~ Day 5 – Dunes country; no quarter; still not crazy ~

06/04/2010 – 61.5 miles 

Admittedly, the past 2 days have been brutal and when I awoke this morning I was expecting nothing but a continuation of this. Grey and wet and cold. A night’s drying of gear entirely in vain. The Bayshore Motel is a strange 60s style relic within a more strange town. Coos Bay seems another of those sleepy, dusty Northwest towns founded on the promise of timber and fish and industry. Today, the mills appear listless rather then frantic, scrappy rather than robust. I constantly baffle myself at how the economies of these towns persist. And yet there are new cars and trucks, literally everywhere. How do people go out to the bar or for a meal, as witnessed last night? I think we are completely over-leveraged. I don’t know.

Awoke about 9:30, another 10 hr sleep, and hopped straight in the shower. Piddled around with drying stuff, re-ordering proximity to crazily fire-unsafe furnace in my underwear, and sweating like a madman. Basically avoided getting back on the road for as long as I could. The weather channel proved entirely unhelpful, excepting the tidbit about The Goonies celebrating its 25th anniversary in Astoria this weekend. Don’t know if I can make it there by Sunday, moreover don’t know that I care. Hmmm.

Turns out the piddling paid off, as by 11:30 (when I finally got out) the rain had drew quit. Amazing. Rode uptown to North Bend (continuation of Coos Bay), found a coffee shop where purchased a small latte, a chicken pita, and what turned out to be the worst brownie Ive ever had. How is that possible? It turned out to be a “brownie sandwich” with “caramel” in the middle, and moreover proved entirely indigestible. There were no real things in there. 5 hours later I could still feel it confusing my stomach.

Rode fairly uneventfully until 18:00, excepting 2 major differences from previous days. Firstly, the bleeding sun came out! The difference is unbelievable. The second is that I feel myself getting stronger, particularly the thighs and hips. I can endure far more than I could just 2 days ago. Despite being a little disappointed in my mileage today, there is solace in that I completely gutted myself yesterday and so had more reasonable expectations today.

Currently camped in the middle of some sand dunes, illegally, a short saunter from an NFS site that wanted $20. Like hell. The host was friendly though uninformed, and could not help me with my $5 hike/bike fantasy/yet-to-be-reality. So I took a quick hike up a day path, beat off a ways, hilariously dragged my gear up a steep embankment, and found a wonderfully flat and soft spot where I am at currently camped. Took a 2.5 mile hike after dinner down to the ocean, though never quite got there. The signs were misleading. But its a great relearning exercise to hike and walk after being on the bike all day. Hiked the 2.5 miles back, with good swagger in my step. Now time to crash. I have high expectations for tomorrow, I believe it should be mostly clear skies and significantly more awesome than days prior.


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