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Messages - adventurepdx

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One other thought on the whole blog/picture thing, how will you back things up...I suppose you could back up to the cloud, but given the size of many digital originals, you'd be abusing free internet pretty hard to back up a couple day's worth, or perhaps pushing a reasonable monthly data limit...

I understand your concern, but I don't think backing up to the cloud will be a big issue, data storage wise. Any phone photo I've made gets automatically backed up via dropbox. I've been doing this for a few years, and only recently have I reached the free limit. Granted, phone photos are rarely more than 4 megapixels, and I don't take as many photos daily as I would on tour (where I use my real camera), but that's a bit. And I could always purchase more storage space.

But a better approach would be using flickr. They now give out one free terrabyte of storage to everyone. That's a lot! I've been using flickr, have lots of photos, maybe 10,000, and many of them hi-res. Right now I've used up a miniscule 3.42% of my free storage. That's it! Of course, flickr is meant for sharing, but you can always upload everything and keep it private until you sort out what you want to keep. (Or just upload the stuff you know you want to keep.)

Thanks for the suggestions. As mentioned above though my blog will be on a cancer foundation website and not on a blogger website like Blogger or WordPress. There will be no application available for the website that will be hosting my blog.

Do you have access to the blog now? It would be good to "test" blogging before you get on the road, so that way you can see how certain devices work or don't work in relation to the website.

I suppose if I bought an iPad I could leave it behind and use the tablet to text/make calls. They're not cheap though.

Y'know, getting an Android tablet would be a lot cheaper than iPad, but not as "cool". My Nexus 7 came in at about $150, which was a good deal!

FWIW, I prefer a netbook for a couple of reasons. First, I use a "real" camera, and it works quite nicely with a netbook.  It might work with a tablet, I don't know.

As I mentioned above, you can use a "real" camera with a tablet. In fact, I've been using my tablet for most of my photo editing these days, as it's a bit faster and less clunky than using my "desktop" Photoshop.

You'll need a separate SD card reader, though. I think mine was six bucks. I have an android tablet, so I had to buy the "Nexus Media Importer" app, which was around four bucks. From there I use the free Photoshop Express app, but there are plenty of other free photo editing apps.

But for your other reasons, a netbook will be a lot better. The separate bluetooth keyboard for my tablet is serviceable at best.

My two cents:

When I did a big long tour in 2011, my girlfriend and I brought a small Netbook (Acer Aspire One, the same netbook I am typing from right now!) This is probably the "best" solution for blogging on the road, especially for long tours. However, while a Netbook is definitely lighter than a full-blown laptop, it still takes up space and weighs a bit.

I've been using a mix of smartphones and tablets since then. Smartphones are great if you are going to make short posts on the way and maybe write something longer when you get home or get to a "real computer", but it won't be easy to write long posts, and trying to edit anything is difficult.

The compromise is a tablet. I got a Nexus 7 earlier this year, and I like it a lot better for blogging purposes, mostly due to the bigger screen and more memory than a phone. However, it's not going to be as good as a netbook or laptop. But you make it work better with an add-on bluetooth keyboard. And one of the advantages of using a tablet vs just a smartphone is photo editing. I bought an SD card reader for the Nexus, so I can use my "real" camera, edit photos via an app (I use Photoshop Express, it's free and pretty good), and upload them on the way, whether via blog, flickr, or other social media.

The key to making it easy to blog via smartphone or tablet is to get the appropriate app. As mentioned above, both Blogger (Google) and WordPress have apps. In my opinion the WordPress app is far superior to the Blogger app, at least from the last time I used the Blogger app a few years back. Of course this may have changed since then, but I always got the feeling that Google hopes Blogger would go away so they don't do much to support it. In fact, when I started to blog via "device" five years ago, Google didn't have a Blogger app, so you had to use a third-party app instead.

