Day 11 – May 26, 2015 – Tuesday
We slept in today, which is good because I took my socks off last night and got cold, not to mention my hip hurt when I laid on my side, maybe my air mattress has a leak. Oh well, maybe the tossing and turning will help me lose more weight. I really stink at this camping thing. I’m not sleeping well so I’m glad riding a bike is not something people fall asleep doing.
We decided yesterday to leave our stuff at the campsite and ride light to the bike shop. We head back to the Yaquina Bay Bridge and walk over it towards town. To my right I see a marina. I love marinas, probably because I dream of living on a boat. Being able to dive right off the deck into the water anytime! Pure Heaven! Okay back to reality, this is the 2nd time we are crossing this bridge. It takes 29 minutes to walk it. We pass the same lady from the store the other day riding her bike, and exchange quick pleasantries. When we get to the Bike Shop, it’s closed. We are 30 minutes early. Dad says “Why don’t we go to Big 5, they might have some bike shorts for you.” “Is there a Big 5?” I ask. “Yeah, we passed it on the way here. Didn’t you see it?” He asks. “Nope. I was watching traffic.” He gestures south “Oh, well it’s just a block that way.”
Marc calls as we are locking up our bikes at Big 5 (it’s 9:56 am). He asks how we are doing and says He got us an unlimited minutes phone card. I tell him that’s great, but we are heading into Big 5 so I will call him back later. In Big 5 I find some bike shorts that feel soft enough. I take them to the dressing room and encounter a little problem. I don’t have any underwear on. (Bike shorts are NEVER worn with underwear, unless you want saddle sores – and trust me you don’t). So I try the new shorts on with my old shorts under them. This isn’t the best option, but they seem to fit. I also end up getting some super light aluminum tent stakes. Dad buys an extra propane tank for his camp stove.
After shopping Dad heads to the bike store and I go to Walgreens, across the street. I lock my bike to a post, get Kleenex, hot tamales, sour apple suckers and among other things I break down and buy a mini deodorant. I have a confession to make. On my last bike ride I never wore deodorant and I didn’t stink after a few days, but this time I’m the Stinkinator! I shower every day, and I only get to wash my clothes every few days, same as last ride, so I don’t know what the problem is, but in favor of smelling good I’m bringing on the possibly toxic armpit stick.
Leaving Walgreens, I cross the street early because there is no traffic and ride through some parking lots to the bike shop, stopping once to put on my fingerless gloves, because I forgot to when I left Walgreens. At the Bike Shop Dad says not to come in because his bike is done. I say “Already?” It’s true, the lady was right, this bike guy is awesome and fast!
We decide to eat while we are here, even though it’s only around 10:45 am. “Let’s go to the Quiznos. I saw a sign back there.” I say “Ok.” Dad says. We cross the street and head up the wrong side of the road on the sidewalk to the Quiznos sign. We get there and there no restaurant! We ride around the building where it’s supposed to be and we pass some talking parking lot bushes that sound mysterious like a group of drunk old guys. “No Quiznos. That’s disappointing I wanted a sub!” I say. “Yeah, me too! Well do you want to get something at the store? It has a deli. ” Dad says. “Sure.” I say still disappointed.
We ride to the store and eat on a bench inside while we watch people pay for their groceries. I tell Dad not to throw his garbage in the garbage can beside us, because it is collecting canned food for the food bank.
Back to the bridge for the 3rd time, but this time we ride across and it takes us 3 minutes. Back at the campsite I pack fast because the mosquitos are out! Awful! It’s close to noon now. We ride out of the camp and it feels great to be riding again! We stop once because Dad forgot to put on his reflective jacket.
The ride is so beautiful!
While passing Brian Booth State Park and there is nothing. We see this huge sign, but it just looks like empty land, not even a road to pull over on. We are stopping quite a bit and taking pictures. It’s really fun, more of a sight-seeing ride than a rush to cover miles. Enjoying the journey to the fullest!
Waldport is where Marc and I spent one of our early anniversaries. You know back when we were young and promised to always take a trip on our anniversary. We loved the buttered garlic bread at a restaurant that we thought was the building that looked like a lighthouse, but now it’s a lawyer office. Either we are mistaken on the location or that is the saddest thing ever, well, unless you need a lawyer.
