This was the class song for the Palmetto Tigers of 1974 , sung by Seals & Crofts – very appropriate for how I often feel on this journey. I get so ’emo’ when I’m passing through an area for the last time. I’m flooded with memories of these places – once strange, now familiar. Snapshots in my head that can never be captured by the camera’s ‘eye’. Landscapes. Scents. Faces. Thoughts. Things that made me smile. Things that made me cry – like passing through an area for the last time.
Note: Tomorrow I start the drive home. I’ll continue the weekend posts while I’m off the trek, but I won’t be doing daily updates on the Facebook page until I start walking again on June 13.
I attended a Saturday night prayer meeting with my Lincoln City ‘host mom’, and it was quite unique, inspiring, and refreshing. I’m used to the group talking about the prayer requests, then we pray. With this group, it was hard to tell when the conversation stopped and the prayer began. They would talk briefly about a need, and when someone felt they had enough information, prayer for that need would begin. My head was bowed, my eyes were closed, but at some point I’d realize that everyone else was looking at each other and talking about the next prayer request. The transitions were seamless – it was as if the prayer was a living, breathing thing, and it was beautiful.
The walking week started out with a funny story. Monday was a rainy day, and it was soon apparent that I needed more than the umbrella. I went into the restroom at Boiler Bay State Park to change into my rain gear. I’ve used similar restrooms often while on this trek – and sometimes there aren’t many other people around. For some reason, I started pondering the new White House directives about trans-gender bathrooms and thought to myself, “No matter what the ‘rules’ say, I’d feel pretty uncomfortable if a guy decided to use the women’s restroom while I was in here alone.” Not 10 seconds later I heard footsteps, and in walks a dude with a pony tail! He paid me no mind, and headed straight for the urinal.
Wait a minute… the urinal???
I grabbed my stuff and – as nonchalantly as possible – slithered out and double-checked the sign on the door:
Friday marked a fun milestone. I gave the Milepost 173 sign a high five as I passed by because it marks my halfway point through Oregon – I can also say with certainty that I’m 1/4 of the way through the entire trek!
The highlight of my final day’s walk was Heceta Head, with its lighthouse and nearby Sea Lion Cave. I’ve been to the cave before, so all I did was check out the gift shop & buy a few post cards. However, just between the Heceta Head viewpoint and the Sea Lion Caves I noticed a cove that was teeming with sea lions. It was in a place that no one would notice unless they were walking! It was a great show, and no admission charge – I called a few people over from the viewpoint and they enjoyed it too.
Heceta Head Lighthouse, viewed from the cheap seats:
I needed to relax a few minutes, ’cause just before, I had gone through the Cape Creek tunnel. It was short, but with NO shoulder – you press a button before entering, and lights flash to warn motorists of a pedestrian/cyclist in the tunnel. People love to honk their horns inside, which adds to the chaos – but it was actually pretty exhilarating!
Also in the Heceta Head area, I got a birds-eye view of a bird:
Oh… and as I passed by a trailhead, I became a believer:
As I look toward home, I also want to look back at all the people who gave of their time, resources and hearts to make this possible. My host families, who provided the basics (a bed) and sometimes even more (meals and shuttles): Wendy & Pastor Jim and Life Foursquare Church in Yreka, CA (on the way up); Pastor Ray & Ginger & Bethel Baptist Church in Tillamook; Riki & Pastor Jeff & Church of the Nazarene in Tillamook; Debbie in Lincoln City; Steve & Janet in Newport; Marilyn in Florence; Cherie & Michael in Sutherlin; and Linda & Paul in Benicia, CA on my way home . Thanks also to Karen from Church of the Nazarene for spending an entire morning providing vehicle support through the Siuslaw National Forest (and for lunch)! To Chuck in Lincoln City, who tried to figure out what was wrong with my car, and Marilyn (also Lincoln City) who teaches self-defense and gave me a crash course after church. To David at South Prairie Store in Tillamook and Irma at Hudson House B&B in Cloverdale, who let me park. And to Dave & Vicki in Tillamook, and Marilyn in Florence, who stored my bike so I wouldn’t have to haul it all the way to California and back. To Pastor Ray, Steve, Karen and Marilyn for shuttling me to my start points, and to Janet for the soup recipe!
I also want to thank those of you at home who have faithfully prayed for me – and for all your words of encouragement. I can’t wait to see you!
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. ~ Galatians 6:9