Tentist and the Teapot

Republic, WA.

When I opened the door and rolled my bike and gear outside I felt the warm morning air. This is 6:30 AM and the goal is to get over Wauconda Pass before the blast furnace heat melts.

I start with a climb out of town and then roll across the countryside before reaching the Pass and cruise into Republic.

I pull into town and stop for lunch at the Knotty Pine Restaurant for a very good burger and multiply tall glasses of ice tea mixed with lemonade.

Then I head up the hill to settle in at the home of Patty and Rob, the Warmshowers hosts. They welcomed me in and offered a slice of berry cake with whipped cream. I washed my clothes, showered, and sat in their massage chair for the 45 minute recovery cycle. Wow!

Tentist and the Teapot

Tonasket, WA.

I woke up, packed up, gobbled a quick motel breakfast, and hit the road at 7 AM. This will be a short day of 33 miles to Tonasket, WA.

Trying to beat the heat is a lost battle when it is 100° by 8 AM. Riding on the road the heat comes up and cooks your feet and turns the ice water in my bottle to the temperature of a warm bath.

Coming my way is a cycle tourist, Everett. He has just a few more days to finish in Anacortes. I have a few months until I arrive home.

I finish the day in Tonasket around noon, the sun is beating down and like the road surface, I am hot. I check into a motel, too hot to be in a tent, and sit in front of the air conditioner set at 60°. I’m cold on the outside and hot to my core.

My camp chair is the most comfortable seat in the room

At 5 PM I step outside to walk into town for dinner and instantly my skin feels the burn, it is 111°.

Dinner at the Iron Bar
Tentist and the Teapot

Okanogan, WA.

Still tired from yesterday I decided to do a short 42 mile day. Today I have one pass to get over, Loup Loup Pass. This is not an easy pass, eight miles long without shade and another hot day.

Saying farewell to Winthrop.

Today is a short 42 mile day. By 9 AM it was 100°. At 10 AM I started the 8 mile climb, the temp climbed to 116° for the entire no shade climb. I stopped three times, when I found 5’ of shade to cool my core before continuing and emptying my water bottles.

Loup Loup Pass

I’m treating myself to an air conditioned motel room!

Tentist and the Teapot

Winthrop, WA.

Leaving behind my nice cozy campsite by the Skagit River.

Heading east the temperature climbed to 100° as I gained elevation to start the Cascades.

The two long Passes, Rainy and Washington are long, steep, and open so I’m right out in the sun. The views are drop dead gorgeous as I climb in 112°.

Reaching the Washington Pass I have climbed over the last pass of the Cascades. They are now behind as I drop from the sky to the valley below.

Twenty miles later, a total of 96 miles I’m in Winthrop, Washington where I will spend the night. I have heat exhaustion and it is dusk. My brain has already begun shutting down so I have trouble finding the Warmshowers host’s house. A few calls later I arrived to the nice welcome of host Heather Yakely.

Tentist and the Teapot

Rockport, WA.

Leaving Anacortes was uneventful, just a kiss good by to Nancy followed bu the snap of the clipping. I head out of the campground by two women camping. One asked where I was touring and I replied the Northern Tier east. She shouted that she was envious so I stopped to talk. Turns out this is her dream goal. And seeing how Nancy and I are doing this together reassures her that she and her partner would also be able too.

I am relieved that Adventure Cycling routed me out of Anacortes and through Burlington on bikeways and secondary roads.

The campground that I had hoped to stay in Rockport was full so o had to move on. I was already over 60 miles in 100° heat so I opted to go off course and follow rte20 rather then the route because of the option for camping. I found a rest area next to the Skagit River and decided this would be my sleep spot.

A bit later a camping van pulling in and Tim, a geologist by hobby, was also going to sleep here. We had an interesting conversation over some box wine. This is when another Tim, much younger, stopped by. This 30 year old is in the process of defining his life and ask for our advice in shaping his. He is in the right track, we wished him a happy and successful life. Now it’s time to sleep. What a wonderful day.

Tentist and the Teapot

Anacortes, WA.

Rest and relaxation, before the tour back home.

Washington Park

Sea Kayak Tour

Sea Kayak Tour

Tentist and the Teapot

Astoria, OR.

This is my last day of the TransAmerica west bound, I end in Astoria, OR. 67 miles away. I follow the coast North to Seaside where I get onto the beach walk and ride through town on the edge of the beach.

I leave the coast at Gearhart to ride over the ridge through the Lewis and Clark National Historic Park. Here I in solitude the last miles into Astoria, a welcome contrast to the car congested rte 101.

I cross the Youngs River and make my way to the Trolley Trail that brings me to my final end point, the Columbia River Maritime Park and Museum.

With a block to go I am greeted by a small group of people walking the sidewalk with cheers and waves. As I enter the Park I see Nancy waiting and a larger gathering also cheering and then the blast of a Coast Guard Ship’s fog horn. Nancy arrived in time to orchestrate this fanfair. She managed to convince the crew, with the approval of their Commanding Officer, to welcome my arrival.

Tentist and the Teapot

Tillamook, OR.

Getting to the coast on busy roads. The traffic is nuts around here, fast and constant. In Rose Lodge I got off the main road and onto the old scenic highway route 101. Riding here through the Oregon forest with no cars, just nature and the chorus of birds.

Out into the traffic again and on the coast.

Sand Lake is a small, peaceful and friendly place. After some food and drink at the only store, I continued riding to Tillamook. I opted to take the original route that was updated with a warning of steep gravel and dangerous road conditions. I’m glad I did, the views were worth the risk.

At Tillamook I was back in traffic to get the the campsite with Nancy.

Tentist and the Teapot

Grand Ronde, OR.

This morning as I was getting ready to ride I was notified that my longtime friend and riding companion of many brevets, BMB, QuadZilla, 24hr time trials, and zillions of fun riding miles lost his battle with cancer. July 14, 2022, Ray left this world on the day I was climbing McKenzie Pass. I didn’t know this as I climbed but while I gained elevation I was thinking of him and all the fun we had climbing as we rode our bikes up and over hill after hill.

The hollow sadness I felt when I rode off into the cool morning was warmed by those special times we shared. He was in my thoughts as he left this world. Thank you buddy for climbing one more hill with me.

In memory of Ray Fortman.

Tentist and the Teapot

Harrisburg, OR.

Yesterday was a fun rest day, we took a river rafting tour on the McKenzie River.

( Photos to follow )

Today is the start of the last 263 miles to Astoria, the end of my west bound tour. I leave at 8 AM for a 68 mile day ending in Harrisburg, OR. All the Passes and major climbing is behind me. Ahead is rolling countryside with fields of wheat.

The day went by quickly as I soft pedaled in the large chainring. I ended the day at 3 PM at the Life Northwest RV and Lodging.