C2C 2022: The Drive Out to Oregon
This post is part of a series detailing my 2022 coast to coast cycling adventure. This one is random notes from our drive out to the Oregon coast. Dave started in Clinton, NY and picked me up in Columbus. Our stops along the way included Topeka, Denver, Twin Falls, and finally Yachats, OR.
Our motel experience (Woodspring Suites) in Topeka was very odd. (why is this not surprising?) My room had a full-sized refrigerator that had a bad compressor bearing and sounded like a garbage disposal every time it kicked on. I had to pull it out and unplug it to sleep. The motel was completely devoid of carpeting such that you could hear every move of the people in the room above. It felt more like a hospital than a hotel. As we were leaving we ran into a pleasant, older couple who came back to the motel to access their room after they had already checked out… because when they sat down for breakfast down the street the husband realized he had forgotten his teeth.
Driving through Kansas and Colorado, especially with the current heat wave and its 100-degree temperatures, made me realize just how challenging this trip is going to be a times. We will be exposed to weather that is much different — more extreme and more dangerous — than what I have been accustomed to in Columbus. Especially at high altitudes with stronger sun, arid conditions, and punishing cross and head winds. It is really driving home the enormity of what we are attempting and Dave and I are both feeling it. Accordingly, we are talking about getting very early starts some days — like 4AM — to avoid heat and wind. I also decided to buy a small CamelBak for the express purpose of freezing it and carrying the ice on my back to keep cool.
It has been only three days since my last training ride but I really miss riding my bike. I am looking forward to getting to Oregon and getting some rides in in the few days before we launch on the journey.
Just got some great news. The McKenzie Highway in Oregon, one of the early highlights of the trip, opens Monday 6/20 (we plan to ride it on Friday). It has been closed for the winter and normally opens the third Monday of June, but that was in doubt this year due to extensive snowfall. That will save us 22 miles and be much more scenic.
Our stop in Denver was great. Dave visited his brother and sister-in-law (shoutout to Robb and Ashley for their hospitality) and I had dinner with my brother-in-law and sister-in-law Fred and Patti. On the way out of town we had breakfast at the famous Bagel Deli. Dave had eggs and corned beef hash with a bagel and cream cheese and I had matzoh brei with apples. Classic.
While driving through the heat and crosswinds of Kansas and Colorado inspired me to feel fear, driving through the mountains of Wyoming, Utah, Idaho, and Oregon inspired awe. Can’t wait to do it human powered.
Driving through Wyoming, all of the overhead signs along I-84 warned that all roads into Yellowstone are closed (due to flooding). Really scary. Hopefully that won’t effect us. Glad our reservations in the area are solidly booked.
If you are ever in Burley, Idaho, check out Steveo’s. Great local flavor and burgers and fries.
Twin Falls, Idaho is… interesting. It sits on the amazing, beautiful Snake River Gorge. But the city planners chose to put all of the commercial development right there on the rim. So what should be beautiful is instead a Best Buy, a TJ Max, and the Magic Valley Mall. Ugh.
Waking up to 45 degrees in Twin Falls reinforced my realization that we’re going to be dealing with all kinds of weather.
Vale, Oregon may be small but they sure have great coffee. We stopped at a cool little Espresso shop called Bixby’s Stopitoff Coffee. Highly recommended.
Initial impressions of the Oregon coast and our AirBNB… Un-buh-leavable. Spectacular. Super cool three-bedroom loft (owner lives on separate first floor) overlooking the Oregon Coast where the Bob Creek runs into the Pacific Ocean. Maybe I will just stay here for the next seven weeks instead of riding.
Fun fact… the last four nights I have slept in four different time zones, falling back one hour every night.