelves are lined with processed food.  There’s no clerk.

Brogan RV Park Club House

At the RV Park there’s a club house consisting of ashtrays, chairs, a pool table, and old hunting magazines.  For hours I read hunting magazines.    I decide the best way to kill a deer would involve buying a lot of acreage.  Then grow a certain type of foliage that attracts deer and a certain type of foliage that corrals the deer.  BAM SPLAT THUD  shoot the critter when it’s got a mouthful of fresh organic greens.  Now a lot of people don’t have disposable income to set up lunch program for a deer. Also keep in mind a person will need a large vehicle to transport a deer to the taxidermist.  I recommend to start on the cheap; with a bb gun and humming bird feeder.   Once you bag your trophy, you just need a shoe box, a bicycle or enough change for the bus to transport it to the taxidermist.

Oct 14
Brogan to Unity
8AM to 2PM
41.2 miles

Surly Long Haul Truck and the BOB Yak Trailer beautiful sunset on Highway 26

Heading out of Brogan

6 out of the 8 days pedaled over 1 to 2 passes a day

Straight out of Brogan the highway starts the climb to Brogan Hill elevation 3981 followed by Eldorado Pass elevation 4623. On the way to Unity I hear the large engine of some yet unknown gas guzzling machine come up slow.  I keep looking straight ahead, expecting the large piece of farm machinery to pass.  The large machine doesn’t pass.  Next to my side there’s a large flat bed Ford 350 truck, with a smiley sheep dog and a man wearing a large cowboy waving from the driver’s side.  He yells, “where are you going?  How’s the ride?”  I mumble panting, “Good.”  He wishes best of luck and hits the gas pedal leaving me in a cloud of diesel fumes.

The main street of Unity has a fairly large convenience store with free wifi.  I stop in to look for organic chocolate milk.  No organic section to be found, however a great selection of processed food.  The attendant, a very friendly lady, asks where I am going.  I told her I was headed up the road to the campground.  Her face suddenly took on the look of a concerned mother.  She whispers, “the bears and cougars have taken over the forest around Unity.”  She made it sound like the wild wild west.  Outside the safety of the stockade, bandit bears and native American cougars will tear the god fearing apart.  Her advice: camp behind the hotel for $10.  I thought this was reasonable when it came to my safety.  The rest of the afternoon I sat out front of the convenience store enjoying the sun and wifi.  When there weren’t customers buying snacks or trucks to fuel, the attendant would hang out and smoke.

In the morning I went to the Unity Cafe.  The bar has an oval shape in the middle.  The bartender has some sort of a branding iron that elegantly becomes a long prosthetic limb used to push drinks out to the customers.  Pasted onto a large hot sauce bottle is a small breakfast menu.  Their specialty seems to be biscuits, gravy, sausage, and eggs.  A couple bellies up to the bar to start their day off with a cup of coffee.  The woman loudly proclaims that everyday bad people are murdering and raping the good people.  My first thought, SHIT where the hell am I!!  Unity has murdering bears and cougars but also murdering people!  Unity really needs a closed gated community.  I haven’t felt this type of fear since hanging out with a particular couple at the Spaghetti Factory, where, while I was innocently enjoying a plate of spaghetti, I was informed that terrorists want to kill me.    I started to look around paranoid, more slowly slurping noodles.  I wondered if it’s a smart idea to hang out with this Fox news loving couple.  Out of all my friends, why is it that they seem to be the only ones constantly targeted by terrorists?  I think they only date on terrorist level code green days.

“It’s a sunny day today, honey.  It’s code green!”

I notice the woman’s eyes at the bar not looking at me but turned towards the TV airing CNN news.  Thank god the killers and rapists are only in the TV.  I have heard similar talk from people who live in all white middle class suburban communities.   I ask them when was the last time someone has been raped or murdered on their street.  As of yet I have never met a person who’s neighborhood post traumatic stress disorder has been related to actual trauma.  Rather, they seem to purposefully invite the terrorists, killers and rapists into their living rooms and bedrooms via the television.

