It turns out sleeping with one eye open was a waste of time - nothing happened at the church last night. We got up, packed up, and ate some cold chili from the can with peanut butter on a hot dog bun for breakfast. Then we headed to a gas station for some coffee! We sat outside, shared a vanilla latte, and took our 4 Ibuprofen each. They've been working really well. Our muscles aren't that sore and our butts are doing good too - I thought we'd be so sore by now that we wouldn't even be able to move. Yay for magical Ibuprofen!
Our goal today was to ride almost 60 miles to Portland, OR. We weren't sure if we could make it, but we wanted to try. Things were going great, and after riding about 30 miles, we stopped in a little town to look for a propane tank, get some food, and get someone to look at my gears (again), because they were still skipping.
I haven't mentioned the propane yet because I keep forgetting about it, but it's turning into as big of a headache as my gears. We are borrowing this awesome little burner from the Amidon's that screws onto the top of a propane tank, and then you can set a pot or pan on top of it to cook. It's really handy, but the trouble is that it doesn't fit on a standard propane tank. It takes a special one, and apparently no one but REI carries them. We didn't think we could take propane on the airplane, so we planned to buy it in Oregon. We've looked all over, but had no luck. It's not too big of a deal, but with the temperature in the 60's, we are starting to get anxious to eat warm food.
So, back to my gear saga: We stopped at a bike shop and a man and his son gave my bike a really thorough cleaning and tune up. They also gave us some good advice about biking and keeping our gears clean. Then they admired our panniers, and said the most bizarre thing. They said, "Those are really great panniers! If you guys make those, we'll like to sell them for you!" Woah! That came out of the blue!
We paid and happily left, headed on towards lunch. Before we got to lunch, about a mile down the road, my gears started skipping again! Unbelievable.
We stopped at a local restaurant called Burgerville because they had free wi-fi. I told Nathan my gears were skipping, and we needed to go back to the bike shop. He didn't want to go back because it was down a hill (which meant we'd have to come back UP the hill later), so he rode my bike around the parking lot and adjusted my gears on his own. Thanks hubby!
As for lunch, we only intended to stop for a little bit, eat, and use our laptop to find a place to sleep in Portland, then move on. A few hours later, we still couldn't find a place to sleep. None of the bike stores had a recommendation, all of the hostels were full, all the churches either didn't answer or wouldn't let us stay camp on their property, there were no campgrounds, and couchsurfing.com is actually very hard to use on the fly. Boo.
So, getting in the habit of being flexible, we decided to look at some closer options. We found a campsite for $7/night a little West of Portland, and made a reservation. The lady at the campground wouldn't stop calling me 'honey' and telling me how excited and proud of us she was! It was great! She even told me the campsite had showers!! We haven't showered since we started our trip (eww!), so after we got there, we took our first shower of the trip! I was so excited for a warm shower that I made a video to document the occasion:
We didn't find any propane in town (again), so we still didn't have any way to heat our food. I knocked on the door of a friendly RV, and they let us use their microwave and also sent me back with two of their green peppers. We had warm beans and 2 green peppers for dinner. (The tent is gonna smell really good tonight...)
Before we went to bed, we talked about a trend we've started noticing on the trip. It's only our third day biking, but we've already had several people tell us we needed to make and sell panniers. Including people at EVERY bike store we'd stopped at. We're starting to wonder how much we could sell them for?? Any suggestions :-) $50? $75? Good panniers can easily go for $100+.