I had breakfast and chatted with a couple I hadn't met before last night. These 2 were like machines. Up super early and on the bikes at lest an hour an half before me. They were clocking up some big daily mileages too so I probably won't be seeing them again.
I was on the road by a respectable 10am. Before long I caught up with Elon. I found out this morning I have been spelling his name wrong up until now. We rode together for a bit before stopping off to take a look at some sand-dunes. The dunes are so vast in Oregon that it will take us 3 days to cycle the length of this particular stretch. We climbed to the highest point to get a good view. It was an incredible sight, the dunes are so vast that it's difficult to judge their size with so much uninterrupted sand.
We stayed together for the next 10 miles, separating once in a while due to differences in pace. It's good to ride with other people even when you can't talk to each other. There is some kind of unspoken communication that can make the ride more enjoyable. I also love to ride alone as it allows me to stop to take pictures or eat a snack on a whim.
I lost Elon as I entered Reedsport, the only proper town of the day. This would be my only opportunity to buy food for dinner so I stopped at the Safeway. Kate was sat outside wearing a bandage on her ankle. I was happy to see she was coping with the problem in her achilles tendon. We had all decided to do a short day today to try and allow Kate to rest up a bit. The Supermarket was really good and I was excited to find a can of vegetarian chilli and some instant mashed potato. I would have quite the feast tonight. I also bought a birthday card for Kate with the intention of getting everyone to sign it before her 30th birthday on Tuesday.
I cycled the remaining 13 miles with Kate, taking in a very long straight climb. We all decided that it's better to have a long hill with plenty of corners. At least that way it's possible to kid yourself that around the next corner you will reach the top.
Our home for tonight was the rather quiet but lovely William M Tugman State Park. I had a nice chat with a couple of elderly adventurers. They had many very impressive cycle tours under their belt but had settled down a bit now. They were riding some very odd bicycles that they carry around on the back of their RV. Rather than the usual saddle they had something much closer to a small armchair. They said they were scoping out potential kayaking spots. I admired their sense of adventure considering they must have been about 70.
Before dinner Elon, Kate, Brian, Beth and I all gathered to discuss the plan for the next couple of days. The plan is to cycle 50 miles tomorrow to the town of Bandon where we've booked a hostel for 2 nights. From Wednesday I may well end up leaving the group unfortunately. I need to start stepping up the daily mileage if I'm to make it to San Francisco for October 12th to meet my girlfriend. I'll need to increase my average daily mileage from around 40 to 60. California also has some pretty intimidating climbs in store so the next couple of weeks will be quite a physical challenge. I have a great incentive to make it on time so I'm sure I can do it.