Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Home For the Moment (plus photos)

I'm home now. The tent is drying, the panniers are unpacked and the sleeping bag is washed!
What a great trip! 13 days and 573 total miles (for me)! I really enjoyed all the people we met along the way (all ages from 18 to mid 60s). Especially Peter and Darren who, although we only camped with them one night (at Humbug Mtn.), we saw them alot on the road and finished with them at the border. What a great couple of guys! The people we met were riding all types of bikes! The equipment varied as much as the people! From the boys with the wood and duct tape handlebar bag mount to the guy pulling 100 pounds in a trailer (Ian, travelling around the world). There was Marcy who was my age and decided to do a 10 day trip down the coast with a little pup tent and a bunch of heavy gear that she ended up giving away along the trip. I'm sure she made it!
One of the things I learned is that this would be a great route to do solo. There are so many people along the way and you are truly never alone (particularly in the campgrounds). The people we met that were travelling solo were the most friendly and talkative. Someday, I will ride this route all the way to Mexico!
This was a hard trip for Julie, but I'm sure she is as proud of herself for completing it as I am of her! Thanks to Julie for doing this trip with me!
Next up is the Courage Classic Bike Tour then I am off to France. So, home for the moment, then onto the next adventure!
Here are some of the 500-plus pictures I took...

Julie going across the temporary bridge on the way to Rainbow Falls.

Julie after Day 1!

The Pacific!

Hiking the bikes up the Discovery Trail from Seaview to Ilwaco.

Julie and I going over the Astoria Megler Bridge. That was a long one!

Haystack Rock in Cannon Beach

Clocking over 10,000 miles on Stella! This was just before the Arch Cape Tunnel.

Campsite at Nehalem Bay (complete with drying laundry)

Dinner at Left Coast in Manzanita with John and Paul (no Beatles).

The only actual bakery we stopped at on the whole trip! This was in Wheeler.

Cheese and Ice Cream in Tillamook. Yum!

Cape Meares Lighthouse

Another great ride in Paradise

Sunset at Cape Lookout

Yaquina Lighthouse

Newport Bridge in the fog.

Buddy and Little Red--our hosts at the beach house.

Our real hosts at the Steele Family beach house. Thanks Tom, Kelli and Brian!

Sea Lions down on the rocks after Cape Perpetua and Just before the Sea Lion Caves

On the dunes at Honeyman State Park

ATV on the dunes in the Oregon Dunes Recreation Area

Face Rock in Bandon

Humbug Mtn.

Windsurfers at the base of Cape Sebastian

Some of the beautiful scenery we got to look at most of the day.

The view from the Thomas Creek Bridge (highest bridge in Oregon at 345 ft.)

Whale Rock on the way to Brookings

We made it! 573 miles 13 days!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

It's Border Time!

Lucky Day 13--Humbug Mtn. to CALIFORNIA!!
What a beautiful day for our last day riding! No leg warmers, no sleeves on the jacket! We sort of rode around Humbug Mtn. It wasn't too bad of a climb, but it was up and down. We stopped at Ophir Wayside. Peter and Darren were also there. After awhile longer, we turned off onto the Old Coast Rd. It was a great road! No cars (for me anyway). I rode all the way to the bridge over the Rogue River. Julie walked over the bridge (too many times being yelled at I guess). We stopped for pizza in Gold Beach and met Alex who had also stopped for pizza.
After Gold Beach we started up Cape Sebastian. We were expecting a long steep climb. It was really not! Except for the little extra ride I took up to the viewpoint (which wasn't really much of one--at least considering the hill I had to go up to get to it!).
Coming down Cape Sebastian I hit my max speed for this trip--49 mph!! It was awesome!!
At the bottom we were back to the beach where the windsurfers were doing their thing.
After a few more hills and running into Alex again, we made our way to Brookings. Only a handful more miles to our destination--the border! Peter and Darren caught up to us just as we were going across the Chetco River. We turned onto Lower Harbor Rd. The hotel was on this road and it was the nicer route to the border. The route brought us back to 101 just before the Winchuck River. About 1/4 mile after the bridge was the "Welcome to California" sign! WE MADE IT!!! Peter and Darren were with us. They took pictures of us and we took a picture on the tripod of all four of us. Casey arrived just as we were taking that picture. He loaded up Julie and I rode back to the hotel (there was a tailwind going back and it only took me 18 minutes to do the 5 miles).
We've had a great dinner and tomorrow morning we will drive home.