My Mind’s Been Abused

open up the curtains
take in the sun
warm a cup of coffee
sit on the couch
turn on the TV
let’s have a
entertaining romp
of car bombs,
murder and rape

clean up the mess
give a thank you squeeze
spoon into the night
lay on the bed
turn on the TV
let’s have a
entertaining romp
of car bombs,
murder and rape

wipe your dirty ass
take a heavy sigh
light a scented candle
relax on the toilet
turn on the smart phone
let’s have a
entertaining romp
of car bombs,
murder and rape

Everything that scares
lives in your head
lives in your head
fox news says
don’t trust your neighbor,
barely trust your friend
remember Jesus only died
for your sins
good citizens
it’s best to be mindless
and contained
lock your doors
and just be scared
scared shitless
with a good
entertaining romp
of car bombs,
murder and rape

Oct 15
Unity to Clyde Holliday State Park
8:10AM to 5:15PM
56.5 miles

Around the Bates, OR area there’s the Austin House Cafe & Country Store.  They serve up some delicious huckleberry ice cream.  They are hunter friendly and bicycle friendly.  A bicycle rider can camp for $5.00.

Highway 26 running through John Day Valley is smooth with wide shoulders.  John Day has grocery stores with fresh fruit.  Apples travel well if carefully packed.

Clyde Holliday State Park on the Highway 26 with the Surly Long Haul Truck accompanied by BOB Yak Trailer

Clyde Holliday State Park has a $5.00 hiker/biker site waiting, as if exclusively for me.  Still no other bicycle riders.  Unlike the Pacific Coast Bicycle Route that still attracts bicycle riders from around the world in October, Highway 26 hasn’t developed much of an October following.  I spent another evening day dreaming and listening to This American Life.

Unlike Highway 1 on Highway 26 there's no Bill and his Iron Buffalo to keep you company

Clyde Holliday State Park to Mitchell
7:40AM to 6:30PM
67.2 miles

Blow out on the Highway 26 Surly Long Haul Truck accompanied  by BOB Yak Trailer

Flat outside of Clyde Holliday State Park

The town of Dayville has a charming park with water and bathrooms.  Inside the men’s bathroom there are cut flowers.   Also, there are actually mirrors on the inside of the bathroom door stalls.  It humbles an individual to watch oneself shit — and can also be fun.

The Dayville Cafe takes pride in their quality of food.  It was actually my first, and I hoped not my last, experience of this sort in a small town on Highway 26.  The cafe proudly advertises Painted Hills Natural Beef.  A husband and wife run the cafe.  After ordering a meal, the Mrs. asks guests to pay.  That way a guest can immediately leave when finished.  Smart when there’s only one person who cashiers, busses, and serves.

Between Dayville and Mitchell, a nail blows out the back tire.  The inner tube has been shredded.  The narrow John Day Canyon doesn’t always have enough shoulder space to change the tire.  I walk till I find a spot to comfortably change the flat. The Mike Seeger song Whoopin’ Up Cattle performed by The Charles Potts Magical Windmill Band captures the mood. “Nothing to do but flip the bird. Look up in the sky and yell curse words.”

Up till now I had been a good judge of determining distance.  With two tire flats and the slow 39 mile uphill climb, I watched the sun start to drop below the horizon on the 6 mile 6% grade downhill into Mitchell.

Mitchell, OR

Oregon Hotel has one hostel room

The reward after a long bike ride was the Oregon Hotel.

