After eight fuzzy and dazed, but restful days in Eugene we took a Amtrak train to Vancouver. It was so awesome to be with our pals in Eugene, but we have to keep moving down the road. FYI-Amtrak is a pretty good deal if you are traveling with a bike. It was $5 per bike, which is pretty unbelievable considering how pricey it is to box up a bike and stick it on a plane.
We got into Vancouver late, around 11:50 pm. It was a 9 hour train ride, plus a three hour lay over in Portland. However, the lay over was perfectly timed right around lunch, and Brooke and I had just enough time to hop off the train and ride our bikes to the food carts for delicious vegetarian indian food! It was fun to sail through the streets of Portland, the country’s most bicyclist friendly city. Portland’s cyclist friendly vibe is heaven for me, with bikers everywhere enjoying their safe and roomy bike lanes!
We arranged to stay with a Warm Showers host to keep our costs down, and our host graciously agreed to pick us up at the train station, despite it being so late. (For those of you who don’t know about Warm Showers, it’s an organization where touring cyclists list their homes as a place for other touring cyclists to spend a night for free. It’s a great organization!) Brooke and I were dead last off the train, and on top of it customs held us up so they could personally check out our mace. While riffling through our panniers looking for our mace, Brooke and I were exchanging anxious glances fearing that Mike, our Warm Showers host, was on the verge of leaving us because we were so late. Alas, I was relieved to see him standing in the station with a smile on his face when we finally emerged off the train.
Wow! Vancouver is hands down my favorite city, and every time I go, it gets better and better. I must confess, the thought of moving to Vancouver is becoming more and more tempting. It’s rare to find a city so aesthetically pleasing, there are mountains and water everywhere you look. The city is surrounded with kick ass mountain bike and running trails. Everywhere you look, people are engaging in outdoorsy activities.
The first day we were there, Mike took us on a killer run along the water, and then up into the woods on a trail. Our pace was pretty fast as we headed off the paved path and up into the woods. We ran hard over roots and rocks, the path became hypnotizing to me as I settled into the pace. It was so awesome to fly though the woods breathing hard, it was the best run I’ve had in a long time!
Brooke and I spent the rest of the day walking around the city, we checked out the public market and bought some awesome vegetarian soup mixes that we plan to cook while camping on the San Juan Islands. That night, Mike and Jenna told us all about their 11 month tour down the Pacific coast and into South America all the way to Argentina as we drove around the city and over the Lions Gate Bridge to check out the amazing views. While we were staying with Jenna and Mike, they made sure we ate the best vegetarian food available! They were amazing hosts, and made Brooke and I eager to give back to other cyclists in the future.
The next morning, we rode off towards the ferry and headed for Victoria!