Getting Ready… Where Should We Go?
Two years ago, we were weeding through piles of dishes, shelves full of books, closets full of forgotten knick-knacks. We were waiting for the official announcement of my layoff and trying to figure out how to actually make the leap to full-time travel. We were preparing ourselves to say goodbye to our friends, to carry our entire lives on our bikes, to make an enormous and unknown leap. Suffice it to say, preparing for this next trip is a completely different experience.
After rambling across the country for 15 months, we feel like we’ve become hardened travelers. The idea of heading back out into nothingness isn’t something we need to steel ourselves against, and the details of life on the road aren’t overwhelming like they were two years ago. Instead of figuring out health insurance or a home for our couch, we can focus on how to structure our work flow on the road so that we can actually accomplish everything we want to do. We feel like we’re able to be much more pro-active in our plans for this next trip, and think about the bigger picture.
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Besides the work we’re doing to combine trains and bikes, we also want to route our journey through lots of unique places. Which is where you come in… On May 15, we leave Portland. Aside from plans to be in Missoula, Montana around the first of June, we have very little of our route planned. So we’re asking for your suggestions. Do you know of some funky little places we should explore or interesting people we should interview? Do you have a favorite burger joint or coffee shop? Send them our way!
Tomas Quinones April 14, 2011 at 12:23 pm
Mammoth Cave in Kentucky.
Tomas Quinones April 14, 2011 at 12:29 pm
Oh and The Lost Sea!
I went there in 1985(ish) and still remember it to this day.
Tomas Quinones April 14, 2011 at 12:30 pm
Devils Lake State Park.
I visited it in 1987 and 89. I still want to go back and do some climbing.
Lindsey April 14, 2011 at 1:56 pm
Definitely Lake Tahoe, California or Nevada side:) Beautiful in any month, good luck with your planning.
Chelsey April 14, 2011 at 3:29 pm
You should come to the Black Hills in South Dakota. We seem to have a very underground bike community. Every year I see more and more bikers riding around Rapid City. There are bike organizations, but they seem to be very hard to find information on. When I moved here in 2005 I seemed to be one of the only people biking around town. Now there are bikers everywhere and the city is working on making the city more bike accessible. You should come interview our Mayor and do a presentation. The black hills are amazingly beautiful and have many crazy sites to see. We aren’t near any trains, but the area is an a amazing place to see.
adventure! April 14, 2011 at 4:35 pm
I second Devil’s Lake in WI.
bran April 14, 2011 at 9:52 pm
You need to come to Ottawa the Capital city of Canada. Believe it or not we have had bike lanes for over 50yrs. You can also see the world’s longest skating rink (however in summer it is a canal). You have a place to stay and you can help my SO get that desire to travel and meet fine folk like you guys.
Craig April 15, 2011 at 6:58 am
You need to ride Amtrak into Sedalia Missouri and then jump on the Katy Trail, the longest rail trail in the country. My wife and I could ride out and meet you at the end of the trail in St. Charles, MO and we can put you up for a night, a few nights, whatever.
michael April 15, 2011 at 5:53 pm
…you definitely should try to get out of the US this time. maybe over to Europe. your perspectives on life will change.
Paul Steckler April 15, 2011 at 7:11 pm
Yellowstone National Park, but watch out for grizzlies!
Greg April 16, 2011 at 9:11 am
Calgary’s Cyclepalooza runs June 17 to 26. You won’t be toooo far away in Misoula. Not sure about train service, though.
Dave April 16, 2011 at 10:59 am
The place to be on July 24 will be Glenwood, IA for the start of RAGBRAI 2011. I’m going to get to the ride, do the ride and then ride home all by bicycle this year. It’s going to be the best vacation ever! Checkout RAGBRAI.com
Bike Hermit April 16, 2011 at 4:44 pm
There is a place that is actually on the way from Portland to Missoula! There’s a little town North of Walla Walla Washington called Waitsburg. In that town is a small brewery called Laht Neppur which the woman working there told us meant “Drink to Life” or something along those lines and also happens to be the oqners name spelled backwords, which would make him Ruppen Thal.Don’t know if I believer her but it is a good story. And if you like beer it could be worth a stop. And you asked for funky. And the Palouse area is beautiful for riding.
bob k. April 17, 2011 at 5:14 pm
i think you guys should go to where ever i’m at so we can hang out and eat good food and drink a couple of beers. okay, i know i’m being selfish, but it would be fun. for reals: hit the appalachians, super beautiful in spring through the fall. the great allegheny passage rail trail is amazing and for bonus points there is a 15 mile stretch of abandoned turnpike near breezewood, pa, complete with tunnels under mountains and not a car in sight.
et April 19, 2011 at 10:52 pm
Ruppen Thal = Ruppenthal
Jimmy April 20, 2011 at 8:28 am
You gotta checkout roadsideamerica.com… I always see if there’s anything cool/weird along my route. There usually is 🙂
Jami April 20, 2011 at 1:19 pm
I’d second RAGBRAI. I’m doing it before heading off on a cross-country ride. The Amtrak goes right to Omaha and it’s only 30 miles to the start in Glenwood.
Lauren M.F. April 21, 2011 at 12:25 pm
Though I see you already have it on your map, the Twin Cities (my present home) are a wonderful place for many things, bicycling among them. Assuming you’re here over the summer there will certainly be some sort of excellent group ride to join, a festival to attend (likely near one of our lovely bodies of water) and a plethora of amazing local food places to check out. I would love to give recommendations on any of the above 🙂
http://mplsbikelove.com/ is the resource for nearly all things bicycle here, from rides to advocacy to trail conditions.
Tom Howard April 21, 2011 at 9:42 pm
There are many great areas around Missoula. Keep in mind that Amtrak goes through Whitefish, about 130 miles north of Missoula. At Whitefish, you’re on the doorstep of Glacier National Park, one of the crown jewels of the continent.
cccorlew April 24, 2011 at 4:50 pm
Though we do supported touring and therefore aren’t as cool as you, we are riding the Oregon Gorge and Adventure Cyclings’s Teton ride this summer. In between we are going to Coeur d’Alene just to ride the rails to trails and the “Route of the Hiawatha” which looks tourist-funky. There’s a 1.7 mile, 1908 Rails-to-Trails tunnel. There are seven high-steel trestles. Not really much of a “ride,” but we’re doing it as part of a larger trip and it looks like fun. Google it!
Stuart Knoles April 25, 2011 at 8:31 am
Mitchell Connell April 25, 2011 at 1:04 pm
I’m glad you guys liked the idea of the map with the pins! It looks really cool. Make sure you check out Arches state park. Edward Abbey would be proud.
That Guy April 26, 2011 at 5:24 pm
Heading out of Portland be sure to see Palouse Falls in the SE corner of Washington state! Amazing place- you can walk out to the edge of where the falls drop. It’s not like Niagara, no guardrails over the drop!
Erin W May 26, 2011 at 11:52 am
Olympia Washington of course. And you can ride to the end of the beautiful Chehalis Western Trail while you’re here.
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Last time, you came down through the Transpecos and went south. I would recommend coming in on the Amtrak to Alpine and heading NORTH through Fort Davis, and ride up through Balmorrhea for their beautiful springs. You will see a different side of this desert area. Fort Davis is in the middle of a fire that has charred 166,000 acres of grassland – when the rain comes this summer it will be the most incredible, green paradise.
Of course, that’d be for later in your trip.