Americans proudly fly their flag. They love it! Flags hang from everywhere you look and even in the most unexpected places. Yesterday we saw one stuck up on top of what looked to be a lifeguard stand….in the middle of the bush. But we must say, we love it too. The west coast of Oregon looks like lots of other gorgeous places we have visited around the world, and so we are plenty glad for the reminder that ’this is America’. This rugged coast line down in the south of Oregon reminds us a lot of The Great Ocean Road & Wilsons Prom in Victoria Australia, and also, the Wild Coast in South Africa. The plants and scenery are all very similar. The weather, however, sheesh! I mean, when someone tells me ‘oooh the west coast of Oregon is so beautiful, you will just love the beaches down there’, I think of hot sun, golden sand and nice temperate water to enjoy jumping about in the waves. Not here, nuh-uh, no way. Gorgeous, absolutely. But there be no hot weather, with perhaps an occasional visit from the sun (but only after 3pm) but absolutely, under no conditions, any swimming.
We were staying at Bullard’s State park yesterday, and there was a beach trail from the campsite. Brilliant, we thought. We had finished up our riding for the day around 3ish, which is quite early for us, so instead of setting about to the business of doing laundry, we thought we would head to the beach for some relaxing, splashing and sun bathing. Well. It was ¾ of a mile (1.2km) walk over a selection of sand dunes (each one with a smattering of horse poo to dodge). I dunno what you think is an acceptable distance to walk to the beach, but after our 70km ride for the day on our 11th straight day of riding, we thought it was pretty far. And from the minute we rolled into the campsite, we were completely besieged by mozzies. Like, millions of them, angry and hungry and fearless. And they followed us all the way to the beach. So not only did we have this exhausting walk, we had to swat and splatter mozzies the entire way. And because I maintain this ridiculous notion of what a beach is, I am wearing only my bikinis and a sarong. Full mozzie-bait. But we believe that the mozzies will desist when we get to the beach.
Well, when we finally do arrive on the sand, it is blowing a very chilly breeze, perhaps directly from Alaska. The few people that have endured the walk are in long pants, jumpers and jackets. Hmmm, so no sun bathing then, but perhaps the water is warm? Not yet game to drop my sarong, we dump our thongs/flip-flops and head to the waves to dip the toes in. By crikey, I am surprised it isn’t frozen over. In an attempt to continue the facade of a mini swim, we maintain our position and see if our feet will acclimatize. Nah. So we swiftly turn about and slog back to the campsite, and the mozzies, back over the dunes. Relaxing beach afternoon? Fail. Summer in Oregon? Not so much beach lounging to be had.
So yes, the West Oregon coast is gorgeous, but best enjoyed from a distance. I am unsure if anyone has ever dared swim here.
The sea mist that has engulfed us whilst riding down the coast has been pretty spectacular, cold yes, but like riding through a movie set. Hard to capture in a photograph, and even harder to keep your glasses clean when cycling through.
But boy oh boy, we are really getting into this trip. Today we are having a slow start, having found some decent Wi-Fi we decided to try and organize some photos and do a quick blog update. It is day 21 today and it is our ‘day off’. That means cycling only 50km instead of 70-90km.
I hope you have seen the video of our 1000th km on August 1st! You can click here or the pic below to see it again
It’s not the best quality video as I was holding the camera, and we weren’t sure exactly of the terrain that we would encounter, but I think you will enjoy it all the same. A few minutes riding with Bremma. And while it is difficult to see the screen on the Garmin because of the glare, I think we hot 65kph going down that hill. Not that we are trying to break and speed records, it’s just that the bike weighs 25km, the gear is just over 50kg, then you have the combined weight of me and Bren. So you do the math. We can’t help but go fast downhill! Top speed so far is 74kph. I was holding on pretty tight for that. No chance to hold a camera as well as my ‘oh jeepers’ bars. (They do nothing my handle bars, but allow me a place to squeeze when we are going so fast that I can do nothing but hold on and cry ‘oh jeepers’).
And smiling out loud. You know when you catch yourself smiling but you didn’t even know you were doing it? Like nothing in particular is making you happy but you are just so happy you find yourself continually smiling? I call that ‘smiling out loud’. And we have been doing it a lot! I think I noticed it when I spotted the first wild daisy. My Nana’s name was Daisy, so naturally, it is my favorite flower and seeing them makes me always think of her and all the excellent memories she gave me.
She spread her angel wings nearly 16 years ago, so I find it pretty special whenever I come across a daisy. Well, since spotting that 1st solo daisy on the side of the road, they have grown into great sweeping carpets of white petals with yellow sunny centers. And man is that a vision to make me smile. Every single day when I experience my first daisy spotting, the grin that spreads on my face is like a kid in a candy store. And I love to share it with every other cyclist and motorist on the road. The smile campaign continues across another continent! People literally stare and twist their necks when they see Falkor pass by them. And I love to leave them with my big cheesy grin as I sit up-front on my ‘diva seat’ (as named by Bren).
So I will leave it with you too. Imagine the biggest, white-toothed smile you can imagine. Then stretch it horizontally so much that you can only just still see the twinkle in my eye. You got it? Take it with you and share it around. Smiles are the best contagious thing to spread.