A Devil of a Day (in more ways than one)

Day 12-- Sunset Bay to Humbug Mtn.
This morning it was foggy, VERY foggy! I thought it was raining, but it was only the dripping in the trees. Needless to say, the tent was still wet (the rainfly).
We had to ride back to Seven Devil's Rd. I think it's called that because of all the awful hills (granny was definately in the house!). Also, because of the fog we couldn't see anything. What we could see was mostly clear-cut forest. There were supposed to be views of the South Slough Estuary. We didn't see it. It took the better part of the morning to make it through that and into Bandon. We stopped at Bullard's Beach State Park to use the potty shack (I stopped there twice--but that's another story). On Ocean Dr. in Bandon we got some great views of the rocks. The wind was really whipping so the surf was pretty heavy. We took pictures at Face Rock (looks like a face looking up) and also stopped at Devil's Kitchen (where the food is so fresh it hasn't been caught yet!) I didn't see how it looked like a kitchen.
Out of Bandon and back on 101 we went through a couple of small towns. In Langlois I had Umpqua ice cream. Hard to say which is better-Umpqua or Tillamook. They're both pretty tasty! I was able to post yesterday's blog and Julie was able to take a break.
Down the road we stopped at a grange in Sixes to use the restroom (besides the grange, all Sixes had was a post office--instead of Sixes, it should be called Twos). We met two guys, Peter and Darren. They told us about a swimming hole that was supposed to be great. Since we didn't have suits (and riding wet is no fun) we opted not to swim.
The rest of the ride to Humbug was along beautiful cliffsides with the ocean down below. The sun had been shining since Bandon and it was warm with a fabulous tailwind. Julie had a tough day today, but she will make it (basically, she has no choice as there is no phone service here). Tomorrow is probably our longest climb (nothing like saving for the end!) over Cape Sebastian. California border here we come!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Dunes and ATVs Galore

Day 11--Honeyman to Sunset Bay
We awoke to blue skies (still abit chilly though). The wind was pretty much non-existant. Athough we woke up earlier than usual (it's hard to go back to sleep after such a long hike to the potty shack), we still weren't on the road until a little after 8:00.
We rode into Reedsport on the lookout for a bakery. Who better to ask than a local postal worker? Yeah, she wasn't much help so we settled for donuts from Safeway.
At Winchester Bay we turned off 101 to take a more scenic route that included the Umpqua River Lighthouse. The wind was at our backs and we were watching all the ATVs and various other off-road vehicles riding in the dunes. I've never seen so many ATVs! We rode about 3 miles where the road dead ended. Apparently, I missed the turn to the lighthouse. It was cool to see the dunes and the ATVs, but the ride back to the lighthouse road against the wind was NOT fun!
After that little detour we returned to 101 and rode across the McCulloug Bridge into North Bend. As seems to be usual, Julie got yelled at to walk her bike. I didn't, and haven't so far. We can't figure out why she gets yelled at, but I don't (I didn't even have my skort on!).
On our way out to Cape Arago where the park is, we stopped at a DQ for a respite from the fog that had been rolling in. I had ice cream and French fries. Julie had a burger and fries (first dinner--some days we eat 4 meals). It hit the spot and fueled us the rest of the way to Sunset Bay.
At Sunset Bay we thought we were going to be the only ones in the hiker/biker site, but a young kid named Nick rolled in. He was from Kentucky and was heading to San Francisco before heading back east.
We have one more night of camping, but Julie is ready to be done now ( really she could have been done at the beach house). Regardless, we have two good days of riding then we will be to the border.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

