Logistics is an important consideration with every bike trip we’ve taken. When we rode the San Juan Huts we parked our truck in Moab, UT and then we were shuttled to Telluride. Last year on the Great Divide we drove to Kallispell, MT and then shuttled to Banff. At the end of the ride we rented a van to pick up our truck in Kallispell. To start the Pacific Coast Bike Route we decided to leave from our cabin in Soda Springs, CA rent a van from the Reno Airport and drive to Bellingham. It was a great idea when we thought of it way back in January and we never expected it would snow in mid April. BTW, Soda Springs can receive up to 500″ of snow a year and the 2016 – 2017 snow fall is one for the record books for most amount of snow. I should have rethought our plans when the snow did not let up in March.
The extra logistical headache would have been easily solved if the van we rented had all wheel drive or if we could have rented an SUV with 4WD. However, Alamo Rental keeps all 4WD vehicles at the Reno airport and since we wanted a one way vehicle, we only had a two wheel drive option. Erika came up with a great idea that fixed our problem. The day before we left for our trip, we rented a full sized SUV with 4WD and drove it to the cabin. We packed all of our gear in the Nissan Armada and drove back to the airport the next morning and switched to the van. Overnight it had snowed and there was ice and snow on the ground when we left at 4:30 am. We drove 30 mph on the freeway to Truckee before we could drive at the normal speed limit. The next trip I will grade my grade my own advice on logistics.
Once we were on the road it was smooth sailing to the first stop, Portlandia aka Portland. We bought a used Ortleib Ultimate 6 Plus handlebar bag from Craigslist and liked it so much we bought another from our favorite online bike shop, Biketiresforless.com. The only problem is the handlebar bag was a Ortleib Classic not the 6 Plus which meant there was no place to mount a map case. With a week before our trip and snow in the forecast we did not want to risk missing the package delivery due to weather. Instead we decided to drop by the store in Portland, return the classic and pick up the 6 Plus.
Since we were in Portland, the birth of the modern food truck, we asked for a recommendation for food trucks and the guys in the shop gave us a short list. We choose the Rose City Food truck park. Erika had Vietnamese Ban Mi and I had Greek Gyro ala Mayumi, over rice instead of in a pita. I can’t take credit for it. It was already on the menu. Delicious!!
We drove to a the Bow Hill rest stop 11.5 miles south of Bellingham and slept in the van. Washington state is civilized and allows travelers to sleep I. The rest area overnight. UT, CA, and ID are not user friendly and do not allow travelers to sleep overnight in rest areas, though O can’t say that has stopped us. There were many wary travelers staying there for the night. We were very tired and fell asleep quickly.