Day 57 – Portland, OR to Cannon Beach, OR

We made it! As of 5:30 this evening, we have officially biked from the Atlantic to the Pacific!

Okay, today’s ride was the worst. We decided not to take Al’s route to Astoria so that we could see Haystack Rock and make it from Portland to the coast in one day. Well. That was a huge mistake. I’m sure the ride Al had set for us would have been lovely and not so stressful, so we’ll just try to imagine that’s what we did. 

But we had made it so far that we could push on up hills along the very edge of the narrow highway with a constant flow of cars. And the sight of the Pacific through the trees as we came over that last hill was truly a wonderful one! 

We ran across the beach in all our biking clothes and jumped in immediately upon arrival, then pedaled into town for a celebratory meal of pizza – we each got an entire one, and I think we impressed the waiter with our appetite. It was a half-dozen-Clif-bar kind of day, so we totally devoured our pizza. I have a little left over for tomorrow, but Aidan’s is long gone. 

We’ve been thinking back on some of the many memories from this trip, and we came up with a collection of fun numbers from our ride. 

  • Total miles: 3,609
  • Total elevation gain: 128,902 ft
  • Pedal rotations: 1,836,000
  • Total cost of camping: $23
  • Water consumed: 98 gallons each
  • Clif bars consumed: 100-250 each

10 Favorites:

  1. Staying with random connections along the way
  2. Biking to Devils Tower at night and early morning riding
  3. Seeing interesting landscapes and wildlife 
  4. Food
  5. Camping in random places and Aidan setting up the tent in 46 seconds
  6. Learning bike repair skills on the road and stopping at bike shops across the country
  7. Consistently meeting kind and generous people
  8. Swimming and Nap Breaks™
  9. Al’s route
  10. Getting competitive with other touring bikers

Top 5 segments of the trip:

  1. Fort Thompson to Pierre (South Dakota)
  2. Welland to Lake Erie, Ontario
  3. Pomeroy to Dayton, WA
  4. Cody to Yellowstone, WY
  5. Stevenson to Portland, OR

Advice for our pre-touring selves

  1. The hardest hills aren’t the Rockies (or anything you’ve heard of). 
  2. Keep up with daily bike maintenance 
  3. Paper maps are the way to go
  4. Buy a Trek 520 and it will be virtually indestructible. 
  5. Buy a Brooks B-17 and comfort will only increase. 

We’re camping on the beach now, with Haystack Rock in sight and an amazing view of the ocean. 

Tomorrow morning, we’ll head off in different directions – Aidan back to Portland on a bus, and me south on the 101 on my bike. Aidan will be flying home this weekend, spending less than 2 weeks in VT, then will head to Kroka for the next 4 months on their Ecuador semester program! I’ll be biking toward Santa Barbara where I’ll get to spend some time at my aunt and uncle’s house. We’re ending the blog now, and would like to thank all of you readers and commenters for all your encouragement and enthusiasm for our trip from afar. 

It’s been one heck of a ride. 

30 thoughts on “Day 57 – Portland, OR to Cannon Beach, OR

  1. Laura/Mom August 13, 2016 / 10:15 am

    Congratulations! What an amazing adventure you’ve had! It doesn’t seem like it was that long ago that you were sitting at our table with Al and all of his maps, but here you are 8 weeks and 3609 miles later at the Pacific!! You did it!!

    It has been so much fun reading your blog and seeing your photos. It has been really heartwarming to hear about all the kind and generous people you’ve met along the way, and to read about the impressions you left on all of them, too.

    I can’t think of a better way for you two to have launched yourselves into your adult lives. And forever now you’ll be able to say that you biked all the way across the country!

    Lots of love to both of you! I’ll be cheering you on for your next adventures! xoxo Mom/Laura


  2. Mary (and Dino, Solomon and Allison from Wyoming ON - Canada) August 13, 2016 / 10:27 am

    So happy for both of you! What an amazing accomplishment!!! Never stop adventuring. Never stop being curious. Never stop being filled with wonder.

    Safe travels, Clara & Aidan.


  3. Leslie August 13, 2016 / 10:58 am

    I have the chills and am crying simultaneously! You two are truly amazing and have been such a big part of my thoughts these past 8 weeks that I fear a deep depression without this blog! I have completed my own map of “Aidan and Clara’s ride” that hangs down my stairwell and is proudly displayed to visitors. Knowing that you have safely reached your goal is a blessing. I love all the fun facts, favorites and advice about the trip. Good luck on the rest of your journey Clara and I hope to catch a glimpse of you, Aidan before Ecuador.
    Love love. And more love


  4. Leslie August 13, 2016 / 11:00 am

    PS I love that the only photo bomber of the entire trip was on your last day!


  5. Liza Joy Marcato August 13, 2016 / 11:34 am

    You guys rock. This has been a highlight of my summer, reading your blog, and knowing two young great people can make such an adventure, self pedaled and so interesting.
    Clara, aren’t you tempted to blog your solo ride?
    Proud of you guys!
    Lotsa love,


  6. Barbara McKay August 13, 2016 / 11:42 am

    CONGRATULATIONS, Clara and Aidan! So impressive.


  7. Dino Furlan August 13, 2016 / 12:13 pm

    If you would like us to send you a care package on your trip to California, let us know by email.


