Day 6: Yachats to Heceta overlook, 29 milesNo more beautiful day on the Oregon Coast! Clear skies, gentle breeze, shirt sleeve temps. I settle in to a day at the Yachats ‘La-De-Da’ festival, as pure a slice of Americana as you’ll ever find. A challenging day internally, as the 4th of July has always been our anniversary celebration. I arrive in town flooded with memories, shedding tears of grief and guilt, wondering how to overcome the loss. How will I connect with new people? ‘Independence day’ bears special meaning as I venture off in my new ‘single’ life. No better cure for loneliness than diving into a small town on the 4th.Community pancake breakfast at the Lyons Hall, rubber duckie race in the Yachats River, madcap homespun La-De-Da parade, a lemonade stand with a young boy playing remarkably good harmonica.
Midafternoon I cycle south to Heceta Head, gentle coastal breeze becoming a strong tail wind which boosts me over hills. As I turn at Heceta overlook, I am buffeted by an even stronger head wind for the return north, but I welcome this as part of my summer training. Hills and head winds make for strong cyclists. Having taken two off days, I am struggling again to regain my stride. Mostly in the mind, I overcome my resistance in the last few miles, enjoying a blazing descent off Cape Perpetua, soaring back into the festive town decked out for its premire summer event.The evening fireworks over the ocean are phenomenal, a full 15 minute show. (Video of this eye candy in the sky will be uploaded when I have better wifi.) Then I head back to the Green Salmon, for a hypnotic firedance show, accompanied by world beat, gypsy, electronica music by La Boheme Reverie, Zach on violin, Ernie on jazz flute, Tyler on didgeridoo. Here’s Ali spinning the flaming poi:
I reluctantly attend an after party up the Yachats River. I stand around feeling awkward and reclusive, then am glad to retreat to my van for sleep. I wake to a sun drenched morning with new friends in a garden spot nestled along the small winding river. Terry and I talk about future shows at the restaurant, music and dance with dinner theater, blending elements of food and art. ‘Most of all it needs to be fun’ Terry reminds me. Celebration, food, music, art, community, cycling, solace. I have found everything I need, here on this day of independence.