Without Ross, I have to bear the responsibility of relaying some facts and figures.
Day 1: Portland to somewhere near Grand Ronde - ~85 miles
Day 2: Somewhere near Grand Ronde to Washburne State Memorial Park - ~75 miles
Day 3: Washburne to Bullards Beach State Park - ~95 miles
Let me know if there's anything else Ross or Julie would have usually provided on their blogs. I feel like a single parent now, having to carry the weight shouldered by my riding partners before so you all don't feel like you're missing out now. Maybe instead i will just buy you all puppies.
Ride to San Fran has been good so far. The highlight has been purchasing a $10 AM/FM radio. Imagine all this time I've been wasting praying to God when instead I could have been listening to Justin Timberlake, whose voice is like heaven. You haven't lived until you've cruised the Pacific listening to "It's Raining Men." And, as if Jesus himself were a DJ, at one of the steepest uphills I had to climb, the radio started playing the perennial metal anthem, "Walk" by Pantera to get me through my hardest times (it's such a moving personal anecdote, i'm thinking of publishing it on bookmarks like that poem "Footprints").
Having a radio made me realize how detached from the world I've been. Why didn't anyone tell me that Kanye West's new single is incredible? Or that something happened to Brittany Spears at the VMA (i'm still sketchy on the details)? Or that Tori Amos has a song in which she proudly proclaims her MILFdom? That song may be old; I really have no idea. Anyway, it's like I've been an astronaut away for years only to come back to a planet overrun by apes.
As for lodging, I've been using actual camp sites sponsored by the state. It's a bit more challenging to find free places around here for a couple of reasons. 1.) If you ask someone about places to camp, they'll probably direct you to a real camping site because there are dozens of them here. 2.) There don't seem to be towns at the distance I want to go. Paying hasn't been a problem; the state run camps cost $4 a night and it's worth it for some peace of mind (not to mention my mother's peace of mind).
Last night, i was sharing a picnic table at a camp site with a couple from Montreal who kept to themselves mostly, but were kind enough to offer me their spices.
"Please use these spices if you would like," said the woman in her lovely French Canadian accent.
"Oh, thank you, but I'm getting used to bland food," I said as i boiled my mac and cheese and watched them pepper the sides of sirloin steak and wrap potatoes in foil.
"SPices make everything better," she said.
"Will it turn my Mac and Cheese into steak and potatoes with rolls dipped into gravy? While I'm at it, will it turn my stale Oreos into some orange slices heated on an open fire and doused in some sort of sweet liqueor sauce?" I didn't actually say that but watched them eat all those aforementioned foods. Julie once told me about food envy. I didn't understand until last night.
Don't read this last paragraph if you are a worrier. On my second day in Lincoln City, I got hit by a car. Don't worry, i'm fine. An old fucker in a hummer caught me with his passenger side mirror, but they make those things to collapse. I just felt a thud. When I talked to the guy he seemed out of it. But, again, I'm fine and the shoulder feels fine. And if it's any consolation, it was an H2, which is Barbie-mobile of the SUV world.