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07/03/2007 Entry: "Astoria, OR"

This morning we woke up in the most beautiful state park I have ever been in to the sounds of jays and chipmunks eating our decoy ramen. All of our gear was muddy and wet, but the sky was blue and the sun was shining. I got in one last walk down to the beach before we pushed our bikes back up the path to the road and were on our way. The highlight of our ride today was stopping at Cannon Beach to run around on the low-tide sandbars. A welcome change, the sun stayed out for most of our ride, and we rolled into Astoria filled with energy and hope and a warm fuzzy sense of wellbeing...and then we started looking for a place to stay. Until today, Karen and I have been behind Seager enough that he runs around looking for a place to camp before we roll into our destination town. Today we got to participate in the search. We went to several churches, bike stores, the chamber of commerce, and the post office asking around for sympathetic yards, or even if anyone knew of a squat where three people wouldn't get caught camping. Finally we decided that we would split up to search some more, keeping the bushwacking option in a public park on the top of the highest hill in Astoria for our last option. Karen and I went to look through a phone book for housing cooperatives or food coops, since I thought I would be more likely to find people who wouldn't be sketched out by us in my own territory. It was a good move. The Astoria food coop magically produced a wonderful man named Tim. Tim heard me ask one of the employees if he knew of any place to pitch a tent, and said joyfully that he and his wife had just moved into their new house, and he would be honored to have us as their first guests. We have spent the evening washing laundry, showering, drinking wine and eating cheese, using the internet, eating our dinner (pasta as usual) and helping Tim and Kate eat their dinners...and Seager just brought me a steaming cup of tea and two warm cookies fresh out of the oven. Tim is a homebuilder by trade, and he built this house that we are staying in. We have a little apartment type place with a kitchenette on the first floor/basement. The entire house is full of beautiful woodwork that Tim made himself, artwork done by his entire family, and a general feeling of home. I'll tell you that the sense of happiness and well-being that we felt earlier after a good ride in the sun is magnified many times over now that I am warm and clean, full of good food, and about to go downstairs and listen to more of Tims stories of amazing adventures. "Thank you" is simply not enough when people are this good to us.
On a sidenote, during my wandering thoughts as I roll the Oregon Coast, I decided that since this ride is a recovery/chiari-conquering ride for me, I would like to dedicate my part of it to all chiari kids. I hope to get back in touch with the chiari support group I used to keep in contact with and tell them what I am doing so that they can see the prospect of "life after chiari."

I just finished a photo upload. You should all check it out.

Until next time,

Replies: Leave us a note! (4)

I have ordered some bike maps for you. You may want to let me know when you plan to be in the Biggs Junction area, as it looks like you have two options from there. Hopefully they will arrive soon. Your tent has arrived, so I'll deliver that when we meet.
I do have some bad news. Hope to reach you soon.
Love ya, and youse all, -Auntie Anne

Posted by Auntie Anne @ 06/17/2007 12:40 PM CST

Hi all, It's energy fair time in Wisconsin and the sun has been shinning... relentlessly actually. So far a great fair - wish you could be here too. Also wish I could be there because it sounds like a wonderful adventure. Hey,if you send me the name of a town you'll be passing through in ten days or so I'll send you a care package with goodies other than pasta (sounds like you've been eating too much of that stuff - its great biking fuel however.) Send your requests.

Love, Mommie Welling

Posted by Mommie Welling @ 06/16/2007 08:27 PM CST

Ariel, I was looking at some artwork of the native people along the Columbia and found some interesting designd for eternity rings at

I thought of what you are designing for Orian and Karen. As you come along the Columbia River gorge, on the Washington side, there are petroglyphs called She Who Waches at Horsethief State Park. I believe you can only get passage to see them on the weekend. If you happen to stop at the Multnomah Falls gift shop, you can enquire about petroglyphs along the river. They may have information about this one and others. I know they have some story books based on native tails, especially Coyote. -Auntie Anne
PS. Uncle Ralph made it to Pittsburg to drop off his bike, and on to Wash., DC to drop off his truck. He took the train back to Pittsburg, and is now on a 600 mile trail that will put him in Georgetown by the beginning of next week. He was stopping at a yougurt stand when I talked to him earlier. I have been investigating the rail trails, Trail of the Hiawatha, Trail of the Cor de lanes, etc in the Idaho panhandle for Ralph. They are probably too far north in Idaho for you all, but they are about 300 miles of BIKE trails through Idaho into Montana.

Posted by Auntie Anne @ 06/13/2007 12:14 PM CST

i'll just photoshop myself into those dipping tires photos now...

Posted by MinWah @ 06/12/2007 01:02 PM CST




July 2007


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