In The Way

“A Couple of Distinguished Guests!”

“Hipster Hipster Hipster Hipster Hipster Hipster Hipster”. This quote describes the current scene in Portland, self-acclaimed in a literary magazine within first arriving. While many find the term derogatory, it is really just best to say the word over and over so that the connotation is lost. However, while Portland is super-hip, Valerie and I still manage to not quite fit in. We are still sporting the same outfit we’ve been wearing all summer with Valerie in her cute polka-dotted red dress and my red roadkill athletic shirt.

When we got into Portland on Wednesday night, we immediately were brought into a home, handed a guitar, and led a group of locals in a camradarie of “When I Get to the Other Side” of Theillalogical Spoon.

While bicycling in Portland is by far the best and most fun cycling experiences we have had on our trip, biking into and out of Portland was brutal. Coming into Portland we came from The Dalles where we followed Interstate 84 and the Columbia River Gorge, dealing with 20mph headwinds and typical Interstate Traffic.

Biking out of Portland was the worst experience we’ve had with traffic of our entire trip. There were 8 lanes of traffic- four going our way and four going the other way. All quite loud, and none quite expecting bicycles to actually be leaving the attempted Utopian society. We stopped shortly afer the stress of construction, no shoulders, and loud traffic to refresh ourselves mentally at the Oregon Zoo. We thought about taking the bus out, but eventually decided that since we had 8 hours of daylight left and 75 miles to go, we might as well keep cycling. So we cycled from SouthEast Portland to Seaside, OR , around 90 miles in approximately 8 hours.

We were so focused on catching the sunset that we didn’t even realize it was our last ride. We cycled our hearts out, panting and grunting up the 1700 ft. passes on the mountains. This doesn’t sound like that high after our 10,000 foot passes in the Bighorn Mountains, but we started and ended the day at Sea Level. AND we were only expecting 2 passes, both below 1300 feet. Not a huge difference, but a 500 foot climb on a bicycle is much larger than a 500 foot climb in a car.

We arrived at the beach freezing cold, and stared at the Ocean in pure exhuasted amazement.

The variety of emotions the last few days has been so unreal. I think that I’m still kind of in denial that we actually made it across an entire Continent. A big part of this is because we took each day as one day at a time. Even our last day, we focused on our destination just for the day, not really realizing it was the end of the trip.

The Ocean was incredible. We spent a full two days just hanging out in Seaside and Cannon Beach, hanging out on the beach and thinking back to the times where we were melting in South Dakota or parched in the Desert of Eastern Oregon. Idaho? Don’t mention it. We’ll twitch in horror. 😉 This picture is a cool picture of Cannon Beach.

It's just like The Goonies!

Anyways, the trip in many ways is “officially” over, but life’s journey is never really over is it?

Valerie and I ran into the Ocean and out of the Ocean, yelling “THIS IS THE FARTHEST WEST I’VE EVER BEEN!!!”, which is something Valerie had been saying once every hour since we entered Wyoming. Or crossed the Mississippi, really.

Immediately after this a news reporter of the Seaside Signal news checked us out and interviewed us for the local paper.

Today was unforgettable. This morning we slept in to what felt like 3pm, but was actually only 9:40 AM. We looked up on the iPhone local churches and decided to visit the local United Methodist Church since we had had such blessings along the road with the UMC denomination.

We stuck out from the formal congregation in our red attire and after the service an excited and wonderful man named Glenn came up to us and said “Are you from Illinois?” I said that we were absolutely from Illinois and Michigan. He told us he had worked in Woodstock and was SUPER excited that we were from Woodstock. At some point I will have to do a post regarding my thoughts towards Punxatawney Phil, but that’s for a later post.

As we headed up to “Coffee Hour” we soon discovered that “Coffee Hour” was actually a sort of After Church Brunch. It was practically a meal! We were being served up with what was looking to be delicious Mudpie dessert and Glenn announced dramatically to the church, “We have some distinguished guests with us this morning! This couple rode their bicycle here all the way from the Atlantic Ocean!” This incurred instantaneous applause! Valerie had tears in her eyes and I was speechless. What a wonderful celebration!

So, the trip is over in some sense, but it is certainly not over. I will continue blogging on here regarding thoughts on the trip and I am determined to practice the art of blogging whilst in Guatemala as well.
This news article here chronicles our journey somewhat! It is an honor to be a part of The Dalles Chronicle! We made it into a newspaper!

Who is reading this blog? We are averaging 40-50 hits a day, and boy am I curious! If you’re reading this and would like to comment, that would be just wonderful! Thanks!

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18 thoughts on ““A Couple of Distinguished Guests!”

  1. Mary Shinabarger on said:

    Way to go Valerie & David! It has been so cool to follow along on your journey with you…. Vicariously!
    Best wishes!
    Your new cousin Mary

  2. You did it! Absolutely incredible! I kind of feel like I don’t want you to be done either…I wish you were coming back to Spring Arbor…and ESL. Can’t wait to hear more of your adventuring!

