West coast of the USA
While taking the ferry from Victoria to Port Angeles to continue our journey south a whale welcomes us back to the US. At the border the greetings aren't as nice. We are only granted a 3 months visa. Ben is told he can ask for another 3 months after exiting and re-entering at the Mexican border. The officer Linda is dealing with is a “funny" guy. He says: “Don’t try to get another 3 months visa. The visa waiver program isn’t meant for this purpose. "
"You need to go home.”
Getting different info is a nuisance, but they are part of the adventure. We just go with the flow. Cross country USA is meant to be at the end of our world tour. Mexican, here we come! To be honest we are looking forward to a more adventurous part of our tour: a new language, culture, nature, food and drinks.
The coastal living
Via Olympia we reach the west coast of the USA. Back at the Pacific Ocean we treat ourselves to the first oysters at Jetty Fishery in Rockaway Beach.
Neskowin Ghost Forest
We try to get a glimp of the remains of an ancient sitka spruce forest. Locals say we can’t see the forest yet because it’s high tide. In the afternoon we return for a walk on the beach.
The ghost forest looks even more mysterious due to the fog. The stumps were likely created when an earthquake abruptly lowered the trees. Landslides or debris from a tsunami covered them with mud. Many of the stumps are over 2,000 years old. The stumps were unearthed when turbulent storms swept away sand during the winter of 1997–1998.
When we get to Depoe Bay we try to spot some more whales. In the sun we watch the ocean for an hour. We see a sea lion, a glimpse of the back of a whale and lots of whale spouts.
The route along the Oregon coast is fabulous! The rocks in the sea used to be land. After thousands of years, only the strongest parts of the rock remain even after the shoreline has receded hundreds of feet. We have a look at Face Rock, Elephant Rock and Table Rock. It’s so beautiful out here!
No wonder 6,000 cyclists pass this coast every year. A thousand of them visit Bike Newport. So do we. It’s a great place for cyclists to have a warm shower while waiting for laundry to be done.
We take a day off to prepare ourselves for some upcoming hills to reach the red woods. As soon as we leave Crescent City we are in the Redwood National and State Park. We see a Sequoia sempervirens for the first time. They are indeed giants!
The Avenue of the Giants in Humboldt Redwood State Park, a route through the woods with all the giant sequoias around us is amazing. It’s off season so there is hardly any traffic. The woods have something magical. Almost spiritual.
We are getting one with nature.
Unexpected visit to Yosemite
We can stay for a week at family of friends in Sonoma. Together with Dean and Shirley we go to Yosemite. It’s covered with snow. The rains from last week turned the national park white. It looks amazing!
San Francisco baby!
We’ve seen the Golden Gate Bridge many times on tv and now we are here. It’s hard to believe we cycled all the way to cross this bridge. The International Orange paint colour is beautiful.
A little Taste of Rome on the Golden Gate Bridge. Celebrating our 30,000 km.
Museum of Fine Arts, Fisherman's Wharf and The Painted Sisters
We’ve never celebrated Thanksgiving before. We get to celebrate it even twice. Brent and Sandy, friends of David and Fiona who we met in Bodega Bay invite us to an early Thanksgiving dinner with a giant turkey in Santa Cruz.
AJ (Dean’s brothers’ son) and his wife Ali are celebrating Thanksgiving with the family at Campground San Simeon. We are invited to join them and have dinner together. To get there in time we need to cycle more than 100 km with more than 1,500 meters gratitude in one day.
Camping at Kirk Creek Campground
Knowing we can celebrate Thanksgiving together with the family, we go for it. We meet Ali, AJ, John and Kay and many more friends and make it just in time for the circle of gratitude. Everyone may say what they are grateful for. We are grateful to be here and to celebrate our first Thanksgiving with these wonderful people. We are also grateful to be able to cycle the world. Most of all we are thankful and grateful for the people we meet.
First we thought it was more about the places we would see, but now it turns out to be about the people we meet. That's what makes our tour so special. Everywhere people are welcoming us. Everyday we are invited to their homes when we knock on their door and ask for a place to stay. This video could not exist without them.
The next day we meet the rest of the family at Ali’s shop Frame Works in SLO. Allard, Hannah and her mom Anna from San Diego are visiting as well. It’s one big lovely family and we enjoy getting to know them all a bit better. Thank you!
Sometimes people make some phone calls to get us featured in the newspaper. We appreciate this a lot because it helps us spread the word about our journey. AND it is always fun to tell new people about our trip around the world.
This article was published in the Newport News Times in Oregon. Thank you Lucinda and Jeff for contacting the local newspaper and sharing our story.