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Messages - adventurepdx

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Thanks to all. I'm considering the cheap suitcase or duffle, maybe even the cardboard box. One additional problem is having to acquire the same thing at the end of my ride (Minot, N.D.) as I am not cycling round-trip.

Did you know that Minot is served by Amtrak? The Empire Builder passes through there, on the way to Seattle or Portland in the west and Minneapolis and Chicago in the east.

If you're not into taking the train, there is Amtrak Package Express, and you can ship a bike that way, so long as where you are going to be is near an Amtrak station that has baggage service. One of the big advantages to shipping a bike via Amtrak is the boxes are huge, requiring only a) turning the handlebars and b) removing the pedals.

General Discussion / Re: Oregon Hiker/Biker Rates go up Nov 1, 2017
« on: October 27, 2017, 06:48:08 pm »
Its still a good deal when washington State is $12 the last time i stayed at one .

Depends on how you look at it, since the two states charge differently. Oregon charges its hiker/biker rate per person, Washington per site. So if you are a solo traveler, the $7 rate in Oregon is better. But if there's two (or more) of you? It works out better in Washington.

General Discussion / Re: Bike touring travel insurance
« on: October 24, 2017, 01:19:38 pm »
I don't work for ACA, so I couldn't answer exactly why they don't offer travel insurance. But my educated guess is that it's hard to find a reasonably-priced plan to bundle into a membership.

There used to be travel insurance bundled into Hostelling International memberships, but that stopped a few years ago because HI could no longer find reasonably priced travel insurance. They could have risen the membership rate to cover it, but then lose members at the same time. So it's a tough call.

General Discussion / Re: Oregon Hiker/Biker Rates go up Nov 1, 2017
« on: October 22, 2017, 12:13:02 pm »
That is a 40% increase.

It is.  :-[

The issue is that they are raising certain fees $2 across the board. So raising the price from $79 to $81 for deluxe yurts and cabins is pretty inconsequential, but $5 to $7 on the hiker/biker is. Wish they did it a bit more proportionately. Though I doubt that they would do less than a $1 raise on a hiker/biker.

Still, $7 for a hiker/biker site is still a good deal, and the price hike isn't going to dissuade me from camping at an Oregon State Park.

General Discussion / Oregon Hiker/Biker Rates go up Nov 1, 2017
« on: October 21, 2017, 12:19:53 pm »
Well, it was bound to happen. Oregon's cheap hiker/biker rates are going up. Come November 1st, it won't be as cheap as it used to be to bike camp at an Oregon State Park, but it still won't be expensive. The basic rate of $5 per person will go up to $7. There are a few coastal campgrounds with $6 rates like Cape Lookout, I don't know if they'll go up to just $7 or do the $2 hike to $8.

Here's a sheet with all the rate increases:

General Discussion / Re: Amtrak - Vancouver (Canada) to Seattle
« on: October 10, 2017, 11:58:15 pm »
Could the train carry two more boxed bikes as luggage?

It should be able to. I did take a boxed bike on the Cascades from Vancouver BC to Seattle several years ago. But that was several years ago, so one should double check. The big issue is that everything getting on that train at Pacific Central Station has to go through US Customs preclearance, so that would mean you'd have to drag the box through. They may let you box it on the other side, though.

@JMilyko sorry for not being super specific with map sections/panels, hope you can elaborate.

A massive and (probably) human caused wildfire has been raging in the Columbia River Gorge since Saturday afternoon. So far, it's burned 10,000 acres and is not only threatening several communities and homes, but many of the places that make this part of the world special.

Currently ODOT (Oregon Dept. of Transportation) has I-84 CLOSED between MP 17 in Troutdale to MP 62 in Hood River. Additionally, the Historic Columbia River Highway and Trail is closed east of Corbett.

Right now SR 14 on the Washington side is still open through the Gorge, but there is a wildfire close to Archer Mtn west of Bridge of the Gods that could close it.

My advice: Avoid this area entirely. The smoke is heavy and ash is falling in Portland, 30 some miles west. All recreational services are closed, and while communities like Cascade Locks, OR and Stevenson, WA are not evacuated yet, they could be.

General Discussion / Re: Vancouver to San Francisco in October 2017
« on: August 26, 2017, 02:41:44 pm »
While I agree that October is the beginning of the rainy season on the NW Coast, the October rains are not as bad (usually) as what comes later in November/December. And there can and will be nice days in there, but the rule of thumb is be prepared for rain. So I think it's still doable, but if the OP can start a bit further south, it may be better.

If it were me, I'd definitely stick to some variation of the "inside" route between Vancouver and Astoria, Oregon. The western part of the Olympic Peninsula is one of the wettest parts of the lower 48, and will definitely be seeing good rain there. Staying east of the Olympics will avoid some of that.

Routes / Re: TA vs Northern tier
« on: August 25, 2017, 01:08:40 pm »
I also like the Canadian Rockies, Icefields Parkway, Jasper etc. although last time I was up there it seemed kind of expensive, not sure if that is still the case. 

