Morning came quickly and I took another hot shower, got dressed, and went down for the continental breakfast. It wasn’t much, but it was filling and had lots of protein and carbohydrate type foods. I pushed off after taking care of the bill and talking to the desk clerk for a few minutes. I left Corvallis about 9:00 am.
This day was completely different from yesterday, blue skies, bright sunshine and pleasantly warm. Crossing the river and backtracking to the point where I would turn south I headed for Brownsville the next town on my way to the finish in Eugene. This part if the trip was easy, very level or slightly rolling. I was about half way to Brownsville and wouldn’t you know I took a wrong turn, rather didn’t turn, and then had to back track to get to the overpass to cross the freeway.
I reached Brownsville between 11:30 and noon. This time I wasn’t going to make the same mistake I had made the day before. I found a place to eat, it was a small café. A cup of soup and a sandwich made for a pleasant lunch. The café owner, an occasional cyclist, told me that he had lots of bikers stopping by as they travelled the byway. After leaving the café I headed for the most difficult part of the trip.
Leaving Brownsville I headed out on Gap Road heading for the one hill that would become a real challenge. In one mile I would climb over 300 feet. I made it just short of the summit, where I petered out and had to walk the final 300 feet.
Crossing the summit it was a heck of a ride, down the hill at breakneck speed. I was glad that I had replaced the original tires with Gatorskins, but I was still concerned that I would have a blowout while going over 30 miles an hour. I was happy to finally reach the bottom of the hill and be able to pedal again. Over another small hill and it was flat from there on to Eugene.
Upon reaching Armitage County Park, the official end, I stopped for a drink of water and to savor the accomplishment of completing the trip. I had envisioned doing a jig to celebrate this achievement, but it is not my style, so the jig remained a figment of my imagination, so on to the motel in Eugene.
Again after checking in, it was time for a hot shower and dinner. I had spotted a Mexican restaurant that looked good. Enchiladas, Chile Rellenos, beans and rice made for a very satisfying meal. I went back to the motel for a night of rest and then to head for the train station.
Reaching the train station I had an hour and a half wait for departure. It was unusual to sit calmly waiting for the train after the last two days. I was content and felt good that the journey was nearing completion. Getting back to Portland and seeing my wife and my dog was now my highest priority.
After loading my bike into the baggage car, I boarded the train and found a seat and began to plan my next adventure. I decided that the next big one was to sign up for the 200 mile STP (Seattle to Portland) ride the following summer. I had never ridden in a group ride and I thought it might make for another milestone to achieve.
While thinking of the next journey, I remembered that I had been reading the summer before a friend’s blog where he rode 4000 miles in 10 weeks which he called a Pedal Pilgrimage. He had travelled up the coast from San Francisco to Portland and people asked him why he was travelling north when the winds were flowing south. It was the direction he needed to go to get back to Portland and home.
I decided that I would also travel this route but I would go south and allow the wind to help me. This trip I have planned for September 2014, but something else was in store for me.