  8. Maureen August 13, 2016 / 12:25 pm

    So proud of both of you – such a grand adventure and fabulous accomplishment. It’s been amazing being able to get the blog updates – SO WELL DONE! Clara, can’t you just keep blogging your life? All my love and congratulations to you both. XOXO, Maureen

    Liked by 1 person

  9. orchardcovephotography August 13, 2016 / 12:29 pm

    It’s been so much fun to follow along and I’ll miss your daily updates but know that so many people are so proud of you – what a journey!! Congratulations!! xoxoJeff, Amanda, & Norah


  10. Blandine - Waterton Lakes National Park, Alberta, Canada August 13, 2016 / 12:30 pm

    It is official, I have tears in my eyes! Your story is so moving and deeply felt. Love, love your picture in the ocean. A shot with thousand words behind it. Hope Clara you will blog from the 101, your posts are addictive. And yes, let us know if you want care packages. All the Best to both of you, safe journey to Ecuador Aidan. So privileged to have met both of you. Much love,


  11. James Fecteau August 13, 2016 / 12:50 pm

    Oh this is so great!! A goal set and accomplished with stile. So happy for you two!!


  12. Shane Walden August 13, 2016 / 2:12 pm

    Congratulations, Clara and Aidan ! You made it ! That’s brilliant. Kim and I have been enjoying following your ride, since we encountered you at Devil’s Tower. It’s a great achievement – one that you can treasure for ever. Wishing you love and peace from Cincinnati, Shane.


  13. Stephen Kellogg August 13, 2016 / 6:19 pm

    What an adventure! I’ve been thinking of you every day for 8 weeks. I hope you’ll keep blogging for the next 1000 miles! Your steepest hill (the Cate School driveway) is still ahead!

    Love, Grandad


  14. Sarah August 13, 2016 / 10:06 pm

    Love and blessings to you both. Thank you for sharing it with us!!


  15. Nancy Vanderlin August 14, 2016 / 1:01 am

    It has been so much fun following your daily adventures, and I will really miss your blog! Such an incredible accomplishment!! Congratulations to you both!!!


  16. Emily August 14, 2016 / 4:12 am

    Congratulations! It has been so much fun, and so moving, to share your journey through this blog. I second the motion that you keep blogging your trip (and your life)!!! What a gift this blog has been.


  17. Al August 14, 2016 / 10:20 am

    Amazing, incredible, that an accomplishment! Kudos to you and double kudos!!


  18. Jill Johnston August 14, 2016 / 10:45 am

    Congratulations Aidan and Clara! Your trip is one for the memory books. This adventure and all its ups and downs will be a solid foundation as you move to your next pathway in your lives.
    Peace and love to you. 🌈☀️☮ Jillie


  19. Andrea August 15, 2016 / 1:06 am

    Thank you! For being inspiring, for sharing your smiles, searching out the good and fun in any situation, for giving us hope for the future with people like you in the world.
    I’m sure there has been exhaustion, and pain, but your joy of life seems to overcome it and shines through.
    It has been a joy and a privilege to follow your journey every day.
    And I’m already going through withdrawals. I find myself rereading posts.
    Wishing you all the best on your next journey.
    And Clara if you don’t blog your journey south, can you at least let us know you made it safely; a lot of would appreciate it.
    With great affection


    • bikesoveramerica August 15, 2016 / 3:12 am

      Thanks Andrea! I won’t be blogging this trip, but I will let you all know when I get there! But so far everything is going really smoothly. 🙂


  20. Holly Pedrini August 15, 2016 / 2:52 am

    I live in Burlington and somehow heard about your blog and decided to follow and take the tour across the US vicariously. It has been so wonderful to hear about your adventures, ups & downs (literally), joys & appetites! I hope you will take whatever you’ve learned about your selves (like perseverance) will be the foundation for the rest of your lives – NEVER STOP GROWING!

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Chris Jolly August 15, 2016 / 1:53 pm

    Inspiring! With any luck (and proper brainwashing 🙂 ) we’ll have you two over in 10 years to show our kids your memories as they embark on their own post high school adventures!

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Sandy Lord August 15, 2016 / 5:32 pm

    FANTABULOUS ! A hearty CONGRATS to you both !! I so LOVED reading your blog and thanks for taking the time to update us !!! You reminded me many many times of the trip I took cross country in 1988, and thank you for that !! Also,thanks for the tips list. Things have changed but then again they haven’t. Glad you had such fun, met so many nice people and DID IT !! This is one freaking BIG country, eh?

    I remember biking though an indian reservation in Montana. We were told before we went in to “Keep going” and not stop and mind the crazy drivers. It was a Friday and the Indians get their government checks that day and go drinking and are a menace on the road. We rode through around 6 pm so it wasn’t that bad.

    I agree about the Trek 520. It’s what took me across in ’88, and I love it. I actually have a few of them. They are definitely indestructible.

    Aiden: Best of Luck in Ecuador !! I am thinking I may go there this winter for a month or few.


  23. Michelle August 16, 2016 / 7:32 pm

    Wow, such an incredible journey — it came alive with great writing and photos! It’s been fun to follow along. Many congrats to you both!


  24. Greg Murphy August 17, 2016 / 7:16 pm

    I am the guy who took the same journey with my brother in the summer of 1980. Wendy’s friend from Geneseo. Even without your meticulous documentation I promise you will remember with clarity this incredible adventure. It may only be the beginning of a long period of wanderlust. In the Big Horn mountains I encountered a moose outside my tent in the morning looked very similar to the one you photoed. I am with Aiden on the comfort of a well broken in leather saddle and the Trek 520. I still have the one I bought is 1983. Europe?


  25. Max August 21, 2016 / 6:46 am

    Bravo Zulu to you both (look it up, it’s a Navy term). You two have the gumption, the drive, and the stamina to see anything you set to do through to the finish. Never lose that.


    • bikesoveramerica July 29, 2018 / 7:54 pm

      I had the BEST time with you all!! And I’m enjoying your blogs now, keep them coming whenever you have time between adventures! ❤


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