A Cape, A Churn, A Head, A Horn and a Guy Named Ian

Day 10--Steele's Beach House to Honeyman State Park
What a difference a day makes! Yesterday it was the lap of luxury. Today it's back to the tent and the ground. Yesterday it was foggy and cloudy. Today is clear and sunny. We left the Steeles a little after 8:00 this morning. They were going to go dig in the sand. We were going to ride 40 miles (to much BIGGER sand!!). We rode through Waldport and Yachats then up and over Cape Perpetua. I'm thinking it gets it's name from the non-stop wind (perpetual--get it?). The climb was not actually that bad. In fact it was the easiest cape so far. Coming down we stopped at Devil's Churn. Well, it wasn't churning that much (too low of tide). We moved on to the Spouting Horn. It was also not sputing much. I did, however, spot 4 sea lions down on the rocks.
Continuing down the coast in the sunshine and with a tailwind, we pulled into the Heceta Head Lighthouse beach (Julie didn't even complain about going down the hill knowing full well she'd have to come back up!). We had something to eat (and watched countless people try to go into a closed restroom--there was a new one just a few yards away), then walked the 1/2 mile trail up to the lighthouse. Right after we got back on 101, we went through another tunnel. This one was well lit and pretty easy. The shoulder on the other side of the tunnel was crappy and there were alot of motorhomes. We stopped just before the Sea Lion Caves and I could hear the sea lions. I looked over the edge and could see a bunch of them down on the rocks. Who needs to pay to go down the stinky elevator when you can just look over the edge?
We rolled into Florence and decided to eat at Mo's. I had Slumgullion (chowder with shrimp) in a bread bowl and some garlic cheese bread (yes, I know, a little heavy on the bread). It was just a few more miles to Honeyman. Here we have met a guy named Ian who is from Australia. He has been riding around the world for the past 17 months. He is quite the character and I enjoyed talking to him.
We went down to the dunes and climbed to the top of one. It was harder doing that than any hill I've had to ride up! We also watched the sandboarders (like snowboarding only not as cold).
Now it is time to call it a day. 3 more days of riding left. Julie will be glad to be done. Me? I'm enjoying the nice weather and scenery and could probably go further but, I won't.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

More Miles Than You'd Think

Day 9--Rest day at the Steele's beach house
Ahhh, this is the life! It's really a good thing we aren't here too long because a person could get used to this! I awoke to a view out my bedroom window of a foggy beach and a REALLY low tide. It was so low that we were actually INLAND! I had my favorite breakfast of loads of fruit and yogurt and granola. We lounged around just enjoying this fabulous place then after a lunch of turkey, cheese and crackers we went into Newport to Fred Meyer to do some dinner shopping and abit of restocking (MUST have hot chocolate!!). We stopped for iced coffee and an ice cream cone for me (continuing my quest to sample as many ice cream flavors as possible).
We got back to the beach house ( really a palace!) and Tom and Brian joined us (Kelli's husband and 7 year old son). Brian wanted to take us on an adventure so off we went. We did this trail around the house no less than 6 times (I have to admit, I saw something I hadn't seen each time--hmmm, makes me wonder what all I'm missing by only going by things once--which also means I could do this trip again and have a whole different experiance! Thanks to Brian for that new insight).
We had a fabulous dinner of burgers then walked them off down the beach. Walking the beach with a 7 year old is always fun! Sand everywhere! Truly doesn't get any better than this!
We have had a great rest day and we are sad to be leaving but, the road beckens and we must complete our journey. Thanks again to the entire Steele family! I, for one, am very grateful for their generosity and kindness (also loads of fun!).

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Julie's Carrot

Day 8--Beverly Beach to Steele's Beach House
Foggy, foggy, foggy!!! The tent is wet, the bikes are wet and it's a little chilly. This morning we met a gal named Marcy who was doing her first bike tour. She is the same age as me and decided it was time for her to do this. She started in Cannon Beach and is going to Crescent City. She was very interested in our stuff. She had been carrying too much so she purged yesterday giving people her extra clothes and even getting rid of her jar of peanut butter. I gave her our last small container of peanut butter (we had another jar). We wished her the best of luck and headed out about an hour and a half later than we planned. BUT, NOT TO WORRY!! We were on our way to the Steele Family Beach House! As fast as Julie was going, you'd think it was all downhill (it wasn't)! I opted to go out to the Yaquina Lighthouse (afterall, it was an "Outstanding Natural Area"!). Julie didn't opt to ride to the Lighthouse (too foggy). I told her to go ahead, I'd catch up. So I went out to the Lighthouse, took a picture and rode back to 101. A short time later I came to the turn to avoid 101 into Newport. I wasn't sure if Julie would have seen the sign, but I figured there was a better chance she would have made the turn so I turned. I enjoyed the ride, but didn't catch up to Julie. I started to think she didn't make the turn. When I got to the bridge I waited for Julie. When she didn't show up, I thought she was probably waiting for me in Newport. I started to ride back into Newport when I decided to stop and call her. Turns out she was already across the bridge and headed to Waldport. So I headed back to the bridge, crossed it (took a picture) and expected to cath up to Julie. When that didn't happen, I was worried because she said she would wait for me in Waldport. Problem is we weren't supposed to go all the way to Waldport! So, I was riding as fast as I could. STILL I didn't catch her! Now, we have been riding for 7 days and Julie has NOT been riding this fast! Put a real bed and a home cooked in front of her and she rides like the wind!
So now we are in the lap of luxury! Thanks Kelli!!! You are the best!!! We will be here tomorrow too!! Ahhhh the luxury!

