What’s going on fellas, this past week has been absolutely CRAZY! Up until Wednesday Joe and I had been separated because I had a conference in DC that I attended as part of my job that I’m starting in September.
Even though attending this conference took time out of our bike journey I’m so glad I went. It was my first time being at this conference as an employee and I couldn’t have enjoyed it more. The conference was about educating university students about why it is important to maintain and strengthen the U.S-Israel relationship. Having the opportunity to speak in front of many people and educate them on the issues was extremely empowering and the whole conference I felt like I was just in this awesome groove. It made me realize I hope that in every job I have in the future there will be a public speaking component, I get such an adrenaline rush from it. One last thing from the conference that I learned. Israel is my passion, and now I’m able to incorporate my profession with my passion, and even though I was and will be waking up early and working late, I don’t see that as a negative, I see it as fulfilling my aspirations.
Okay, now back to the road. I flew into Eugene Wednesday night and coincidently I sat next to a guy on the flight who was staying at the same fraternity house I was that night. So instead of paying $30 for a taxi, his buddy was picking him up and they offered to give me a ride. The luck continues.
Thursday: Eugene to Mapleton
Alright back on the road. We headed out to a campsite about 40 miles away from Eugene with a couple guys we met staying at the fraternity house, Matt , Michael and David. We camped right next to a river and went exploring around. We made a fire and had hot dogs that evening along with smores which absolutely hit the spot. All night we just sat around the fire and chatted, it was quite relaxing.
Friday: Mapleton the Coos Bay
We parted ways with our new friends and set off for a long days ride. For some reason that morning we were running into so many cyclists, it gave me such a large boost of energy seeing so many people doing what I love to do.
After about 40 miles we were heading up this crazy big hill and at the top there was donut shop so we obviously had to stop. As we got to the shop I saw two bikes loaded up with touring gear. We ran in and started chatting with the cyclists. Their names were Marcella and Jacob, from Tallahassee, Florida. We instantly hit it off over donuts and coffee.
After chatting and relaxing for a little we discovered we were heading to the same place, San Diego! As I am writing this on Monday morning, I’m sitting right next Marcella and Jacob so needless to say, we have turned into quite the travel buddies.
We continued to Coos Bay that night traveling in our new bike pack. Jacob and Marsella are super gnarly people, they’ve traveled all over the world and now work in a bike shop in Tallahassee. Both are recent grads of Florida State University.
We made it to Coos Bay and had no where to sleep. I thought it was common for cyclists to ask random houses if they can sleep in their yard but Marcella and Jacob had never done that so I thought it would be cool to have them experience it! I thought it might be a little harder now to have someone say yes because we had 4 people instead of 2, but low and behold the first door I went up to said we could. Joe and I taught Marcella and Jacob what to look for when picking a house. If they have a Prius or Subaru you are usually good to go. The quality of grass is important as well along with a level yard and ha hose. If you can get all of that, that is an A+ house.
The owner was Tammy, a sweet older lady who ever offered us the shower in her house. Her kindness was awesome. After setting up our tents we went into town and stopped at a brewery. We drank great beers and played board games all night! Everyone in the brewery probably thought we were crazy because of how loud we got when playing Egyptian ratscrew and apples to apples. It made me think of my childhood when we would have family board game nights.
Saturday: Coos Bay to Port Orford
After leaving Tammy’s house, we ran to the local grocery store and stacked up on food for breakfast and lunch seeing as though it was going to be a long day.
We road about 25 miles and ended up in Bandon, where there was a small farmers market with same amazing fruit. After perusing around for a little I sparked up a conversation with a women who was educating people about locally sourced seafood. We chatted and she said there is a women who hosts cyclists at her house in Port Orford, where we were coincidently ending our day. We were stoked!
We stopped at a picnic table for lunch and some of Marcella’s friends who are traveling up the coast met up with us. It was awesome meeting some of their friends. It’s great traveling with Jacob and Marcella because they know so much about bikes, and we don’t so they have been quite helpful.
We made it to Port Orford. Got to the food co-op where Kathy, our potential host worked and it was closed. They closed at 3 and it was 3:45. So after brainstorming ideas I thought I’d go to the restaurant next door and see if they had Kathy’s number. Joe also found Kathy on Facebook and friend requested her haha. Desperate times call for desperate measures.
The lady got ahold of Kathy but unfortunately Kathy wasn’t able to host us. We were discussing what we wanted to do now over coffee and cookies and in comes a young guy. He told us about this camp spot right on the beach. Sign me up. We headed out, but only after the lady at the restaurant gave us a ton of free food, bread, cheese and meat, it was epic!
We rode to the beach and set up camp in this little cove right in front of the water. Luckily there was a little creek that fed into the ocean where we all skinny dipped and washed up. That night we made a little fire and hung out, just chatting about how much we love bike touring and how awesome life is. We ate smores and headed to bed, falling asleep to the sound of crashing waves.
Sunday: Port Orford to Brookings
The scenery on this day was unreal. For most of the day we were biking along the coast, looking at the beautiful clear blue water along these drastic cliffs we were riding on. The day was filled with crazy up hills but fast down hills as well. We hit a personal record of 45 MPH.
We got to Brookings and decided to ask a random stranger to camp in their yard. Again, the first person said no problem. Shane and Tiffany were the kindest hosts. They offered us a much needed beer and we chatted for a while.
All four of us walked into town and treated ourselves to Mexican food. Jacob and Marcella aren’t accustomed to Mexican food, so they are trying to get as much as possible. We were stuffed, but it was national ice cream so we obviously had to get ice cream. Joe, Jacob and I split a tub of ice cream that is meant for 12 people but we were able to eat it all.
Today, Monday, we are going to enter into California and continue our journey down to San Diego.
ALSO please donate to Outdoor Outreach on our donation page through this website! It would be greatly appreciated!
Written by jordan mishlove