The parking lot of the Tsunami Bar & Grill in Cannon Beach, Oregon, is spotted with colorful piles of camp and cycling gear. Headlamps, cookware, and a rainbow of technical apparel form tiny mounds beside a leaning pair of Trek 520’s adorned with yellow panniers. Beyond the bikes, a brackish marsh peppered with gray driftwood opens to the wide, white-capped Pacific.
Here, with the smell of sea salt strong in the cool wind and tall, shadow-casting pines looming over Highway 101, sisters Heather and Kassie Hinrichsen pack and re-pack their gear, testing the balance of their loaded bikes by riding in small circles around the pebble-strewn lot.
The atmosphere is alight with enthusiasm for their impending five-day voyage down the Oregon coast. There are final checks—tire pressure, a bolt adjustment on a rack, a ukulele that needs to be strapped tighter to a sleeping bag.
They joke around lightheartedly, calling each other by their childhood nicknames while recalling stories of past-shared adventures, but beneath the playfulness there is seriousness at work. They know the days ahead of them will bring equal parts beauty and challenge.
Adventure is a balancing act. You have to be prepared, but you also need a measure of recklessness. You have to be willing to put yourself in unfamiliar, often precarious, circumstances and know that you can adapt with composure in moments of crisis. You have to push forward not knowing what exactly you may find in your path, because within this mystery lies the answer to an age-old question at the heart of exploration: How far can we go?
Why do we seek adventure? Because when we get lost, we find ourselves. When we escape, we become closer to the people most important to us. And when we test our limits, we discover we’re capable of much more than we know.