It's been a bit (2011) but I do remember the parks/facilities in the Canadian Rockies being significantly more expensive than the US. For example:
  • It cost maybe $15 per bicyclist to enter Glacier NP in Montana. That pass was good for a full week. In Canada, that price is PER DAY. I eventually bought an annual pass for $75 because it made more sense for the amount of time we were in the park.
  • Campgrounds in the parks were $20-25 and there were no special provisions or rates for cyclists. Glacier had hiker/biker spots for $5 IIRC.
  • Food was expensive, mostly because there's just a few tourist-focused stores and restaurants along the Icefields Pkwy, and that stuff has to be trucked in a considerable distance.

However, despite all that, I still LOVED cycling through the Canadian Rockies and want to do it again! There's so many beautiful landscapes there.

There's a lot of good biking options that you can do around Bellingham. I think the hard part is going to make it a "loop" within four days. Going east, you'll have to dip south to 20/North Cascades Hwy to get over the Cascades, and that's a long ride as it is. It'd be pretty tough to loop back to Bellingham in four days unless you are a rider who really likes long days.

Otherwise, you can head west through the islands (San Juan, Gulf, Vancouver) or north and do some riding in the Fraser Valley. There's lots of great riding and camping opportunities in the islands. As for the cost of the ferry, taking a bike is scads cheaper than a car, and return trips from the San Juans (and interisland trips) for bikes are free!

You could also head south and do a loop (with a bit of out and back nearest Bellingham) and head over to Fidalgo and Whidbey Island and ferry back to the mainland and ride back.

Pacific Northwest / Re: Bike transportation in Seattle Area
« on: August 16, 2017, 12:15:48 pm »
If you aren't going to Astoria there is a bus the runs between Portland's Amtrak station and Tillamook twice per day.  (It' holds about 20 people.) It has a bicycle rack on the front and a compartment for baggage in the rear.  Although I've never had a problem it is recommended you make a "reservation".  I can't remember the cost but it wasn't very expensive, maybe $10.  Nice ride through the countryside.  It drops you off at the bus station close to downtown.

The bus is currently $15 for a one-way ticket, or $20 for a round trip. The nice thing is the "return" ticket doesn't expire. I've used the "return" ticket years later for a one-way return from the coast! And sometimes the rack on front fills up, but the driver does let bikes inside (if there's room) and there is a back hold that could fit maybe two bikes.

The other bus mentioned is the NW Point bus that goes between Portland, Astoria, Seaside, and Cannon Beach. It's about $20 one way plus $5 for a bike. These bikes go in the baggage hold underneath.

Pacific Northwest / Re: Bike transportation in Seattle Area
« on: August 15, 2017, 12:41:04 pm »
From what I remember, both the King County and Sound Transit buses have racks that fit three bikes. You'll need to remove most of your stuff from the bike, though.

If you want to go to San Francisco and avoid "San Francisco" prices, you can stay at one of the hostels. There are several, including three HI ones.

If you want to go to San Francisco and stay at a hostel, but want to avoid the hassle of getting through the central city with a loaded bike, you can stay at the HI-Fort Mason (Fisherman's Wharf) Hostel. It's about three miles (via bike) from the GG Visitor Center, and uses a lot of bike paths. Then you can leave your stuff at the hostel and either ride around town, or take a break and use transit.

For anyone travelling the L&C through the Columbia Gorge in Oregon: There is a wildfire burning near Oneonta Gorge:
ODOT (Oregon Dept of Transportation) has closed the Historic Columbia River Hwy (old US 30, part of the L & C) between Multnomah Falls and Ainsworth State Park.

You can detour around this area by using the shoulder of I-84. Please note that if you are heading west, you'll be stuck on the freeway from exit 35 to about exit 18 as there are a lack of exits. (You can get off at exit 22, but it's quite the climb up Corbett Hill Road). Going east, you can go to Corbett, bomb down Corbett Hill Road to exit 22. You'll get off at exit 35. Note that you'll miss Multnomah Falls no matter what direction you go.

Looks like Ainsworth State Park, just east of the fire, is still open for camping. However, since the park is downwind of the fire I wouldn't recommend camping there.

General Discussion / Re: 6 week trip from Seattle to Sant Francisco
« on: July 11, 2017, 02:17:50 pm »
1) Washington+Oregon: Olympic, the coast down to Astoria: some advice for somenthing more? NOrth Cascades/Mount Rainier/Mount St Helens/more Pacific Coast?
  • Olympic is worth it if you make the side trips, so I would plan on it if you went that way. Otherwise, the ride along 101 is pleasant but not that spectacular.
  • North Cascades is very much a "backcountry" park. There's not much to do right off the highway (though the ride itself it beautiful.) But if you went that way, would you ride up to Rainy/Washington, then turn around? Or go further and loop back around?
  • Rainier is great, and riding to Paradise is beautiful. But traffic on the routes to and from Seattle gets busy, especially on weekends. And the campgrounds get packed.
  • St Helens would be more of an out and back trip, unless you planned on looping around the east side. If you did Rainier, that would be a feasible option.
However, the more stuff you add on in Washington, the further you get from the coast.

2) Crater Lake (I can take the Coast STarlight to Chemult)...

There is a stop at Chemult, but I'm not sure that you can get the bike on/off there. You can at Klamath Falls.

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