I've wanted to go bike touring for some time, and I figured a good starting place was to go camping near home. On Friday afternoon I went to Champoeg State Park, which turns out to be fantastic!
The route I took was about 35 miles, which is quite a ways with a heavily-laden bike! The poundng heat didn't help, either. As you can imagine I was pretty glad to arrive!
I immediately set up camp:
And started making dinner:
Later, a nice older couple from Florida arrived. We were in the general hiker/biker camp, so we chatted over a beer. They were about to start riding the Willamette scenic bikeway, a signed highway route running from Champoeg to Eugene. I wanna!
The day ended with a lovely sunset:
Saturday morning I hiked over to the original park that grew into Champoeg. It was founded in 1901 as Provisional Government Park, commemorating the site of the vote that established the original Oregon government. That vote barely passed, 52 votes in favor to 50 against. Who knew how close Oregon came to not even happening? There's a cool monument with the names of those who voted in favor (those who voted against aren't remembered at all):
At lunch I rode out to Butteville and got a sandwich from Oregon's oldest continually-operating retail establishment. It was very cute but I didn't take any pictures.
In the afternoon I went to the park's visitor center, where there was a blacksmithing demonstration underway:
In the evening a group of cyclists riding with Cycle Wild arrived. They were a great bunch, and I invited myself to join them. I think I'll join their rides in the future. I joined them around the fire:
Sunday morning I rode back. It was a cool misty morning, so I was able to make much better time than on the way out. What a wonderful weekend!