Today was perhaps the most physically challenging day I’ve had yet. It was a great day, but it demanded a lot from my body – thankfully, the body delivered! I also hit a big milestone today – 600 miles!
Spotlights This Week:
Always: Hope Chapel Missions
Charity Spotlight: Desire Street Ministries
Church Spotlight: Port Orford Christian Center – Port Orford, OR
Church Spotlight: Coquille Foursquare Church (Praise Center) – Coquille, OR
Because the Coastal Express bus doesn’t run on Saturday, I needed to use the bike as my shuttle vehicle. There are several ways for this to happen, and I won’t bore you with details of all the options… but the quickest and (generally) the easiest is to park at the start, walk the bike alongside me to the end, then bike back to the car.
However, the wind has been significant here in the afternoon and today was to be no exception. I would be riding a number of uphill miles against a daunting headwind after walking 10 miles, and the prospect just didn’t seem like much fun. In the drive to my start point I noticed that both the morning wind and traffic were unusually light, so I changed the typical game plan and chose to do the bike leg first.
So… I parked at the end of my route, biked to the start at Humbug Mtn State Park, then started walking with my bike to the end. Easier said than done…
I’m not nearly as adept or conditioned on the bike as I am when walking – I just haven’t had to ride it all that much. There was one uphill mile while biking to the start where I had to stop and rest so often that it actually took 10 minutes longer on the bike than it would have taken me to push it up the hill on foot! It took me an hour and a half to get back to Humbug Mountain – embarrassing… I was totally exhausted – it was already 11 am and I still had 10 miles to walk.
It was absolutely the right decision to bike first. The wind picked up horribly, to the point that even walking the bike alongside me downhill with the wind behind me was difficult. I can only imagine what riding uphill against the wind would have been like. I kept looking for places to ditch the bike for pickup later, but there really was nothing. Sheer dropoffs, heavy brush (some of which may have been poison oak) just made it impractical.
Finally, halfway through the walk I passed Prehistoric Gardens – a popular rainforest attraction with life-sized dinosaur statues that we took our kids to once upon a time, and they let me stash my bike so I could walk unencumbered for the last 5 miles. What a difference that made – I’m so thankful!
Anyhow, it took me 6-1/2 hours to git-‘er-done today – on nothing but a cup of coffee and a granola bar for fuel. I felt I deserved a break today, so I treated myself to a late lunch/early dinner at a sit-down restaurant with a nice view – I enjoyed the time to just ‘be still’ and reflect on the past 600 miles/4 months.
All that being said, it really was a lovely scenic day:
Yesterday I mentioned watching Humbug Mountain getting nearer and nearer. Today I found myself on ‘the other side of the mountain’, watching it get smaller and smaller as I edge ever closer to saying goodbye to Oregon.
I spent my last Port Orford evening at Paradise Point watching the sunset, with the Cape Blanco Lighthouse in the distance. A few years ago Larry & I camped at Cape Blanco SP and our campsite was on the bluff. We had a front row seat for the sunset and the lighthouse. A great memory then, and a great memory now.
Lastly, I want to thank everyone who made a difference in my life the past few weeks… my host families: Dave & Sally (Walnut Creek); Wayne & Julie (Florence); Shelley & Kelly (Florence to Coos Bay); Gary, Susan & Kelli (Coos Bay); Sam & Lovena (Coquille); Brandon & Kendra (Port Orford); and Linda & Paul (Benicia)… to Shelley and her ‘grand-dog’ Pe’a for being my newest Sole Sisters, and to Kelly for the daily shuttles… to John & Jackie from Oregon Coast RV Resort for parking, for pointing me in the right direction to find my new bike, and for just being awesome in every way! Also, to Pacific Community Church (Bandon), and Langlois Market (Langlois) for letting me park; to Prehistoric Gardens for letting me stash my bike today; and to Rory/Loretta (Gold Beach) for keeping my bike so I don’t have to haul it back to Cali with me during my break. And last, but not least, to my husband Larry for tirelessly working to arrange my host families for the next few months – I’m coming home!
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. ~ John 14:27