As jamawani says, expect cool/wet. But it's an El Nino year, which means drier/milder winters for the NW, so you just may luck out! I'd still steer clear of the higher elevations because of cold/snow. Eastern Oregon/Eastern Washington/BC Interior could be a workable option if you avoid the more mountainous areas, but services can be few and far between, and wind can be a factor.

If I had a week or so off in March to tour the NW, I'd aim for the areas around the Inland Sea (Puget Sound/Strait of Juan de Fuca/Georgia Strait.) You get all the sea you want, but it will be drier than being on the actual coast itself. There's lots of campgrounds, some with hiker/biker sites, and they should all be open in March. Lots of indoor lodging options as well. Plus there are many islands to explore and ferry trips to be had.

General Discussion / Re: Mid-January US short tour ideas
« on: September 30, 2015, 01:18:09 pm »
I haven't done it, but I've thought about doing a San Juan Islands/Gulf Islands/other islands tour for winter. While of course there's a chance of rain, the islands are in the rain shadow of the Olympic Mtns so it should be drier than not only the Oregon Coast, but a lot of other places in the west-of-Cascades NW. Plus, there's quite a bit of indoor lodging options on the islands, and they shouldn't be busy, so you can do it without camping. You could even "base camp" at a lodging facility on one of the islands in the San Juans then ride the other islands each day.

Routes / Re: CT to Quebec City - recommended route?
« on: September 04, 2015, 08:15:29 pm »
My suggestion would be to ride up to White River Junction and ride VT14-VT12 to Montpelier, old US2 to Burlington (with a bonus stop at the Ben & Jerry's factory). There's a campground right off the bike path in Burlington. Take the causeway bike trail and island hop through the middle of Lake Champlain towards Rouses Point, NY. The Route verte 2 is just across the border. I much prefer going along the north shore of the St Lawrence on Route verte 5 between Montreal and Quebec over the southern routes.

I did that route several years ago (at least White River Jct to Montreal) and would recommend it! The only change I would add is use 14A between Randolph to Northfield. It parallels the rail line (and Amtrak route) so the grades are pretty good there. Going this way across Vermont, you don't hit the mountains!

Routes / Re: Anyone ride on 101 along Lake Crescent in Washington
« on: September 03, 2015, 11:28:05 pm »
It's been five years since I rode around Lake Crescent, and I would definitely NOT do that again. It's beautiful, but the narrowness, curves, and (most importantly) traffic make it not fun. Well, maybe I'd do it if it was extremely early in the morning or something like that, but the next time I'm going up that way I'm trying 112/113.

And to add to the general unpleasantness of it all, here are the warning signs at the beginning:

Routes / Re: getting from airport in Portland to Astoria
« on: August 19, 2015, 03:15:03 pm »
As for getting to the Oregon Coast from Portland, here's a pertinent link to an old forum post that contains other pertinent links to other older forum posts:

If you are biking to Astoria, I do recommend taking the 202/47/Banks-Vernonia trail from Portland to the coast. It is very rural and very quiet in terms of traffic and people. It drops you off in Astoria, the northernmost point on US 101 on the Oregon Coast.
Links to maps:

There aren't many services, but there's just enough. Grocery stores can be found at Banks (fairly sizeable) and Vernonia (less so.) Only a couple of country markets with short hours in between after that.

The route from Astoria to Hillsboro (Portland westside suburb) is 100 miles. You can break it into two days by camping at Big Eddy County Park which is about 60 miles in. Few, if any, lodging options are found on this route so if you are doing a credit card tour you should be prepared to do the 100 miles in a straight shot. Possible, but there are two small passes to contend with on the route.

If you want to take a bus, The NW Point bus goes to Seaside/Astora, and runs twice daily.

General Discussion / Re: Northern Tier or better idea?
« on: August 09, 2015, 03:30:13 pm »
Looks like the train and bus station are close so it might work if there are no hiccups.  If not, I spend the night in Portland, which is a great option, take the train to Hillsboro the next day and ride from there.   Thanks again.