The funniest thing just happened. We are leaving Waldport and this thing comes from the sky and almost hits dad in the head. “Dad, did you see that? What was that?” I ask. “Yeah, I did. I think a crow just threw a clam at me.” Dad says. I find this funny and say “Goodness, if you didn’t have bad luck you wouldn’t have any luck at all! Or maybe you are blessed. Maybe you are like the prophet Elijah and the birds of the air are trying to feed you.”
I finally get a buoy picture. I’ve seen these art creations of various sizes made with sea buoys all along the coast, but I’m usually riding by too fast to get them, however, this time I get a picture and I don’t even have to stop! I rock!
We stop at Beachside State Park and set up camp. While looking at the map earlier, we saw there is a steep 300 ft hill outside of Yahats followed by 100 and 200 ft hills. It doesn’t sound like much, but they are steep according to the elevation map. If the steepness hits a certain %, we get slow. That means that even though I only have to go uphill for 2 miles, I’m riding at 3 to 4 mph meaning I’m riding up a steep hill for 1 ½ hours. With that in mind, we camp at Beachside and plan to start early tomorrow, because most of the day will be uphill.
We scored at Beachside! The $6.00 hiker biker spots are right next to the bathrooms! Dad rode my bike to the showers because it was leaned against his and he still had his packs on. I now have a system for packing and unpacking, but Dad still goes from a big messy pile to all packed on his bike in a different way every day. I should give him a little break though, his packs are new and adjusting takes time.
This evening includes getting the info from Marc regarding the unlimited phone minutes, using my new tent stakes resulting in lots of tent space, wondering if I’m eating too much junk food ultimately ending the ride in a weight-loss flop, being thrilled that my skin care routine is resulting in few to none on the saddle-bump front and writing in my journal.
My skin care routine (so I’ll remember and for my fellow riders) is simple and applies to any area that might be prone to saddle sores. Wash with orange Dial anti-bacterial soap (only the orange, not any of the 50 new flavors they keep coming out with), dry off, put on Neutrogena oil free Acne Stress Control 3 in 1 hydrating acne treatment (liberally) and let dry a few seconds, apply Gold Bond medicated powder (liberally), put on loose fitting clothing that allows as much air as possible. In the morning, you can apply more Gold Bond, otherwise just apply Butt Butter as you would before riding. I used bag balm at the beginning of the trip but ran out and then used Butt Butter. I made some Witch Hazel (that contains alcohol) paper towels that I can use any other time during the day. Note: The Witch Hazel wipes are great for the face too.
To the showers: At the last campground a ground squirrel sat on my towel after I hung it out to dry, so I have to use my washcloth to dry off until I can launder my clothes again. Nasty squirrel! I take a shower and realize I forgot my shower shoes. Ick! So nasty, I hope I don’t get any foot diseases.
I hope Marc isn’t disappointed if I’m not skinny when I get back, I have no scales, but my legs feel tighter when I shave. I can’t do anything about my wrinkly eyes and hair growing into a mess, my 30+ years are showing. I need to pick a salad instead of a sandwich tomorrow.
Today I was telling Dad how blessed I am to have Marc and he said he and Marc have only had two disagreements that were serious, otherwise nothing. I said “yep, he’s the best hubby ever.” Later I told Marc that on the phone and he said “You can thank me when I see you later.” Hmm, I wonder what he meant by that?
While lying in my tent, the sun shines on my face and reminds me that the sun would be shining if we weren’t on the cloudy coast!
Bike Stats: Time: 2:33.59 Dist: 26.92 Ave: 10.6 Max: 32.8 Odo: 355
Day 12 – May 27, 2015 – Wednesday
Since we started this ride, I’ve been waking up early and waking Dad up. It’s better that way, because I don’t really like to talk in the mornings, so I get a moment to compose myself and make talking my idea instead of feeling forced to do it. This morning is no different. It’s 5:30 am and I wake up and start thinking about organizing my packs for the day and take a picture of the pine tree needles on the top of my tent. This campground has lots of bugs and we are camped under a canopy of trees. I found one in my tent yesterday that looked like a tick but squished really easy so I knew it wasn’t.
