We are sailing

Trip Start Jul 12, 2013
Trip End Oct 01, 2014

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Flag of United States  , Oregon
Friday, October 11, 2013

We are sailing

It will probably come as little surprise to anyone who knows me that Vancouver, as it turns out, was not the end of the adventure.
After a few magical days of rest and relaxation and wonderful Warmshowers hospitality, Claud was getting restless to be back on the road, and to be honest so was I.

It's become a way of life for the moment and reaching Vancouver had been tinged with regret at the thought of stopping. However, the average daily mileage had also had an impact, and my body and mind were certainly glad of the kind of rest which it's been hard to achieve on the road
A good friend likened the adrenalin from cycling so far everyday to the 'fight or flight' response where the body is constantly held prepared for a state of extreme activity.
Exercise does give you a great rush of both endorphins and adrenalin, it makes you feel wonderful, The flip side of this is that the body is constantly riding that high, always being in a state of alert has made relaxing, sleeping and taking days off difficult. It takes time to come down from there and something I hadn't done since leaving Toronto.
With this in mind I made the conscious decision that if/when I continued cycling it would be at a more relaxed pace, lower mileage, more days off.......
I'm terrible at easing back off the throttle but, over the years, have slowly learned the lessons of what not doing this can mean.

So, after making this resolution Claud and I are back on the road, or rather the sea, taking life at a slower pace.
We left Vancouver by cycling through the city to catch a ferry to Vancouver Island. In my head the island was going to be a small spit of land accessed by bridge.
Not so....a 2 hour ferry ride later I arrived in Nanaimo to begin a 3 day journey across an island the same size as England.
But true to my new resolution I rode shorter days, despite climbing another, unexpected mountain in the middle and spent a day or two in the capital of Victoria, shopping, going whale watching for Orcas and Humpbacks, eating fish and chips and relaxing (more photos in Vancouver Island album-see entry).

Another ferry ride then whisked me away from Canadian shores to Seattle in the USA. A mercifully, and unexpectedly brief chat with US immigration officials gave me a 3 month visa and the chance for Claud and I to explore another country by road. The Pacific Coast Highway, aka highway 101.

Before starting our new expedition, I was lucky enough to get the opportunity to stay with some friends of friends in Seattle. A great base right near the waterfront enabled me to explore this vibrant, beautiful city. Wandering around, the Frasier soundtrack playing in my head, the iconic Space needle building dominates a skyline that is also filled with sweeping vistas of snowcapped mountains and ocean. Visits to the Seattle centre, the explosive colour of the Dale Chihuly glass sculptures and the vibrant Pike Place Market, excellent food and even better coffee completed a glorious stop over.

Time to rejoin the road via my third and final ferry journey to Bremerton and heading towards highway 101. The seasons have certainly shifted his and autumn has arrived in all it's glory. So too has the rain. My estimate would be that, since reaching Vancouver, it has rained heavily most days. Unseasonably so according to locals as I travel across the States.
The changing seasons and current political situation, with the US government on shut down, have also made finding campsites somewhat harder, with state parks closed as government workers go unpaid and most campgrounds now closing for winter.
This has made for some tough going, especially when camping. Searching for a place to stay then putting up a saturated tent on a daily basis, after packing up each morning in the rain can dampen the best of spirits. But what I have found consistent is the utter kindness from people I have met on the road. Cold, wet and bedraggled, strangers have continued to humble me with their offers of help, be it words if encouragement, a hot meal, shower or place to stay when the thought of a wet tent is less than appealing. My experience of the U.S. so far has been a warm one, in terms of personalities, if not weather!

The autumn colours here are stunning though and it's a joy to cycle now down the Pacific Coast alongside the ocean. I've crossed from the state of Washington into Oregon via highway 101 and will now follow it down south, towards California, sunshine and whatever is next.

My greatest thanks to Lawrie, Cindy and Maggie for introducing me to Seattle. To Yvonne at the Duncan RV park, Terry in Victoria, Mark , and Kay for all your help. Roy and Ann in Arctic for keeping the campsite open. Fellow travellers Will, Rob and Felipe. To Sharon, Pat and George and to Barney at the Astoria bike shop for tending to Claud. To Ben for whom I'm destined to keep meeting on the road, it's always more fun to share the rain!
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Karen Eckersley on

Hi Lorraine,
So glad to hear from you, I was beginning to think I need to email you to find out how you were fairing.
So pleased you have started another blog.
Super adventures and stunning photo's.
Raising a glass of red to you.
Karen and Francis

Julie & John on

Hi Lorraine,
Glad you are are going on. Enjoy yourself and relax the pace so you can really take in all the colours of Autumn. Trees just starting to change here but think you will have a better display there. Yes, wish we were there experiencing it with you. Even more fun to have the parents join in also. Take care. x x x

sonya on

Hi Lorraine stunning pictures, stunning inspiration you are for me to get off the couch an enjoy life !!! I think the glass half full is you (re the photo !!) the scenery looks just amazing take care sonya x

Simon Harper on

Congratulations Lorraine, there was always going to be MORE. A great read and some lovely pics. Enjoy xx

Francis Eckersley on

Wow amazing achievement! It only seems like yesterday were you were with us that evening on our roof eating and drinking...

We (Karen and I) are both looking forwards to your book!

If you want something to listen to in an evening, here is my music site: https://soundcloud.com/vmaxvmax

All the best and see you sometime when you are back in the tamer regions of the Pyrenees.

jos and maria on

Nice story again, Lorraine. Your picture is now on our website.
We're going a little bit raster. Now on the border between Arizona and Mexico in a, gelieve it or not, Patagonia.

sarah on

Many congratulations on reaching the Pacific, and thanks for the lovely photos that remind me of my own visit to Seattle. Is it downhill all the way to California? Have fun.

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