We Arrive in Oregon! - Grampies Grand Willamette Excursion - CycleBlaze

August 4, 2019

We Arrive in Oregon!

Instead of using the bike rack, we decided to jam all riders and bikes inside the van. It would be more secure that way during any stops, and I hate watching bikes swaying on the rack in the rear view mirror, even if I am quite sure the rack will not fail.

Jamming everything/everyone inside did not turn out to be much of a problem. It's the well known ability of a VW van to swallow most anything.

No problem swallowing bikes, gear, and kids.
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We set off down I-5, which despite crowding is still the fastest way to go. At eleven years old, the kids are much better able to withstand long car ride than they were at nine. Part of this is the  availability now of i-Pads, which can amuse most people for long periods.

We stopped in Centralia to look for food, and fell across a restaurant called Country Cousin. Centralia is half way - 90 miles to Seattle, 90 miles to Portland. Country Cousin is decorated with lots of "country" or farm knick knacks, has wood finished walls, and a general effective farm house feel.

The food turned out to be authentic American "country", as advertised.  Avi's plate of ribs with "all the fixins" is a good example. We have seen the instant mashed potatoes drowned in sauce from North Dakota to West Virginia. The same for the canned green beans.  Sides like this can include macaroni and cheese, grilled zuchinni, honey bacon brussels sprouts, sweet potato tots, and many others. Quality in these can vary wildly, but overcooked, reheated, or gluey is normal.

This style of food brings back fond memories of cycle and car tours in past years, around the country. You might not want to actually eat it, but it is indeed a legitimate "cuisine".

The biggest hit with the kids were the milkshakes, which were made with lots of hard ice cream, in the traditional way. 

Overall Country Cousin worked to keep us going on the road, but at $70 we will have to find a more economical  way to stoke our engines.

At Country Cousin
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Authentic eats
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Shakes, a hit!
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Steve Miller/GrampiesAh touche. The salad was very nice too, with honey mustard dressing.
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3 years ago

A slight oversight by our "GPS Department" (me) meant that the base map for Oregon had not been downloaded to our Android navigation app. No matter, we remembered that we would need highway 99, south of Portland, and we arrived at the Travellodge in Newberg with no problem.

We will take a quality motel room like we have here anytime, in comparison to even the  quaintest, but postage stamp sized, room in a European old town. Here we have microwave, fridge coffee maker, USB charging ports, fast wifi, and room for all four bikes. Across the hall is the pool, hot tub,  and exercise room. With kids on a hot day, that pool is terrific. I even got Dodie in there.

So cool.
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We are situated here 8 km from the start of the Willamette trail. I whipped up a track from here to there, where it will join the trail track we have already loaded.  It will be 50-60 km to our first stop, in Salem. That is not so bad, though the forecast is for 33 degrees C (92 F). We will try to leave extra early, to beat the heat.

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