Tuesday, June 28, 2011

I'm Just A Little Black Rain Cloud

Marie and Trystan
     I stayed one more night in Florence to refuel the batteries, so to speak.  That night I met a few more riders.  Lo and behold I met a couple more Northies as well.  (Ben and I coined the words "Northies" and "Southies."  It's a little confusing because "Northie" pertains to someone traveling from the south and a "Southie" is someone coming from the north.)  They are a couple from Europe.  Trystan is a kite boarder from England and his girl friend Marie hails from Norway.  They started from LA about the same time I did and it hasn't been until just now that we finally met up.  It was another nice and peaceful night but little did I know, that looming over me was the arch nemesis of the bicyclist.  A dark brooding rain cloud.  (Cue ominous music).
   I left Florence still unsuspicious of the monster ahead of me.  I began to feel a little unease when I began to realize that I was traveling at speeds that I had yet to achieve the entire trip.  At first I thought it was because, well, I'm just the man.  Surely these three weeks had turned me into a top notch ball of muscle and energy, strong and fast enough to tackle anything in my way from here on out.  Needless to say I was cruising along, thinking pretty highly of myself when I realized what was actually happening.  There was no wind blowing at my face.  Up till that point I had had a pretty constant head wind.  Some days more sever than others but it's been a consistent variable this entire trip.  That day the wind was blowing at my back.  This was what was causing me to go so fast.  Now you would think that this is a good thing, which it is, but when the winds change direction it's usually a pretty good indicator that there's a storm-a-brewin.  And sure enough, WHAM!  Rain, rain, rain.
I need the carbs right?
    It wasn't so bad at first.  I pulled into Newport, OR around twelve thirty or so.  I was super, I mean, super stoked because I traveled 50 miles in a little over three and a half hours.  INCREDIBLE.  I've not even come close to that the entire trip.  It was like I was not even trying.  I can't wait to turn around for my southward journey home just so I can experience a constant tail wind.  Before I actually went into Newport  I was told that I had to stop in to the Rogue brewery which is right before you enter town.  The Rogue brewery is pretty cool.  To get to the Pub/Restaurant area you have to walk through all the giant tanks where the beer is fermenting.  It makes you feel like you're one of the crew.  After a pint of the nut brown ale and some super healthy Irish potato chips with ranch I went back outside to get back on the bike.  That's when good ol' Mr. Raincloud shook his wet, dripping hand at me.  Rain time.  I got on my bike and took giant bridge into Newport.  Actually, this is probably the most unfriendly reception I've ever had while entering a city on my bike.  I think I got about three honks and two people actually rolled down their windows, in the rain, to yell whatever nonsense they thought was appropriate and could spew out in the 1.3 seconds it took to pass me.  Now, I'm not saying that it couldn't have been poor riding on my part.  But I think I've been getting better, not worse, as I've been going along.  There must be some underground public angst towards bikers that I don'k now about or something.
     Another key stop was the bike shop in Newport  renown for it's hospitality towards touring cyclists.  Inside there's actually a lounge on the second floor for the traveling riders.  Also, there are showers and laundry facilities and internet access all provided.  Amazing!  I didn't need to utilize the facilities but it was still great just to see it.
     Eight quick but wet miles later I rolled into Beverly Beach state park where a somewhat grumpy state official checked me in for six bucks to the site.  In the hike/bike spot were about ten other bikers, including Trystan and Marie, huddled under trees trying to stay dry for the night.  For the most part it was ok.  It didn't rain too much but I did wake up with a small puddle next to me.  Curses.  Honestly, I almost wish it would rain more.  I'm not sure which is worse; being a little damp, or being harassed and surrounded by mosquitoes.  The mosquitoes have been awful the past few days it was a relief to have a break from their incessant blood sucking.  Even if it did mean getting a little wet.
     Well I'm way ahead of schedule so I made the grueling, ha, 20 miles to Lincoln City where I will be staying at Devils Lake State Park tonight.  The sun is starting to come out so maybe I can dry my tent before bed tonight.  See you soon little black raincloud.

     P.S. I had some surprisingly good coffee at a place in Lincoln called Big Mountain.  It's definitely worth stoping in if you ever are in the area.  He roasts in one pound increments using hot air roasters.  It's about as small a scale as you can go for commercial use but it tasted great and was really fresh.  Sweat deal.


  1. Aaron and I love reading your blog Beau. Glad you can have this adventure. Next time maybe you can take Vitali with you, he would fit perfect in your trailer and he loves coffee :)

  2. Thanks you guys. I don't know about taking Vitail though... I don't think I could keep up with his coffee cravings.