Day 1 of Cycle Oregon 2014 is in the books and we’ve settled into camp here in Glenwood, Washington. I’m writing this from outside a cafe as music from the (very good country) band Brewers Grade wafts across the valley from the Main Stage and beer garden. Glenwood is a small, unincorporated town nestled in a picturesque valley. To the northwest of our tent city sits the imposing outline of Mt. Adams.
This morning we pedaled north from The Dalles. I left early to catch the sunrise over the Gorge and to avoid the late-day heat. My reward was cool air and even cooler views.
We crossed into Washington by taking the lane on the The Dalles bridge (ODOT supported this move with digital display boards telling drivers to chill out and use caution due to all the bikes on the road). Once into Washington, we rode west on State Route 14, hugging the Columbia River for a few miles until Lyle.
When we got to Lyle we headed north and followed the zigs and zags of the Klickitat River for almost the entire 63-mile day.
I love discovering new places on my bike, and today was full of discovery. Before today I’d never even seen the Klickitat River. Now I feel like it’s an old friend. The river’s clear, blue-green water alternated between still pools beckoning us to swim, and mildly roaring rapids. As we rode up-river I watched drift-boaters, fly-fishers and campers enjoying the perfect conditions.
My other big personal discovery was the Klickitat Trail, a 31-mile, unpaved rail-trail that starts in Lyle and follows the contours of the river. It looks perfect for some family-friend bikecamping adventures. I will definitely come back to check it out.
As we climbed up to Glenwood, on the steepest and hardest section of the day’s route, I came up behind an unexpected sight. It was straight out of Portland. A man was riding a tall-bike, swaying back-and-forth out of the saddle. As I got closer, I noticed he was barefoot! Turns out the man was non other than Kankyi (pronounced “Gone-jee”) Curwen. Kankyi lives in Thailand and he’s of Burmese-British descent. He’s spent several months in Portland researching bike culture and co-op and community bike shops. His goal is to use his Portland research to open a shop in his hometown of Chiang Mai. Kankyi is here on Cycle Oregon as a volunteer with the Community Cycling Center.
He rode all of today’s 63 miles on a tall bike he just welded together last week. And he did most of today’s ride without shoes. What a feat!
Here are a few more scenes from the road between the river and Glenwood…
As we rolled into Glenwood we were greeted with big smiles and lots of help by local volunteers. The first person I talked to in camp was a woman on a four-wheeler who was helping cart baggage to people’s tents. As I spoke to her I realized she sounded and looked familiar. I had a hunch about where I knew her from but I was too shy to ask. Eventually we both realized how we knew each other: It was Marilyn Milestone, one of our midwives for my three-year-old son Everett! It was a wonderful, small-world moment.
Thanks Glenwood! I can’t wait to come back someday and explore this area more.
Stay tuned for more coverage from Cycle Oregon. Tomorrow’s ride will take us south back in Oregon — from Glenwood, back through The Dalles, and then onto Dufur.