Our first day was awesome, and it’s been up and down since then. Day 2 ended dramatically, with me experiencing my first (and hopefully last) bonk. I was sweating profusely, couldn’t stop shaking, and was light-headed when upright for over an hour afterward. We pushed ourselves over 40 miles that day, the weather was worse than forecast (April Fools on us, I guess), and my bike-mates were disinclined most of the day. One of the objectives of this tour is to realize the necessity of everyone’s contribution for the family’s success and the suffering that ensues when just one or two of us doesn’t play our part. I would have preferred a less extreme teachable moment, but Team Eleanor’s performance since has been much improved. (side note: the color of my tandem is New Teal– so a FDR themed name was in order; to continue the theme in a Wheel of Fortune ‘before and after’ style we named the blue/purple tandem Frank– to go with Eleanor and because the bike fitter referred to it as a Frankenstein bike)
We have stayed in hotels each night, with the exception of one night camping. That location had a great view of Mt. St. Helen’s and was largely vacant since it just opened for the season on April 1st.
The route between Seattle and Portland is not well supplied with campgrounds and even fewer are open yet for the season, so we have had little choice. We have all enjoyed the comforts of the hotels, but the boys were especially delighted to finally get an opportunity to attend to their whittling. Otter is working on a boat and Tango is working on spearheads for primitive fishing (should the need arise).
Overnight, the Littles were struck with a stomach bug and a wet sleeping bag, so the need to do laundry became acute (and is currently in progress).
The weather had been on an upswing since Day 2 until yesterday afternoon, so we maximized our distance during that time. We rode against a decent headwind for over 30 miles yesterday, ultimately into a seeming monsoon that has not yet stopped dumping water and isn’t forecast to reduce until 11:00 tomorrow morning when we will be on the move again. Sadly, the National Weather Service just issued a Special Weather Statement forecasting rain and winds out of the south (read: headwind) at 25-35 mph, so we may be grounded again. We’ve gotten stronger in these few days of hauling, but not that strong. We will see…