Haven’t updated since getting back from the trip; short version is that four days into the adventure, just outside Cle Elum, Washington, my brother broke his bike frame right at the rear axle mount and we aborted the trip, taking the Greyhound bus back to Seattle for a couple of days there before coming home via Vancouver a week early.
It was still a great bike tour while it lasted, and the Iron Horse State Park/John Wayne Pioneer Trail section up and over Snoqualmie Pass through the Cascades is an amazing trail, well worth the effort it takes to get a fully loaded touring bike up and over the gravel trail!
The full set of photos so far can be found over on my Flickr account in the Long Way To Portland album.
Here’s a few selections!
Quick late night post to say I’m off on another bike adventure! Not as epic as last year’s European trip but more adventurous than going out to Salt Spring Island yet again!
My brother and I leave Saturday the 25th of July for Portland, OR, taking a long route, up and over the Cascade Mountains via Snoquomish Pass, to Yakima, then down to the Columbia River and back to Portland via the Columbia Gorge. We’ll end the trip with an Amtrak train ride back to Vancouver, BC to get home.
Posts from the road as I have wifi or pay the extra for a day of data usage on the phone, but here’s some maps:
First Half – Victoria to Yakima – overnights on Whidbey Island, Tolt-McDonald Park near Carnation WA, Lake Easton State Park, Ellensburg, and Yakima.
Second Half – Yakima to Portland – overnights in Yakima, Brooks Memorial SP, then several days of wandering down the Columbia Gorge with lots of camping choices.
We’ll end in Portland sometime around the 5th of August, spend a couple of days there drinking beer, eating donuts, and poking around, before taking Amtrak’s Cascades run back up to Vancouver, BC to meet our respective girlfriends and end the whole trip there.
Still getting photos up onto my Flickr account, although over there I’m actually up to Nantes and nearly at the end of the trip, especially as I took very few photos in Paris right at the end of the trip.
Above, group photo at Digion where we met the Loire, the last of this trip’s great rivers!
Stain glass in Nevers.
Gutter running in Nevers, two or three stories above the street.
Looking south from Sancerre.
Our five-star accommodation in Sully-sur-Loire.
We can’t stop now, we’re in chateau country! The first of the famous Loire chateaus in Sully-sur-Loire.
Our lunch stop somewhere along the Loire, near Orleans.
Me, with the awesome Chateau de Chambord in the background.
Chateau de Chenonceau – the famous “bridge chateau” over the Cher river.
More to come, we had several more days in the Loire, then Nantes itself, a trip out to the Atlantic from Nantes, and then Paris!
Just before Christmas I got up to Merritt to see my father and stepmother, and took the camera along, naturally.
We took a walk along a section of the old Kettle Valley Railway right-of-way. I’d love to see this restored as a fully accessible multi-use trail and be able to do a multi-day bike camping trip along it. Maybe it’ll happen one day!
We also went walking one afternoon in the ranch area up in the hills, and got some awesome winter sunlight.
Closer to home, right at the end of January I got away overnight to Salt Spring Island to camp out at Ruckle Provincial Park. I went there in mid-October and decided to return again for another one-night escape.
Ruckle is about 45-50km total road distance from downtown Victoria, with a 30 minute ferry ride over to Salt Spring Island from Swartz Bay giving a bit of a break.
Just a note if you do go out to Ruckle in winter, though, there’s no drinking water in the park from November 1st to March 1st — they disconnect the drinking water taps. Bring an extra water bottle or two.