Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Wednesday in Nicolaus

There has been very little detail coming from the boys for the last few days as the places they have been staying have been telephone challenged.
In the brief conversations we've had the focus has mainly been on how best to get them on the route they need to be on - and where should they stay. Since most 'camping' places in California welcome only RV's this has been a bit of an issue. Last night (Tuesday) they stayed at a small state park in Colusa. They were the only campers there!
Tonight they are staying at one of those vacation membership type of places. When I called to enquire about whether they took tents the man told me that it was a members only campground but he took pity on my boys when I told him I was calling from Canada trying to find somewhere in the area for my husband and son to pitch their tent and he told me some magic words for them to use when they checked in. They were good magic words - they worked!
The weather is definately getting warmer and Ian has indicated that he will likely divest himself of some of the gear at Shawn's house and hope that Dad will be willing to transport it home for him.
In theory they will have access to some real technology tomorrow and will place some phone calls and update this blog themselves. (Let's hope so since I'm heading to Vancouver for a conference and won't have any access to it myself!)

Monday, February 25, 2008

Monday in Orland

We just had a quick chat - no time to talk since Ian had to borrow the campground's phone to call. No major news - other than several flat tires - looks like they'll be buying a new tire in Sacramento. They're looking to arrive in Sacramento on Thursday I think (heads up Shawn!)

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Stormy Sunday in Red Bluff

Apparently it doesn't matter that he's miles and miles away... if Ian is up on a Sunday morning then I should be too! He called at 8:30 this morning to say that they're going to stay put for the day. It is rainy and very windy today and rather than take any risks the boys have decided to lay low and get an early start tomorrow. The weather is supposed to clear up so hopefully they'll have no trouble making some progress tomorrow. Another night at the Motel 6 is certainly not going to hurt them!
I've been trying to scope out some campgrounds for them at appropriate intervals but I'm not sure yet which direction they're going to go. Whichever route they take they will likely be in Sacramento by Thursday or Friday.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Saturday in Red Bluff

The boys are in Red Bluff tonight at the Motel 6. They had a fairly uneventful day of riding in the rain although they did have their first flat tire. Apparently it's not much fun to change a tube in the cold and the rain - their fingers were freezing! It seemed prudent to lay out the extra cash for a dry night and a chance to dry out their clothes and the tent. They both agree that riding in the rain sucks! It looks like they're going to get one more day of it though so the current plan involves the Motel 6 in Chico for tomorrow. It will be more of a distance than they've done so far but they won't be dealing with the take down or set up of a tent in the rain.
They are still very much enjoying themselves aside from the rain and they have had very positive experiences thus far. Everyone they have met has been extremely helpful and sooo friendly. Hopefully they'll get some computer access one of these days - in Sacramento if not before.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Friday in Redding

Well they made it through the night on the bus. Ian said he slept fairly well - Taran not so much. They dragged their feet a fair bit today what with having to put the bikes back together and Taran finding a place to play free video games...
Ian said if he had it to plan over he'd rent a vehicle (with a bike rack) in Olympia and drive through the mountains. Anyway, they didn't get very far when they did get everything back together.
Tomorrow it is supposed to storm - with some big winds so they are looking at the possibility of a hotel rather than the tent.
They'll update this again as soon as they get access to a computer.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Thursday night

After a few hassles in dealing with getting the bikes on the bus Taran and Ian are now on their way to Redding. They will get in around 9am on Friday and will then be putting the bikes back together and trying to find a place to stay. According to the latest weather forecast they will be facing a few days of rain which will, no doubt, make for a miserable ride.
Hopefully they will get some sleep on the bus tonight. They did not pick up a phone in Olympia as planned - I'm not sure why but presumably they ran out of time.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Chez Cascadia

Well, we finally made it to Olympia. We're at a place called Chez Cascadia. ( It is hostel of sorts that caters to budget conscious travelers that do not mind sharing a room with a stranger. It's basically a house that has bunk beds in a couple of the rooms. The owners showed us around the place and then promptly let Taran and I have the run of the whole house. It is 100 times better than spending 2 hours setting up camp, spending a cold night on the ground and then spending 3 hours putting everything back in the trailer and panniers. Hot showers are included (which is a luxury compared to a campground - the Dosewallips shower was cold and we had to pay 50 cents for 3 minutes).

So far we've stayed in the following State Parks - Sequim, Dosewallips, and Potlatch. There was a park we could have stayed at that we just liked the name of: Hamma Hamma.

We've met some really neat people along the way. Yesterday we were riding our bicycles when a car pulled over in front of Taran. A fellow jumped out and said "Cookie Break". I don't think Taran heard him because he was wearing his MP3 player. I heard him though and quickly made a beeline to where he had stopped his car. He introduced himself as Ryan and he offered me a huge chocolate chip cookie. They were awesome. He had recently ridden the same route we were riding and must have known how much we could use a cookie break. He also gave us some water. He also told us to say hello to the people at Chez Cascadia for him because he had been there a number of times.

Last night we became good friends with the lady in the campsite next to us. She was a gal of about 54 (birthday in December) that I think lived in her Van with her white chihuahua. She gave us a can of Lentil soup, some milk and loaned us a lamp. We shared our dinner with her and tried to help fix her bicycle. I was quite taken with her generosity. However, she did delay us leaving by probably 45 minutes cause she liked to chat!!!

One of the biggest challenges is finding food. We cannot carry tons of food with us so we need to buy it along the way. Finding places to buy stuff has been problematic. There were times when we might not see a store for 20 miles. Now that we've chowed down most of the nuts we purchased at Thrifty's before we left (okay so 5 pounds of nuts was too much) we have more room to carry more variety and not squish the bread so much.

