Monday, February 25, 2013

Friday, July 3, 2009

Portland, Oregon

HP has arrived! He made it to Portland after a long day’s ride. While it was a long day, it was also a wonderful day. HP cycled on the Historic Columbia River Highway to Troutdale. This road is very scenic: a winding narrow road through cool forests and great overlooks that provide vistas of the Columbia George. HP said that this was one of the nicest roads that he has cycled.

Initially, HP thought about asking Mark (Joe’s son) to pick him up somewhere just outside of Portland. He was concerned about cycling into the city. However, HP quickly became aware of Portland’s “bike friendly” access. HP said that “even in Switzerland we could learn from Portland's attitude toward bikers.” HP will spend a few days with Mark and his family before flying home to Switzerland.

CONGRATULATIONS, your journey is done! HP, you are now an official member of the Lewis and Clark Corps of Discovery.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Cascade Locks, Oregon

From Walla Walla, HP made it to Umatilla. On the way there, east bound cyclists told him of the terrible headwinds he would face in the Colombia River George. They reported gusts up to 40 miles per hour. Hearing this, HP feared that while he would be facing west, he would actually be traveling backwards to the east.

HP stopped at West Roosevelt where he camped at the city park. In addition to cyclists, the park also hosted Mexicans who harvest the area’s strawberries. Since many of them were accompanied by their families, the park had a great family atmosphere with barbeques, music, football games, and youngsters.

While the festivity was fun for HP, the night was more exciting. At midnight HP was awakened by what he though was a terrible thunderstorm. The “heavy rain” just soaked his tent. By the time HP was fully awake, he realized that he pitched his tent directly in the path of the lawn’s sprinkler system. HP wanted to move his tent but as one sprinkler stopped another one started. HP could not figure out where to move his tent so he decided to try to sleep “listening to the rain.” He did not get much rest and had to pack a wet tent before leaving.

On June 30th HP cycled to The Dalles. Despite the dire warnings, the headwinds were not bad. He did have wonderful views of the Columbia River Gorge and Mount Hood.

After experiencing one of his greatest rides, HP arrived at Cascade Locks on July 1. He continued along the Columbia River Gorge with some great downhill rides through the forest. This area is very popular with local cyclists and HP met many of them. HP often stopped to talk because he had a great tailwind that pushed him westward. Closer to Cascade Locks he got off the Interstate Highway and took the Historic Colombia River trail. The trail has fantastic vistas, shade, and smooth asphalt.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Walla Walla, Washington

Today HP was heard saying: "Voilá, voilá, me voilá a Walla Walla!” Obviously, getting there was great. HP started his ride with clear skies and cool temperatures; and most importantly without headwinds. In addition he enjoyed a good shoulder and little traffic!

On the way to Walla Walla, he stopped in Waitsburg (on highway US 12). There HP got a cup of hot chocolate at the White Stallion Café. He quickly drew a crowd and he had to tell about his ride. When he tried to pay his bill the waitress told him "I don't care about that, I want to hear more!" From Waitsburg HP again left highway US 12 and followed the Adventure Cycling route to Walla Walla. While this route had more hills, it also had a lot less traffic. Just west of Walla Walla, one of 4 east bound cyclists yelled "Are you HP?" HP stopped and met Stephen, Amy, John and Donna. They know HP from our blog and are traveling from Astoria, Oregon to Missoula, Montana.

As HP got closer to town the temperature rose significantly to over 90 degrees. In fact it was so hot that HP jumped into the hotel pool before he registered at the office.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Dayton, Washington

HP’s departure from Clarkston on June 25 occurred after a sleepless night of thunderstorms with lots of heavy winds but just a few drops of rain. HP started the morning with good temperatures but tough headwinds as he climbed a 2,200 feet to the Alpowa Summit. Needless to say, he was tired. Adding insult to the day, HP even had to pedal downhill to Pomeroy.

Tom, an old friend from HP's first trip across the United States, bought supper for HP in Pomeroy. Tom was celebrating his remarriage with Victoria. During HP and Tom’s 2002 cycling trip across the U.S., Tom and Victoria were getting divorced.

Dayton offered HP another view of U.S. history. The town boasts 90 buildings on the National Register of Historic Places. What really got HP's interest however, wasn’t the history but the nearby wineries. Now that he is fully refreshed he looks forward to more westward cycling. The Ocean is getting nearer!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Clarkston, Washington

On June 23rd HD left Kamiah following the Adventure Cycling route to Winchester. He choose this route over US 12 because several east bound cyclist reported heavy traffic on that route. HP felt that the change was good even though he gave up cycling along the Clearwater River and acquired a tough uphill climb of 3,500 ft. The landscape reminded him of the Swiss Pre-Alps. He reports that the weather was good and not too hot.

At lunch in Ferdinand he spoke German with a lady traveling from Washington State. She has been working as a teacher in Germany and was excited to practice her language skills.

HP found Winchester to be a very nice quiet town with a wonderful Lake. However, HP had to keep moving so on June 24th he cycled out of town and enjoyed a glorious downhill of several thousand feet. At the end he only had a slight uphill of 700 feet to the Snake River. Near Clarkston he enjoyed cycling on a bike path along that River. Interesting fact: Clarkston was originally named Jawbone Flats. Before he leaves, HP hopes to find out the origin of this name.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Kamiah, Idaho

After spending a few days in Missoula, Montana, HP and Carl headed to Lolo Hot Springs on June 18th. On the way they experienced some flat tires. But once they arrived they enjoyed relaxing in the hot springs and sleeping in a cabin. They decided that the extravagance was warranted because they faced Lolo Pass the next day.

Going over Lolo Pass proved more challenging because the weather turned unfavorable. They experienced rain and cool weather which continued for several days. However, what was most troublesome was that Carl got sick requiring them to spend an extra day in Powell, Idaho at the Lochsa Lodge. While the Lodge was filled to capacity, Trudy the manager came to their rescue and gave them one of the staff’s rooms. Trudy’s husband, Dr. Wang treated Carl and recommended that he not continue bike riding. Trudy drove Carl back to Missoula where he will catch a flight home. Once again HP is alone.

In Kamiah, HP was invited to a veterans’ barbeque for supper. There he heard some great stories from Vietnam and World War II Veterans.
After talking to some east bound cyclists, HP changed his planned route for June 23 and will head toward Winchester, Idaho before going into Lewiston.