Belated

Tuesday, July 15th
I’ve been going to bed almost immediately every night after dinner, and haven’t been writing at all. Seeing as it’s now the beginning if the third week, this needs to be remedied.
For now, here are some notes.

Signs I like:
Now entering tsunami hazard zone.
Right lane ends ahead.
Unmuffled engine breaks maximum fine $500.

Signs I don’t like:
Now leaving tsunami hazard zone.
Slow traffic move right.
Slow trucks.

We’ve been getting into the rhythm of morning coffee and oatmeal, getting the tent rolled up and all the bags back onto the bikes. We’re drinking more often, stopping for trail mix more often, and generally getting used to things.

We’re meeting up with the same groups of people at the hiker biker spots, exchanging stories and plans.

Oregon state parks have been the best, by far. Free showers, boiling water, cheap hiker biker spots nestled somewhere interesting.

Picnic tables across the state strewn with our gear, miraculous that it fits back in every time.

The blackberries growing on the sides of the road that I desperately want to eat, but won’t, because they may not be blackberries.

The muddy bear tracks that crossed my path this morning on Seven Devils road just outside of Sunset Bay. Through the thick fog I imagined the spectacle of my death on that too steep incline, already in my lowest gear legs screaming easy target. When newest panic voiced at crest of hill through heavy exhalation, Nick says to turn around, to go downhill. Oh.

I wish I had eggs. I’d eat most of them, but the rest I’d keep raw in my handle bar bag for the drivers of RVs the size of tour buses, the ones who invariably meet  blind corners with enough fear of oncoming traffic not to move to the left at all, and enough faith in whatever they hold holy to step on the gas rather than slow down for five seconds.

I try not to use my middle finger so often. I try to memorize the color and the name, Trailblazer, Pioneer, Escape, as they thunder past me and I see Nick’s bike wobble dangerously close to the shoulder’s steep dropoff in its backdraft.  I imagine throwing eggs. Unzipping my front bag and letting loose without losing control of my own eighty pound behemoth.

I’m reading Moby Dick right now.

My legs are still sore. I was told there’d come a point were they wouldn’t be anymore.

Today: 50 miles, sunset bay state park to Mt. Humbug state park.

Yesterday: 74 miles from Washburn state park to sunset bay.

Day before: 34 miles from Newport to Washburn park.

Before that: none; rest day spent drinking beer at rogue.

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