Traveling by Bicycle Across America

Category: Ride segments Page 2 of 5

And there are tunnels

Tunnel on US101

This one is out of order. There are two tunnels on the Oregon coast highway. There is a button to push that starts flashing lights to warn motorists that a cyclist is in the tunnel. On the first and longest one last week (I counted 166 seconds grinding up hill in a low gear), I was passed by a semi and a logging truck.

Day 15 – October 1

Beautiful rest stop along US101

While yesterday was a 64 mile ride, after Port Orford (a short ride from the campground) I road right along the Pacific Ocean for mile after mile, seeing the colors change during the day as the sun traversed the sky. I was away from the coast for a while. First at Humbug Mountain and then on another steep long climb which ended with a descent at speeds up to 40 miles per hour (don’t mention that to my wife).

There were time yesterday that the road was nearly level and I made a good average speed. There were also many hills with the slow climbing lanes for trucks.

South of Bandon, Oregon

Cape Blanco Lighthouse

Cape Blanco Lighthouse

The sign at the lighthouse said this lighthouse built in 1850 is the oldest lighthouse on the Oregon coast.

The trip to this park from William Tugman was long and hilly, totally 68 miles with the 5 miles to the park from US101. When I arrived at the turn off, I thought I was there. More than 35 minutes later, mostly up hill, I arrived.

Beachside State Park

Devil’s Punch Bowl

Day 11 ended at Beachside State Park right off of US101 and the beach was on the other side of the growth next to my tent. Laurel and Rowan rolled up as I wasp registering – hiker/biker sites have been $5 to $6 per night. I first met them at Nehalem Bay State Park and again at Cape Lookout and again last night (October 1).

The beach is wide long and beautiful.

Tent and laundry

This shows my tent set up with laundry hanging from a bush. I carried wet clothing for over a week. I dried a few thing on my handlebar bag as I rode. At night I cover my bicycle. Because of the possibilities of raccoons, all of my gear was in the tent that night. Some parks have boxes to put your food.

A sunshiny day on U.S. highway 101

Shular at Devil’s Punch Bowl

I missed the turn off for some of the scenic part of the day, but road down to Devil’s Punch Bowl State Park. The tide was out so the hole in the rock did not create a big spray. A lady and her husband did show mw where to watch for a gray whale surfacing and spouting a spray. I saw the whale’s back nary the spray twice. It was my first time observing ax whale.

There were more whales to the north.

Devil’s Punch Bowl

Days 1 through 9

Rain and wind have dominated the trip so far. I am writing from the Tillamook County Library.   This is the first time I’ve had internet access.

This is my first rest day. I am camping at Cape Lookout State Park south west of Tillamook, Oregon. There have been lots of hills and strong head winds.

 

I am journalling daily. There are lots of stories to tell. When there is more time. I have a load of groceries and will be heading back to fix supper.

I’ve met other traveling cyclists in the last two days.

August 8 – Day 74: at the Pier in Bar Harbor, Maine

Shular at the Bar Harbor

The thrill of riding into Bar Harbor to complete a 4540 mile cycling tour from coast-to-coast, across America was amazing. It was a very emotional moment. I took off ahead of the rest of the group down the last real hill. I really had to watch the cars. I was riding 34mph in a 30mph zone, yet the car behind me just had to get by. I felt my throat getting tight as I crested a little hill, getting my first glimpse of a few houses in Bar Harbor.

Rod caught up with me at the stop sign and told me to go left. We could only coast along because of all of the people in the street. At the foot of the hill we turned right bringing us to the Atlantic Ocean. Terry arrived very soon after we stopped.

Shular and Terry in Bar Harbor

I met Rod and Denny, Monday evening. We rode together to Belfast on Tuesday. Wednesday morning we me Natasha, Phil and  Robert at a cafe along the route. We soon decided to ride together to Bar Harbor, less than 70 miles from that point. While we had started from different locations, on different days and followed somewhat different routes based on Adventure Cycling Associations Northern Tier route; we were all finishing the dream and goal of riding across the USA. We all enjoyed riding together, sharing stories of the events, towns, and people along the way. The day seemed to pass very quickly.  Rolling our front wheels into the Atlantic was a very special moment for each of us. From left to right: Rod, Phil, Natasha, Robert, Shular and Denny.

Six Cyclists Finishing at Bar Harbor, Maine

Bar Harbor – I finished the ride.

Day 74 – Wednesday, August 8 – I completed the ride at the Bar Harbor pier. Five more riders finished with me. The thrill of achieving a major goal is amazing. I have many pictures and stories to share.

Over the Mountains

Shular at Kancamagus Pass – White Mountains

Kancamagus Pass was the last mountain to climb on the route. The grade at times was steep. I was glad I was not pulling the trailer on this segment. One segment exceeded 12%. I did get a good downhill on the other side.

12 percent downgrade sign

Terry really wants to see a bear. So far her navigator is the only bear she has seen.

Terry’s Navigational Assistant

The first campground in the White Mountains National Forest had a FULL sign. I wondered about our destination – Jigger Johnson Campground. The traffic was very busy all day. The noise, especially those V-twin engines on a popular brand, frequently fitted with loud pipes, was about the worst on the entire trip. The picnic and trailhead areas all had many cars and people.

Jigger Johnson Campground FULL sign

Terry went ahead to see about the possibilities. She found the campground manager and pleaded her case. He said to check to see if site 26 was taken, and if not put some gear there. She raced back to tell me. After just over 70 miles of riding with a lot of hills, I was glad to have a place to rest.

Brake for Moose Sign

Terry wants to see a Moose also. When I saw this sign, I thought surely this is the right place to see a moose. She is still waiting. There is still a chance, but the opportunities will be more limited as we continue the ride.

Shular at the Maine State Line

Sunday morning traffic was light for only a short time this morning. I was glad that we changed routes shortly after entering Maine. The Last state on the route! We are camped near Shaker Village. Now only 176 miles to the goal of Bar Harbor. I expect to arrive on the pier at the end of the route Wednesday.

New England

Shular crosses Lake Champlain on a ferry boat

On Thursday, August 2, I crossed Lake Champlain on a ferry boat. The operator told me he had recently turned 74. He’s been on the job 46 years. The short ride brought me the Vermont side I rode on to Middlebury. I stopped to talk to Terry about camping for the evening. My original goal of Hancock was too far. That is when Jan showed up.

Trail Angel Jan

She looked at the map and discussed the merits of several campgrounds. She called her husband to get the phone number for Branbury State park located on the eastern shore of Lake Dunmore at the base of Mt. Moosalamoo. The attendant offered to leave a map marked with available sites. We enjoyed our brief stay their before starting todays route.

I started climbing Bread Loaf and Middlebury gap this morning. Some of the grades approached 16 percent. This made for long slow climbs. I had more climbing in the afternoon, but not quite as steep. In the late afternoon I rode into New Hampshire. I soon discovered River Road, designated on my route was closed. I rode to Lyme. I was looking at the map and talking to Terry about where to camp when a fellow across the street came over with local knowledge of campgrounds. It turns out that he has ridden coast to coast. He suggested the Pastures in Orford. It was 9 miles away and mentioned on my map. We are camped at the Pastures tonight on the Connecticut River. The wi-fi is great, the bathrooms are clean, an no quarters needed for a shower!

There is more climbing tomorrow. I am now just over 300 miles from Bar Harbor.

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