Next to the hotel there’s the Little Pine Cafe and Lodge.   I walk through the door and am quickly greeted by a young woman.   This is the first woman I have seen of child bearing age in a Highway 26 small town.  The future for towns like Brogan, Mitchell and Unity look bleak.  These towns are soon to become dependent on sperm banks, mail order brides or Gods’ miracle sperm that can jump start an old women’s womb.   I ask, “What are you doing in Mitchell?”  She explains, “Collecting bottle caps for an art project.”  I didn’t see an art gallery in Mitchell.  Maybe she’s an artist from San Francisco who makes country art for the city folk.  This is a good lead in to mention Erik Behnke, one of my favorite Alaskan artists.  His unusual take on Alaskan wildlife has started to make an impact on the art scene in the lower 48.  Check out Brown Bear Products.

Oct 16
Mitchell to Prineville
9:45AM to 4PM
47.3 miles

Ochoco Reservoir Camp closed.  The camp has a large day use area with running water and bathrooms.   Lots of people boat and enjoy the picnic area.  I head to the RV Park in Prineville.  Made camp before sundown. The temperature drops.  Instead of doing the nightly thing of being layered and huddling in my sleeping bag, I head out on the town.  Prineville has some delicious Mexican Food and a movie theater.  I watched the new Wall Street movie.

The next morning the tent was frozen.  Most RV parks have heated bathrooms. A breakfast consisting of an apple, dried fruit, and cliff bar I enjoy in warmth.

Surly Long Haul Truck and frozen Big Anges tent

Oct 17
Prineville to Madras
10AM to 1:30PM
29.4 miles

This day, I decide to give my body a break.  Madras really felt like the end of the Highway 26 adventure.  The next day I camp in the Cascades on Mt. Hood, then it’s a short ride into Portland.  Madras has the type of coffee shop I have been longing for since leaving Boise, ID.  The Great Earth Cafe serves fair trade coffee.  I find the first menu since Boise where everything sounds delicious.  Young and healthy appearing people frequent the coffee shop.  I spend the night in a hotel, managed by a friendly couple.  It wasn’t easy finding the right hotel.  Madras has two main one way streets.  Having got to the end of the north running road I didn’t feel like going down the south running road.  Later I found out I missed the opportunity to stay in the Historic Madras Hotel.

Oct 18
Madras to Government Camp
7AM to 4PM
65 miles

Surly Long Haul Truck accompanied by BOB Yak Trailer with Mount Hood in the distance

Mt. Hood in the distance

The 65 mile route will be another long day of mostly uphill.  I pedal North West towards Mt. Hood in the far off distance.  I quickly lose sight of Mt. Hood and the sun when I enter Crooked River Canyon.  The temperature dramatically drops.  Between the speed of the downhill descent and the loss of sun, my fingers start to become useless.  I have to pull over to put on winter gloves otherwise I’d have to walk through the canyon.  A digital sign in the canyon reads 33 degrees.

Still Creek Camp located 1 mile East of Government Camp closes in early fall.  Government Camp did not have an RV park.  It’s lonely camping in an empty campground.  I don’t find peace in the solitude.  The wood was too wet to burn.  Too cold to write or read.  It’s 6PM, I lay in the sleeping bag and hope to fall asleep before running out of This American Life podcasts.

Oct 19
Government Camp to PDX
9:45 AM to 2PM
58.6 miles

I start the 58 mile ride into Portland at the Huckleberry Inn.  I was craving the huckleberry pie.  I love to hunt Idaho huckleberries and Alaskan blueberries.  Not being one to start the day with sweets, however, I first order the mushroom omelet.  I quickly remember why omelets are the perfect date or friend food.  This omelet was so big it could have fed two average size adults, a newly weaned baby, and a miniature dachshund.  The size of this omelet made me nervous.  Usually the notion of quality comes into play with large food items like a huge iceberg salad or a monstrous rice burrito.  Thank goodness the omelet was loaded with cheese and sautéed mushrooms. Unfortunately I couldn’t finish the omelet and there was no room in the belly for huckleberry pie.

