We've reached Eugene Oregon and are enjoying our first rest day. If I've come to terms with one thing during the 8-10 hours per day that I've spend on a bike since leaving Portland on Saturday it is my inability to recapitulate the never ceasing stream of random events and new experiences and my more or less insightful thoughts about them in a concise weekly blog update. There is really no way to convey what we have seen and how we feel, but I will try my best anyway.
In Portland, we stayed with Joe's cousin Katie and her boyfriend Nick. They showed us around the city and took us up to the top fo the building that they work in. From their we enjoyed a great view of the city and the surrounding lanscape. We could see Mt. Hood and Mt. St. Helens in the distance. They are beautiful and unlike any mountain that I have ever seen. I had finished one of my books during our day and half layover, so we stopeed at Powell's City of Books (supposedly the world's largest book store) to restock. On Friday night, Katie helped us carbo-load by cooking us some pasta. After that, Joe beat the four of us in Settlers of Catan and then we went to bed.
We awoke on Saturday morning wishing that we could enjoy Katie and Nick's hospitality a little longer while getting to know the city a little better, but we rode out of town with a giddy sort of excitment. To Joe's suprise Nate lead most of the day (Joe and Nate have never ridden together and his more of a rock&ice climber/backpaker/extreme swimmer than a cyclist). We easily rode 30 miles past our planned 60 and spent the night in the parking lot of "Faith Baptist Church", just outside of Lincoln City, OR.
Night time is the hardest time psycologically. When your body is beat from a long day on the bike, one glance at a map can send you spiraling into a feeling of selfdout. This feeling can be prevented by only looking at one fold of the map at a time and remedied by going to sleep.
We awoke early on Sunday morning in an effort to get on the road before we were stumbled upon by an early church goer. It was nice to get a few miles in before stopping for breakfast. Food has been a challenge for us, mainly because it is a lot more espensive than we imagined. We tried to assemble a meal from items bought at the grocery store. This turns out to be more expensive and less nutritious (though less processed) than buying a $5 footlong from Subway. After discovering this we have been eating out and buying cheap, high-calorie processed foods. This was working ok (though still too costly) until our bodies started to rebel against the simple-carbs. We arrived in Eugene yesterday desperetly craving vegetables.
We are spending two nights in Eugene with an intentional Christian community called "The Church of the Servent King" They people here are pretty cool and unbelievably hospitible. I cannot even begin to convey their generosity and am speechless when it comes to thanking them.
I am running out of time on the computer. Nate wants me to share the list below to fill in the holes.
So far we've:
-stayed with Joe's cousin Katie and her boyfriend Nick in Portland
-dragged our boxed bikes across downtown Portland
-shopped at the world's largest book store
-surveyed Portland from the top of one of it's taller buildings
-rode 90 miles to Lincoln City, OR
-Learned that our stove doesn't burn Diesel
-eaten luke warm rice and beans
-realized that eating at subway is cheaper than buying groceries from a store
-slept in the parking lot of a church
-biked 80 miles to Florence, OR
-dragged our bikes across nearly a quarter miles of beach for a single photo
-dragged them back to the road
-wept over the state of our drive-trains
-tried, unsucessfully, to clean them
-seen some sealions
-asked to sleep in a man's yard
-been informed that he his grass had and impending engagment with his lawnmower and that we might try the park down the street
-hung out at the pavillion next to the suprisingly skate park, while reading Wendell Berry and waiting for the sun to go down
-layed out or sleeping bags under a tress
-seen park rangers coming to kick us out
-discovered that they were actually homless people dumpster diving
-been assurred that the park is a great place to spend the night
-been visited by two 50lb. racoons
-awoke to sprinklers in the middle of the night
-drank lots of coffee
-biked 60 miles
-enjoyed the most delicious salad I've ever tasted
-been treated to dinner
-met too many people to remember
-watched the movie "youth in revolt"
-slept in a real bed
-sat in front of a computer
Tomorrow will be our first day of climbing. We hope to be in Bend in two days.