Location: Otis, Oregon
We left Tillamook early this morning after a brief shower, some bike maintenance, and a couple slices of cold pizza, leftovers from last night. We left the campground around nine o’clock, disappointed that our first few hours of energy and time would be spent backtracking. As it turned out, we only had to backtrack about three miles, though they were all uphill. We lost about an hour of the day.
Once we found the Three Capes Scenic Route, the road which we were supposed to be on, we set out to bike another forty miles or so. Southbound along the Oregon coast, we finally had the wind to our backs. The stiff breeze blowing in from the northwest helped carry us up the hills. We bested several long hills today, and I continue to find that my ability to climb those hills is improving rapidly. I find that I can bike a couple miles from the bottom to the top of a hill with only one or two pauses. My legs still burn throughout the climb, but my breathing is regulated. Since adding a gel seat cover to my bike, my butt doesn’t hurt as badly to sit down on those long climbs. That certainly plays a part in helping me ride more efficiently.
We reached our intended destination tonight, an RV campground outside Otis, Oregon. It’s interesting the people we have met at sites like this one. They come from all walks of life. The hosts at both campgrounds have been kind, and tonight we met a middle-aged couple from nearby in Oregon. They gave us hand-picked cherries and grapes. They had a real interest in our trip across America, and the woman had real concern. She didn’t grasp the concept that we had maps to lead us to North Carolina, and she insisted that we would want to go her way instead of ours. She was a strange woman, and she used her hands to demonstrate and amplify the things she was saying. She wore a straw hat with silk flowers on the band, and she wore a black dress and jacket. She referenced God and angels often and seemingly out of context. She repeated that we must, that we have to, constantly call our mothers. Her husband nodded along and smiled and interjected occasionally. He seemed dramatically different than his wife, with his Palms Casino black hooded sweatshirt, Harley-Davidson hat and blue jeans. The couple looked terribly mismatched by appearance, but when they spoke to each other and laughed at the same jokes they were obviously compatible on other levels. They wished us good luck and God Bless.
I’m drifting off the sleep now. It’s a cold August night in Oregon. The summer here feels like a mild winter at home. I can see my breath in my headlamp light. Tomorrow will be cold again, but the forecast has hot weather in store.
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