Monday, July 20, 2009

The Big Cape ( plus a couple of other climbs)

Day 7--Cape Lookout to Beverly Beach
It was a good day to be cold in the morning as we started up Cape Lookout right out of the park. It was about a 2 1/2 mile climb and super granny was in the house. Best part is that Julie made it the whole way without walking! Joe and Lindsey (on the same itinerary) were climbing the same time. After resting at the top for a bit we started the marvelous desent. Another 2 miles and we were down to Camp Meriweather. The sun was out (it had been very foggy over the cape).
When we turned to continue to Cape Kiwanda we got behind a striping truck. Ahhh, the smell of fresh paint and cows! Almost makes a person hurl! We managed to catch up and pass the truck. Whew!
Cape Kiwanda was not too bad as of is not as high as the others. After that we were back on 101. Just ahead of us was another couple we had met at Nehalem Bay. We both stopped at a wayside where we learned their names were Jim and Mary. They are veteran tourers. Nice people. They recommended we do the Old Scenic 101. We did and, although it was another long climb, there was very little traffic (10 cars total) and it was shady. The ride down was really fun. I only braked through one hairpin and I didn't pedal until the bottom.
We came into the busy-ness that is Lincoln City. Stopped and got some salt water taffy. We also stopped in Nelscott at the Christmas shop. I got a bicycle ornament to commemorate our trip. We were looking for ice cream. It's strange how when you want it you can't find it! Finally, at Salishan we were able to get some ice cream. Back on the road it was getting foggier by the minute. We still pulled over to see the views. We turned onto Otter Crest Loop for our last long climb of the day. It was nice with a bike lane and everything (including signs warning people to stay on the path--danger!--no kidding!).
We are at Beverly Beach with 7 other tents. Tomorrow we go to Seal Rock where luxury awaits! Oh yeah, Julie didn't walk at all today and she didn't whims either!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Cheese and Capes (not the super hero kind)

Day 6--Nehalem Bay to Cape Lookout
We woke to cloudy skies, but knew they wouldn't stick around long. We got on the road about 1/2 past 8:00. With the wind at our backs we cruised along through tiny town after tiny town. We finally found an open bakery in Wheeler where we each got a fresh out of the oven raspberry scone and cookies. I ate one of my cookies on the spot (I was only going to eat one bite, but...you know how that goes). We pulled into the Tillamook Cheese Factory at about 10:45. We checked out the cheese making process, sampled some, bought a few nibbles for lunch and I got ice cream. We decided by the time we got out of there, it was close enough to lunch so, since life is short, I ate dessert first. Then I ate my cheese and crackers. We made 2 grocery stops (Fred Meyer doesn't have the chicken we like and we didn't know we were going to go by a Safeway which does have the chicken we like). Then it was on to the Three Capes Scenic Route. At first we had a nasty sidewind then headwind going around Tillamook Bay on Bayocean Rd. (side note: I have a book about Bayocean. When I first saw the title, I thought the word was Bay o seen. Kyle said, "Don't you mean Bay Ocean?" Oh yeah. ) Once we started up the huge Cape Meares hill, we had a tailwind; not that it helped much. I was in super granny and Julie was walking. At the top we rode down to the lighthouse, took pictures and filled water bottles. Then we had to ride back up to the main road (Julie was not too happy about that). We had a nice downhill back to the beach then up again, down again and along to water to Cape Lookout State Park where we are now. We have a nice site, but we are glad we only want to take one shower as it is quite the hike to the shower building.
So far there are a few people here; one new gal from Finland (travelling solo). We'll see who else comes in tonight.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

