Saturday, July 9, 2016

It's Always a Rainbow For Someone

A little update from last night. I had a delicious burger and fries for $5 at the park where they were going to be playing music. Later, I watched a little of the concert (it wasn't the best--think 70s music not done well). It didn't really matter if I watched or not as I could hear it just fine from my campsite. I retired to my tent about 8:30. Okay, really it was closer to 8:00, I just didn't have anything else to do. I did read for awhile in my tent. The music was still playing until the rain came at about 10:00. That put an end to the concert. I must admit, I wasn't disappointed.

It rained for a good chunk of the night. I woke up briefly at 4:15. The rain had stopped. I got up at 6:45 and was on the road by 8:00. The camp host had unlocked the park bathrooms, which was a good thing because the sani-cans were disgusting (a negative 10 on my potty shack rating scale). 

There wasn't much wind. I was very grateful. I went back through the town to cross the river, and get back on the route. Today's main crop seemed to be blueberries. The route was flat for a bit, but then I had a few rollers. The clouds were mighty low in the foothills.
Fortunately, there was no rain.

Things were going well for the first 10 miles or so. Then, my nemesis, the headwind, returned. I pulled into Jefferson at mid-morning snack time. I was looking for a bakery (of course I was!). All I could find was a cafe (called Jefferson Station Cafe), so I had second breakfast. I also took the time to write down the turn-by-turn directions for today as I had come to an intersection that had no sign. Usually, one would assume go straight, but there was no road straight. I pulled out my iPad and looked up the route I had saved on iBooks. It's a good thing I did, because I was sure I should go left, when, in fact, I was supposed to go right. I really didn't want to go the wrong way today because I already had 66 miles to do. At the next turn the sign was there, but I still wrote down the directions.

After Jefferson, it was more headwind. If the road curved or turned, it just meant I had strong cross winds. I was either getting blown into the road, or toward the shoulder. Fun fun...

For entertainment, I snuck up on a group (flock? gaggle? no, I know...a gobble!) of turkey vultures partying over a dead skunk. The smell was horrific, but I got this photo just before they saw me.
"Hey guys, let's all sing a chorus of Dead Skunk in the Middle of the Road! Wait, there's someone coming! Better fly!"
Sorry to interrupt your party!

Anyway, where was I...oh yeah, wind, wind, and more wind. The only respite was when the route strangely headed north through Albany. I was glad for the break. As I was rolling along, I looked ahead and could see the flashing lights of police and fire vehicles. It looked like all the traffic was having to turn. I still needed to go further north. At the light just before the mess, I went left and got up on the sidewalk on the opposite side of the road. As I got to the fire trucks, I could see that the Burger King restaurant was a smoldering ruin. There was still a fat fire hose across the sidewalk I was on, so I had to lift Tilmann over it. I said to a spectator, "I guess that's no longer the home of the Whopper." 
Just after, I was able to cross back to the other side of the road.

The route turned west. I stopped at a park for some lunch, then continued on. Soon I was back to strong headwinds. I started seeing Ride Oregon route signs, but no riders. I came out to Hwy 34 near Corvallis. There is a nice new bike path next to the hwy. Once again, was going north for a bit. Yay!

At Peoria Rd, I remembered reading that if I didn't want to cross the busy hwy, I could go up to the light, and rejoin the route later. I'm thinking the traffic light at Peoria Rd is new. Sure, I wasn't about to try to get into the turn lane, but I could just cross at the crosswalk. Strangely, there was no route sign there either. Perhaps they have changed it to the other way, but this way worked fine. Again, I was seeing Ride Oregon signs. 

The wind was still brutal, but it was nice along the river for awhile.

Finally, I got to get out of the wind! In fact, it was now behind me when I turned onto Fayetteville Rd. It was absolute heaven! I was flying along at 15 mph! What a difference in morale! Of course, I knew I'd have to still go more south, but for the moment, I was enjoying the ride! In addition to the Ride Oregon route signs, I also saw two support vehicles. Yet, I never saw a single rider. I did see one guy going the other direction (when I was enjoying the tailwind...poor guy), but that couldn't have been a Ride Oregon rider.

I was headed to Brownsville, which is on the east side of I-5. So, for the third time today, I crossed I-5. Just a few more headwindy sections, and I was rolling into Brownsville. I saw a gal out in her yard, so I stopped and asked where Pioneer City Park was. As I rolled into the park, I saw that it was a lunch stop for Ride Oregon. I asked the camp host, but she said no riders had been here today. Maybe they come tomorrow???

So, why is this post titled "It's Always a Rainbow for Someone"? The camp host said that to me when we were talking about the rain. When I told her the rain stopped the concert early so I could go to sleep last night, she said, "It's always a rainbow for someone." I thought that was perfect for today. The guy I saw struggling in the headwind, while I was finally enjoying a tailwind...well, that was also my rainbow. 

Here are the two pages of today's route. All the roads heading south or west, or a combination were headwinds. Only the bits of north, and the easterly directions were tailwinds. On the second one, you'll see I don't have too far to go tomorrow.

Finally, an answer to the age old question of why did the chicken cross the road? 
To lay in the sun, of course!

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