When I was a kid, my favorite snack was Kellogg’s Pop-Tarts.  They were filling, portable, delicious…  what’s not to love about a pop tart?  Sure, there is no health benefit to this amazingly tasty treat, but that’s not the point.  It’s like having a bit of a  taste vacation from  what might otherwise be a daily, healthy diet.

Colectivo upped the ante by introducing their own spin on the fresh toaster pastry.  I am quite fond of the blueberry variety; what is quite frightening, though, is the new Nutella pop pastry. I haven’t tried one yet, out of concern over the potential loss of all self control.

Who can say no to Nutella?

Robert, the Long Haul Trucker

Several days ago, we ran into Robert–somewhere between Portland and Hood River. He’s a Scotsman who’s been living in London for the last 6 years. He quit his job as a patent attorney so he could ride his Surly Long Haul Trucker from Seaside Oregon to Virginia. We’ve enjoyed his company thoroughly, especially our hours long conversation about best films:

  • best Bond movie: Robert says Golden Eye, and I say Casino Royal
  • Best war film: Robert says Platoon, and I say Apocalypse Now
  • best Nick Cage film: Robert says Con Air, and I say Leaving Las Vegas
  • best film of all time: Robert says Star Wars: A New Hope, and I say Apocalypse Now
  • best comedy: Robert says Ace Ventura, and I say Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me
  • best action film: Robert says Terminator 2, and I have to agree

We discuss other topics too, and I greatly value Robert’s take on topics such as Brexit, Scottish independence, and the Trump era. Funny that a great way to meet a Scotsman is to ride your bike through eastern Oregon.

Robert and Kait.
Robert on the road.
Where’s Robert?

Four in the morning

The temperature forecast for today was over a hundred degrees in the afternoon. To avoid the torture of cycling through such heat (with a headwind), we decided to start early: 4:00 a.m. (PCT). Kait awoke on time as I handed her a cup of tea in her tent; I had my coffee. We made breakfast, packed up our bikes, and hit the road.

We were done by noon, having ridden straight through with Robert, our new cycling friend who is from Scotland and is making his way across the entirety of the country. Now, we’re happy to rest in a campsite. Just took some showers, had a cold beer, and we are grateful for the small parcel of shade we can inhabit.

The small things go a long way on an adventure.

Kait, pre-tea.
Cycling into a sunrise in Roosevelt, Washington.


The less we spend, the more adventure we have. Last night, we rolled into our chosen campground, only to find out that it was full and there were no hiker/biker sites. We still scoped it out, and in the process found Kelly, the Forest Ranger for the campground. She told us that, about three miles up river, if we biked on an old unfinished railway (I’m not sure what to call it–they made a path for the tracks but never put the tracks down), we would find a primitive campsite (no cost!). Which we did.

It took a while to get there, but like most things in life, the effort was worth it.

Biking to the campsite.


Checking the map for the next day’s ride.

The journal

Kait’s writing a journal as we go from place to place on our bikes. It’s the story of the journey–our experience translated into Pig’s point of view (if you’ve been following the blog, then you know that Pig is Kait’s little friend who tags along in her bento box). She works on the journal when we stop to rest at a coffee shop or when we’ve set up the campsite at the end of the day. It’s fun to read, to see how Pig’s experiencing the trip.

That’s one crazy cow.
Pig hangs out, having a coffee, while Kait writes postcards to family and friends.

I love my son, I love my daughter

Kait and I are taking a rest day today in Portland, hanging out at Evan’s place. He’s spending the summer in Portland, renting a house with 2 other college students. He found work at a local organic grocery, and I’m very proud of him–for wanting to spend the summer on his own in Portland, for finding good people to share a house with, for finding a job that will pay the bills and a job that will continue into the school year.

I’m proud of Kait for going on this bike ride with me, for having a good job as a baker lined up when she returns to Minneapolis, for putting up with me as we bike around the Pacific Northwest.

Pride is an odd emotion. I want to say I love my kids more so that I’m proud of them; that makes more sense. But I am proud of the people they’ve become and the people they are becoming. More important, I’m glad they want me to be part of who they are.

Evan makes breakfast before heading off for his first day at the new job.
Kait writes in her journal and posts messages to her friends back in Minnesota. 

Boats, trains, bikes

Today was a whirlwind of transportation. We biked to the Clinton Ferry Terminal, took the ferry to Mukilteo where we took a local train (the Sounder) to the downtown Seattle train depot, where we hopped an Amtrak to Portland. Bike, boat, train, train, bike. Nice.

Walking onto the ferry.
Waiting for the train in Mukilteo.
Bikes on a train.
Kait at the Seattle train station.