Grand Tetons, WY
Near Earthquake Lake, MT
Near Sisters, OR
Total mileage: 4142
A nice half day in Eugene, and it looks like I'm going north.
Last night I was pretty convinced that I was going to go south to the redwoods. Lann was going to drop me off south of town so that I'd only have a 125 mile day into Bandon and I was going to try to meet him there again on Saturday afternoon. Everything technically fit together, but this morning I started to realize that there was really no overlap, no wiggle room. I'd have to hit some big mileage marks and wasn't feeling incredibly strong after pulling 520 miles in the last 5 days with a lot of mountains. Theoretically I could just back it off and ride the whole spur slower without getting the ride back to Eugene, but I think I want to come back and do a short ride from Seattle to San Francisco sometime instead of trying to squeeze it in quickly at the end of this trip. The southern coast of Oregon will have to wait, I'll come back to see it as soon as possible.
I forgot to get a picture with Lann this morning, but remembered to get one with Melody before she left for work. I took time to write my posts from the last two days since all this socializing has occupied the time usually dedicated to writing, and then went to enjoy the garden for a little while before leaving the Leslies' house.
From their house I rode right down the street to the bike shop to do some much needed work. The kind workers lent me a rag and some degreaser and I went to town on the frame. When it was all clean, I scoured the drivetrain, lubricated and tensioned my brake/shifter cables, adjusted the rear derailleur, cleaned and realigned the brakes, trued the back wheel a little and replaced a cracked bottle holder. I felt a lot better about the whole thing, which took me just under two hours, putting me right around lunchtime. The mechanic on duty directed me to an all you can eat Indian food buffet where I tried my hardest to put the place out of business. Before I left the city I made sure to tour around the University of Oregon campus and stop for ice cream.
Around 3 I finally left Eugene on a finely tuned bike, full of rice and ice cream and ready to go! I made the most out of the afternoon, putting on the 45 miles into Corvallis pretty quickly. The only times I stopped were to eat the delicious bounty by the side of the road. The blackberries still don't stop, and it's hard to keep riding when a quick squeeze of the brakes and a few minutes of picking will net you big double handfuls of delicious berries. I also stopped a few times at wheat fields to pluck a head or two and roll the kernels away from the chaff, the way a wheat farmer showed me a few days ago.
Corvallis is that awkward size of about 50,000 people where it's too large for them to let you sleep in a park and just small enough for them to actually find you if you try. I would ride outside of town and do a makeshift camp by the highway, but there are some serious clouds in the sky and they look like they mean business. Doing the old 'McDonalds post and figure out where I'm sleeping afterwards' that's worked for me a few times now across the country. I suppose I should head out pretty soon now, since it's getting dark soon. G'night!