So some of you people who have eyes out there have noticed from my last post that our route no longer starts in Portland, OR. Well spotted! We will be leaving on our grand adventure from the charming abode of my magnanimous parents. We made a lot of changes to the trip and its ethos in the last few weeks. I would like to take some time to explain why, not because an awesome adventure needs justification, but because it is important to emphasize the practical with an ambitious group such as you dear readers. The planning stages are just as important to record for posterity if trips such as these are to be encouraged.
So first things first, we are leaving about a month before we expected! Why? Because:
- Our lease in Portland is up March 31st
- We don’t want to blow all our trip money on a temporary rental and a storage unit
- I gave notice at my job (yikes)
So we are leaving early because come April 1st, we will have no jobs, no house, and a whole lot of stuff to carry around. APRIL FOOLS! Actually no, just kidding we will still be homeless and unemployed.
BUT I’M NOT THAT SAD ABOUT THIS
I had a come to Jesus moment about these rapidly approaching life changes. I have already said yes to all of these things. I said yes to leaving/re-evaluating our current life in Portland (as of recent developments it is 90% likely we are coming back to the metro area in August), I said yes to getting the dog when it is ready (so so so soon), and I said yes to going off the grid to have the adventure of the decade so now its time to just do it all. ALL OF IT.
We needed to think through how we would actually achieve lift off and surmount all of the various obstacles keeping us from bicycular bliss. During the whole planning process we have strategically not talked about how all of the minute details of dismantling our life in Portland and fitting it on the back of a bike. But the practicalities of leaving set the tone for the whole trip so we have forged a new path. Now those details have all fallen into place!Here is how we are going to do this:
On March 31st, we move out of our beautiful house:
We moved in here when I still worked for OSPIRG. This is the place where Joey and I have lived the longest since both of us lived in our respective childhood homes. The last 2 years have been great and now we say goodbye to our “starter home” that we rented for 18 months with 3 other people that we have to leave because it is being sold to become someone’s actual “starter home.” But my last day of work is April 1st…..
Put everything we have in a U-Haul and stay with my friends Charlotte and Maddie and Alex and Karen (AND THE GOLDEN DOODLE) for those fateful 2 nights after we vacate our current premises. These are lovely, glorious humans who have agreed to take us in during our hour of need for a forced trade of us leaving our garden beds in their lovely, glorious back yard. Pretty much, Joey and I said “You guys are getting our garden beds!!!!!!! ….and we are going to sleep in your guest room”
We up and leave EARLY on the morning of April 2nd. We can drive straight on through and get to the Bay Area in the prescribed 10 hours with no slow downs or delays, right?!? No probably not, so we are going to try to give ourselves the longest allowable window of normal human arrival time. We will unload our hopefully greatly diminished load of possessions into my parents garage, return the trailer and sleep soundly.
Drive to Laytonville! See those folks and acquire the canine. Our lives will be forever changed, obligatory dog update photo:
Excited beyond words, so will not dally on this emotional subject. This blog is going to have quite enough dogs soon enough.
Return to Walnut Creek and prepare! We are going to spend a few weeks in Californaway taking care of all the rest of the things that need taking care of. We have plans to trailer-train the dog/bond with it so it loves us forever, get the last bits of gear together, do many many training rides up Mt Diablo, and spending some time on the home front, of course.
OK so we still only have rough routes for the actual trip. We are going to be freeform about the route with only landmarks of sights and smiling faces to choose the course. We are going to try to see as many folks as we can along the way and make it work. Right now we are more focussed on being prepared gear-wise than the actual route (see gear related post to come).
We abandoned our original plan with a heavy heart. The magnitude of the coast to coast continental conquering seemed so important but ultimately paled when we thought of the reality of getting 2 humans, 2 fully loaded bikes and 1 75-ish pound dog back from the east coast. Joey and I want to return to this part of the country and we needed to leave ourselves the resources to maintain that trajectory. We went into this process thinking that this trip would be a total overhaul of our geography but now we are using it to learn the region we have chosen to pursue. No better way to figure out your place in it than to ride through all of it, right?