The people we've met so far

Day 5--Rest day at Nehalem Bay
This morning when I got up I counted 11 tents (and one guy sleeping without a tent). Most of those people moved on today. Right now there are just 3 tents and Logan (the guy camping without the benefit of shelter). The people we've met have been from all over. John, who we have camped with for the past 3 nights (and will continue to for at least tonight), is doing the same itinerary we are. Tonight we are going to ride (only a couple of miles) into Manzanita and have dinner together at a Mexican restaurant that Julie (in Cannon Beach) recommended. John is travelling by himself back to the San Francisco area. He has been on the road for awhile.
This morning we said goodbye to Forrest and Ed. They are two 18/19 year olds riding down the coast back to the Mendocino (I think) area. We met them at Cape Disappointment. Ed will be starting school at Evergreen this Fall. I told him to call if he wanted a home cooked meal.
Then there is Logan. Prior to knowing his name, we called him "Pothead" for reasons you can guess. He is travelling with his dog Crash (a 11 year old German Wirehair). We don't know exactly where he is going, but he has a most interesting set up for a bike trailer. Somehow he will fit a cooler, sleeping bag, clothes, backpack and a whole pile of odds and ends onto a two wheel trailer with netting and deer antlers. He has to leave today because he has been here 3 days and that is the limit on the hiker/biker sites. I'll be curious to see how he gets it all loaded up and still has room for Crash.
We'll see who comes in tonight. So far, at 3:30 no one new is here.
Julie and I walked down to the beach. It is a beautiful day; windy, but sunny. Our laundry is hanging on the line and Julie is taking a nap. This is a good rest day!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Bridges, Tunnels and the 10,000 Mile Mark

Day 4--Cape Disappointment to Nehalem Bay
We are now in Oregon! We left Cape Disappointment this morning at a little after 8:00. We rode back to Ilwaco then headed south on 101. We went through our first tunnel and made it to the Astoria Bridge sometime after 9:30ish. Riding over the bridge was not too bad. I was even able to take pictures (not stopping of course). The hill on the other end of the bridge was pretty long and steep, but we made it up and over. After the bridge, Julie was starving and the only thing that would satisfy her hunger was McDonalds. So we rode to the McDonalds in Astoria where we each ate a second breakfast (it was only 10:00). Then it was back on the road and over the Youngs Bay bridge. We were officially on the Oregon Coast Bike Route!
We stopped at a roadside cherry stand and each got a small bag of cherries which I ate as I was riding spitting the pits out along the road. So now there will be a whole line of cherry trees growing from Warrenton to Seaside!
We rode through the main street of Seaside amongst the many tourists. We got stuck behind one of those rental bikes for two. Two little kids were sitting in the front with mom and dad pedalling.
We continued on back to 101. After climbing a decent hill, we came down into Cannon Beach. As I was waiting for Julie, this old guy asked me if I wanted to be sprayed (he was watering some flowers). I declined, then he told me about the "gurgle" pots. He insisted Jilie and I go have the shop owner demonstrate them. He was disappointed we didn't buy one. We told him, although they were fabulous, we didn't want to add more weight to our bikes. He ended up spraying me anyway (lightly--and it felt good).
Next we stopped and ate some lunch then went on to find A quilt shop owned by a former schoolmate. We chatted with her for about an hour then took a picture of Haystack Rock and headed out of town (it was very busy with tourists). After returning to 101 we went up a long hill. As we approached the Arch Cape Tunnel Stella clocked over 10,000 miles! Now her odometer is back to zero as there isn't enough room to add a digit.
Another couple of big hills after the tunnel and we finally made it to Nehalem Bay. There are a large number of cyclists here (I counted 10 tents). The guys we camped with last night are here too and some are planning on taking a rest day tomorrow like we are. It is quite the community AND we are not the only women (there are 2 others). People are from all over the country. This is a very popular route.
Julie did great today, but she is one tired puppy. It's good we are stating here tomorrow.
That's all from the road today!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

