Day 7: Saturday, May 25, 2013
Eugene to a little past Vida: 54 miles
Well, the automatic sprinklers proved that the tent was pretty waterproof - except for the floor, which is rapidly losing its waterproof coating. I was up shortly after the sprinklers shut off, and packed up and headed for a bike shop - my bottom bracket was acting squirrely and making clicking noises.
Eugene is a funky town. It's like the '60s and '70s never ended. I saw a lot of hippies, a lot of tie-dye, and some honest-to-gosh weirdos. One guy was dressed in a thong bikini (both top and bottom!) and was biking along, yelling at people. Eugene is a very bike-friendly town. It has a good network of bicycle paths, and many of the downtown streets have bike lanes.
|A bike/ped bridge in Eugene|
Eugene has a number of good bike shops. I stopped at Paul's Bicycle Way of Life, on the east-west bike path, and they referred me to their downtown store. There, the mechanic told me he was booked solid for a couple of days. But Michael Martin, the store manager, overheard me discussing my situation with a customer who was interested in my journey, and got my bike into the back room immediately. An hour later, I was outfitted with a new bottom bracket and several new cables. Talk about service.
The customer I had talked with was a member of warmshowers.org. Members provide showers (and, optionally, other services) for fellow cycling travelers, and in turn can find fellow members as they travel across the country. It's a cool setup. I had meant to sign up before leaving on the trip, but didn't get around to it. One of these evenings...
By the time the bike was ready to roll and I found a bit of lunch, it was 3:30 pm. Well, I wasn't going to make it to the campground at McKenzie Pass today. At least the weather turned out to be very nice. I took the long way out of town, retracing my route back to Coburg and following McKenzie View Drive along the McKenzie River. It was rolling and scenic, nothing like the major eastbound highway Jack and I took out of town back in 1981. But I eventually had to join that route, which becomes the McKenzie highway and follows the McKenzie River.
|Homestead along the McKenzie River|
|...but what's its mileage?|
|Covered bridge over the McKenzie River|
Somewhere around Vida, it started to get dark. There weren't that many places to stay. The clerk at a general store had a list of local B&Bs, and one of them accepted campers. It turned out to be quaint and rustic, and the hostess was a sweet old lady, but it was overpriced for campers at $25. That's life. The rain had held off all day. But it made up for it that night.