Route: Astoria to Seaside, OR
Quote of the day by my college friend Brad Graff: “60 days is a long time to do anything.”
Today Sho, Saya, my wife Eiko, and I cycled the final 20 miles of our 1700-mile bike adventure. We pedaled down the Pacific coast from Astoria to Seaside, Oregon, savoring the last ride of our 60-day trip. We visited the site of Fort Clatsop, where Lewis & Clark spent the winter of 1805-6 and took photos at their statue by the broad sandy beach in the heart of Seaside. The statue marks the official end of the Lewis & Clark Trail and the end of our time in the bike saddle. Sho and Saya impatiently posed for the obligatory photos by the statue, then raced off to frolic in the ocean with Eiko, while I picked up a U-Haul truck for the drive back to Portland. We’ll box up our bikes and ship them to our home in New York City, then fly back on Saturday.
When we returned to the home of our friends Brad and Lisa Graff in Portland, we were surprised by streamers and a chocolate cake! On top of the cake were candles spelling out “1700” (as in the number of miles we had cycled). As we said thank you and dug into the cake, Brad made the quote of the day. How lucky are we to have such cool friends?!
After such an intense two months, perhaps I will experience a sense of let-down in a few days. But right now, I feel relieved, elated and pretty tired. I wouldn’t mind a long massage and a good night’s sleep, but Brad wants me to wake up at 5:30 a.m. to join him in a yoga class, and Sho and Saya are begging to go kayaking on the Columbia River as soon as possible. That’s okay. There will be time enough later on to rest and reflect on this trip. As soon as we return to NYC, I will get to work writing Daunted Courage: Cycling the Lewis & Clark Trail with Kids. I’m looking forward to re-living the experience as I write and encouraging others to create their own family adventures.
Here’s my advice: Come up with an idea that excites and, better yet, intimidates you. Ignore the naysayers, but if you’re married with children, consult your spouse and kids. Then figure out how to pull it off. Don’t wait until you retire or have more free time or become independently wealthy. Do it now. Each moment is precious, like a present waiting to be unwrapped. Who knows what you’ll discover?
When Meriwhether Lewis embarked on his famous journey, he wrote in his journal, “we were now about to penetrate a country at least two thousand miles in width… the good or evil it had in store for us was for experiment yet to determine… I could but esteem this moment of my departure as among the most happy of my life.” For now, it’s time to rest, but I can’t wait to come up with more moments of departure.
Here are some pics:
With Sho and Saya in Seaside, OR
Streamers were waiting for us at Brad and Lisa's house
With Eiko, Sho, Saya and our 1700 cake