I start the day out using the Google Bicycle route.  The bicycle route kept taking me off highway 26 then back onto highway 26.  I decide to stay on Highway 26 until  Boring.  When I pedal through Sandy, a large car pulls over in front of me.  A man jumps out and motions me to stop.  He wants to know if I’m the guy who had the flat outside of John Day, 273 miles west.  I told him that was probably me.  At this moment he found me very inspiring.  He couldn’t believe I made it all the way from John Day to Sandy.  He then grabs his belly and jokes about how he could never ride his bicycle through the desert and mountains.  I tell him fitness has little to do with bicycle touring.  It’s all about the mental attitude and bicycle gearing.  He doesn’t seem convinced so I switch subjects.  I notice on the back of his car the fish symbol above the tail light.

I say check this out, “Christians believe they are born into sin and it’s their nature to sin.  If that is the case why do only a small group of Christians ride in horse drawn buggies or missionary around on bicycles.  You seem like a nice guy but I bet even you don’t always break for squirrels.    It’s too easy to drive and sin at the same time.  The bigger the vehicle the more room there is to sin (orgies and blow in limos).  Only in the sinless land of heaven will Christians be able to drive vehicles responsibly.  In the meantime Christians should ride bicycles because it’s hard to sin on a bicycle and they will be setting a good example for the gentiles.

Case in point:

Who has been involved in a bicycle drive by shooting?
When has a non-married couple lost their virginity on a bicycle?
Serial killers and the mafia don’t transport bodies on bicycles.
Who has ever heard of a person being raped on a bicycle?
Never seen a bicycle rider pedal with a 40oz then toss it in the bushes.
How many Lucky Strikes can a pedaler smoke going over a mountain pass?
Never seen a bicycle rider eat french fries then toss the wrapper in the bushes.
Never heard of a bicycle rider snorting coke off a bike seat.
How much genetically engineered corn can a pedaler hall.
The Nazi blitzkrieg wouldn’t have happened on bicycles.
Never heard of a bicycle towing nuclear missiles.

I think the man from Sandy will start bicycle riding.

Springwater Corridor Trail

In Boring I pick up the Springwater Corridor Trail.  From there the trail takes me almost to the front door of Doug and Daniel’s house; the inauguration of an adventuresome month and half of hanging out on Alberta Street, playing music, job searching, and visiting friends in Portland.

Pacific Coast bicycle tour: Gualala to Redlands, California (pedal power)

kirk-creek-campground california pacific coast bicycle tour

Before my departure for the Pacific Coast, some people expressed concern that I would be involved in a tragic automobile/bicycle accident rendering my arms useless.  People assumed they would not receive this essay in such a timely manner because typing with my nose is a skill that takes a while to learn.

Pacific Highway bicycle tour

Some parts of Highway 1 did bring about beads of sweat.  The highway can become so narrow that there is no room for a roadside cross.  A non-attentive driver simply has to knock you in the shoulder.  The sudden jolt of shoulder pain wouldn’t bother you because you’d be soaring with a smile beside the seagulls as you plummet towards the sun bathing sealions or get smashed into the side of the mountain. Fortunately, a bicycle rider is more likely to get hit in an intersection.

Travel Stats:

Gaulala, CA (100 miles north of San Francisco) to Malibu, CA

575 miles in 24 days, a leisurely pace.

Annie's box macaroni dinner-in-san-fran Pacific coast bicycle tour

Average daily expenses $38, eating peanut butter and beans and splurging on a day at the Monterey aquarium.

4 busses and 1 train, public transportation from Malibu to Redlands, California

brandon-at-bodega-bay-campground Pacific coast bicycle tour

Brandon Follett playing his Little Martin

Concerning my preconceived notions of long distance bicycle riding and leisure time, I was in for a surprise. Usually the day would consist of waking up around 7AM, packing, hitting the road around 9AM.  Our most frequent stops were at grocery stores, coffee shops with free wi-fi, produce stands, and at the tops of hills to take gulps of water.  Only four campsites were actually close enough to town to check open mic or plug in the computer to work on films or travel stories.  Usually we would pull into the camp around time for dinner, set up camp, maybe read or play cards, then go to bed.  When the sun dropped it would get cold, so we’d bundle up in our sleeping bags.  My dad gave me a radio run on solar power.  Usually the radio couldn’t pick up stations, but on the nights when it was really cold and you could pick up NPR, it was definitely worth the added weight.  Kind of how an apple tastes much juicier after a five hour bicycle ride, a day of pedaling makes Terry Gross’s voice sound that much sweeter.

