Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Day 7! It Did Drag On

We woke slowly in the morning, especially Davan, who'd been out partying late. And, as requested by Davan, we had pancakes for breakfast.

Yummy. All was good. Except we didn't leave until around 9:00, which is a bit of a late start for a 61.2 mile day, but more on that later. Meanwhile, it did give us time to meet another interesting character on our journey.

The night before, upon going to bed, there were two groups at the Beverly Beach hiker/biker camp. The three of us were one group. The other was the 70's couple. In the morning, upon waking, there was this interesting addition:

My apologies for the poor picture quality, but it was misty and I didn't want to get closer. Basically, it's a a person sleeping, in the mist and light rain we'd had over night, in the open in a cotton sleeping bag with a tarp covered lump, presumably covering a bike and gear. Sure enough, while we were enjoying our pancakes, a young man emerged from said sleeping bag. He looked to be about 15, maybe 16, and was wearing jeans and a cotton sweatshirt. For those who are unfamiliar with long distance riding, let me just share that wearing jeans is best described, as I read in a book one time, as "crotch crunching." And cotton? Not a good fabric for rain, either in clothing or sleeping bag.

I wandered over to say hi to this young man as he was folding up his tarp, as most people in hiker/biker sites are friendly, wanting to share experiences types. He was not. He did share, reluctantly, even when I shared our journey, briefly, with him, that he lived near Salem, OR, where he started his trip, was riding south to the California border where his mom was going to come pick him up at the end of the trip and he had gotten in at 11:30 the night before.

He slapped together a breakfast of white bread and a piece of baloney, strapped his gear on his bike, refused an offer of something warm to drink from the traveling-with-amenities older couple and was away. Good luck to the young man whom we've labeled "The Runaway."

Any-who, it was well past time to be on our way by the 9:00 or so time we peddled off and so we took off, but not for long. We had planned to stop in Newport for groceries. This would have been fine, but it was only 7 miles down the road and, by the time I was done, buying way too much stuff, it was 11:00 and we'd only done 7 miles of the 60+ we were supposed to do that day. Yikes!

Off we went, into the fog and sometimes mist. It wasn't bad enough weather to hole up, but not good enough weather to get a lot of enjoyment out of riding, either. In retrospect, we should have cut our looses and done a short ride for the day. However, by the time we reached that conclusion, we were past any stopping for the night points other than doing the whole shebang. So, instead, we endured the unpleasant weather, Davan's inclination to mosey after her long previous day, my grumpiness about the slow progresses we seemed to be making, two lost (and recovered) jerseys that had been trying to dry on my panniers, plus a third jersey and one of the previously mentioned escapees acquiring nice tire stains,

slow, dragging miles and, the trump, a lost chunk of tooth.

We often snacked on fig bars, like Newton's, but healthier. Well, after one such snack, I was using my tongue to clean off my teeth, when I got a piece that was, well, crunchy. I didn't think much of it because that just sometimes happens, but when I moved my tongue back over that spot, a piece of tooth was missing. How charming is that? Luckily, it didn't hurt, nor did it hurt for the entire trip and tomorrow, in current time, I'm off to see the dentist. I'm waving at you, here, Ami, because I think it's somehow your fault.

So, it wasn't a great day, over all. There were some very nice things, though, and they should be remembered, too. We stopped to look at large wooden carvings, done with chainsaws. We could have brought home a 4 ft bear for only $300, on sale. I'm sure Anthony could have hauled it in the trailer, but he opted not to. Wimp.

We stopped at the Devil's something or another - It seems like lots of things here in Oregon are called the Devil's something or another. We have, to just name a few, the Devil's Punch Bowl, the Devil's Back Bone and, in a change of format, the Seven Devils. We didn't get a good picture of the Devil's Churn...something - it's gone from memory, but this picture does show what the weather was like. All day.

Anthony would want me to mention here that he's not mad. He doesn't know why he didn't smile more, as he really was usually having a good time. And he was eating here. Thus, the odd facial expression. Anyway, he had a nice long talk with a couple who were van camping and had seen us many times over the last few days and were very interested in our trip and our rigs. Anthony quite enjoyed talking to people who were truly interested. Those were highlights for him. Surprising, really, because he's not what you'd call an extrovert, but there it is.

We stopped for lunch - burritos that day - at Strawberry Hill, where we saw sea lions both basking on rocks and playing in the surf. Very cool.

In the afternoon, we came up out of the fog to see this:

Lovely sun overhead, the blanket of clouds below, the ridge with the lighthouse showing. Wonderful. Here's Davan, flying over the clouds:

We also stopped to see these carnivorous plants, which was something Davan had particularly asked to do:

We dragged ourselves into camp at Honeyman State Park around 7:00 to find the hiker/biker camp packed to the gills. We, basically, had time to eat dinner, clean up, set up camp, go over the route for the next day and go to bed.

However, the camp was full and we did meet a couple more people. There were the two hitchhikers. One guy I'd seen twice that day, looking like a hiker, but then he was ahead of us, hmmm. I talked to him in camp and he was a very interesting guy. He was, indeed, hitchhiking, on his way to California and the Big Sur area. He'd hiked up the Pacific Crest Trail from Mexico to home, in Washington, a few years prior and said that was really grueling. So now he just hitches down to different places in California for vacation. He had all this great camping gear, most if it much nicer than ours and all of it packed down much smaller. He said that was just what he does - gets good, lightweight camping gear - whenever he can set money aside and then doesn't spend on vacation. He says that the whole trip usually costs him about $100 for a month or so. I'm assuming that's aside from food, but what do I know for sure? He said that the 60 or so miles he made that day was an unusually slow day. He usually will make 3 or 4 hundred hitching.

The other hitchhiker, unaffiliated with guy #1, was a woman in maybe her 50s. She was, pretty much, one step up from homeless. She "flew a hammock" for her camping situation and ended up about two feet from our tent because of tree placement and, did I mention we were cheek to jowl that night? Anyway, she was also on her way to California, but for a potential job. She and the other hitcher left together in the morning to see if they could catch a ride together.

There were others, too, some of whom we got to know on future nights, but not this night because we were tired. In fact, at 9:45, I finally stuck my head out of the tent and asked that they either break up the party or at least try to use quiet voices as we "had a little one who was trying to sleep in here." Several people had gathered around the common fire pit for a fire and socializing. I felt bad for breaking it up, but I also really, really wanted to sleep.


  1. Did I blame you when I lost a chunk of tooth?

    No. I did not.

    But in retrospect, I believe it was your fault after all.

  2. I love that feeling of sleep after a day of biking. Our 14 year old had a bengal tiger that was always in her arm and in all our photos for 3 years. People would identify her as the "One who..." and they would fold their arm in a sling position and say,"Has that thing in her arm". I love the bunny in the photos.

  3. What age was she when she gave up carrying the tiger around? Davan hasn't actually always done so, but she has for the last four or five years. We keep thinking she'll grow out of it...