Seattle to San Francisco 2012 Bicycle Tour Coastal Challenge
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Days 5-7: Oregon Dunes – Port Orford – Crescent City

Greetings, All:

We’re sending this post out of Crescent City, California, gateway to the Redwoods! The past several days have sped by in a blur…kind of like our riders. Phil was out sick with mono for a month before this trip, and he’s officially back at 100% energy-wise and is smoking it on the road. As we head south, the weather has been heating up and the company growing as we encounter fellow riders, some of who hail from such far-flung regions as the midwest and even Europe.

So many things have been marvelous to witness, one of which is the gradually shifting energy of the group from one of tentativeness and apprehension to unbridled glee. We see it in the nickname-calling, constant yammering and wisecracks, the frequent stops to take a dunk in the Pacific Ocean. We have also been witness to the astonishing curiosity and support of  many friendly people: coffee shop baristas, customers in grocery stores, random folks in parking lots and road-side pullouts who can’t resist the urge to ask us about the jerseys we’re wearing. The high we’re all feeling from this long adventure is hard to capture in words, but below are the highlights of the past few days.

Day 5

Rest day in the Oregon Dunes!

Day 6 – 85 miles

After a full day of play and rest in the Oregon Dunes National Monument (the best way to describe the experience would be to say nothing; our emotions are as deep and vast as what we saw that day – we’ll need to leave it up to Josh to capture it in his photologs, which accompany these posts), we stretch our legs and head south again. The marine fog on this day is particularly heavy, but this negative influence is offset by a lovely tailwind, which has the effect of pushing you along. There are some stopping points this day that are simply breathtaking: seastacks towering above the ocean, intermittent layers of heavy and bone-chilling fog penetrated periodically by rays of sun.

We arrive in Port Orford at the end of the day and stay at Humbug Mountain State Park, an absolutely beautiful campground. Blessed with easy beach access and huge tent sites, we’re in such high spirits that we invite a couple other friendly riders to join us for dinner, which consists of beans and rice, another Italian wild rice dish which evaporated in minutes, and green smoothies. The cyclists’ stories have us completely enthralled: one of them tells us he’s riding from Columbus, Ohio, to the tip of South America. We turn in for the night, lulled to sleep by the classical guitar music of a man who calls himself “Marzipan.”

Day 7 – 78 miles

This day begins the push into California. When we hit Brookings, the final town before leaving Oregon, the temps are considerably hotter. We stop for coffee at a place called Mo Joe’s, where Kyle gets hit on by the girls behind the counter, Shabnam and Josh refill on water and Hannah chats it up with a woman named Charlotte who falls in love with our project and donates $100! As fun as the journey has been, days like this one serve as a reminder to all riders that we’re doing this for something truly worthwhile. Cynical as some of have become about this world, it’s amazing, the compassion and generosity one will find everywhere if they look.

We arrive in Crescent City against a brutal headwind, which has riders completely depleted. Two of us head for a motel in town while the rest pull into an RV campground in what appears to be a massive sandstorm: picture 25 mph gusts and dust in your eyes, ears, and nose; it suddenly made sense why other riders had earlier reported that they were either going to be hanging back in Brookings or charging forward into Del Norte. But here we are, tenting near the beach, and waiting out one unplanned-for rest day – we’ve run into brake problems with the van, and mechanics in this city apparently don’t work on weekends, and so we have to wait.

As a final thought, on the tenth anniversary of one of the world’s alleged turning points, we send out a prayer that the passage of time and space can flow without the madness that once marked this day in history, a prayer for peace everywhere, and for love, which we send to all our friends.

Team S2SF 2011

 

Posted by on Sep 11, 2011 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

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