This was a big day. It was the last full day that I would have in Oregon. Tomorrow I would be heading to California. I was quite looking forward to this because California has this gloss about it which we certainly get from TV. With this in mind there was a lot of hype.
Again, one of the mistakes that I made on this trip was I looked forward too much on some occasions. This meant that I missed out on what was right in front of me. I was doing this now with California, but also the end. This was more because of home comforts rather than being bored with cycling. I was due a paper and a coffee in a cafe.
Anyhow, it was a perfect morning. It was warm, I treated myself to a coffee to start the day and of course the views were just incredible. The only downer were the bloody bugs. Although I getting used to them, they are still a pain in the ass.
The morning started off with a slow incline. I had expected a nice hill, seeing as we were in a valley, but we followed the valley inland a little. As we started riding through Cape Sebastian State Park, about 1/2 way for the day, we got the hill we were looking for. Nearing the top we saw a sign for the look-out point. Trying to live in the moment, Jace and I had decided to go and take a look. Oh man. This was the only time on the ride that I had to push. Both of us had completely misjudged the gradient of this hill. It was only a little drive-way, but it was only when we turned into it that we saw how steep it was . . . and how quickly we got to it! There wasn’t enough time for us to gain momentum (we were still riding up-hill) or change gear continue with the cadence. As a result we both stalled. It was near impossible to get anywhere on this hill. Once at the top, we hopped back on and curled around to the car park.
The views pretty incredible, if you like the water. Don’t get me wrong, I love the ocean, but because it was pretty sheltered you couldn’t see much else as you can tell from above. Later on in camp, we joked about it to Scott and Andy. They had seen the turn off yet they unanimously decided “it wasn’t worth it”. They asked us and we confirmed. The views are always going to be good eh, but there are so many that don’t require such effort.
I got to know Jace a little better today. We started off with some serious conversations about life. I suppose these kinds of trips lead you to discuss such matters, because you have so much space to think. And because you’re not exposed too much from media these thoughts are generally uninterrupted . And when you do speak to others, and it usually other riders you are talking to, they are not only going through the same as you in terms of time and space, but also there is usually a back story to why they are doing it. These combined results in some healthy conversation. In additional, there is a good mix of people too which in itself provokes good chats. Anyhow, we talked about abortion, religion … house prices. We also discussed why were doing this trip. And what he said to me made me think that this is one strong kid.
He had been planning on going on a road trip for the last year – over 2 summers – but it never materialised. He would push it but ‘things’ came up and it was delayed. And delayed again. Then he thought ‘fuck it’. What was most interesting was this those around him seemingly didn’t really take him seriously, that it was a reaction to the road-trip being postponed. Little did they know he was actually going to go through with it. And here he is. Riding to San Francisco with me on a push bike.
I was apprehensive enough about this trip, and I was surrounded by “Awesome!” and “That sounds GREAT”. So he has a lot of courage to pick up and go.
Our paths with Scott and Andy passed again. There was a nice view point at Samuel H. Boardman State Park, with some nice arches in a pretty little cove. We all went down together and although it was a short stop it was always great to catch-up with Scott and Andy. They are a hilarious couple – which I suppose is born out of 25 years of friendship!
Before getting into camp, I decided to head further into town to get some supplies. There was a promise of Frey Meyers which was just too hard to resist. The return trip, of only a mile opened up a new world to me. Head Winds. I had felt some before on this trip but this was a whole new level. This made me realise what all the fuss was about when it came to riding North. It made things unnecessarily difficult. The ride was flat but it was like cycling up to Cape Sebastian!
Today was 4th of July. There was chatter about going into town to watch the fireworks but we were tired and seeing as 1/2 of us weren’t American . . .there wasn’t too much interest. I knew that soon after this national holiday, the camp sites would start to be a little less busy. I hope.
There were plenty of new faces in camp. A couple of German ladies who had 2 trailers. One with gear and the other with 2 kids of about 3. Amazing. A Canadian chick (I can’t remember her name – sorry!), Cameron (who was from LA) and then coughing man (poor guy must have smoked . . . a lot). We introduced ourselves and had some good chats in the evening – discussing where we were going and where we had come from. It turned out that Canadian and Cameron were going our way too. Awesome
The beach at Brookings was a perfect place to relax and unwind. The beach was long and it was still early enough to feel the warmth of the sun. Jace and I went down to the beach for our daily ritual again, and we were joined by Becca. We had somehow convinced her that it was a good idea to go swimming in the Pacific. This was the first time that we actually got to chat properly. As has been documented she’s an early riser and early to bed so there was never too much time to chat. She’s an American, had been living in Austin, Texas for 7 years, and now in Portland for School. She told me about Portland and it sounds like a great place to visit. Again we talked some about ‘life’ and work stuff.
And this is what it’s all about really. I already knew this having met Oz and Paul, Scott and Andy, and Jace – but you continue to meet interesting new people and find out about them. And that can only be a good thing!
- You can find the route HERE