I wake Dad up at 6:00 am. “Dad, it’s still pretty dark out, do you want to wait a bit?” He responds sleepily “Yeah, I’ll sleep till 6:30 and we can leave at 7.” “Okay.” I say. He asks “Are you having trouble sleeping?” “Umm, no more than if I’m sleeping on the ground and uncomfortable. Why?” I ask. He responds with a yawn “Oh, because I keep sleeping and you keep waking me up.” I laugh.
7:07 am – We are packed up, I’ve taken a selfie and now we’re riding out of camp. I am glad to be riding early and not waiting for fog to lift. The weather started getting noticeably warmer yesterday, maybe it’s because we are more south.
We stop several times to look at the ocean. We are both fascinated by how big the waves get.
We ride by Angell Job Core and then through Yachats. A little further down the road and Dad spontaneously takes a right down a dead-end road. It slopes slightly downhill towards the oceans edge. There are houses on both sides of us when we stop at the end. In front of us is a beautiful view of some flowers and then a rocky beach with huge waves crashing. I take some video of the waves. The sky is completely clouded over, but the huge waves are mesmerizing.
After a few minutes, it’s time to get back on the road. We turn around heading slightly uphill and take a right onto 101 again. I take lots of pictures.
We stop at Cape Perpetua Scenic Area to see the Spouting Horn, which doesn’t spout for us, but we do read some informational signs. There is a narrow walking ledge over Cook’s Chasm Bridge, we ride our bikes over it and take pictures of Cook’s Chasm, but have to turn around and come back to get on the regular road because the other side is a viewing area with no outlet to the road. We ride over a small bridge over Tenmile Creek. Dad gets a little bit ahead of me as I’m enjoying the ride and taking pictures.
I could ride all day along the coast. I’m so at home on and in the water. If I believed in living more than one life, I’d swear in my last life I was a mermaid.
We stop at the Muriel O. Ponsler State Park entrance and take a break. We see what is, obviously, Bigfoot habitat.
I’ve decided there must be smaller Bigfoot that live on the coast in area’s like this (above) and Bigger Bigfoot that live in places like the Redwood Forest. I’m pretty sure Dad agrees with me, after all it’s the only thing that makes sense.
We stop at the Heceta Head Lighthouse State Scenic Viewpoint and take pictures. We can barely see the lighthouse because it’s surrounded by fog. I take pictures of the beach below us, preening birds, some Selfie’s of Dad and me, the turbulent waters below, a sign that says “Sea Lion Caves ¼ mile,” a lonely looking sea lion on a rock below and the view.
I’m looking out at the waves hitting the rocks on the beach and it occurs to me that I always find the ocean the most beautiful where the waves are hitting the beach. The place where God tells the water “stop here.” It’s rough and turbulent and there’s a lot of splashing here. I wonder if the most beautiful places in our own lives are where God puts a limit and says “Go no further.” We humans hate limits.
We ride up the hill a little further and see a sign that says “Congestion.” “Hey Dad, let’s stop. I want a picture with this sign.” Dad pulls over and I hand him my camera resulting in:
We ride past the Sea Lion Caves. Dad stops in the parking lot and asks “Do you want to see the Sea Lions?” I answer “I don’t need to, I’ve seen them already.” He says “Me too.” We keep going. We pass the C&M Stables and a town that I think is named “Yarn.” This seems weird to me, but the biggest sign in town says “YARN” in big letters, otherwise they must really love to knit.
At some point we ride through a tunnel. Its uphill, as all the tunnels have been so far which surprises me because I keep hearing people say that riding down the coast is all downhill. Ha! This tunnel has no walking edge so we have to ride it. We ride as fast as we can, which is not very fast going uphill, even slight as this incline is because we are just too tired and loaded down, anyway, a truck passes us in the tunnel! Jerk!
We pass some construction either before Heceta Junction or Florence. I have a map, so I should always know where we are, but it just isn’t that easy.
