The Borgs sans Corbin had left by the time we got up, so we hung out for a bit with him and had breakfast before we shot off toward Astoria, OR and the dreaded Astoria-Megler bridge. Reynaldo told us we had to do it, but if he told us about it, we wouldn’t. We looked into it ourselves and since we both agreed that the number one rule on this trip is “don’t die” we decided to make sure and skip it. The shoulder is more narrow than the width of our bikes with bags, logging trucks speed by all day occasionally dropping debris into the shoulder, and more than a mile of the four mile bridge is a steep uphill. Yeah, no.
So we had covered just over forty miles of our sixty mile journey when shortly after sunset, a car pulled in front of us on the side of the road. The nice lady, Carol, told us they had some extra porkchops, offered us a place to stay for the night and gave us directions to their property up the road. We followed the highway up a crazy long hill and were just about to the turnoff when a white pickup stopped up ahead. Carol had driven back with the pickup hoping to catch us before that mini mountain, but we still appreciated the ride. She drove us back to their place where we met her husband Wayne, who showed us around the property and introduced us to a few of the beautiful Appaloosa horses they raised.
When Carol picked us up, she made sure to ask if we were scared of horses, birds, parrots, dogs, and snakes because they had all of the above. Wayne had a huge spot in his heart for animals and you could tell by his demeanor around them. He had been raising Appaloosas for awhile and was on the board for the registry for a number of years. He also raised boa constrictors with color mutations, and had even rescued this particular healthy looking female back from near death where her body had shrunk to less than half the width of her enormous head. His collection of various parrot species were all very beautiful, but it was interesting to see how smart they were, too. One of their birds, Ricky, had to teach THEM a trick: he started bopping them on the nose with his beak, then quickly looking off somewhere. Eventually they figured out that he was telling them to look at something or get something for them, exactly in that direction.
Carol made us a hearty dinner and introduced to the delicious-even-if-possibly-barely-real Idahoan instant mashed potatoes, which I devoured in thanks. She also shared some videos of her daughter and her beautiful singing voice, which she needed help getting onto some DVDs to send to The Voice and share with family. I knew of some really great programs I use at home and was able to get this perfectly proud mom what she needed. We talked into the night, and even busted out the Wii they had just gotten to wind down. The cycling game on Wii Sports Resort is almost as exhausting as the real deal, just for your arms instead!
Carol and Wayne offered for us to stay and it would have been really great but we wanted to keep moving, especially since we weren’t covering as much ground as we thought we would be. When we told her about the bridge, she offered to take us across which was truly a godsend. She dropped us off, we said our goodbyes and we continued our journey down the coast of Oregon… which is pretty hilly, too. Around eight o clock, we had just made our way up a really steep tunnel and took a break on the shoulder. Suddenly, Haylee was looking out toward the ocean and spotted some whales! Sure enough, pretty far out there, it appeared to be two different whales alternating rolling around and hanging their enormous tails out of the water.
While we were absorbing the site, a little red car pulled over. A man hopped out to introduce himself as Mike, and although he had never done it before, offered for us to stay at his apartment. He even offered us his mother and priest’s phone number to ensure he was legit, though he had already seemed like a nice guy. We pointed out the whales we were looking at, and he was astonished to finally see some after 15 years of living on the coast. A fortuitous meeting indeed. He drove off and we road ahead to his apartment, which ended up being attached to his beautiful three story house overlooking the coast.
He let us get settled, brought us some food and then we met up with him back in the house. He was rocking a greatest hits album of The Impressions throughout the house when we came in and we boogied a bit before settling downstairs and having some really great conversation. We went all over the place from personal stories to views on the universe, to love lost and gained, and well, everything in between. We started pooping out a bit after midnight and bid adieu to get some hot showers in before some great sleep in a comfy bed.