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Messages - adventurepdx

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46
Routes / Re: Across North America
« on: April 18, 2013, 08:14:43 pm »
...go to Ottawa, ON on the Trans Canada Trail (300 miles)...and finish with the Trans Canada Trail again that will take us to Vancouver (720 miles)...

The Trans Canada Trail is more concept than reality at this point, as there are still many sections that need to be built. Before committing yourself to any of its routing, make sure you do your research.
http://tctrail.ca/explore-the-trail/
Just looking at the map provided indicates quite a bit of unfinished routing between Jasper and Vancouver.

If the miles are added up we get something around 6000 miles.
We're ready to take a train or a ferry at some point during the trip, but I still don't know if this is a realistic project as a whole.

6,000 miles (which is nearly 10,000 km) is a pretty ambitious tour, especially if you have 3 1/2 months. If you rode every single day from June 1st to September 15th (106 days) you'd be looking at a mileage of 56.6 miles a day. That doesn't factor in any days off for doing other stuff, sightseeing (which there will be quite a bit of going through the Canadian Rockies), emergency/mechanical issues/unexpected stuff, or just plain break time. Some people can and do ride 60 miles a day, every day, for months on end. Some people can ride even more miles than that on a daily basis. But not everyone does.

47
General Discussion / Re: Bears
« on: April 16, 2013, 09:07:14 pm »
Campground hosts may not be entirely reliable, reference our stay at Newhalem, WA.  Bear signs, but no bear boxes, and we didn't have rope to hang food.  So I asked the host if there was some place we could store our (depleted) food, and he told me, don't worry about it, they haven't had a bear in the campground for 10-15 years.  So we left panniers on bikes overnight and didn't worry -- until we got back to civilization, and in contact with my wife.  She'd been cruising various journals, and somebody had taken a picture of a bear walking through that same campground a week earlier.  At least he didn't bother our stuff!

Was this the Colonial Creek Campground in North Cascades National Park? We got the same info from the camp host when we inquired about bear boxes. (And found out afterward about bears in the vicinity.) We hid our food in the "utility sink room" in the bathroom. (Fun fact: They had installed bear boxes when we were there in 2011, but they were all in one spot on the far side of the campground. Very convenient.)

But most of the National Park campgrounds I've stayed in have secure trash cans and dumpsters, including Colonial Creek.

This may be one of those motorist/non-motorist split kind of things.  The bears hadn't started to break into campers, cars, or even locked motorcycle boxes, so the host may have honestly thought there was no problem.

True, but if a campground has dumpsters and trash cans that aren't animal proof, the bears and other animals are going to go for them. What's inside a locked car is small potatoes compared to scores of garbage bags of food scraps in an unsecured dumpster. So if there are problem animals in the area, I'm guessing they would have found those dumpsters and trash cans by now, and the camp hosts would realize that.

48
Connecting ACA Routes / Re: Portland,or to Seaside
« on: April 16, 2013, 08:59:25 pm »
There is excellent, inexpensive, twice-a-day bus service between those two cities on Northwest POINT. The bus leaves from the same place as the train arrives. There's even TV and free WiFi on board. When I did it, I didn't take my bike with me, so you better call them to see what their policies are for that.

You can take unboxed bicycles for $5 and they go into the cargo hold beneath the bus.
This is for "regular" bicycles, though. Recumbents may be a different story. Best to contact Northwest Point.

49
General Discussion / Re: Bears
« on: April 15, 2013, 09:20:47 pm »
There are other places as well, but in generally all of the places where there is concern campgrounds provided bear boxes.  In regular campgrounds you can judge the risk pretty well by whether trash cans and dumpsters are bear proof .  If not you can probably assume that bears will not be a problem.

So true. I've been to a campground or two and saw some "be aware of bears" signs, then noticed that all the trashcans and dumpsters were not secured. So I didn't worry much, since the campground itself wasn't taking the appropriate precautions. And honestly, a bear is most likely going to go for the trashcans and dumpsters.

But as pdlamb said, "Keep your lawyers away from me!" Use your own discretion and not take my opinion as truth or law.

One thing to also be aware about when it comes to food is raccoons. There are some places that don't offer "bear boxes" but suffer from raccoon problems (the campsites on the Oregon Coast for example.) While raccoons don't pose as much a threat to humans as bears (well, the non-rabid ones), they do pose a huge threat to your food. And will go through great lengths to get to your food.