I'm Clark, she's Lewis

Day 3 Bay Center to Cape Disappointment (formerly Ft. Canby)
We left Bay Center after a great breakfast of pancakes. The ziplock bag works great for mixing up a batch. We returned to 101 and headed south up and down more hills like yesterday. Julie has discovered her hill climbing rhythm and did great. After a potty stop at the Willapa Wildlife Refuge, Julie took the lead. She said she was going to go slow, but she was cookin' along at 15 mph! Then she got stung by a bee on her lip AND we had to go up a very long hill. We got to Seaview and had lunch at a bench on the road to the beach. We rode down to the beach and took a picture on the tripod. As we came back, we noticed a trail. It was the Discovery Trail. A gal told us the trail went all the way to Ilwaco which was where we wanted to go. What she failed to tell us was that a good chunk of the trail was not paved and involved a whole lotta climbing. So we took a WALK on that part of the trail! When the trail was paved again, it was like riding a roller coaster--up, down and around the corners. It did take us right into Ilwaco where we had ice cream and restocked groceries. Then it was back to climbing on Hwy 100 (loop) out to here to Cape Disappointment. The gentleman we met last night is here too.
So now it is time to kick back and relax in our Trekker chairs.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

It must be the skort!

Day 2--Rainbow Falls to Bay Center KOA
Today I wore my Terry skort. We got lots of honks from passing cars and some sort of scooter/motorcycles. We also got a honk followed by an interesting gesture. We're not sure what the gesture meant, and we're not sure we wanted to know! Since we haven't gotten any honks on other days (this trip or with Kyle), we figured it must be the skort.
Today's ride was 57 miles of ups and downs. To me they were rollers--work going up, rest going down. To Julie they were too long on the up, not enough on the down (that is the nice version--we won't mention the other comments). Needless to say, we made it to the Bay Center KOA. It is very nice. The showers are fabulous (Julie said she was never coming out). Laundry is running and we have a nice campsite in the shade. Julie has taken her Ibuprofen and is ready for a nap.
There are approximately 4 other cyclists here--all guys. We feel abit outnumbered.

O' Heavy Bike (tune of O' Canada)

Day 1 of Epic Journey #2 (no service last night--so this is being posted in Raymond)
We left Julie's house at 8:25 (good since our plan was 8:30). Casey took parting shots (photos--that is) and had a few last minute chuckles (he thinks we're nuts).
Julie conquered her biggest worry of the day by making it up the hill on Hwy 99. I experianced a bit of déjà vu as we rode the STP route from Tenino to Chehalis.
We had a delicious lunch of PB on Blueberry Strussel bread at the Claquato Historical Landmark (something about a pioneer community that was the county seat. There was no bench or anything to sit on, but that's okay--we had been sitting all day anyway.
Coming into Rainbow Falls I noticed the flooded properties of 2007 have recovered mostly. We rode across the grated one-lane temporary bridge (a little hairy).
At Rainbow Falls we saw where the bridge had washed out. I'll put photos later when I get home.
The Off Mosquito repellant thing works pretty good!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

STP Pictures

Here are just a few pictures from the finish of the STP. This year I didn't take any photos along the way--too busy riding to get out my camera!

WoooHoooo 202 miles!!!
Leandra and I at the hotel
Dayle and I at the finish

STP 2009-- A Whole Lotta Miles

At the end (well, with about 2 miles to go) I said to a bunch of us waiting at a stoplight, "I'd think you were all crazy if I wasn't doing the same thing. " 202 miles in one day. Actually, it was great! Of course I was tired, but overall I felt pretty good. My average speed was 17.0 mph and I finished in 14 hours and 17 minutes. Got the 1 day finished patch as well as a 1 day rider t-shirt.
Now that I have done it in one day, I don't know if I'll do STP again. We'll see...

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Pictures from the Shakedown

Here are some pictures from the Shakedown Tour. As usual, start at the bottom to see them in chronological order (one of these days I will remember to put them in last first so first will be first).

Cranking down those straps!

Julie attempting to roll up her sleeping pad.

Julie on the trail (yeah, we took the long way to Millersylvania).

It's going to be fun...even in the rain!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Shake down cruise

Shake down cruise to Millersylvania State Park. Julie and I have made it here on Julie's maiden voyage of loaded touring. Our mileage for today was 33 for Julie and 38 for me. It is really only a 10 mile trip. We took the long way because we wanted to get chocolate (even on a shakedown, it's all about the food). The weather could be better, the Mosquitos could be less and the potty shack could be closer (no surprises there). Now it's time to cook dinner (showers have been taken and tent is up).