The Ins and Outs of an Ordinary Life

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Vacation Part 2

After gorging ourselves on pad thai and books, we were picked up by Phil, our Lifecycle Adventures guide/chauffeur/Sherpa. A few thoughts about Lifecycle Adventures. DH and I had a window of opportunity to take this vacation. I found this travel company by googling "Oregon cycling vacation" and they had a guided tour that fit our time frame. I found some favorable reviews about them online, but this was a bit of a leap of faith. When we booked it, we were told that 1 other couple had signed up, and they required a minimum of 6 people to have someone riding with you. With just the 4 of us, we would have only van support. Our biggest concern (fear?) was having to spend 6 days with 2 people that we really disliked or 25 year old hammerheads that ride 100 miles before breakfast. So we waited and hoped some more people would book this tour, but in the end it was just the 4 of us. As soon as we got in the van and met Kim and Deb, we knew we didn't have to worry. Roughly the same age, fairly close in cycling abilities, looking for the same kind of experience, friendly, warm...... We lucked out and had a great time sharing our vacation with them. As for not having someone riding with us, that was not a problem either. The van was always close by. We always had access to food, water, tools, guidance, first aid, anything that we needed. We actually did have someone riding with us for 2 of the 6 days, but that was a bonus. That gave us a little more flexibility and another friendly person to chat with, but van support was perfectly fine.

Now, about the cycling......
we got in the van and headed to Carlton where we geared up and began our explorations of the Willamette Valley, the land of pinot noir, where all the hills are covered with vineyards, and blackberry bushes in full bloom, and farms with giant blocks of hay that look like they fell out of the sky in a giant game of tetris. The sun was shining and we rode up and down hills, over country roads, to various tasting rooms and eventually making our way to a beautiful B&B in McMinville. Then of course there was dinner at a fabulous french restaurant with more wine and good company. The next day was more of the same, with more miles down more beautiful country roads with more tasting rooms and a tapas restaurant when we returned to McMinville for dinner. We spent 2 days around Mt. Hood, but it was cool, cloudy and misty. We finally made our way to Hood River, on the Columbia River Gorge. But first enjoy the Willamette Valley.

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