Day 19 (27.08):
From Vancouver to Tsawwssen Bay and about 2.5 h by ferry to Swartz Bay on Vancouver Island. From there via the Lochsidetrail to Victoria.
22°C, 52 km, 250 M ↑ 220 M↓, 4h 02min.
Since I hadn’t looked around for a place to stay until I arrived in Victoria, I sat down in a café in the city center to use the wifi. While I was drinking my chai latte, Fabian, a German expat who has been living in Victoria since he graduated, came by. I asked him about possible accommodation and he said he would get back to me by phone but had a business meeting right away. An hour later a message came from him and he wrote that I should come to the harbor at 8 pm, because there would be an open-air concert. Without knowing if there would be any change in my overnight situation, I drove to the harbor where Fabian, his wife Chin and a couple of friends: Debbie and John were waiting for me. Fabian arranged for me to spend the night with his friends and unceremoniously invited me to the concert. (Alex Cuba, a Canadian-Cuban jazz singer who won this year’s Grammy, was playing).
The concert and the whole atmosphere were just magical. Many thanks Fabian!
Day 20 (28.08):
23°C, 24 km, 120 M ↑ 140 M↓, 1h 25min.
The next day, after very nice conversations at the breakfast table with Debbie and John, who invited me to a future canoe trip along Vancouver Island, I left for the ferry to Port Angeles (Washington) in the USA.
Before the border crossing and the controls I had a little jitters, because all kinds of difficulties and possible problems were predicted by the American side. The border crossing went except for the waiting time and the controls unexpectedly smoothly.
On the two-hour crossing to the Olympic Peninsula I got into conversation with Ed, who was so fascinated by my story that he supported me with donations and wanted to approach his company to sponsor me. What became of it I do not know however. Nevertheless it was very nice to see how much I can motivate and inspire other people with my story.
I spent the night with Lonnie Boyd, a Warmshowers veteran who has already made his garden available to thousands of travelers. On a world map in his kitchen were pins from the places of origin of his guests. There was hardly any room left in Germany for my pin. I wonder where all the travelers come from? My tent neighbor was Surrab from San Francisco, who took half a year off to explore the USA by bike.
Day 21 (29.08):
From Port Angeles to Sequim via the Olympic Discoverytrail.
27°C, 20 km, 105 M ↑ 105 M↓, 1h 07min.
Now that I was in the US, I needed a US sim card for my cell phone. Never would I have imagined this to be so cumbersome and complicated. Since the US wants to stand out from every country in the world (Not just with temperature and measurements), it is incredibly difficult to register a sim card with a non-American smartphone. Totally frustrated and annoyed, I sat in the afternoon in Sequim at a supermarket parking lot and ate something, when Ingrid, a Bavarian emigrant, offered me to stay with her. Shortly before, we were chatting at the cash register because she noticed my German Brain Tumor Society shirt.
Ingrid lives with her husband Mike, a former US soldier stationed in Germany, and their four children Melissa, Justin, Rayen and Tim since more than 12 years in Washington. Since I felt incredibly comfortable and in good hands, I spent another day with them. By the way, Mike was able to help me with his smartphone and his American credit card to activate the sim card after a long time.
Day 22 (30.08)
Break day with the Porter family in Sequim.
Day 23 (31.08)
From Sequim via Olympic Discoverytrail and Highway 101 to Brinnon (Olympic National Forest).
31°C, 80 km, 680 M ↑ 600 M↓, 4h 05min.
I spent the night in the Olympic Forrest tent, which was very magical. The next morning I had an energy that I so, rarely felt.
Day 24 (01.09)
From Brinnon via Highway 101 to Shelton along Hood Canal.
27°C, 80 km, 553 M ↑ 540 M↓, 4h
Day 25 (02.09)
From Shelton to Chehalis
26°C, 80 km, 535 M ↑ 477 M↓, 4h 55min
Already since leaving Vancouver, I had a slight rash under my armpits, but it wasn’t too bad and was about to subside.
Unfortunately, this rash became very inflamed and began to fester in places, which was quite painful. That evening I was very exhausted and had a severe headache.
Day 26 (03.09)
From Chehailis to Longview
32°C, 480 km, 475 M ↑ 540 M↓, 3h 15 min.
Unfortunately, the headaches and signs of exhaustion from the previous day did not subside the next morning. Nevertheless, I continued to head south. On the bike, I soon felt much better at a leisurely pace, and so I headed to Castle Rock. During my lunch break in a bar I met Teresa and George, who took me after an incredibly great conversation a few kilometers to Longview and offered me their guest room for the night.
Day 27 (04.09)
From Longview along the Columbia River to Portland
28°C, 91 km, 553 M ↑ 540 M↓, 4h 50 min
In the morning, Teresa and George took me out to a typical American diner for a pancake breakfast. Freshly fortified, we then headed to Portland. Along the way, my gaze frequently wandered eastward, as just 50 km away was the famous volcano Mount Sait Helens, which exploded in an eruption in 1980, blasting away over 400 meters of its original height. As an avid geography teacher, this was absolutely fascinating to me.
I arrived in Portland at my lodging late in the afternoon. On my way into town, I found that Portland is very bike friendly and there were many bike paths available to me.
In Portland, I had been in contact with Laura Molten for a few months. Laura founded Street Books in 2011, a mobile library on bikes to help homeless and low-income people access literature, culture, and education. Because I want my project to motivate and inspire people and show that it’s worth not giving up, Laura was excited to take me on a library shift.
Since friends of Laura had a free apartment, she organized my accommodation for the next days.
It so happened that I was able to stay with Carolyn and Bruce an older couple who lived a few houses away from Laura. On the evening of my arrival, Brittany’s neighbor Chris, Laura, her husband Ben, and their two children Sylvie and Cohen were invited to dinner. Since Corona, they have not invited friends and thus use my arrival as an occasion for a small celebration.
This is how it goes on…