50
Pacific Northwest / Re: Camping in St. Helens Oregon
« on: April 09, 2013, 08:53:10 pm »
There is no designated camping in St. Helens, as far as I know. However, there are a few Columbia County Parks around that will have camping.

The two that would be most on the route (assuming you are using US 30/Lewis and Clark Route) would be Hudson-Parcher in Rainier, about 20 miles before St. Helens (if you are coming from Astoria):
http://www.co.columbia.or.us/departments/county-parks/hudson-parcher

And Scappoose Airport RV Park (they allow tent camping, but yes, it's about as thrilling as it sounds), about 10 miles after St. Helens:
http://www.co.columbia.or.us/departments/county-parks/scappoose-rv

If you deviate from the Lewis and Clark and use the 202/47/Banks-Vernonia Trail option to get to Portland, it opens up some other camping options.

51
Gear Talk / Re: Rack mounted tail lights
« on: April 08, 2013, 10:49:34 am »
Looks like Rivendell has a pretty good rack light, a Busch and Mueller one for about $40.
http://www.rivbike.com/product-p/lt009.htm

Another option to consider, if you have fenders/mudguards, is a fender mounted rear light. Especially since the "real estate" on the back of the rear fender isn't used for much of anything. PDW makes their "Fenderbot", which I have on my Crested Butte:
http://www.ridepdw.com/goods/lights/fenderbot%E2%84%A2


And Riv has the Dutch Spanniga version of the same thing:
http://www.rivbike.com/Spanninga-Fender-Light-p/lt007.htm

The drawbacks to the fender mounted lights is they aren't as powerful as others, 1/2 watt vs. 1 watt. But both of those lights (like the Radbot) come with built in reflectors.

52
Classifieds / Re: SOLD: Domex Traveller 550 90/10 Down Sleeping Bag
« on: April 07, 2013, 11:21:35 am »
The bag has been SOLD. Thanks for playing!  ;D

53
General Discussion / Re: Shipping Supplies to Yourself
« on: April 05, 2013, 10:15:34 am »
If you have a smartphone (iPhone or Android) or iPod Touch/iPad, there is a USPS app that is pretty useful for finding zip codes, post office locations/hours, rates, and the like.

Another option is getting stuff shipped to a place you are staying at, if you know in advance. If you know you're going to be staying at a particular hotel/hostel or even a Warmshowers host, you can contact them and ask if they'd accept a package for you.

54
Classifieds / SOLD: Domex Traveller 550 90/10 Down Sleeping Bag
« on: April 03, 2013, 06:10:22 pm »
For sale is a Domex Traveller 550 90/10 Down Sleeping Bag. Domex  is a New Zealand sleeping bag company.

The shape of the bag is "semi-rectangular", which is somewhere in between a more traditional rectangular bag and a modern mummy bag. The rough dimensions of the bag are 76 inches long and 28 inches at its widest near the top (head). It tapers down to 20 inches near the feet. Pretty standard size for average sized adults. It zips on the left size (or on your right side when you are in it).

The fill is 550g 90/10 duck down, the outer shell is nylon. I don't know the age but by the looks of it looks 90's vintage. I would consider this now a two-season bag for later spring and summer camping/touring.

Cosmetically the bag is in good shape with one caveat: there was a hole in the outer nylon shell that got patched...with a band aid. This was done by a previous owner. When I brought it by my local outdoor repair place a couple years ago when I obtained this bag, they advised me to leave it be. And it has held since then. It's on the bottom of the bag so you are not going to see it.

The sleeping bag's packed weight (packed into its storage sack) is 2 lbs, 9 ozs. The dimensions of the bag when packed are about 13" x 6" x 6", or 13 inches long with 23 inches of girth. The one great thing about this bag is it compresses really well: I used an 11L compression sack and had room to spare. (Compression sack not included.)

The price of the bag is $40 plus shipping. Local pickup in Portland, OR. It would probably fit into a medium sized Priority Mail flat rate box just fine. I'll ship it outside the US, but you probably are not going to want to pay for that shipping. Payment via paypal.





