Again our awesome host, Mike, offered for us to stay but we wanted to keep moving. We hung out for a bit in the morning then made our way down and up and up and down the beautiful coast of Oregon. After a few hours of biking, we stopped at a cafe in Manzanita to chow down some serious burgers and fries. Just as we were about to leave, we saw outside two touring bicyclists we had met back in Washington who were going all the way down the coast. They were camping nearby and offered for us to join them which sounded great to share some company. We met down at the campsite, then Haylee and I rode into town to get all of the necessary ingredients for smores. We got back, enjoyed some chocolatey, marshmallowy, graham cracker goodness then got some sleep (after an episode or two of Battlestar Galactica).
They left early (ish) in the morning so we ended up getting on the road a bit later. Haylee found someone on Warmshowers to stay with that night about fifty miles away and we thought we would get there no problem. Unfortunately, Google Maps misplaced the address and when we were “just about there” at around 8.30, suddenly we find that the marker moved more than twenty miles away. Our host said they would go to bed around nine, so after we had biked for another two and a half hours, around eleven we spotted a campground and decided to check in there for the night. There was only one other group there so we chatted around their fire for a bit and one man even clued us in to a nice route to take to head east.
The next day we continued on. At this point, my right knee was killing me, as I had apparently been riding with my saddle far too low for my height which was causing some serious strain. We made it to the next city and stopped into a Mexican restaurant for some yum. And yum it was! The couple behind us would drive thirty minutes just to come to this place. Haylee made contact with our Warmshowers host from the night before who was worried that we didn’t make it; we both agreed we were pretty pooped and needed a day of rest, so we took them up on their offer for that night. While we were finishing eating, one of them, Victoria, spotted our bikes outside and came in to say hi on her way out. Their house was literally two blocks away, so after we left we shortly arrived there to be met by her husband Bill.
They were awesome folks with an awesome house outfitted with multiple bunkbeds to hold the kids and their grandkids. They started hosting for Warmshowers after their son got back from Japan and mentioned it; within two hours of posting their profile they had somebody to stay the night. Since then they host over 50 people per year, coming from all over the world on all kinds of tours, from down the coast to across the country to across the world. After we arrived, we took a much needed shower before heading downstairs to hang out with our hosts. They were both teachers with thespian leanings, which funny enough is how they met. Victoria tried out for a part in a play which Bill was directing; she got the part and his heart. They gave us a delicious meal, a pleasant conversation, and then set us up in the livingroom to watch two episodes of Netflix’ House of Cards, which — like they said — is a great show.
The next morning they fixed us up with some breakfast and we were on our way. As per tradition for a transamerican bike trip, we biked down to the beach of Oregon to dip our wheels in the Pacific Ocean, with the intent that these very wheels will touch the Atlantic Ocean in about two months. You’ll see!
We continued on toward Salem, Oregon to stay with Haylee’s exorbitantly amazing friend Katie and her grandmother. We were able to ride over seventy miles before it started getting really dark, when my front light decided to run out of batteries. This angel arrived in her grandma’s truck to pick us up and drove us into town to this heavenly place called Red Lobster. They give you an endless amount of these delicious cheese/crack biscuits while you dine on divinely prepared seafood, and it was exactly what this bike dame needed. We stayed at their place for two nights while we heartily enjoyed each other’s company, and also tracked down places to interview in Bend, Oregon. I was also able to find a Surly Long Haul Trucker that fit me exactly which would be there when we arrived. The combined thought and feeling of having my back pain relieved was a powerful carrot on a stick for me to keep going. Katie and her grandmother are two truly excellent people, it is so difficult not to stay when you are surrounded by such goodness!
That covers the first major leg of our trip, as we were welcomed into the homes and lives of various people along the way. It has been a truly humbling experience to experience this overwhelming kindness everywhere we go. It only strengthens in me the feeling that this trip is exactly what we needed to do and whatever comes of it is going to be more grand than anything either of us could have expected.