It's friday night, sat in a hotel room and we've all dipped our toes in the Pacific as we've made it to the west coast!!!! It was somewhat of an anti-climax to be honest as it took us ages to find the beach and when we got there the sea was bloody miles away....
So we left Eugene and most of us took the shorter but less scenic route. Mike and Lad Chris decided to do the long route for some reason, the rest of us just wanted an easy life. It was a crappy road for the first 10 miles or so but it was ok eventually. There were more of the big road works the Americans do so well - 19 miles of disruption but it's impressive to see them digging it all up and relaying it all in one go. And we did get to cycle through some tunnel with a 7% gradient without any traffic, so that was good.
Lunch was at some hippy hangout which would have been better if the 2 stoners running the place could have managed to remember all the orders and what was supposed to go in the sandwhiches. The Lads had previously decided that when they were going to hit the coast it would be in their Speedo trunks, so Callum and Mike duly got changed and sat on their bikes in their trunks. Not so bad for Callum who has trunks that fit. Mike has trunks that might fit a pre-pubescent 13 year-old. But we've seen them enough not to be too peturbed, but the general public haven't. With the addition of some reasonably tasteless graffiti on their backs courtesy of Lad Chris, we set off for the ride to the sea.
I think this ride was longer than Callum and Mike anticipated. As we got closer the temperature dropped and the boys no longer had padded shorts on. And saddle sores were already in existance. Nice. After 4000 miles you don't want to suddenly revert to unpadded pants. Callum got to the point of lubricating himself on the move with spit. Not the recommended option. I think Mike just suffered.
So we made it to Florence, hit Safeways for food and Champagne, then I decided to have a bit of a breakdown. It was a bit sad as I've had a great time but it's only happened because Ruby died so there were plenty of mixed emotions. From there we did the last 5 miles to the beach, then discovered the sea was miles away and we couldn't get the bikes to the sea for the traditional tyre dipping ceremony. So we trudged over the dunes with food and drink and finally made it.Mike and Callum charged into the sea and nearly died from shock at the temperature of the water. It was too cold to stand in, let alone swim in. Lad Chris eventually made it in too but the rest of us just watched, freezing. The Lads being lads, nudity ensued for a while, champagne was drunk, photos taken...it was good. We all have more miles to do though, so the celebrations were a bit less than if we had completely finished I think.
Next stop was a nearby campsite where we pitched our tents in a spot where we shouldn't have, then we were busted a couple of hours later, so we had to move elsewhere...tedious and pointless.
So today was the day when we had to split up, the Lads off south to San Francisco, the rest of us north towards Astoria. We all decided to go up the coast a few miles to see the worlds largest sea-cave which contains lots of sea lions, apart from it's not actually the largest sea-cave and the sea lions only go in their in winter and during bad weather, and the cave wasn't that exciting. But it was $11 dollars well spent...for the owners. Callum did give the woman on the desk a thorough questioning which she remained very good natured about, just. Very professional.
Then it was time for the goodbyes. I thought it was sad saying bye to them, they have been a great laugh to have around, shame it has to end. Most of the humour does involve Callum one way or another, I think the girls were particularly sorry to see him go. Hopefully they'll have enough cash and stay friends long enough to have a good time before their flights home in a couple of weeks.
We made it as far as Newport where we found a brewery that did dinner so we sat their for a couple of hours before sacking the idea of camping and deciding to get a hotel room. We're all in the one room, with our bikes, 2 double beds, Aaron is on the floor, I'm with Shaz. We've done our laundry and it's time for bed. It's supposed to rain for the next 2 days, which is a bit of a shame as the weather has basically been fantastic for us, so can't really complain. The next entry should be after we've definately finished all of it, right to the end. If I can get my wi-fi going I'll put the end of the ride pics on.