Hello Goodbye USA Bicycle Tour 2015

Dip 6We’ve been in the USA for three months and how the time has flown! In some ways we feel as though we haven’t arrived anywhere at all, but have merely continued our travels within a more familiar environment. Yet in other ways it has been a very real return to the comforts of a home base where we’ve refilled our depleted wells through reconnecting with family and friends in a city we love during the time of year when it’s easiest to love it.Dip 1There is much to share with you about our landing in the USA, including an expedition through the Grand Canyon and a family reunion in the San Juan Islands. David has captured both of these adventures on film and as I write this he is sitting across from me creating a final product to share with you (actually, I think he has been sucked into the black hole of Facebook, which could be why the video wasn’t finished months ago). So while David diligently or distractedly works to bring those videos of our past to your hungry eyes, I will tell you a different story: the story of What Is Happening Right Now.Dip 2Three days ago we left Portland on our bicycles. With the help of some very generous people who fed, encouraged, informed and outfitted us, we hit the road, aiming our sights on the Pacific Ocean. In three days we covered 90 miles, climbed some big hills, camped in designated campgrounds or incognito patches of land, met helpful/curious/kind strangers and got swarmed by wild bunnies (see film below!). It was a triumphant moment when the salty breeze first reached our huffing and puffing nostrils and the beautiful Pacific finally came into view. For that moment we forgot all about our sore bums and burning thighs. And then we climbed up another hill carrying 40 pounds of gear each and remembered those aching body parts.

Each night after we’ve zipped ourselves into our sleeping bags I open the book that I’ve brought along for the ride and read aloud in the hand-me-down tent that is now our house (thanks for the house, Chase!). The book is titled Going Somewhere and is a true story of a fellow who decides to ride his bicycle across the USA with his girlfriend without much of a plan. Each night we settle in to hear about the author’s adventures and misadventures, occasionally glancing at one another to rejoice or cringe at the parallel life we seem to be sharing with the characters in the book.Dip 7My mom and her yellow dog joined us at the beach for an afternoon, her impromptu visit reminding us that even though our trip may feel like an epic adventure, we haven’t really gotten anywhere. She brought us homemade cookies and dinner which were delicious and made us feel even more like we were just camping in the backyard, the safety and comfort of home just a few short steps from our tent.Dip 8Fast forward a few days. We are now in a tiny coastal town of Nye Beach, having a cup of coffee at a local cafe. We are enjoying the ability to take our time and be as leisurely or ambitious as we care to be. Perhaps not surprisingly, we are mostly choosing to be leisurely. We continue to average about 30 miles per day. Our bodies are still adjusting to our new bike-bound lifestyle and we like to stop for coffees, viewpoints and roadkill inspections, all of which make the ride more interesting and easier on the hiney. We don’t have any major body aches to mention, though we have noticed that whenever we squat down on our haunches, our legs feel like big meaty sausages that are about to burst. I like to imagine this is just because my thighs have already begun their transformation into the beastly powerhouses that will drive me all the way to San Diego.Dip 5Which brings me to the topic of destination and itinerary. We are aiming for San Diego as our first destination. There is talk of reaching southern California by November (although we really have no idea how long it might take) and spending the Thanksgiving holiday there with David’s sister’s family. We intend to travel south, hugging the coastline the entire way. We are also entertaining the idea of loving bicycle touring so much that we’ll head east after that, but in true Fodenvensel style, no plans have been made. So for all we know our trip could end in Sand Diego or Vermont or Patagonia, though we’ve assured people that we won’t be gone for two and a half years like last time.Dip 4Carrying our lives on our bikes seems to make us a magnet for lots of interesting characters who recognize a part of themselves in us. Already we’ve made friends with several homeless people or others living transient, on-the-move lifestyles. Between them and the other bicycle tourers we meet on the road, it feels like we’re suddenly part of a big club we never knew existed before. Conversations often revolve around where one is coming from and going to, or insider tips on camping, eateries or wind. To be in the club you only need to be friendly and on a bicycle. It’s pretty sweet. We are 100% loving this new activity. Every day we wake up, pack our lives into our panniers and ride our bicycles south. It’s a simple life and it feels really good. It kinds of reminds us of our time on the Camino.Dip 3It is now day 13 of our trip and we are in Bandon on the southern coast of Oregon. Our bodies are still getting broken in to the bikes and we are eating a lot of food. We thank you for your loyalty despite our long gap of silence. And if you or someone you know along the West Coast would like to offer up the backyard for our tent, please let us know! More news next time from somewhere south of here…

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10 thoughts on “Hello Goodbye USA Bicycle Tour 2015

  1. You are indeed living it up. I read thru the entire blog and every paragraph made me feel that I am right there. This is really amazing buddizzz. I wish that next time when any other couple goes on a similar trip, they get to read a book written by fodenvenselstudios…. Stay safe.

  2. I was just wondering where you two were! Have so much fun. I’ve got friends in San Fran if you’re looking for a place there!

  3. So happy to reqd about your travels. So inspiring! Ever read The Path Less Travelled? The duo is from Oregon. I read, “The man who rode around the world.” Amazing stuff. It’s raining a LOT in NC now. Here’s to hoping the hurricane doesn’t come too close.

    • Hey buddy!!! We are so happy that you are reading our stuff. I haven’t read The Path Less Traveled. Is the couple traveling by foot? I hope you fared well through the hurricane. What are you going to be for Halloween this year?? -Austin

  4. You are just the best!
    If you get anywhere near Napa, you have to call Laura. i bet she would even offer you indoor accommodations.
    Call me when you get to New York. There is a bed for you here as well.
    Love, Tomme

    • Tomme, you are so sweet! I love it when you leave us comments. 🙂 Napa is tempting for sure, but we are planning to hug the coast the whole way down. Perhaps Laura and her love would like to make a holiday by the seaside and meet up with us?! I will certainly call you when we arrive to NY; I’d love to spend some quality time with you.
      Love you,
      Austin

  5. Hello to you ! Your biketrip Down the coast reminds us of Our travel from Laguna Beach back to Idaho in 1974! On the very beautiful Oregon coast we stayed in Port Orford, rented a Nice Apartment overlooking the Ocean. We bought fresh Fish from the boats and watched whales in the bay. The day before we stayed in Trinidad, a small town in northern California. Prior to that Eivind had to drive the car (he was 5 at that time) when visiting Napa Valley!!

    Now fall is coming – we are mostly staying at the cabin since we are hunting the ugly looking moose.
    Ingrid is often With us – we are playing all the time- her smile is the same!!

    Very excited to read about Your travel !
    Our best, Gunnar & gang

    • Hello Gunnar! So great to hear from you. We thought of you very much as we passed through Trinidad! It was foggy and misty and we considered stopping there for a coffee but pushed on instead. That part of the world sure is beautiful. We’ve also been lucky enough to see a few whales! But we didn’t eat any of them. 🙂
      Please give some extra kisses to Ingrid from her friends here in the U.S. We’ve seen a few photos of her and she is growing up so fast! Our love to Lise, and please tell the whole gang hello from us. We miss our Norwegian family! -Austin

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