  3. I love hearing your stories guys! congrats on making it to God’s Country!
    And honestly… I can’t wait to hear these stories in person… with all of Valerie’s side remakes 🙂 Congrats again! much love!

    – Bryan

  4. Kudos from one of the proud mamas!! 🙂 🙂

  5. Cheryl Chiesa on said:

    I have been following your trip from the moment your mom shared your blog with me. You probably don’t remember me, but I met you when your folks came to the Oxford Free Methodist church in Oxford, MI. I taught you in the children’s dept. Blessings to you both and thanks for sharing your experience’s with us all! Will be praying for you as you continue this journey called life!
    Cheryl Chiesa

  6. hippylostintime on said:

    YEAHHHHHHHHHHH! OK, the caps are maybe over-do, but I AM SO PROUD OF BOTH OF YOU! What an amazing accomplishment … and the lessons learned will continue to help shape and form you for a lifetime! Good job, guys! Can’t wait to see you @ the Arbor (when do you leave for Guatemala?), and again, thanks for including “us” in the adventure!!!

  7. Allison on said:

    Wow!! We went to Oceanside (farther south near tillamook). It’s awesome to hear about your trip!!

  8. Bob Kenney on said:

    Your trip has been the highlight of my summer…..and I sure appreciate your faithfulness to blog and send messages, especially with the unreal demands of your trip. You are two special people, and your adventure WILL last for a lifetime of memories. It also helps those of us watching rekindle a love for the people in our great country who opened their homes, lives, and hearts to you along the way. It sure makes me feel like a wimp, though….I covered a lot of that territory either in a 1950 diesel bus or a Volkswagon Bug! (Well, the Beetle wasn’t a LOT different from your bike, and the bus probably broke down MORE.) Soooooooooo proud of you both!!

  9. Carmen Greene on said:

    PTL! I praise the Lord for your vision, your determination, your intestinal fortitude, your safety, the many amazing opportunities you experienced – to make new friends and to share Jesus, your positive uplook and your amazing accounts [writing in your futures?!?] of your adventures along the way! You will never be able to say that you did not follow at least one of your dreams and you will have wonderful stories to share w/children and grandchildren . . . and with those of us who have carried you in our prayers along the way.
    We would love to be at your “Welcome Home” party in IL; however, if you have one in S.A., we would be more able to get there!
    May the dear Lord Jesus continue to challenge each of you as you continue to seek His direction in your lives. You are each amazing!

  10. Bob Kenney on said:

    Still can’t believe you just blew right by Idiotville, OR, though. Oh well…..

  11. Susan Dumaresq on said:

    Hi! Susan Dumaresq here from VA. My husband, Chuck, is from Daviid’s mom and dad’s past….
    San Vito, Italy! Your family visited us in Bracey, VA when you were about 2nd grade. Congrats on making it across the USA! Amazing journey!

  12. Congrats on safely completing your journey across the USA. I was the one who roasted string cheese for you at Deer Haven Resort in Wyoming. We were pleased to have you join our family reunion at the campfire that night and for breakfast the next morning. I have been checking in on your progress regularly. Will look forward to reading further posts.

  13. We are so happy to hear that you made it to Cannon Beach!! We were so worried about you and that busy highway!!! Have been reading your posts daily and thinking about you and hoping you were staying safe. It was a great article in The Dalles Chronicle! The Times Journal should be out today— we will be sure to send you the article ! Take care, and our very best to you!!! Your friends Gary and Sue in Condon, Oregon!

  14. Dave and Val, you two are seriously so inspiring. The few days I got to spend with you while you were on your journey were some of the best I’ve had this entire year, particularly since moving to Jackson. I think you guys should write a book about your trip. I’d buy a copy. Please come see me again. Or move here next Summer… that’d be even better! (:
    -Anika(:

  15. Hey guys! It’s the folks from the Travel Centre in St. Catharines, Ontario. We’ve been following the blog regularly.. So proud of you both!

    Congratulations!!

    PS.. We even have the picture with you guys as the desktop background on the computer 😀

  16. Samizzle on said:

    I’m reading from my reader! Love you two! WOOOOOO!!!!!!! YOU DID IT!!!!!!

  17. Fr. Paul Gratz on said:

    Hey Guys…congratulations! I have been following this occasionally since you visited us in Bennington, VT, on a Sunday morning. I have a bunch to catch up on in old posts having just returned from visiting my grandchildren in Portland earlier this month….sorry to have missed your Left Coast arrival!
    God is good and I can’t wait to share your arrival with some of those you met at our coffee hour.!
    Fr. Paul

  18. Wesley on said:

    This guy has been reading! You guys are my heroes. I look forward to stories all year long!!!

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