“Oh Oregon, you never disappoint with your shitty weather” - Chris M, Southern Oregonian
Yesterday, it was 80 degrees in Eugene. Today, when I stepped off the Amtrak train it was 55 degrees and raining. When I started my ride last Sunday, the weather forecast for this weekend was one day of rain. Now I am being greeted by 3 days of rain. Perfect timing. 80 degrees and sunny yesterday…. Oh Oregon!
I woke up 6 am this morning in my monk’s cell of a motel room to the screeching plumbing of the neighbor’s shower. Overcast and a few raindrops on my 10 minute walk to the Amtrak station. Train left on time, bike stowed in baggage car. I was annoyed that the conductor assigned me a seat next to another person, even though there were many, many empty rows. It turned out to be a good thing. My seat mate, Chris M., was a young guy who had been on the train since Chicago, 4 days. He was getting off in Eugene to visit college friends. He was ultimately on his way to Hong Kong to be with his girlfriend and find work. We had a great time talking. He is an avid disc golf player, loves to read books, has travelled a lot. We had commonalities, like chasing a girl to another continent. He even got his disc bag out and showed me his discs. I taught a disc golf elective at my old Middle School.
As we crossed the Cascades, the weather was dreary looking – light rain, fog turning to whiteout, and snow on the ground. If I had biked this stretch on this day, I think I would have been hypothermic. The Amtrak was a good call.
I got off at the Eugene station and wished Chris good luck. I changed into my riding gear in the station bathroom, putting on just about everything I brought – rain gear booties and rain jacket, both neon crossing guard yellow. A McMenamin’s restaurant was just across the Willamette river, so I went there for lunch (if you don’t know McMenamin’s, you have never been to Portland most likely). When I came out of the restaurant, it was not raining, but it was really dark overcast. I followed a pre-loaded ridewithgps route to get me out of Eugene on bike paths. The first few miles were on a wide, smooth bike trail running along the Willamette. I had my phone in a plastic ziplock, which made the screen even much more difficult to read, even though today I was wearing my bifocals. Well, once out of town I did not need the gps because I was taking only two roads to get me to Corvallis – Coburg road and Peoria road. Easy peasy. Nicely paved and striped, wide shoulder, little traffic, NO SEMIS.
Coburg road and Peoria road. Easy peasy. Nicely paved and striped, wide shoulder, little traffic, NO SEMIS. After Coburg the sun actually came out and I to
ok off my rain jacket. Perfect riding weather actually. The roads has already dried out. I made my best average mph day of the whole trip. The last hour the skies darkened again and I had to put my phone back in its ziplock and put on my rain jacket, but the rain was so light the road just soaked it up. Into Corvallis by 6:00.
This is really the first town on the trip I have the energy to explore on foot
so I am out and about. Going to visit the two McMenamin’s here, and I have to finish at the Angry Beaver.