June 20 - 29: Oregon

6/27 - Eugene (58 miles 3901.5 total)
here's the photo of one of our teepees that mentioned yesterday. nearby in the shadows are, from left, lin, darleene, jackie, & phyllis. as you can see, the teepees are big; 3-4 of us slept in each. there are 6 of them. the inside has a piece of plastic covered by a piece of carpet.
here's an indoor shot; that's me doing what i do most evenings....typing reports for this web site. tho' last night i couldn't send it out from our teepee! gerrie is starting to unroll her sleeping bag.
we teepee dwellers got pretty chilly last night. & going off to the little building where the restrooms were was more of a middle-of-the-night jaunt than we're used to. but we were treated to a skyful of sparkling stars for our effort.
most everyone had left mckenzie bridge by 6:30. we got back onto hwy 126 & headed west. not too far along the way we came upon this beautiful covered bridge.
you can see also the lovely wooded terrain. for the first 20 miles or so we rode along the shaded bottom of the valley of the mckenzie river between high walls of densely tree-covered hills.
along the road's edge were large patches of purple flowering crown vetch & lots of another deeper purple flower that looked like sweet peas. there were many berry bushes blooming along the way, too. flowers do very well in this part of the country, especially roses, it seems. some yards had profusely blooming rose bushes growing like weeds over trellises & into trees.
the traffic for the first 37 miles was horrendous. at the beginning we had a nice wide shoulder, but then all of a sudden it narrowed to very little. & that little bit of shoulder was often rough &/or littered with rock, chunks of wood (from those ubiquitous lumber trucks), or glass. we were glad to stop & take a breather at vida, site of today's breakfast club.
what a list of pies we had to choose from! seems like we haven't had pie for a while. (we forget so easily.) considering what little time we have to complete our pie research & how hard it was to choose from the amazing array at the vida cafe, sari & i had 3 pieces of pie....one chocolate chip pecan to split & one each of the 3-berry pie that the waitress recommended. the berries were raspberry, boysenberry, & marionberry. both were delicious, & the 3-berry pie has earned a spot amongst our top-rated pies of the trip.
here are sari & i about to dive into our goodies. that's becky taking our picture. you can see what a cute little cafe that is. a couple of fellows seated in one of the booths warned sari & me as we left that it was to be very hot today & urged us to get to eugene before the worst of the heat settled in.
back on the road after the pie stop we headed on west to the turn at 37 miles that would finally get us off this busy highway. we wound up on a lightly travelled country road with gorgeous vistas along both sides. the tailwinds that we'd enjoyed since early morning continued to push us into eugene. we went into a bit of culture shock as we rode into town. at 136 thousand, it's the biggest piece of civilization we've seen since we started this trip. what a relief to successfully traverse the busy biways of the city & land at the ramada inn. sari & i arrived at 12:15, so one of the first things we did was to go to the trailer & get the leftover salmon burritos & black-bean relish out of the galley. patty the chef had told us to help ourselves so she wouldn't have to throw them out (perish the thot!). we shared our luscious lunch at one of the tables in the indoor courtyard of the ramada.
i had guests from my childhood visiting this evening at suppertime. mike & buff holtman live near eugene. as you can guess, mike holtman & mary holsteen (me) were usually seated in adjacent seats all through grade school at sunnyside school in burlington, iowa.
i don't think i've seen them since mike & i graduated from burlington high school in 1961. it was sure fun to catch up a bit over supper in the ramada inn parking lot.
well, tomorrow is splashdown in the pacific at florence. the estimated time of arrival at the beach is somewhere between 2 & 3 pm. we'll ride about 65 miles to a meeting spot in florence, then a police escort will usher us thru florence to the beach for the tire-dipping. we're all a little numb; we can't believe it's almost over.
Higher quality versions of the pictures from my trip are available here. If you would like copies of the original, full-size photos, or if you would like text-only versions of these daily reports e-mailed to you, feel free to e-mail my son Mark with your request. Stay tuned....

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