July 16, 2005 – Saturday – Day 21

48 States or Bust – The USA on Two Wheels
Miles Today: 278 – Total Miles: 5,273 – Average: 263.7
1:30pm-8:30pm – 7 hours
Corvalis, OR to Crescent City, CA (OR,CA – 22/48)
(-staying at an Econolodge -)

Was up, fully refreshed at 6:30am, and went into the Powell’s kitchen area to type some journal notes and eventually get AOL and Mac tech folks on the line. We surmised either there was a corrupted program on the hard drive or that there was something wrong with the lines coming into the house which presented connection. (On the other side of the day, when connecting without a hitch to the hotel phone line, it was clear that the problem was that house phone line inadequacy.)

Scott, Karen, I, and Lola (a friendly chocolate lab) went for a mile run/walk around 10am or so. It was a wonderful seeming neighborhood, and we talked as we ran and walked, and would stop occasionally to take a picture of beautiful flowers or a unique home’s architecture. For example, there was one particularly modern home set in with the others, and also an unusual blossoming artichoke.

When back we enjoyed more conversation and then hauled off to the local K-mart and supermarket to get a few things for us. The Powells got a bunch of things for the up-coming wedding and bar-b-que before the wedding. After checking out K-mart’s selection of binoculars, I ran to an across-the-street sport store to have more choices. Bingo! Found some good ones there and not only that, I felt good about getting an $89 pair for $20 in a clearance sale.

At the supermarket I got some rice cheese and when back at the house, I put a few slices between two slices of bread and Scott offered to go out into their garden and get some lettuce for the sandwich. I don’t recall ever getting lettuce that way, and it was delicious!

We left way too late and by 1:30pm, after some picture taking and good-byes, we were on the road. Five miles after leaving Scott and Sara’s place we rolled over 5,000 miles for the trip!

We took Scott’s routing advice and found the road to Peoria to be as good as he suggested it would be. Flat and countrified, it was a gorgeous romp through the warm afternoon. I got a little worried as I went over that magic 100-mile mark since the most recent gas fill up, but a gas station appeared in Harrisburg, just as my consternation was causing an almost permanent grimace. The grimace reappeared though when I noted the price was another one over $2.50/gallon.

About three miles before reaching the coast it got cold. And then it got colder! By the time we were very far along, we had gloved up and made sure all our zippers were tightly closed on the our Aerostitch air vents. Still, we had some shivering going on at some points through the rest of the day’s magnificent ride.

We arrived at the coast road (Route 101) at exactly 4pm, rolling over mile 100 on the button from Scott and Sara’s home. Let it be known that at 4:50pm we stood looking at the Pacific Ocean – after having crossed the continent! It was a great feeling of accomplishment.

Just below Port Orford we saw the huge apartment-building sized rocks just plopped down close to the shore. And the rugged thin coastline where strewn driftwood pieces were at once bleached white and also with deformed shapes.

Much of the ride down the lower part of the Oregon coast was devoid of other traffic – with hills or ocean on the right and a faint huge half-saucer half-moon rising in the blue sky above the mountains on the left.

Because of the wind and frequent shifting because of the mountainous terrain, it was an exhausting ride, but we made our goal of Crescent City, CA, some 278 miles south from our start point.

From that constant shifting, my left hand felt the most tired and hurting of any day of this trip so far. By the next morning, it has always recovered, and I hoped that would be the case this time, too.

While Karen unpacked, I loped across the wide street in the 9pm duskiness to get some Subway sandwiches and other foodstuffs at a grocery there. Back at the room we ate hungrily, poured over the maps, and chatted with June Bell, a former second grade student of mine, who we’ll be staying with tomorrow night just south of San Francisco.

Author: Joel Perlish

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