Against the wind
A little something against the wind
I found myself seeking shelter against the wind

–  Bob Segar

The first week is behind me now. I’ve peddled some one hundred and eighty two miles. I’m in Corvallis Oregon at least for another twenty four hours when I’ll move on to Eugene. Today I’m taking a day off to rest my body and charge my batteries a bit. Did a little maintenance on my bike this morning. Took it across the street to a car wash where I got rid of some of the road grime that had accumulated the last week in the rain. Cleaned and lubed my chain and drive train and made sure the rims of my wheels were sparkling clean.

I left Astoria a week ago as a novice, scared really about what was ahead. The first days were quite grueling with incessant rain and wind that chilled me to the bone. At the end of each day I sought nothing more than a hot shower to warm me up. Yeah, that and a couple of Motrin to take care of the aches and pains.

So what have I learned this first week? I learned that I should have listened to people who said that zip lock bags are your friend. Even though I have a waterproof bag to hold my belongings water managed to get in everywhere. So I bought zip lock bags and now everything is dry. Second, I learned that I should have trained a bit more. I should have taken some longer rides and gotten into better shape. As a lifelong athlete I took a lot for granted. My mind tells me I’m still thirty five but believe me, my body knows it’s fifty five.

Tomorrow I head to Eugene which is about forty five miles away. And from there I head over the Santiam Pass which is about 4,800 feet. This first week I’ve been dealing with modest coastal hills but very soon I’ll find myself in real mountains. For those of you keeping score at home my route thus far has taken me down the Oregon coast on Highway 101 (for the most part) to Neskowin where I took the old scenic 101 to Highway 18. From there I went east to 22 and over to 99W down to Corvallis. From here I’ll take a variety of roads to get to Eugene. From Eugene I’ll take 126 up over Santiam Pass to Sisters. Then on to Redmond, Prineville, Mitchell, Dayville, Mount Vernon, John Day, Prairie City and on to Baker City. By the time the dust settles I’ll have done 340 miles between Eugene and Baker City. Lots of mountain passes between here and there. And not a single escalator or elevator.

Again, I appreciate hearing from everyone. It warms my heart to hear the kind words of encouragement. Pretty soon I’ll be camping quite a bit so won’t have access to the internet like I do now.