We're holed up inside the home of some Bike and Build SUS'14 riders (thanks Laura and Dusty!) replanning an enormous hunk of our journey. Inclement weather will keep us here in Portland for an extra few days, and our meticulously made day-by-day milage schedules are being deleted in droves. When I sat at my computer planning the early bones of this journey, I could not have expected a typhoon to rage through the Pacific Northwest in mid-October. But, here it is. We scratch the plans.
Scratching the plans has been a general trip theme. The epitome of said philosophy occurred in a dreary Taco Bell in Lakewood, Washington. We rode into our intended camp site just around nightfall, but encountered a security gate—turns out the camp was restricted to military use. It grew darker, the temperature dropped, and the beginning sheets of rain begin to pour. We rode on in search of shelter. We stopped at a church and asked to camp—refused. We researched parks— all restricted. We asked about hotels—located on the unbike-able freeway. Freezing and dejected, we biked to a Taco Bell where we ordered burritos and nearly cried because they were so delicious and we were so miserable. We were stuck: our planned campsite fell through, and no other back up plans were materializing (sleeping at the Taco Bell was also considered).
Abbie got onto Tinder.
A few swipes and phone calls later, a gentleman and his friends arrived with a pick-up and a sedan. We load our bikes in, back track a solid 20 miles north to his home, and internally celebrate our last-minute saving grace. Within a half hour, we're drinking beer, sitting in a hot tub, and admiring a trash bag full of squid they'd caught earlier in the day.
While I haven't yet incorporated "man from tinder to pick us up from Taco Bell" into the googledoc I'm revising, it's comforting to know that hosts like him might just appear when you need them.