Well, we've done it now. We are temporarily stuck in Portland. We had hoped to have some gears changed by the shop in Astoria but when that was not going to happen, we did contact a few places in Portland and scheduled the work to be done yesterday. However, that depended on how early we could get the bikes to the shop so they could have them ready for us the same day. Let's just say we didn't make it in time! We'll blame the heat and the huge climb coming into Portland from the west. Both were energy killers!
Luckily for us, we had hooked up with Sherri through a bike touring site prior to all of these issues. The site is called Warm Showerrs. Now, I know what you're thinking, "didn't the founder have anyone to bounce ideas off of when selecting a name? This site matches people who want to host and cyclist looking for a place to crash. Sherri has been amazing! She picked us and all of our gear at the shop and brought us home like stray dogs, where we got to meet her awesome pooch, Mister! We've had great conversations, shared food, and slept soundly, and in fact Anna and Isa, are still asleep! So, here we wait, hoping for news on the expanded gears so can collect our bikes and continue eastward. Shop opens soon!
This will make it all but impossible for us to get to our planned destination for today. This was already going to be a tough ride, concluding with our first camping night. We had 59 miles and about 4k feet of elevation gain. Still, as soon as our bikes are ready, we'll saddle them up and see how far we can get. We'll hope to make up the miles slowly over the next few days.
As much of a pain as this delay may seem, unexpected events like these are what make bike touring great. You never know when you're going have a wonderful suprise due to a little bit of discomfort. In our case, I already knew Sherri was awesome. She went out of her way in providing us multiple routes for the safest passage into Portland, even testing the routes on her spare time. She's chuck full of ideas and advice for what's down (really up) the road. We can only hope to encounter more "Sherris" along the way