Day 27 – Woke up in Umpqua. We decided to continue the tradition of coffee and breakfast in the morning, so Russ, Cindy and I made a 7 mile ride into Lakeside. We found a little diner that was run by one waitress and one cook. Russ and I ordered the French Toast with scrambled eggs and sausage. Cindy got bacon, eggs and toast. The portions were huge and the food was delicious. We all left stuffed and ready to conquer the short 40 mile day.
This time I lead the way. My legs were feeling better than usual so I pushed as hard as I could to keep the pace up. It was all rolling hills and long stretches of flat land. We were moving between 16 and 20 mph for a good long stretch. Most of the ride was inland, so there weren’t many scenic stops. We only stopped a couple of times when my bike shorts started to give me a wedgie that I couldn’t bare. There were plenty of butt floss jokes flying at that point.
We had some big bridges to cross into North Bend. We all stayed close and powered up the hill. We didn’t hear Cindy, when she said she was going to hit the button to alert people that bikes were on the bridge, and we left her in the dust. A nice driver stopped traffic so she could catch up, but she said like she felt like she was going to puke by the time she caught us. We made it over the bridge and rolled through North Bend. It was only a few more miles to Coos Bay. As we rolled into town, Frank hollered at us from a bike shop across the street. He broke a shifter cable the afternoon before and was getting it repaired. We waived and continued into the town center.
There I spotted a Wells Fargo, so we parked our bikes and I went in to get some cash. I got $40 from the teller and then realized I was still carrying around a Canadian $5 bill. I asked if they could deposit it into my account. The woman said yes, but she said it may take a bit, because their system was just redone and they weren’t quite sure how to do the exchange. Another teller came over to help, and both ladies chatted me up, asking where I was going and what it was like out on the road. We were laughing and joking when Cindy came in to check on me. She walked in the door and said, “Oh, now I see what’s taking so long, you’re talking to two pretty ladies. I’ll leave you alone. We’ll be outside.” Cindy left and we all laughed. They made the deposit and I headed back out the door.
I saw Russ and Cindy laughing across the street. They joked that “Aunt Cindy” came into the bank and ruined my game. There was another Fred Meyer in town where we grabbed some supplies. We all decided to get our lunches and then take them down the road and find a nicer spot to eat. I lead the way once we were out of town, and kept the pace up. We climbed another good hill, before I got a 2nd wedgie I couldn’t stand. After pulling over for a drink of water and a de-wedgie, Cindy took the lead. There were a couple of slow steady long climbs in the hot sun. We stopped at the top of each for a water break. Russ asked how far we were from camp. It was just over 7 miles at that point. He decided to bang it out.
Cindy and I followed, but Russ hit warp speed at the top of the next hill and I was blinded by the nuclear blast. We got into camp about 5 mins after Russ. We all setup our tents and plugged in our phones at the USB charging station. What a luxury. Cindy and I decided to take our lunches to the beach. We could hear the waves, and I figured it couldn’t be that far of a walk. It ended up being over 3/4 of a mile through deep sand. When we were half way, we ran into a family that said it was windy out there. Their son said it was a long walk. We continued on anyway, sipping our drinks and chatting. We were determined to make it to the ocean.
It was a tough last 1/4 mile, but we finally made it. Up and over a dune we could see and endless stretch of secluded beach front. The wind blasted us hard. The family wasn’t lying. It looked like a scene out of Mad Max. The sand was so deep on the hillside that we sank almost to our knees as we walked toward the water. We dipped our toes into the freezing cold Pacific and then hurried back to the cover of the dunes. Up we went and I almost lost a sandal in the deep sands. So much for eating on the beach.
Instead, we walked back and ate our sandwiches, which had now been covered in a sandy grit. It got really cold that night. It was the first time I put on my long underwear. Frank and the Hammock Guys showed up and we all sat around the table that night laughing away. We joked about being sponsored by corn and “Aunt Cindy” walking in on me at the bank. Cindy even learned what a cornhole was. This group has been so much fun to hang with. It seemed like every time we all got together we would laugh until our stomachs burst. Another great day.
(Repost of my 2014 Pacific Coast Tour Instagrams)