We write to you from Langlois, Oregon, “Home of the world famous hot dog.” We have a lot to tell you about since Lizzy published our last bit in Newport. While Lizzy was writing Kyle and I (Timmy) walked to get coffee where we met Willie, who told us all about his personal life, asked if we were homeless, and even after we told him what we were up to (not homeless, biking) still gave us great advice on the food bank and where to get free meals. Thanks for looking out for us Willie.
Back at the library we snugged up in our warm clothes and readied ourselves for the rest of our day south. Our plan was to get to Seal Rock and perhaps find some more dugouts or other convenient shelter but strong head winds slowed us down to a bit slower pace than we’d planned for… After a quick map viewing meeting in a day use state park area bathroom (rain… wind… shelter…) We saw a few options ahead nearby. Shortly after we pulled off the road to Ona State Park. We found some large trees that provided limited shelter and agreed that we could put the tent up there. But not before a quick walk around the park to look for special camping spots (i.e. something less “normal” than camping in a tent on the ground). Kyle showed a special sheltered area he’d found a Lizzy something less conventional- the state park bathroom. Now don’t jump to conclusions, this was a LARGE bathroom. Locker room size. And now if you imagine it without the toilets and urinals what do you see? A shelter right? Anyway it was decided- we’d stay in the bathroom that night. If this all seems a little crazy, use the fact that we slept in the bathroom to indicate how rainy and wet the day really was.
Our night in the bathroom was great- we had 11 hours of cozy dryness and weren’t even disturbed by anyone needing a restroom. We were glad that no park employee kicked us out or came to lock our little paradise shelter, and in the morning we were well rested. We’ve began referring to our shelter as Bed Bath and Beyond. We had one toilet user in the morning, and he was the “beyond” of our experience. Poor guy had to go #2 in a bathroom with three bike touring weirdos. He probably came in and thought, “gee this place is smelly.”
We bundled up, as per usual (knowing that sure enough that in 5 miles we’d be drenched in rain on the outside and sweat on the inside). After a nice morning ride of 20 miles or so we stopped in Yachats at a coffee shop called the Green Salmon. To mine and Lizzy’s surprise this place had a wide array of vegan treats and lunch dishes. We all had coffee. I added a bear claw, Lizzy a scone, and Kyle pulled out his home-dried bananas.
Way to go Green Salmon. Our destination this day was just south of Florence, Honeyman state park, with a hiker-biker camp and even with showers.
Leaving the cafe we went through our first tunnel and then began climbing steep hills with surprising views of Oregon’s cliffs and powerful ocean below. Even more powerful than the ocean were the hundreds of seals we saw (and heard), over the roar of the ocean down below.
The climbs near Cape Perpetua were well worth the views and traffic wasn’t too bad. Everyone we’d talked to so far had said something like “be safe out there,” or “they don’t look for bikers well enough around those turns near Florence,” but on our trip we’ve only really encountered respectful drivers. Following the cliffs North of Florence the landscape changes abruptly to dunes, which made for great views descending the high roads.
Besides the dunes we were met with heavy hail and rain. Enough to the point that we were no longer just passing through Florence, we were going to a laundromat in Florence. The laundromat turned out to be a very special place. There we were able to eat our snacks and wash/dry clothes; There was even a cat for entertainment, and even more, and young girls whose mother was doing laundry, to chase the cat. “MEOW MEOW MEOW!” she bellowed. I got the impression that the cat had had enough attention for this weird small human and was not coincidentally hiding between a row of several washers. Kyle made Meow noises of his own to aide the feline in it’s hiding as lizzy and I made small talk with the child. We also got the impression that the mother of this girl was 1) not into her daughter’s enthusiasm for this cat, and 2) not into the fact that her daughter was talking to some strange bikers.
In addition to the young girl’s convincing cat imitations, she told us, “I’m not kidding!” as if we believed that she was not serious about finding the cat once more. Before we knew our clothes were dry and we were back on the road, headed to Honeyman, just south of Florence. We arrived, set up Lizzy’s new 2-person tent, and made a dinner of refried beans (kyle dehydrated beans and they’re delicious) with corn tortillas and taco bell hot sauces. As it turns out the lid of my stove works wonderfully for warming tortillas (by the way we had a similar dinner the previous night). Olives were our appetizers, and it was great to use up the last bits of our heavy canned foods; thanks YCAP dumpster. Even in the dark we could hear people driving their dune buggies or ATVs on the nearby dunes.
Kyle and I took free warm showers in the state park bathroom- that was a pleasure for reducing nighttime stickiness, and for warming up. In the tent we did our nightlies of reading and writing and reading and thinking and lights were out early. Before we fell asleep a powerful hail storm moved through that was louder on the tent walls than I’ve ever heard. We all couldn’t help but laughing without any words. Today is March 6th, day 5, of our trip, and we’ve had hail everyday!
The next morning we slept in a little later than previous mornings. After the ritualistic bundling up we headed off to find hail covering the roads and rather thick in some spots. It was a neat scene to see hail built up on the divets of the sand dunes. The roads were wet and hand and feet were cold- but we were fine. Kyle and Lizzy have been sporting some sort of sneakers, and I’ve been wearing rain boot cut offs. While my feet sometimes stay dry I think I have the worst circulation. Our first 16 miles or so were definitely challenging, but it’s hard not to have a good attitude when you’re riding with such funny looking people. Apologies for the lack of pictures here; I think if we could insert a graph with the weather on one axis and the amount of pictures taken on the other there’d be an obvious correlation. We stopped in Gardiner (16 miles) at a gas station for coffee and snacks. There’s nothing to boost morale like caffeine, a little overappreciated warmth, and gas station snacks.
At the gas station we checked our phones to get updates on a potential warm showers host in Coos Bay. We remained hopeful… I also bought a pair of yellow latex gloves (you know, those for cleaning) for keeping my hands dry/warm. I doubted their success, but spent the $2 anyway. Caffeinated, snacked up, and with Coos bay in our optimistic sights we left the gas station. The diagonal rain reminded us even from inside what we were heading into, but like I said, we were caffeinated.
I will leave off here, as the library we’re visiting is closing soon. Team Dynamix is great (this is our team name). Team dynamics are also great. And I’ve gained a whole new perspective on all the banana peels I’ve thrown out the car window. Thanks to those who’ve contributed Watsi donations already! Here is the link for those interested.
All the best,