If you look at that schedule again, you'll note that the bus stops at Union Station (Amtrak) at 3:35pm. As long as the train is on time, it would work, barring that the bike racks are full. If there are no mobility device users, a driver can allow bikes on board (at their discretion.)

General Discussion / Re: Northern Tier or better idea?
« on: August 09, 2015, 02:10:31 pm »
Do you know anything about the bike rack on the bus?  I have a front fender and an OMM front Sherpa rack.  Most of the bus racks that I see clamp to the front tire where the fender is so would require me to remove my fender and rack which means I would have to bring an extra front skewer since the OMM skewer is longer and doesn't work without the rack.

It has a hook for the front wheel. I've used countless of front-of-bus bike racks with my bikes, which all have fenders and most have front racks, and I haven't had many issues. Yeah, it's better if the fender and rack was not there so the hook can go as far back as possible, but I've only found it to be an issue if the spring on the hook is getting worn, or if the bus driver is driving like a bat out of hell (and when that's the case, there are more issues than just my bike!) And some of the longer-distance buses will allow for the use of a bungee (or have a bungee to use) to keep the bike more stable.

General Discussion / Re: Northern Tier or better idea?
« on: August 09, 2015, 01:20:10 pm »
I am now considering the Wilson River route instead of the Nestucca River route to the coast mostly because the three capes area sounds pretty nice.  Would you say it's worth it?

Route 6/Wilson River Hwy is fairly busy. Not as busy as US 26 or US 30, but busy enough. The Coast Range summit is lower and more gentle, and the shoulder is generally decent, but if I had the choice between that route and the Nestucca route, I'd go with Nestucca.

Also to note, the last time I checked, the Three Capes Scenic Route is closed between Bayocean Road and Cape Meares, so you won't be able to do it. If you want to go to Cape Meares, you'd have to do it as an out and back. So there's not as much advantage to using the Wilson River Hwy, unless you want to go through Tillamook, which has its famous cheese factory (and a couple large grocery stores.) Cape Lookout is a cool place to spend the night, but it's not impossible to get there via the Nestucca route (either going over the Cape or going up through Tillamook.)

If pressed for time, you can take the Tillamook Wave bus from downtown Portland to Tillamook.

General Discussion / Re: Northern Tier or better idea?
« on: July 26, 2015, 01:17:00 pm »
To the OP, another thing to note if you use the Nestucca River Route:
While counter-intuitive, when you finally get to US 101, you want to turn right, i.e. go north for about 3 miles then turn left on Sandlake Road. The section of US 101 from Tillamook to Pacific City is narrow, shoulderless, and busy. Going the alternate gets you onto quieter, scenic roads.

General Discussion / Re: Northern Tier or better idea?
« on: July 26, 2015, 12:57:28 pm »
Are you saying it takes an hour on light rail to Hillsboro?


How easy is it to put a loaded touring bike on the train?

Not hard at all. There are four hooks per low-level car to hang bikes. When I've brought a loaded bike, I've taken off the panniers to get it on the hook. There are also a few open spots that a bike can "lean" against, but these spots are priority for wheelchair/mobility device users.

General Discussion / Re: Northern Tier or better idea?
« on: July 26, 2015, 12:24:38 am »
Thanks for the info and the links.  I saw the same route to the coast but thinking of taking this one from Hillsboro to Beaver.   I could be talked into heading to Astoria but again I would like to go as far south as I can in the limited time that I have...No idea what Hillsboro is like and hoping there are reasonable motels or B and Bs in the area.

That route is a good route, but do note a few things about it: There is about 2 miles of gravel, which I find fine, but for some people any unpaved is a deal-breaker. And while it is the quietest route to the coast it has the highest climb (2,000 feet) and is the steepest, with a good five miles at 8-10% grade.

Hillsboro is pretty suburban. There are some motels around, don't know about B and Bs. But why not stay in Portland and then take the light rail out to Hillsboro? It's just about an hour ride from downtown Portland.

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