Unlike Taran who apparently can sleep through and on anything, I have been finding it difficult to sleep. The first night I was worried the raccoons were going to chew through the panniers and eat our food. I don't think it's the fact that there is only 4 centimeters between me and the ground because I typically feel comfortable. However, the last two nights I don't quite know why it has been difficult. It could be that my bladder is telling me to go to the bathroom but my thermometer is telling me that it's too bloody cold to get out of my sleeping bag!!!

Ryan (the cookie guy) told us that we have already overcome one of the biggest mountains that we will encounter along our trip...and we did that on our second day out. I'm really proud of Taran, he is doing fabulously well and is being a real trooper. I am really enjoying my time with him. Thank you Phaedra for making this happen.

I noticed that a few people have made some comments. That's great and we appreciate your support. Please note that we cannot respond to any comments cause your email does not show up. I tried responding to some and I got an error message.

There's no pictures today cause this computer is running linux and does not have the proper hardware/software to allow me to upload any.


Wednesday night phone call

Well, the latest word is that Taran and Ian are well and safe and are in Olympia. They got in around 4pm today (after leaving camp around 11:30am) so they are doing very well with the distances that Ian set out for them.
Taran is getting stronger and where he used to walk up all the hills, he is now beating Ian up them! (Ian is pulling the trailer though.)
They are very happy with their accomodations for the night - they are staying at a hostel with everything they could possibly need. They have access to a computer so there is some hope for an update from them tomorrow morning - and maybe more photos too!
Their bus leaves for Redding at 9:15pm tomorrow so they have the whole day to organize themselves and pack up the bikes for transit.
They have met some nice people along the way and seem very 'up' and ready to begin the next (warmer) stage of the trip.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Haven't got much time. We're currently at the Brinnon Community Center using their computer, their printer and taking books from their library (with their permission of course). Our tent was covered in frost this morning and a pan full of water was frozen. It was cold last night. We're hoping to make it to Potlatch State Park later this afternoon. Things are going well. Yes, our butts hurt. We're eating a ton of food. Traffic has been fairly light. The shoulders have been very wide for the most part. A few narrow places. Taran wiped out once trying to give more room to a car. He lived.

Gotta go cause it gonna rain soon and we want to stay out of it if possible.

PS. It's a very rural laundromats anywhere. ... Our riding clothes give off odours that may not be pleasant to all.


Ian and Taran

Monday, February 18, 2008

Monday night phone call

After their longest day of this leg of their journey, Ian and Taran are in Dosewallups State Park. The ~38 mile ride was about 10 miles too long for them today. I'm sure they'll work up to being able to handle that easily but as a starting place they'd be better off in the 25 - 30 mile range.
They were up this morning by about 7:15 but weren't packed up, fed and gone until almost 10:30. They still made it to the park well before dark though so that's good. They have a serviced site tonight which they are glad of since they were far far from the water and the washrooms last night! Taran is a wee bit saddle sore tonight. Hopefully he won't have any lasting scars!
Tomorrow's ride is supposed to be about 29 miles so that should be nicer. Then on Wednesday they've got a 33 mile ride to Olympia and a cushy bed at the hostel before catching the bus on Thursday night.
If things go as planned and they get away at a good time tomorrow morning they are planning to hit a computer at some point and they would love to hear from anyone who feels up to dropping them a line... Ian's email is and Taran's is (okay - he's my kid - he can't spell! It was supposed to be taranasaur!)

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Sunday Night

Taran on the Discovery Trail
Well, we just spoke to the world travellers and they are about to settle down for the night. They took a trail to get from Pt. Angeles to their campground (at the suggestion of a customs officer) and wound up doing an extra five miles riding as a result!
Nonetheless, they are safe and settled and heading for bed. Photos of the scenic trail to come when they have access to a computer.

Sunday morning - and they're heading for the Coho

Taran making a friend on the ferry!
Ian checking on the bikes on the Coho

After spending the night at Grandma & Grandpa's house in Victoria, Ian and Taran are off for places unknown... They are still managing to travel ~14 km/h but we'll see what happens when they hit the mountains on the other side of the ferry!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Saturday Night

Ian is repacking and trying to a) take everything he possibly can and 2) lower his towing weight.

Posted by Taran: After Thriftys we went and caught the brentwood fery and rode through victoria to my grammas where we are now

Quick trip to Thrifty's...

On the Brentwood Ferry.

So, having left himself two hours to get to the Millbay Ferry, Ian found himself at Thrifty's within a 1/2 hour of leaving home! It was (apparently) an easy ride and a good warm up for these guys who haven't practiced at all!

And they're off!

More final moments...

Saturday morning 8:20am

Well they're off! Here are some pictures of the final moments...

Friday, February 15, 2008

Friday night

So, things got delayed by a day due to the booking of bus tickets. They are due to leave tomorrow morning at 8am. They will take the Millbay Ferry to Brentwood Bay and then ride to Grandma and Grandpa's house. On Sunday morning they will get up and head for the Coho Ferry to Port Angeles and then it's onward and upward from there.
They seem to have everything organized and well in hand. I will take some quick photos of the departure and then get them posted on here.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Getting Ready to Go...

Well, they are five days from departure and Taran and Ian are getting closer to being ready. It's hard to say whether either one of them are excited at this moment. I think Ian is looking forward to some of it and I'm sure Taran will not be sorry to be missing school. I don't think that either one of them is confident right now that they will meet their goal though. It's a long ride and I'm sure there are going to be some sore butts in the process! What an adventure! The goal here is to get them adding to this blog as they go. Joisan and I may add a few posts here and there to share how our girl time adventure is going.
Time to deal with the last few details... get the emergency kits and tool kits done and the bus reservations made.