We got up and going nice and early on day 8, rolling out of camp at 7:00 mostly because I'd been woken up by an extended coughing fit from another tent and then the (much quieter) sounds of the two hitchhikers getting ready to go.
The night before, we'd picked a spot for breakfast, as Davan and I really thought our days got off to a better start if we had some prebreakfast miles in, so we just packed up and left.
Just past the exit from the park, the two hitchhikers had found a spot under and overpass to stick out their thumbs. As we passed, the female thanked me for asking the fire group to be quiet the night before, expressing her belief that if it had been her who asked, they'd have probably given her a hard time. Maybe.
We peddled about 7 1/2 miles in fog and occasional sprinkles to a sand dunes overlook and access. Just as we got there, it started to rain. So, we took our bikes with us under a shelter, cooked our oatmeal, ate our oatmeal,
cleaned up after our oatmeal and looked out with dismay at the still pouring sky. The forecast had been for occasional showers. This was more like torrential downpouring. We opted to hang out for a while, catch up on our journaling and see if it would pass.
We had planned for Davan, at least, to get to go play on the dunes at this rest stop, but, yeah. It was raining. Not really good weather for dune playing. So, the picture above is as close as we got to the dunes on this trip. I've promised Davan a return trip with in a year.
The rain didn't pass, but two of the bikers, a couple in their 50s from Canada, from our camp did about an hour after we'd gotten there. They stopped briefly but went on and they looked like they were doing okay. So, we finally decided to move on. Was this the best decision? Perhaps not, in retrospect, but it seemed like we needed to go eventually. We couldn't camp where we were. What was definitely a mistake was not putting our tent and sleeping pads in the trash bags we were carrying for that purpose...
We rode another 12 miles in the pouring rain, which, I have to say, wasn't the worst thing in the world for me or Anthony, but Davan was miserable. The main issue seems to have been that her feet were wet and cold, as were all of ours. Better feet protection is definitely a necessity before the next trip. We decided that, if we saw a hotel with a vacancy, we'd go ahead and stop and get a room for the night.
Now, on the northern part of the Oregon coast, you simply wouldn't find such a beast on a Friday night at the end of summer, so our hopes were low and when we saw our first hotel - a Best Western - we jumped on it. It was quite expensive by our standards, but, it felt so good to get out of the rain. We got our gear in the room, got out of our wet stuff, did laundry, took showers, hung everything up to dry (clothes, tent, everything),
ate lunch and then...the sun came out. Nary a drop of rain the rest of the day. It was a lovely afternoon.
That made it pretty hard for Anthony and I to enjoy the comforts of the hotel and I still don't feel great about that $125, but oh well. We swam in the pool, soaked in the hot tub, grocery shopped across the street, did a lot of reading and journaling, played card games, ate dinner in the room, soaked in the hot tub again and lounged on real beds. I'm not saying that wasn't nice and all, just, well, we felt like we should have pressed on, especially as we saw vacancy signs at every hotel we passed the next day.
Again, oh well. We didn't know it was going to stop raining. We didn't know that on the southern part of the Oregon coast you could easily find a hotel on the weekend. We made the best choice we could with all our wet gear and the knowledge we had.
With our 19.7 miles of wet riding under our spandex and our laundry hanging all around us, we crawled beneath our sheets - real sheets! - and slept.