Day 9: Florence to Coquille, 70 miles
Riding south from Florence feels like I am really leaving, now. I stop at the 101 Bicycle Guitar shop (great dual store concept) for a repair to a broken rear spoke, plus a tune-up of the derailleurs. Ah, riding now is effortless, no more over shifting dropping off my chain.
On for the next 70 miles, long stretches of shaded highway through Central Coast dunes. A tiny town of Gardiner offers respite of water and coffee in a small tavern. There PBS plays Charlie Rose interviewing Chris Matthews about the debate between Obama and Romney. I ask the bartender what she thinks. More of the same.
Two McCullough bridges grace the ride, one at Umpqua, and the other at North Bend. I am ecstatic to cross the second, with its cathedral spires and enormous steel spans. I roll into the familiar Co-op and stock up on dehydrated lentils and other staples, intent on cooking for the next several nights.
The sun is setting again as I ride through Coquille and up Rink Creek Lane towards the Cob Cottage Company. I wonder what it will be like to see them again, first time in 2 years. Again, in the dark, I push up the steep rocky road to the path, over the foot bridge, then up into the dark woods until I see light shining through the arched cob window.
I am welcomed by Linda and Ianto, home again at the Cob hovel. More time tomorrow to catch up. I retire to the Meadow Suite, a sweet cob cottage at the top of a row of cobs. I fall asleep and dream of earth houses, happy children, and a bright future.