We ride into a town, but I haven’t seen a sign so we stop at the O’Reillys. Dad wants to buy some chain cleaner. “Dad, ask them if this is Florence and if they have a Subway” I say. “Okay, I will.” Dad answers. He comes out a few minutes later and says “The guys say this is Florence and the Subway is two blocks down on the left side of the street.” “Great!” I say. I’m surprised to be in Florence, but the map shows it’s only a couple miles past Heceta Junction, so I really shouldn’t be. We eat at Subway, then go to Rite Aid and on our way out of town we pass a store named “Bikes and Guitars.”
We are riding out of town and we meet a couple riding bikes. We stop at a bridge and the guy says to his wife “let’s just ride over the bridge with them.” She says, “That’s if they want to ride it?” He answers back “They don’t want to walk over the bridge when they can ride it in just a couple minutes.” So Dad take the lead and I follow, then the couple. I start all out, but I’m running into the back of dad. “Dad you aren’t going very fast.” I say. He says “I’m trying.” I back off a little bit, after all we did just eat and we are both slow starters after a break but dad more so since he is still healing from some injuries. We get over the bridge and I yell back to the couple, “Thank you and have a nice day!” They are stopping but we keep going. The edge of the road is narrow here, in fact, we are riding in the road because there is no ledge sometimes.
Suddenly I look back and the lady is following us again. She catches up with me and we chat a bit. She says she is a biker and would like them to do a longer ride, but isn’t sure if her hubby will be into that. She thinks he would do a few days, but not weeks. Dad stops and we catch up to him. Her hubby catches up and we chat a few minutes. We say our goodbye’s again. For a little while I keep looking back to see if they will show up again. It’s a little bit weird to see people more than once, like an awkward date. The first time you are at your best you know you’ll never see them again, but the second time you’re too familiar to give them the distant hello that was appropriate last time, but you aren’t familiar enough to make “come here often” jokes as you would with old friends, so I usually settle on “Hello again.” It isn’t too familiar, but acknowledges our last encounter.
We ride through the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area and pass a “Dune City” sign. We pass what looks like a swamp and the Tahkenich Campground. It almost seems flat a few times, but it is just smaller hills. Today’s steep climbs and decents make for a couple hours uphill and 10 to 15 minutes downhill, then another hour or so uphill. Today has a lot of uphill, just as we predicted.
The climb we are currently on is so steep that I am counting my pedals. I’ve made it to 1000 and we are not at the top yet. The wind is in our face as well, so obviously that is not helping. We are also more inland which means it’s hotter and we are encountering more forest. I love the coast, but when we get inland like this, I don’t enjoy it as much. When it comes to pine trees, I feel like if you’ve seen one tree, you’ve seen them all. We are continuing to pedal this steep hill and dad says in exasperation, “We can’t have much more uphill, there is nothing above us but SKY!”
We near the top of this hill and the road curves left and flattens out a bit. To my left is tall trees but to my right is a view with distant hills and water and a whole lot of forest that has been cut.
The road curves right and goes downhill then up and down. We get a long downhill before Reedsport, but because it’s forest there are bugs flying into my face. I really don’t enjoy riding in the hot forest.
We ride into Reedsport and stop at the McDonalds. We are worn out and we look it! We sit inside and stare at the map. Dad gets a drink. Some older ladies at the table next to us talk with us. One recommends the campground her nephew runs called the Riley Ranch outside of Hauser. We talk and decide to buy salads and then ride to the closest campground which is at the Umpqua Lighthouse State Park.
We are back on our bikes and heading out of town. It’s uphill. We get halfway up the hill and see the sign for the Lighthouse State Park so we turn right and ride uphill about ¼ mile then turn right again. We stop. The road to the Park is steep downhill. We are talking and hesitating riding down the road incase the park is closed and a ranger lady drives out of the park. She says “Are you guys heading to the park?” We say “Yes.” She says, “The park is closed because the road is all torn up.” We ask “How far is the next campground?” She says, “About 5 miles.” We thank her and she drives off. Thank you Jesus for that lady driving by! We are relieved not to have gone down that steep hill, but are wondering if her 5 miles are really 5 miles.
We turn around and ride slightly downhill to 101, turn right and continue up the hill. At the top we stop at a view point. I take a picture of another lighthouse, which is in the most peculiar spot.
