Day 53 – Walla Walla, WA to Umatilla, OR

This morning was the long-awaited morning of care packages! We got to the post office as they opened, and we were soon spread out on the lawn with the contents of 5 packages (!) all over. We had meals and snacks galore from Grandma Nancy, homemade cookies and chocolate from Andrea Kerin, and sugary goodies and the most amazing note ever from Maggie!

Although that was already an unbelievable amount of wonderful food, we were confused to realize that two people’s packages were nowhere to be seen! Aidan’s Aunt Les and our park ranger friend/hero Blandine had both told us they were sending something. So when I went back inside to send a small portion of the meals ahead to Portland (I’m planning to bike down the coast, so everything will be eaten before long!) I asked them to double check for packages addressed to either me or Aidan. And the lady came back out with a package with Aidan’s name on it from his aunt! We were so happy, (though rather unimpressed with the post office lady) and ran outside to open it up. We found cookie things christened Aussie Bites, power bars, and lots of beef jerky. 
We convinced the post office people to check multiple times for Blandine’s package (we took turns taking on the reluctant people behind the counter) and were sad to discover that it had been sent back a couple days earlier. I guess we should have pedaled faster. But Blandine – even though we didn’t open it, it still means so much to us both that you sent us a care package!

THANK YOU SO MUCH to all of you organized package senders with amazing taste in snacks! Our panniers are full, we are taking more snack breaks than ever, and the weight – we barely notice that since it all tastes so good!

There was a slight price we paid for our off-roading adventures of yesterday. Probably due to his taking the black diamond trail to my blue square, we noticed yesterday that Aidan’s wheel was pretty far out of true. So we found a bike shop in Walla Walla, and it turned out to be a broken spoke! That had to happen at some point, and what better timing than when we were actually near a bike shop? South Dakota would have been a bit more challenging…

We got back on the bikes late today – it was almost noon. But being so excited about our food, the headwind didn’t bother us too much, and we made some good progress before taking a break for lunch. 

After pedaling a bit more this afternoon, we came around a corner and saw the Columbia River! So of course we pulled over and jumped right in. It was beautiful in the gorge. There was a serious headwind (actual white caps moving in our direction) and the roadside was littered with veggies that had fallen out of passing trucks! But the walls on either side of us were incredible, and everything felt so different from this morning. 

We crossed into our last state of the trip this evening! Although we’ll be going back and forth a bit between Washington and Oregon, it was an exciting moment. 

The landscape changed yet again as the road moved temporarily away from the river. Stunning in its own way. 

It’s always a good sign when a rainbow shows up just as you find a camping spot!

5 thoughts on “Day 53 – Walla Walla, WA to Umatilla, OR

  1. Blandine, Waterton Lakes National Park, Alberta, Canada August 9, 2016 / 2:08 pm

    Thank you Aidan and Clara for your kind note. I haven’t recovered yet from the shock of the Walla Walla post office sending back my care package…..I am still blue (and red) with anger. (Not a pretty sight) Aidan, you mentioned you are going down the coast? (A fabulous ride on highway 101) (the Lost Coast is a must….wild wild wild) Once you know more, If you give me a destination
    I will send you a FRESH care package, NOT priority obviously as not to provoke and disturb the rules of heartless! post offices workers. In the mean time, welcome to the mighty Columbia land. (The Dalles have wonderful/funky coffee shops) You are almost there, smelling the Ocean. O Joy! I am shivering with excitement and proud for you. YOU both are MY heroes. Cheering you all the way to the beach.


    • bikesoveramerica August 9, 2016 / 2:57 pm

      This is Clara writing the blogs, and I’m the one headed for California by bike! So sorry you haven’t recovered from the package incident. 😦 if you really do want to try again, I’ll contact you soon when I know my timeline better! So great to hear from you, and I’m glad you like the riding on the coast!


      • Blandine, Waterton Lakes National Park, Alberta, Canada August 9, 2016 / 4:38 pm

        Fabulous Clara! You will love that trip along the coast. Yes please, let me know your timeline when possible. And let me know your dietary preferences, requirements and desires. Will make the care package accordingly. Keep in touch!


  2. Mary (and Dino, Solomon and Allison from Wyoming ON - Canada) August 10, 2016 / 10:15 am

    Dear Clara and Aidan, we’ve been faithfully reading about your adventures each day (almost) as soon as the notification pops up on our email. It has been a daily joy to read about your travels and to enjoy the stunning photos of our breathtaking continent! Thank you for unexpectedly coming in to our lives this summer. We wish you all the best and hope that our paths will cross once again.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Leslie August 10, 2016 / 10:56 am

    So glad the box was delivered and good for you for persisting against those often less than helpful PO people (which also stands for pissed off)….I think some of them just have “attitude” as part of their job description. Those Aussie Bites are a new favorite of ours. I’ll send you the recipe when you get back. What a wonderful spirit you exude in your writing….the pure joy of reaching a mountain peak and appreciation of all the gorgeous landscapes around you. You share the joy every day in this blog….thank you xoxoxo

    Liked by 1 person

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