35.2 mi / 10.7 mph / 1795 ft. climbing
Home: Honeyman State Park hiker/biker campsite
We’re still getting used to our new house, all 31 square feet of it. Rett had a period where she’d been waking up at 2:30am every night and not getting to sleep again for a while. Last night, after being concerned about some noises she thought were critters, she dropped off fairly early, but it was my turn to wake at 2:30am, when I heard the distinct sound of a bicycle disc brake being applied. Was someone up and messing with our bikes?!? Or was it me doing the same as Rett, just inventing improbable stories to explain unknown sounds we hear in the dark? The fact that I also had to pee created enough motivation for me to actually get out of the tent and check.
It turns out I both was, and was not, imagining things. I had in fact heard a bicycle disc brake, but it wasn’t ours; it was from a new arrival in camp! A story too wild for even my dark-of-night imagination to invent. I ran into him in the bathroom, and the extent of our slightly-bewildered conversation was:
“hey, wow, you’re arriving late”
“yeah, I got a late start today”
Ok! I guess you avoid a lot of traffic that way?
Once up for real, it was 42 degrees, but at least everything was dry! The condensation of the last couple days didn’t manifest itself, which makes the mornings so much easier. Mr. 2:30am, who had a full, fancy bikepacking rig, was still asleep by the time we rolled out.
Yachats bills itself as “The Gem of the Oregon Coast”, which I scoffed at the audacity of, since the Oregon coast is basically the Marie Antoinette necklace laid across the Earth. But honestly, it turned out to be really cute, maybe worthy of the slogan. We probably should have stopped!
But we rolled on, getting a good long dose of the highway sticking right on the wave-battered shore.
In the big town of Florence, as we were attempting to take the lane on the no-shoulder bridge, a monster pickup attempted an extremely dangerous pass that forced us to come to a dead stop to avoid getting squeezed into the wall. Yes, another day of good bike touring soured by asshole drivers, instantly turning our mood from wonder to fear and anger.
Once we got going again (not the easiest thing on loaded bikes brought to an unexpected stop) we got a couple more somewhat unsafe passes, but soon a driver willing to sit and wait it out got behind us and gave us a chance to breathe.
At the end of the bridge, I gave my usual thumbs-up/peace-sign that I give to non-asshole drivers as they finally pass once it’s safe (even if half of them are probably still fuming internally), and then nearly fell off my bike with shock when I saw the driver was Sergei, the guy we had met yesterday atop Otter Crest, excitedly waving and encouraging us on!
It was such an incredible coincidence that it nearly makes me believe there is a higher power looking out for us. The protection he gave to us, at precisely that time and place, multiplied by the sheer unlikelihood of him appearing at precisely that time and place, totally whiplashed our mood back to where it should have been, rather than the dark place it had fallen. It was 100% what we needed, and more luck and love than we deserve.
At Honeyman, we had more well-placed hiker/biker sites, a couple touring with dogs, and Rett’s incredible chicken noodle soup (the first time she’s made it her life, outside!)