Day 2: Bullards Beach to Humbug Mountain State Park, 36 miles
I get an early start, knowing the second day will bring the challenge of sore muscles and mental fatigue. For the sore muscles, I can stretch my limbs, using techniques learned from Don Weder, an amazing neuromuscular therapist in Portland. For the mind, well, here’s wherein the magic of the tour happens. Over the miles, I let my mind go, to wander, just as I’m wandering the highways. Here they come: my usual worries, obsessions, resentments, regrets. Longing, desire, loneliness, inspiration, connection. Then, around the next bend in the road, I discover what’s been missing. The still point. Calm, satisfaction, serenity, peace.
Tailwinds carry bicycle and rider along, quickly and surely. A joy to travel familiar landscape, and see favorite stops: the myrtlewood store, the giant seagull sculpture made entirely of ocean borne garbage, the world most famous hot dog in Langlois, then the long climb over Cape Blanco followed by the exhilarating descent into Port Orford. Then the stunning view of the South Coast, and Humbug Mountain, tonight’s destination. The last miles fly by, and I land at the campground, at once tired and energized. Tiffany and Sebastian are there, the two cyclists I met last night, from Montreal. There are more cyclists in the hiker biker site, two from the UK with the most garish custom jerseys I’ve seen yet. “They do the job, make you visible!”
I head down to the windy beach, sit watching the waves until I’m too chilled to stay longer. A hundred gulls are perched on the beach, lifting into the wind as I approach. Buoyant, held aloft by an invisible energy. Such is the power that drives me onward, on this tour, into my future. I turn in, glad to find a cozy sleeping bag. The cyclists in the next site are all talking around the table, laughing and connecting. I think of joining them, but shyness and exhausting prevail. I’ll catch up with them all at the next stop. Down the road.