The trip ended as it began with me arriving by plane in a rainy city in the dark. This time at least I knew my way home and didn’t get lost like in Vancouver. And after all the dust of California the smell of humid air and soil was so pleasant.
The entire trip was 3570 km plus those I did not record when cycling through the cities, of the elevation I have no record.
There are two maps (google does not allow enough layers to have everything on one)
one for the Canada/Washingtion loop
and one for the Oregon/California part
Red flags are the places where I stayed overnight.
My bike never let me down. The only thing I had to do once in a while was fasten the screw of the kick stand, put some oil on the chain, top off the air and do some cleaning. And somewhere I lost the screw of the Shimano clickies in my shoes. Otherwise zero zero punctures or other misfortunes.
I kind of liked the Pacific North-West more than California. It’s hard to tell why. Maybe because it was less dry, maybe also because it was at the beginning of the trip, when everything truly felt new and different. Maybe they simply are nicer up there. Who knows? Also there is not much tourism that is there are many American road travellers but almost no international tourism compared to CA.
And I put Canada on my places to-go list.
When you carry a Trangia stove it is quite easy to find fuel once you know what to look for. In the States there is an antifreeze called HEET which comes in reasonable sized bottles (ca 400ml) and works very well. Also it is really cheap maybe $1.50. You find that in Hardware stores and even in some small gas stations. Other burning alcohol they sell per gallons which is not a real option…
The other possibility is rubbing alcohol which is sold in farmacies in 500ml bottles there is isopropyl and ethanol type. The isopropyl variance is more common but you should try to avoid it. It produces lots of soot.
Food is a big issue. You get everything and real top quality food in bigger places. There are food coops and farmers markets with lots of fresh organic produce. But once you leave the areas frequented by hippies and hipsters the problem starts: There is nothing fresh. Expect to find too much sugar in everything you buy and certainly don’t expect to find anything which deserves the name of bread. I have been living on a diet of Beef Jerky (tastes good, needs no cooling and you get it everywhere) and banana chips for days. I will never forget that British cyclist who pulled over in Yosemite to my side such that I could not pass by him. His first question was: “do you also find food to be a problem?” And he was British mind you.