We spent our last night in Eugene with Jillian and Kyle, some college friends of Kerstin’s brother. Little did we know that they had completed their own cross-country bike trip for their honeymoon a few years ago. We’re impressed that they completed their tour on a tandem bike, on which only one person could steer and brake! It was so much fun to swap stories and to see that life after college goes on.
Soon after leaving Eugene, we saw the Pacific Ocean for the first time in the town of Neskowin, OR. We must have been quite a sight for the other beach-goers as we ran to the ocean. Words cannot explain the excitement we felt when we put our feet in the cold waters for the first time.
On the trail, we often lose track of the days of the week, and it just so happened that we hit the beach towns on the weekend. All of the campgrounds were filled, but we found luck with Rick and Rosa, who offered us their lawn area to camp. Thank you for your hospitality!
Outside of the town of Manzanita, we visited R-evolution Gardens. This organic farm was established by Ginger and Brian. You would never know that the property, filled with rows of vegetables, sustainably designed buildings, and berry bushes, had been a forest merely four years ago. The energy of the farm was palpable and we greatly enjoyed spending the night and the next morning there. Ginger provides a wonderful example of what small farms can accomplish, given the resources available. A constant flow of WWOOFers of all levels of experience also helps make sure the farm runs smoothly. We joined two WWOOFers in weeding, transplanting lettuce, and watering. R-evolution provides produce for a 50-member CSA during the growing seasons. In addition, Ginger was the catalyst for two nearby farmers’ markets.
The day before the finish, after leaving R-evolution Gardens, we made a stop in Manzanita. While at a coffee shop, we spoke with with a local couple, who kindly invited us to share dinner with them. We had a great time with Deedee and Ed at their family beach house, which had been a family construction project in the 1970s. Thank you for a wonderful meal and good conversation!
On August 16, 2011 the Localmotive Bike Tour rolled into Astoria, OR. This marks the endpoint of the TransAmerica Trail!
We were greeted by Kerstin’s parents at the Columbia River Maritime Museum. It’s hard to believe that we won’t be biking tomorrow, or the next day, or the next…
Soon the trio will split up as Kerstin goes to California to start a new job at Woolman-Sierra Friends School, Katie makes her way to Punta Arenas, Chile, and Lauren goes back to Dickinson College for her junior year. We’re already thinking about our reunion trip, biking somewhere else!
- We will be donating some money back Bicycle Touring Pro, the fund that supports new bicycle tourers, and also helped us to finance our own journey.
- We will also be donating some funds to one of the organizations that we worked with along our tour. Our goal is that the money will be used so that young people can become involved with local farming. More information to come.
- To help future tourers, we will be writing some reviews of the gear we used, such as our bikes, panniers, tent…
Stay posted for some more pictures and final reflections from each of us.
Thank you again to everyone who helped to make this trip possible. We could not have done it without you.
Kerstin, Katie, and Lauren.