Day Two- Awkwardness and Adulation
Stats: Florence, OR to North Bend, OR - 46 miles
We started our day about 6:00 this morning, after listening to Ben chattering for an hour, both to himself, to us to get up already, and with our fellow travelers at the bohemian commune camp. We began our ride, being forewarned that the first leg of our journey was through the "ubiquitous" corridor of death. Along this stretch of treacherous road, inexperienced drivers man unwieldy RVs and trucks hauling all manner of trailers and ATVs, barreling down the road at break-neck pace. It’s everything they can to just to stay in their lane, and if they can’t, well...just pray you’re not in their way.
Luckily we were able to set out early enough as to avoid the bulk of these mammoths of mass-destruction, climb the hill that would never end, and make it to a nice cafe and natural food store by noon. Since we were way ahead of schedule, we set up temporary camp there, bought a few items to secure guilt-free bathroom rights, and lounged around for the next few hours, charging cell phones and iPods while getting in a card game, a few chapters of a book, and even a nap.
Once batteries and bellies were full and recharged, we set out from our home away from home, heading out to the house where we would be staying tonight. Through the course of the day we played leap-frog with several of our bohemian biker friends from last night’s camp, as well as a gaggle of road cyclists, each passing the other and in turn being passed as we stopped for meal breaks, Kodak moments, and map consultations.
After another good climb (and by good I mean another gross, nasty hill that would also never end) and a peaceful break at the Umpqua lighthouse with a view of the sea, as well as frequent map-checkings, we decided to take a nice mid-afternoon break squatting off the side of the road. We happened to find an unoccupied hammock, which was soon occupied by an unconscious Ben cuddling with Murphy, who was tuckered out.
As our rest break extended from a few minutes to 90 minutes, we decided to head out again. Venturing into North Bend, we stopped for dinner at Taco Bell and intended to end our lazy day at a state park camping ground when North Bend Church of Christ youth minister Carter Davis and his lovely wife Amber unexpectedly rescued us and let us crash at their apartment!
A slow day of meandering on bike, punctuated by two 90-minute breaks and ending at a nice roomy apartment with showers, laundry, and two wonderful people ready to drive us to and from grocery stores and wait on us hand and foot? Yep, this bike tour thing is hardcore.