|Mountains bring out the crazy|
|This is how all tours start: bike assembly|
|Starting out from Seattle|
|This stuff is good! She's not bad either|
Soon we arrived in the town of Ashford where we picked up a few more supplies from the gas station store and then made our way to grab the last camping spot at a remote and beautiful campground in the outskirts of the national forest. After a hearty meal cooked on our jetboil, some lively music on the i-device, and some much appreciated adult beverages, we bundled up in our cozy super-compact tent for a restful night’s sleep.
|This view will make anyone's morning|
|Rainier in its full glory|
After setting up camp we ran into this awesome Swiss couple who were on a bike tour from Alaska to Argentina -- living life at the speed of a cyclist allows such unexpected yet memorable encounters! These guys had quite the setup, but I suppose its ok to bring some luxuries along when you’re on such a long trip – in their case a coffee grinder and espresso kettle (heck yeah!), a laptop to keep updating their blog (too bad its all in German), and a luxurious tent with multiple temperature rated sleeping bags each. We ended up walking to town with them to grab burgers from a local joint, exchanging ride stories and route plans. They were particularly thrilled to have someone else to talk to other than each other!
|Setting up camp|
|Navigating and find water!|
Our long day finally ended in the town of Lyle at the banks of the Hood River. It was such a welcome sight after a long and tiring day in the saddle. The Lyle hotel is quite a find in this sleepy strip town but while they had rooms available, their restaurant was closed that evening. I suppose all restaurants on the strip collude to ensure no one gets food every now and then as the rest of them were closed as well!
|Hot hot hot!|
|Shady lunch spot|
|Objects are steeper than they appear!|
Eventually we dropped down into a second valley and turned into a strong headwind. It was the middle of the afternoon and we’d just passed a gushing creek, so decided to setup camp in a small clearing nearby. Turns out our wild camping spot wasn’t that far from a make-shift campsite of sorts, which I discovered the next morning, but we were pretty happy with our site. This is the beauty of being self-sufficient. You can travel worry free knowing you have food, water, and shelter and can bed down pretty much anywhere you want. Taking advantage of our isolation, we both stripped naked in the creek to wash ourselves and our clothes and then cooked a nice ramen, cheese, peperami, and mashed potato dinner before settling into our sleeping bags for the night.
|Setting up camp|
|Not a shabby spot|
|What a view!|
|On top of Lolo Pass|
|Descent off Lolo pass|
|Soaking in the sun|
|Still a looonnggg way to go|
|Exploring Portland on city bikes as ours were in boxes|