Blue River to Eugene, Oregon. (58 mi.) Mile 4182
Early this morning on the McKenzie River
We are in Eugene, OR tonight, almost a stone's throw from our goal. We have only ONE MORE DAY of riding. We feel as if we can almost smell the familiar Pacific Coast. Eugene is the largest city on the TransAm Bike Trail, home of the University of Oregon, and laced with a network of bike trails and bridges. We are enjoying a motel again, to make use of the phone and data port this evening.
Eugene is a bicycle friendly town.
This morning the Pooles joined us for a fast bike ride 20 miles down the road from the campground to the Vida Cafe for breakfast, another cafe on the route noted for good pie. The Logger Cakes there were so big that only two at a time could be made on the griddle, but in true bicycle tourist style, nothing was left on our plates when we were done. After saying goodbye and many thanks to John and Karen, we continued to follow the McKenzie River into Eugene, arriving in plenty of time to visit a few more bike shops. So far we have visited 24. Since a number of bike related things have worn out on this trip, we have been drawn to bike shops to check out the merchandise, and Eugene has many bike shops.
While we were riding around Eugene, we saw another cycle tourist who called out to us, "Hey! Where are you headed?" We yelled back with enthusiasm, "To Florence, and the Pacific Ocean!". He replied that he had just ridden to Florence a couple of days ago, in order to accompany a young woman named Jen, who was riding solo across the country and whom he had met at a Eugene campground. It was our friend Jen Saks, whom we had last seen July 26 in Missoula. She had ridden from Sisters all the way to Eugene in one day, a distance that took us two. She was doing well, excited to dip her tire in the Pacific, and complete her journey successfully. It was good to hear this news.
We also received email from our German friends Peter and Maren, whom we said good-
And finally, here's the plan for our own Grand Finale tomorrow: Marilyn's parents have already arrived in Eugene from Seattle. They came down to see us finish tomorrow. Our daughter Zoe and son-
We are feeling strong and looking forward to the ride to Florence, about 70 miles. We are lucky to have sunny weather. Temperatures have been hot in the afternoon, so we plan an early start.
Upon arrival in Eugene, Mike locates another Big Ed ice cream sandwich, a treat we first discovered in Grand Teton National Park.