The California coast has plenty of campgrounds with sites specifically designated for hikers and bikers.  No reservations are required, all hikers and bikers share the same site, and the cost is reasonable, between $3 and $5 per person.

Pacific Highway bicycle tour

We rarely camped alone at the hiker/biker sites.  Sometimes up to 13 bicycle riders shared a campsite, and we met people from all over the world.  The world travelers we met were from Europe, Canada and New Zealand.  Most people we met briefly as they were on tight time schedules to catch a flight or train home.

Pacific coast bicycle tour

The US riders were typically from the West coast.  They would ride down the coast, then take the train back home to San Francisco, Portland, or Seattle.  Keep in mind, because of the wind, almost everyone rides Highway 1 from north to south.

Compared to Idaho campers, California campers are very clean.  Almost all of the campsites had hot showers that were either free or cost a couple of quarters.  All of the campsites had clearly labeled, easily accessible bins for recycling bottles and cans.

carpinteria-beach Pacific coast bicycle tour

As we approached southern California, we started to meet bicycle riders who live on the road. The camp rules became stricter.  For instance, some hiker/biker sites had “no alcohol” signs posted. RVs next to the hiker/biker site had bottles of alcohol littered around their comfortable lawn chairs.  Some campgrounds had a one night limit, and one campground had a 9AM check out.

bill-6-years-bicycling pacific coast bicycle tour

Bill rides the Iron Buffalo, a bike that weighs 175 pounds with gear, including the antlers on the handlebars.  He started his journey 6 years ago from Boston on a search for the first Starbucks in Seattle.  He didn’t start his trip with the white plastic buckets that serve as rear panniers.  He used to have a tent and panniers just like ours, he claims.  A squirrel in search of granola ate through one of his panniers, and he exchanged his tent for tarps for reasons we’re not quite sure.

One man who talked so much I could never ask his name assured me the cops will never ticket or arrest you the first time they find you sleeping under a bridge.  The key is never get comfortable under one bridge.  You must be on the move, always under different bridges.  Similar to how people move their car from spot to spot in a 2 hour parking area.  I got invited to eat at the mission in San Luis Obispo.  Kept my curiosity to myself when he mentioned he had a warrant in Oregon.

At night, when I heard rustling sounds, I could always distinguish a raccoon from a bicycle rider who lives on the road.  The raccoons don’t have a smokers hack.

Other fascinating people we met:

In front of Sunshine Bicycles in Fairfax, I met a man wearing an International Workers of the World t-shirt. When people ask how I can afford my Bicycling Highway 1 and into the Great Beyond trip, I tell them the secret is not having credit card debt. We started talking about national debt and the recession.  He told me the union he belongs to encourages workers to take advantage of union discounts on cars, boats, etc. These discounts are a perk of being in the union.  His fellow workers are encouraged by teamsters to go into debt. His voice gets excited, “How can a person go on strike if they are in debt?”  I suppose a person in debt has no strike power.  I cannot count how many people I have met who would quit their jobs if they weren’t caged by debt to flee a worthless job or this war-mongering nation. The first tool to enable a person to strike is a bicycle.  The first step to a healthy economy is the bicycle.

Donna and Paul camped next to us in Gualala.  When they discovered our route would take us right past their house in Marshall, they invited us to stay a night with them at their house on beautiful Tomales Bay. Unfortunately, instead of accepting their offer, we decided to ride 17 miles further to Samuel P. Taylor State Park.

