Neither of us can quite believe that winter is upon us, yet again. We had so much hot and humid weather for so long – and, then, sometime in the last few weeks, summer disappeared and the air was suddenly crisp. We’ve been enjoying fall in the northeast, with its technicolor autumn leaves, and now we’re trying to prepare ourselves for winter.

This winter will be different from last winter. Last year, we camped our way through two months of sub-freezing temperatures in the southwest, gung-ho to prove to ourselves that we could be “hard-core” travelers. This year, we’re headed to Portland, Oregon, to work and rest and plan the next leg of our cycling journey.

Yes, you read that right… we’re planning to pause our travels for a couple months. We’re trying to wrap our minds around this idea, that we won’t be moving continually and seeing new places regularly. After nearly 15 months on the road, this is a very strange idea for us. Yet, we’ve also started to recognize that we’re tired. It turns out that long-term travel can be as exhausting as it is exciting. So, we’re looking at this winter as a way to recharge and keep ourselves from accidentally burning out, while we decide where in the world we want to pedal next.

What’s next?

We’ll be using our time in Portland to work on a number of projects that we haven’t quite found the time to do while we travel. A 2011 calendar is in the works, and we’ll be putting together a series of photo and story books (actual printed versions). Russ will be editing hours of video footage, and I’ll be piecing together new jewelry. We’ll also be planning our next adventure (and have already been kicking around a few ideas)… A year exploring Spain? A ramble through SE Asia? A fly-fishing bike adventure in Argentina? Trade in our LHTs for Bromptons?

What about the blog?

We will still update the blog and Facebook page, continuing to document this portion of our journey. Many travel blogs end once a trip is over, never discussing the lessons learned and the strange transition that occurs between travel and “normal” life. Just as we documented the process of getting rid of our stuff last summer, we think sharing the story of how to re-assimilate is just as interesting. Not to mention that we have a multitude of stories rolling around in our heads that haven’t made it on this site yet. And, since we’re planning to hit the road again, we’re certainly not done here!

Want to hire us?

Since our goal is to work while we take our winter break, we also want to let everyone know that we’ll be available for hire! If you want some amazing photos and you’re in the Portland area, LA area, or easily accessible by public transit, contact Russ. If you’re looking for some one-of-a-kind jewelry or bicycle headbadges, contact Laura.

Want some roommates?

Shortly after our presentation in Boston, we’ll be hopping aboard Amtrak and taking it all the way to Portland. We’re hoping to spend approximately four months in town, so we’re on the hunt for a place to live. If you know anyone in search of temporary roommates, or someone who’s looking for a housesitter or to sublet their place for a few months, please let us know. We’re hoping to keep expenses to a minimum, so that we can save up quicker for our next adventure. And we’re hoping to figure out these details in the next few days, so that we can start planning for our trip back to Oregon.

When we get past the oddity of living in one place for a couple months, we’re actually kind of excited to be in Portland this winter, and have plenty of time to explore the city and its cycling culture (and beer and arts cultures too!).

Thanks everyone!