A Wet Weekend of Bikepacking: Oregon Microadventures

“This is what it means to be an adventurer in our day: to give up creature comforts of the mind, to realize possibilities of imagination. Because everything around us says no you cannot do this, you cannot live without that, nothing is useful unless it’s in service to money, to gain, to stability. The adventurer gives in to tides of chaos, trusts the world to support her – and in doing so turns her back on the fear and obedience she has been taught. She rejects the indoctrination of impossibility. My adventure is a struggle for freedom.”

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Last weekend Kevin and I set out on an impromptu “bikepacking” trip, which in short is cycle touring on unridable paths which involve a lot of pushing or carrying. In this case, after a beautifully sunny day riding on the beach and the highway, we camped at the top of a large hill (Tillamock Head for those of you in the region) overlooking the ocean (and the jumping wales down below) before pushing and carrying our bikes up and down an extremely muddy 7km path.

Riding to the ocean! Since it was low tide the beach had a large compacted section which made for nice riding.

Riding to the ocean! Since it was low tide the beach had a large compacted section which made for nice riding.

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I apparently stopped for one too many photos cause my bike hitched a ride with someone else...

I apparently stopped for one too many photos cause my bike hitched a ride with someone else…

Part of a detailed sand sculpture on the beach in the town of Seaside.

Part of a detailed sand sculpture on the beach in the town of Seaside.

Typical Oregon coast.

Typical Oregon coast.

There are two free cabins in the woods, though since there were others hiking without tents we slept in our tent and gave them the cabin.

There are two free cabins in the woods, though since there were others hiking without tents we slept in our tent and gave them the cabin.

Camping in the forest. Though I prefer the mountains, the forest is Kevin's very favorite spot.

Camping in the forest. Though I prefer the mountains, the forest is Kevin’s very favorite spot.

We ate dinner watching the wales blow and flip down in the water below.

We ate dinner watching the wales blow and flip down in the water below.

Pushing through the rain and fog, hence the blurry photo.

Pushing through the rain and fog, hence the blurry photo.

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Kevin carrying his bike up a bunch of roots. These roots, which were absolutely all over the trail, is what made the going so slow.

Kevin carrying his bike up a bunch of roots. These roots, which were absolutely all over the trail, is what made the going so slow.

Cycling through the mud.

Cycling through the mud.

The trail we were "cycling" on.

The trail we were “cycling” on.

We are learning to appreciate these short microadventures more and more as they allow us to return home, and therefore to a hot shower and dry clothes, after a wet muddy weekend such as this, and because we are able to go so lightweight that roads or trails which would have otherwise been impossible are suddenly at our finger tips. We are slowly realizing how many neat opportunities await literally right from our door step, and we will continue to explore by bike throughout the year with at least one over night cycle touring trip a month.

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Even more important than just visiting the surrounding areas though, these little getaways give us time to relax. To picnic on the sand next to the crashing waves, to watch the sunset and the wales jumping below, and to simply be; without dinner to make, laundry to do, or people to meet. I’ve found life here in the USA extremely busy and stressful these last few weeks as we went practically overnight from such a slow moment by moment sort of lifestyle, to one filled with full time jobs, people, appointments, and constant chores. During the week I never have time to sit and read a book anymore, heck, even just stare out the window for more than a second, so these weekends away have been vital to my well being as they allow me the time to do my own thing at my own snail-like pace.

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And last but not least, a hilarious and slightly sarcastic but totally accurate article about returning home after travel. After hanging out with so many amazing travelers and cycle tourists during these past two years, I’ve had a hard time finding a crew here (never mind crew, try a single person) I can connect with here in Astoria, which is probably why I keep picking up cycle tourists when I see them! We currently have our second couple – on their three week honeymoon from their home in Vancouver – in two weeks sleeping in our kitchen.

For a photo of the day and other updates follow me on facebook here, and for some awkwardly cropped photos from our journey, follow us on Instagram @awanderingphoto!

10 thoughts on “A Wet Weekend of Bikepacking: Oregon Microadventures

  1. Hi Kevin and Shirine:I live in Warrenton and have followed you since India. Would it be possible to get together for lunch or dinner? For all the enjoyment you guys have given me it would be a pleasure to meet you in person.

    Vern Logsdon

    ________________________________

  2. Hi Shirine – I’ve so loved following your blog. This past summer I completed my first bicycle tour – across the country from Yorktown, VA to Seattle, WA. You were such an inspiration along the way. …. Anyway, I am wondering if the quote at the top of this post is yours or if not, who is it by? I love it!

  3. Kevin & Shirine
    I am sure if I re-read your entire blog I might find it but I am interested in the bar end shifters you have. Brand? I assume these took you around the world?

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