I woke this cold morning to the sound of Harley-Davidson exhaust pipes rumbling past my campsite. The downside of camping in an RV park is the noise of engines and boisterous children. The other downside is the light. Street lights and family campfires made my tent walls glow in the night, so much so I could still see color in the night in my tent. The solutions to these downsides are a pair of ear plugs and a fleece beanie, which I pull down over my eyes.
Location: Corvallis, Oregon (Willamette City Park)
Brian and I set out this morning around nine o’clock, feeling good about our bodies and the road ahead. We said goodbye to our temporary neighbors, and they insisted that we stop by the Spirit Mountain Casino on our way. When we finally reached the casino, it was too early for lunch and daylight was burning, so Brian and I pushed on.
We only had a few major climbs today. The road was mostly rolling or flat. The traffic was exceptionally bad, and a couple locals told us that the highway is often busiest on Sunday when everyone is returning home from the coast. The traffic makes the trip tedious on occasion. At one point today, we biked along a two mile stretch of two lane road which was under construction. We hugged the shoulder of the lane against a concrete barrier wall. The stretch was rocky, and cars were flying by, pushing us with the wind they moved and kicking up dirt and grit. It’s certainly uncomfortable, but we go where the maps take us.
We had no mechanical issues that I can think of, but Brian’s knees acted up at the end of the day. He said he could go no further, so we decided to camp here in Corvallis. After five miles lost, circling the town of fifty thousand people, we finally stumbled upon Willamette Park. It’s a nice, large park tucked away behind several neighborhoods. We’ve pitched our tent on a small patch of grass called the campground, and I’m tired and ready for bed. Sixty miles on the bike has taken its toll.
P.S. The landscape in Oregon has undergone a radical change as our trip has brought us inland, away from the coast. The most noticeable difference is the temperature. Today was ninety degrees, and I am sunburned on the top of my thighs and arms. We cycled through a lot of farmland today, especially in the valley where the land is flat. I already miss the coolness of the Oregon coast, but I certainly will never miss the relentless headwind. In two mornings, we enter the Cascades, so I can’t wait to see what further changes await.
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