Finally at about 3:40 pm we ride into William M. Tugman State Park. The last 5 miles, felt so much longer than 5 miles. I’m not sure who William Tugman was, but I’m thrilled to find a place to camp! We pull into the camp and a ranger lady is leaving. She stops her truck and talks with us. She is very chatty, asking us questions about our trip and telling us she can hike all day, but riding a bike wears her out. Marc calls, and I miss it trying not to be rude while the ranger is talking.
The camp fee is $5 per person. We put our money in an envelope and dad puts it into one of the places it says to put money and heads to the hiker/biker area. I don’t think it looks secure. I call Marc back and while I’m talking to him I pull the envelope with our money back out of the box. (No I should not be able to do that). It is not secure! Then I reach in and pull someone else’s envelope out. A quarter falls out of their envelope. I have my backpack in my hand and my helmet is off and I am balancing my bike between my legs and have my phone in my other hand while I reach down to pick up their quarter. I rest the phone between my cheek and my shoulder and put their quarter back. I put their money and our money into another box for money that looks more secure. Marc has been telling me he just wanted to say “Hi” before he goes up to Oroville to play golf with John, Sean and Tyler. He says he will call when he gets home. We hang up and I ride to the hiker/biker spot.
When I get there Dad is sitting at the picnic table. I pull in and lean my bike against the table. I get out our McDonald’s salads. We eat and set up camp. Dad goes to shower and I snap a shot of him coming back.
“I got yelled at, well not really yelled at, by a ranger. He told me not to ride on the paths that were “for pedestrians only” going to the showers. Just so you know.” Dad says “Where are the showers?” I ask “Oh just take a left and go down the road and take another left and they are on the right.” He says. It sounds easy enough, but when I take the first left I don’t see any footpath. I ride around and see two old guys talking. I ask them where the showers are. We look at the camp map I brought with me. They point me in the direction. I ride right to the path and “walk” down the pedestrian path. I chain up my bike and go in.
The shower is as hot as I want it! LOVE! I charge my phone by the sink. Looking in the mirror, I notice that today was sunny enough to make my face a little pink. I ride back to camp, even down the pedestrian path because I’m a bad girl, and take a detour to see the coastal view that some of the RV’s have. When I get back Dad and I degrease our chains using the water spicket that is conveniently close. We lean our bikes up to dry.
I get into my tent and eat a sour apple sucker and want more! I have this thought, I wonder if I would have more drive to eat better if I focused on making Marc proud of me? After all I don’t want him to see me and be disappointed I haven’t changed for the better. Although I haven’t been sleeping well, so I’m going to look tired when he sees me again. I think about what I ate today. I did ride for 6 hours today so if I don’t eat anymore I should lose weight.
“Hey Dad, should we lube our chains now?” “Yeah, probably wouldn’t hurt.” He answers. We put the hub of the back wheel on the corner of the picnic table’s bench. Dad applies and wipes off the lube as I use the pedal to spin the wheel and shift the gears, while swatting at mosquitoes. We do this for both bikes, then lock them up. I jump into my tent.
It’s around 8:00 pm and I’m still waiting for marc to call or I would be asleep already. I call him and he’s driving home. He has his phone on speaker, but my car is so loud that we don’t talk long. Plus I don’t like for him to drive and talk even if it is on speaker.
I’m keeping track of the route we are taking on some pages I tore out of our home atlas, but I haven’t logged our route since Rockaway Beach, so I catch up on that now. I’m feeling pretty good this time around, much better than my last bike ride. Dad’s doing good too, and would be better if he had taken a little more time to work his butt and had not been injured before we left.
One thing I just remembered is that while we were riding and talking today I used the word “proclivity” in place of “inclination towards.” Odd thing is I don’t remember ever hearing or learning that word. It sort of just popped out. Sometimes I surprise myself with the words that seem to fit with what I’m saying, but at the same time inside, part of me feels like I’m jumping into the air with no net guaranteeing to catch me if I’ve used it improperly. I wonder if I’ve used “proclivity” correctly. Dad seemed to understand. Maybe I made it up.
I’ve decided the bathrooms are so far away that if I have to pee in the middle of the night I’m going to go behind a bush. I’m looking forward to tomorrows ride.
Bike Stats: Time: 6:03:05 Dist: 64.77 Ave: 10.7 Max: 37.3 Odo: 420