Okay, so it wasn't the longest tour. It was one night. Nor was it the most miles. It was about 17 miles one way. But, it was epic because it was my grandson and daughter-in-law's very first bike tour!
Saturday morning we packed up the bikes. I carried most of the gear on Betsy, Kyle pulled Grayson in the bike trailer, and Mallory carried the sleeping pads (she just has one basket pannier on her bike).
Bikes loaded, and ready to go!
We left the house around 9:30. We didn't have too far to go, but it was forecast to be a scorcher of a day, in the 90s. My plan was to take as long as we needed to ensure everyone had a good time. The longest Grayson had been in the trailer was for 11 miles, and that was with three long playground stops. Although both Mallory and Kyle have ridden around town, they haven't done it for awhile (busy being a young family).
We set out along the Amazon Park Path. It's a multi-use path that goes through Amazon Park for about 1/2 mile.
Going through the park.
At the end of the path we did a little jog to get to 18th. Last time I was down, I discovered that it was far easier to get to the Fern Ridge Path via 18th instead of going into town further. 18th has a bike lane the whole way.
We turned off 18th to get to the Fern Ridge Path. This path is about 8 or so miles long and would take us west to Green Hill Rd. Along the way, it goes through a wetlands with lots of herons, egrets, red-wing blackbirds, ducks, and the occasional nutria. We stopped for a break along the path after about 5 miles.
A break out of the trailer.
Waiting for lunch.
At the end of the trail, I had planned to get onto Green Hill Rd for a couple of miles until we could turn onto Bodenhamer. The bad part of Green Hill is there is no shoulder, and a fair amount of traffic. The good thing is that it is a straight road, so cars can see bikes from a long way away. However, when we got to Green Hill, I noticed some other cyclists going down Royal Rd instead of Green Hill. Royal had a shoulder. I pulled out my phone and looked at Google maps. I could see that Royal would take us to Fir Butte Rd. Bodenhamer came into Fir Butte. Perfect! We headed down Royal. There was a bit of concern that Fir Butte implied a hill. There was a medium hill (by non-cyclist's standards) on Royal, but Fir Butte Rd merely skirted the base of the butte. There was no shoulder on Fir Butte, but also not much traffic.
Fir Butte Rd.
We made it to Clear Lake Rd. where there is a wide shoulder (but more traffic). Grayson started to get a little fussy, but there was a small market not much further that we planned to stop at for a snack. There we had ice cream, and a break off the bikes. It was just a short distance to Orchard Point County Park where we took a longer break, had some lunch, and played on the toys.
Nice shade on a hot day!
I see you, Mommy!
From Orchard Point it was just a few more miles to Richardson County Park where we would camp for the night. We arrived about 1:45 and rode around to look for the perfect campsite. We found one that fit the bill--close-ish to the bathrooms (with free hot showers!), close to water and garbage. Of course, a lot of running around space, and good spots for the tents was necessary too. When we arrived, Grayson was asleep in his trailer. Kyle inflated Mallory's sleeping pad, and Grayson took his nap in the shade.
Out like a light!
Later, after Grayson woke up, we walked to the lake. The campground is actually closest to the marina which is not conducive to playing in the water. So, we walked around to the day-use area. Grayson had a great time playing in the water, and Kyle took him out where it was deeper.
Walking to the day-use beach.
Not the clearest water, but easy on the feet.
It's not really that deep.
We had put a diaper on under Grayson's little rash guard suit. By the time we were finished in the water, the diaper weighed a good 5 pounds!
Does this water-logged diaper make my butt look big? Yes, yes it does!
Back at the campsite, we fixed dinner, and Grayson had fun running around and playing with his cars. There was also a lot of table standing.
We finally retired to the tents when the mosquitos started getting thick. At first Grayson wasn't too thrilled with the tent, but I had put my little solar lantern in their tent. That did the trick.
The next morning we woke up to more sun and warm...no...hot weather. We ate our breakfast and packed everything up.
Just about ready to go.
This time we rode along the water on the path. The only reason we hadn't done it the day before was because I wasn't sure if the trailer could fit through one spot. It was no problem.
We stopped at the market again, but only to get a snack for Grayson (he had eaten/spilled his other snacks). We retraced out route from yesterday. We made one shady play stop along the Fern Ridge Path. We rolled into the driveway just before noon.
Overall, the tour was a resounding success! I hope it is the first of many!