More photos here:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/urbanadventureleaguepdx/sets/72157633146799538/

55
Gear Talk / Re: Shaving Creme
« on: April 02, 2013, 11:22:42 am »
Has anybody tried Dr Bronners...

Yep, I have, and love its multi-purposeness. It was also mentioned above in Post #8.

56
Connecting ACA Routes / Re: Missoula to the Pacific
« on: March 31, 2013, 10:42:26 am »
I think a lot more may have to do with where you want to end. All three routes get you to "the coast". But the L&C and TranAm get you to Astoria, Oregon, which is less than 10 miles from the actual Pacific. The NT ends in Anacortes, Washington, which is on the Puget Sound, not the actual Pacific Ocean. To get to the actual Pacific from there would require a ferry ride and a few more days of riding.

I've ridden the NT to Missoula, but went through Spokane and then used the Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes to get to Missoula, so I can't speak on using MT 200.

57
Gear Talk / Re: Camping Gas/stove
« on: March 27, 2013, 06:13:07 pm »
I fancy my self to be a culinary snob, and I prefer cooking on my venerable Trangia.  The flame front is spot on perfect for cooking and then there is  that marvelous simmer ring if you need it.  I have not done omelettes as there is that whole eggs not packing well thing,  but I am pretty sure I could if I wanted to.  I have not done pancakes either but I will try that on my next trip.

I have cooked both eggs and pancakes on a Trangia, and have done just fine. Even with the mini-Trangia (28) set. Yes, you have to watch them carefully, but you can do it. I don't have any photos of cooking eggs, but I just so happen to have a couple of cooking pancakes. Ironically enough, the caption on my flickr stream for it is: "The perfect pancake. Who says you can't make pancakes with a Trangia?"



58
Gear Talk / Re: Touring bikes...
« on: March 23, 2013, 11:35:22 pm »
Anyways - you have been very helpful - I thought I let you know what bike it is going to be.
Ta da!  http://salsacycles.com/bikes/2012_vaya
The brakes will be upgraded, the gearing might be a triple and the tires won´t be that fat.
Thanks!

Hey Cat! Intrepid tourers Russ and Laura of Path Less Pedaled currently have Salsa Vayas. A very thorough write-up here:
http://pathlesspedaled.com/2012/12/salsa-vaya-1000-mile-review-or-our-thoughts-on-salsa-vaya-vs-surly-lht/

And there are a few Salsa dealers in Portland, too.
http://salsacycles.com/dealers/results/region/OR

59
Gear Talk / Re: Shaving Creme
« on: March 20, 2013, 07:49:01 pm »
You have to shave?

For myself on tour, I don't have to shave, but I prefer to, as I don't want to grow a beard in the summer. I don't shave as often as I would be at home, but will do it when I get tired of stubble and an opportunity presents itself. So I end up bringing a bottle of Pacific Shave Oil. It's very small, lasts a long time, and gets the job done.
http://www.pacificshaving.com/products/All-Natural-Shaving-Oil-%281%7B47%7D2-oz.%29.html

60
General Discussion / Re: Touring Question
« on: March 20, 2013, 05:01:02 pm »
Choose the life style that works for you!

That is something that folks often seem to not get.  They say that they can't go because of their job or whatever, but don't seem to recognize that their situation is the result of their own choices...I have always considered my "spare time activities" to have a pretty high priority in my career choices.  Yes I have had to compromise at times, but I have always valued leisure time activities and at least keep that in mind when making career and financial choices.

These are two very good points!

As for myself: I've been touring since 2005. I have been lucky to have a job that allowed me to take decent chunks of time off to do things like bike tours. It's in the travel/lodging industry, and it doesn't pay much, but I personally prefer time to money. Two years ago, my girlfriend and I did a long (4+ month) tour across the continent. I had to leave my job for that, as it was too much time off, and during the height of the busy season. Returning to town, I didn't have a steady job until last fall, when I got my old job back. I haven't had the itch to do a real long tour again (yet), so I'm planning on taking a couple one-two week tours that aren't during the height of the busy season. I'm sure that I'll want to do another summer-long tour at some point, and when that happens, I'll be prepared to do what it takes.

If your life doesn't allow you to do a grand, months-long bike tour, you can always do shorter ones. True, it's not the same as a grand tour, but I believe in working with what you got, until the urge to do the big thing overpowers everything else.

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