Over the bridge in to Oregon we went and headed inland to Portland. The weather became hotter and hotter until we reached the sweaty heights of 37C. Really far too hot to cycle in. We entered the city and looked for a pay phone to call the warm shower hosts we were staying with, for some directions. I asked a group of people wandering along the street and they laughed about how archaic a pay phone is these days and offered me the use of their iPhone. My call was not answered so we then got into a chat with the three Portlanders and they offered us their floor for the night. Our warm shower host then returned the call and I jotted down the directions. The phone lenders checked out the address and deemed it to be a suitable area for us to venture in to and set us on our way with safe bike friendly advice on how to get there.
Our warm shower hosts were excellent (thank you Dave and Lauren – best wishes for your wedding); drove us to get some oil for our Rohloff hubs, introduced us to Voodoo doughnuts and fed us pizza. Within 20 minutes of leaving their house, Badge had a puncture. His rim tape had blown and he pedaled my bike, with his wheel, back to a bike shop he had seen. During the 20 or so minutes he was gone, no less than 5 people stopped to see if I needed any help and the woman living opposite gave us some cold beers. Thank you Portland; you are bike friendly, people friendly and wonderfully weird!
Bicycle art was evident everywhere.
We then trended southwards, via the Willamette River Valley trail, to Corvallis where we stayed with Vicky and Kevin. It was great to reminisce about Bear Valley days and to hear about all their adventures. Through that part of Oregon there was a lot of agriculture and we enjoyed cycling through vineyards, hops, green beans and blueberries. Special to Oregon are the marionberries which are a mix of a blackberry and raspberry ish. Very tasty in the slice of pie we had. The plants look like this.
Looking towards the east.
The weather remained hot so we decided to scuttle back down to the coast where the temperatures are much cooler. We took a lovely quiet road and stayed at a great campsite. It was a basic one so there were no showers but there was the Alsea Falls nearby to wash off in.
On our way to the coast we stopped and got chatting with a motorcyclist. We both got back on the road and then about 20 or so minutes later he rode back towards us and beckoned us over. He had noticed that in the shade of the trees we were not visible to the other traffic so he had bought us some back lights to make sure we could be seen. Thank you so much, Daniel. It was so kind and thoughtful. We have encountered many lovely people so far on our travels who have been friendly and helpful. We have been humbled by the kindness of strangers. The coastal road was very pretty, with plenty of good viewpoints and birdlife. Campsites are well spaced and cater for the biking type.
We had some sunny days and then the mist rolled in from the Pacific.
Many islands to be spotted, but sadly no whales (although there were plenty of rocks pretending to be whales).
Oregon treated us cyclists well but we must keep pedaling southwards. So it’s onwards – California bound.