I’ve been dragging ass recently. I try to be mindful of overdoing things but lately I’ve been weight lifting and doing physical therapy and mowing the lawn and sitting in near 90 degree heat at a baseball game. On top of all that, during a recent two-week period, I rode 386 miles. I was worn out.
So I took yesterday off and did nothing physical at all, unless you count binge eating popcorn at the movies. Today I was still feeling a little tired but rode Little Nellie to the gym anyway.
Just one day of rest and my riding speed jumped about 3 miles per hour. I rode 28 miles and did my 40 minute weight training routing. And I feel infinitely better, physically and mentally. (I have no doubt that some of this mental boost is attributable to a Facetime chat last night with my son who lives in Thailand.)
Tonight I sat down and got back to my tour planning. I plotted out two routes.
Option A would take me to Missoula, Montana then northwest to Seattle. This one is 3,735 miles over 60 days. That averages to 63 miles per day. Very doable. I could add 87 miles to ride a bit more in Minnesota (basically to see the headwaters of the Mississippi River at Lake Itasca). That will add a couple of days. The advantage of this route is that it passes through the northern Cascades. The disadvantage of this route is that it climbs over six mountain passes. Eek. Also, I wouldn’t actually get to the Pacific Ocean. I’d get to Puget Sound, if my geography serves me correctly.
Option B would take me from Missoula west down the Columbia River gorge to the Pacific coast at Astoria (or on to Cape Disappointment just so I can say I was there). Then I’d ride north to Bremerton, Washington and take a ferry to Seattle. With a few more days of horsing around this version of the trip totals 4,160 miles over 68 days. That works out to 62 miles per day. Doable.
Both of these routes simplify my return logistics considerably. All I have to do is find a place to pack up my bike and have it picked up for shipment home. I can probably also ship my bike touring gear home with the same service. Then I book a flight and I’m done.
Option C which I have yet to work out would take me south from Missoula and across the middle of Oregon through Eugene to a coastal town called Florence. Then I’d be 180 miles from Portland. I’d have to skip Seattle for this trip.
As Mrs. Rootchopper pointed out earlier this evening, the Pacific northwest would be a pretty good stand alone tour. Add it to the list!