Biologist on a Bike

Day 4: Rickreall, OR to Corvallis, OR

Distance 27.92
Average Speed: 11.5 mph; Max Speed 27.2 mph
Elevation Gained: 821 ft
Average Temp: 71.3 F; Temp Range 64.4-82.4F


Today was a lovely day.

Where I woke up, Day 4

I woke up and it was a bit on the chilly side, at least by my standards. I built a wall of panniers to block the wind and heated water for my oatmeal/protein powder/peanut butter breakfast and coffee. But today was going to be a short day, so even after I ate, I just lazed around for a while. I planned out my next few days, looked up places to stay, noted down numbers to call, and spent some time stretching.

I didn’t hit the road until around noon, and my first order of business was to ride the wrong way for about half a mile to make a stop at the post office. They close for lunch at 12:30, so my arrival at a few minutes after 12 was fortuitous. I bought the necessary stamps and sent off my first batch of postcards.

Then I turned my wheels south to Corvallis, where an internet acquaintance was willing to put me up for the night. The views were much different from the coastal forests from the past few days. Farmland and straight roads.

A bit of a change from coastal forests on both sides.

And beautiful houses.

I could live here, and not just because it’s attached to a vineyard.

I also passed by a cemetery that was 170 years old, and spotted my first scrub jay of the trip.

A scrub jay on a headstone.



I haven’t taken any grackle photos, they tend to be camera shy. But let me tell you, they are not actually shy. I’ve been chased by and scolded by several of these characters. I assume they were defending their territory or offspring.

I would have ridden much farther and straight uphill cheerfully for the hospitality that awaited me. CJ made me very welcome in her home. We talked a bit about my trip, and I showed her my ACA maps by way of explanation. In return, she pointed out interesting places to stop on the next few maps. The Oregon Trail Museum is apparently not to be missed, and there are places where you can still see the ruts made by the wagon wheels. Later, when her husband came home and looked at the maps, he pointed out that same place, so that’s a double recommendation.

She took me on a tour of the town, which was fun. There’s an interesting mix of areas within Corvallis, from the college campus, to the Hewlett Packard campus, a lovely downtown, a riverside park, and more. I wanted to pick up some more postcards, so we stopped at The Inkwell, an eclectic store with kitchenware, Vera Bradley bags, cards, books, Oregon-themed souvenirs, some clothing (including some funky socks that would totally have been tempting if I didn’t have to carry them the rest of the way across the country), artwork, and more. Then we went to a grocery store so I could restock my foods. Granola, pasta, a can of condensed soup for part of tomorrow’s dinner, Gatorade powder (red is not my favorite, but I’m not in a position to be choosy), and some Clif bars. I also bought some ravioli to contribute to dinner, since I’m definitely in “Eat all the food!” mode.

Her family is fun, and we had a great dinner, before I took the opportunity to wash all my clothes properly. I also made sure to call all the two places where I hope to stay the next two days before bed.

Tomorrow’s going to be long but mostly flat. After a short ride today and a spectacular afternoon, I’m all over that.

Also, I had a request to post more flora. RB, here you go.

Roadkill Count: 3 birds, 2 unknown mammals

Map Day 04

13 thoughts on “Day 4: Rickreall, OR to Corvallis, OR

  1. Connie Joki

    I’m anxious to read Day 5 & 6, the start over the Cascade’s. Hope you are doing okay! Please come visit us again.

  2. Cathy

    I can tell already I’m going to sound like a broken record but I love your posts and your photos and the trip is amazing ❤️????‍♀️ May God be with you and protect you and send welcoming friends your entire journey!

    1. Spin Doctor Post author

      You may be a bit repetitive, but your record is playing a very nice song. I assure you, I don’t mind.

  3. Jerry Wyshnowsky

    This is Jerry, Suzan’s DH.
    Just a note to let you know that I am following your blog closely and enjoying it immensely. I have a couple of short tours planned for the summer and hope to keep expanding my touring horizons so I am very interested in your experiences, especially since we own the same model of bike. I’ve already learned a lot!
    So keep them coming and happy trails!

    1. Spin Doctor Post author

      Hi Jerry,
      Thanks for taking the time to drop a line. I hope you have some great summer rides, and I’m glad you’re finding my blog educational. I read a number of blogs to try and pick up some tips. If you haven’t yet, you might want to check out the journals over at

  4. Jerry Wyshnowsky

    Thanks for the tip about I don’t think that I will run out of reading material for a long, long time!
    Carol may have mentioned that we have been hosting Warmshowers riders. They think that we are doing this out of the goodness of our hearts but I actually have an ulterior motive. I grill them mercilessly about their experiences and take pictures of their equipment when they aren’t looking.
    Actually I have started a list of questions about your rig but won’t take up space in your blog with them. I have read your Gear posts but just have a couple of detailed questions specific to the Trek that can wait. Besides, your answer may be different by the end of your journey. 🙂
    Good luck on the pass tomorrow. Use those low,low gears!

  5. Chad D Ellis

    All I read in this post was “attached to a vineyard” — everything else was a moot point … lol

  6. Linda Beutler

    Quick word about grackles: not a Willamette Valley bird. Likely you were ambushed by male Brewer’s Blackbirds, very black with staring yellow eyes. They don’t want anyone near, walking near, riding a bike, or god forbid, gardening around their nests. Sounds like you did well over the Mac-Pass. Yay you!!!

  7. gailw

    You have been so fortunate as to meet some of my very dear friends – EDW, LB, and CJ. And Mr. CJ (we call him Bingley) is also a great person. I’ll be visiting all of them in a few days myself and I can’t wait!

    I am loving your adventure. While I could never do what you’re doing, my DH and I hope to enjoy taking our RV across country perhaps next year, and I’m making notes of some of the beautiful and interesting places you are seeing. And you take great pictures!

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