Blue River to Eugene, Oregon. (58 mi.) Mile 4182Almost there!Early this morning on the McKenzie RiverWe 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.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-
bye to June 15 in Kentucky. They had been enjoying their bicycle trip across America until Maren stepped off a stair in Colorado and broke her ankle. Peter writes, "..in our hearts we are sad, that we had to stop our adventure." We are very sad for this too. However, they have rented a car and are seeing the country this way. They plan to take us up on our invitation to visit us in Washington in a few weeks. We are glad for the opportunity to see our new friends again. Maren can now walk on her ankle and has done some easy hikes around Yellowstone.
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-
in- law Sam are on their way to Eugene from Washington and will arrive late this evening, getting a motel room too. They are bringing grandbaby Braden, who turned 1 year old two days ago. They will join us in celebrating both his birthday and the completion of our trip on the coast. They are making this a holiday. Our son Colin is also meeting us at the coast and bringing our car so we can use it to get back home.
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.