Day 8: Newport to Lincoln City, 54 miles
A bittersweet feeling pervades my ride today. I am on my ‘homestretch’, the part of the coast I have visited hundreds of times, highway passages I’ve cycled time and again. And this time, I’m just passing through.
I visit all my favorite haunts, coffeehouses, parks, overlooks, and bridges. I see new and familiar faces, and tell each that I’m leaving, on a trip south, cycling a thousand miles.
Many are impressed, a significant number shocked to actually meet one of those crazy cyclists they’ve always seen along the side of the highway.
I stop for a rest at Washburn State Park, and as I depart, a carfull of hippies greet me. A dreadlock headed woman calls out, “You are epic!” I laugh.
Maybe years ago, I would have let that sort of flattery boost my ego. But I know different. I’m only one man, following a passion for bicycle touring. I am seeking to understand myself, to find direction.
An epic ride? Sure. But in most ways, I feel only a passenger, passing through, hoping to ma:ke connections to people and landscape and time.:,