An early arrival in San Francisco

The last time we published a blog post, we were in a motel, dry and happy, with the wonderful promise of the return of sunshine the next day. What a treat ! When we woke up the next day, we felt betrayed as we saw the heavy fog and rain although google was telling us there was a 0 % chance of precipitation… Worse, the following days looked even more grim, with a storm coming towards the Oregon coast. As headwind and constant rain for 10 days straight did not sound good to us, we decided to take a train to San Francisco.

30 minutes later, our tickets were bought, and we were ready to take the road towards Eugene (100 km to the East) where the train was going to pick us up the next evening. During a quick stop at the public library to print our tickets, we met Peter again, an Australian touring cyclist we had run into a few days earlier and who was planning to go to California too. He had gotten scared by the weather forecast too, and was cancelling his trip to go back to Seattle that day.

The road to Eugene was not very interesting, but at least after 50km, the rain started to calm a bit, which was already nice! That night, we slept in the city of Veneta, in the park where the Oregon Country Fair happens (a gathering better known under the name ‘Hippie Festival’).

We arrived in Eugene around 9am the next day, and as our train was leaving at 5pm, we went to a nice little Cafe downtown. Ariel, the barrista, was interested in our travels and our bike, so after chatting a bit she ended up trying the front seat with Clement driving her around the block. After relaxing for a while there, we left but not before exchanging phone numbers to see Ariel at the pub before taking the train.

We were quite stressed about this whole train ordeal, mainly because the company clearly specified that they did not accept tandems nor recumbent bicycles… So to sort everything out, we went to the station really early. The two guys at the counter were super nice, and they came out of the station to see our bike and give us advice to make sure we could take it on board. They even stayed quite a while with us just to talk, we really appreciated !

We then had a nice quick beer with Ariel and Shawn, her boyfriend, and we got on the night train. A nice surprise for the next 15 hours, the seats are gigantic and can recline almost completely, which means a good sleep 🙂 Everything went smoothly, and we were able to put the bike back together at an alarming speed (could this be a sign that we have dismantled it and put it back together a bit too many times?)

We were welcomed with open arms by Quentin and Hawa in their nice flat in Berkeley. And it’s at that time, checking the weather forecast, that we realized the storm we had tried to avoid was actually way worse than we thought. We really made the right decision by going straight to California !

weather forecast - a storm is coming

We exchanged text messages with the people met on the road (other touring cyclists as well as Marnie and John who were supposed to camp along the coast and whom we were supposed to meet again) : everyone is safe, either because the yfled the coast or because they rented a motel to wait it out. A relief !

The following days are marked by the trial and buying of Enchroma glasses by Clement (glasses that potentially help colorblind people distinguish colours better), and the visit of Antoine C., a uni friend of Quentin and Clement, with whom we visited San Francisco during the weekend. The following week, it was work everyday for Clement and preparation of the travels to come for Tracy. We enjoyed being with Quentin and Hawa in the evenings, around delicious meals (not being on the road has its advantages!)

Before changing continent, we wanted to make the most of the US part of our trip so we rented a car for a month in order to do a ‘little’ road trip in the American west. On the menu : California, Nevada, Arizona, Utah and New Mexico.

We are publishing this post from Las Vegas where we just spent the night. After only 4 days of road trip, we can already tell you that the next blog post will be full of cool pictures. We’re really enjoying ourselves ! 😀

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