Donna and Paul have a website called Divining Seduction. http://www.evolutionaryrevolution.org/

They have a fresh look and solution to the current US and world patriarchal system

The Egg knows…

Evolutionary Revolution gives Darwinian cultural permission to all women to use their forgotten biological power to initiate seduction.  Hence, she will select her mate and guide him to mindfulness. Women can create loving and effective partnerships, stop the male war habit, help men to redefine “progress” and reduce their need of ‘stuff’.

doug-kirk Pacific coast bicycle tour

Met Doug on the bike path in Santa Cruz.  He was out for a day ride and gave us directions.  The second time he passed us, he offered us a place to stay for the night.  He entertained us with travel stories and YouTube sailing videos.  He recently helped sail ‘Adios’ to the Moore 24 National Championship at Richmond YC.  For the full story, check out the October issue of Latitude 38.  Besides racing sailboats, he is a great host, took us to the farmer’s market, makes a delicious breakfast, has no TV, built his house using the most current green technology, and put a 60 foot bike lane in front of his house.

Videos we made along California Highway 1:

Mendocino Hotel

Swanton Berry Farm

Henry Miller Memorial Library

Tomorrow we are taking a vacation from our bikes and heading to Baja California, Mexico by bus.  I thought it would be fun to spend the night and celebrate my 33rd birthday in Tijuana.  We e-mailed a fellow in Tijuana that we found on a website called Hospitality Club to see if we could spend the night with him.  This is what he said, “Why travel thru mexico? Havent u seen what is going on in mexico nowdays with all those murders, kidnappings, etc….? especially in Tij which is number 1. People dont party anymore or go to restaurants cus of the shootings in public. even myself i dont go out, be careful throughout ur trip. Ok have a nice day, bye”

More photos of our trip



Bicycle Camping at the Parma Motor-Vu

Brandon and Jen stand in line with the idling vehicles

I am worried about falling asleep close to the large truck parked next to my sleeping bag.  Usually I don’t close my eyes and lay my head next to vehicle tires because of vivid stories told about sleepy pets getting squashed beneath the tread.

The four hours of pedaling in 90-degree summer from Boise to Parma followed by several mugs of wine has turned a double feature into barely a single feature. My eyelids grow heavy. I know I’m making the same mistake as Shirley, the dead family pet.

The 45-mile bicycle route from downtown Boise to the Parma Motor-Vu parallels the convenience store laden, commonly driven I-84. Fill four water bottles in Boise and pack a lunch. The only snacks for sale along the route are local vegetables. The pleasures of rural country living are abundant from chicken art to local vegetables sold out of a garage. Also, a person gets to check out firsthand the poisons sprayed on our food. In some areas, “beware of pesticide” signs are as common as stop signs.

fruit and veggie snacks

On a Friday night, Parma doesn’t have much to offer in terms of restaurants. I recommend going to the grocery store for food and beverage and having a picnic at the theater. The grocery store is located on the main street of Parma. Continue north on Highway 95 to Parma Motor-Vu. The movie starts playing at sun down. It is best to get there early as you can see from the line of idling vehicles.

After paying seven dollars, pedal as fast as you can into the gravel parking lot to pick out prime real estate, then go browse the concession building. Besides the usual theater staples, the drive-in offers the bonus of Tony’s Pizza and popcorn made from the original hot air popper. Stylish t-shirts are also for sale.

The engines come to life around 1 AM. I jerk quickly awake and verify all my limbs are intact. I suppose the reflective material on the bicycles and panniers saved me. The exhaust, dust, and stop-and-go turns the parking lot into a mini freeway rush hour traffic jam. After the dust settles and the last car burns its tires out of the parking lot, it’s time to lie back, stare at the stars, and dream about a beautiful Saturday morning pedal back to Boise.

sleeping under the stars next to the movie screen

parma moto vu bicyce tour 2

Jen Siegel on her way to the movies