Cape Gazette

SEA TO SHINING SEA: A sweet day crossing Willamette Valley

By Dennis Forney | May 20, 2013
Roadside, freshwater marshy areas here and there are filled with what looks to me like wild yellow irises.  So beautiful.  Behind this marsh huge landfill mounds rose toward the sky. They call them recycling centers in Oregon. What's so cool is that the center was on the edge of a state wildlife preserve.

COBURG, OREGON — DAY 7 - We made 61 miles today.  Averaged 11 miles per hour. Amazing what flat roads and a tail wind will do. Ended up just west of Eugene, Oregon where we hope to catch up with a couple of friends. Our total so far is 238.

We'll head into town tomorrow and then from there start pedaling up the western slope of the Cascades.  Still plenty of snow up there.  We'll head for the MacKenzie Pass where we're told the old road is open only to pedestrians and bicyclists brcause of snow. That should be special.  Five thousand feet of altitude.  As I've said many times, we'll walk if we have to.  There were hills coming down the Oregon coast when we walked.  My theory tested out.  Even hoofing it we could push the bikes up the steep parts at better than two miles per hour. 2.3 going up, 27 coming down.

We touched base a couple of times today with Charles and Chuck, the former a young culinary guy from Toronto and the latter a retired primary care internal medicine guy from Rochester. They're also traveling coast to coast.

Safety is always on our mind.  For the second time, we heard today - in a bicycle shop in Corvallis - the tragic story of the young man, passionate about soccer, who set out from Seattle planning to dribble a soccer ball all the way to South America to set some kind of record and be there in time for the World Cup.  Dribbling down the shoulder near Lincoln City, Oregon - not far from where we camped along the Salmon River - he was struck and killed by a motorist.

We were also told that Route 22, which carries traffic east over the coastal range toward Corvallis, is called Death Valley by the locals because of so many fatalities.

So, we're careful.  We have to be careful all the time. If you want to hear Maisy singing our You Have To Be Careful song, go to this YouTube address:

Here are some photos from today.  Love to all.

Follow our cross-country bicycle journey on Facebook by liking Sea to Shining Sea »

Here's a closer look at the flower of what I'm calling a wild iris.
Becky makes a phone call during a pit stop in a little town called Harrisburg.
A group called Women for Agriculture in Oregon posts signs like these along cultivated fields.  They let passersby know what's growing in the fields so people know a little more about what farmers are growing.  Signs like these would be good in Sussex County where so many new people are comin g to live and who may not have any idea about the difference between fields of corn, soybeans, wheat, lima beans, peas or potatoes.
Comments (1)
Posted by: Amanda Neafie | May 21, 2013 14:20

You two are awesome! Although jealousy has never been a favorite feeling of mine, I gotta admit..... you're taking me back to 1976 (!).  We heard that Patty Hearst had been captured (?) when we were in Cannon Beach for the day.  And Eugene is a huge fave of mine - much camping, hot tubbing, etc. and wonderful folks. Rock on, you two, and  happy,happy trails.




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The price of liberty is eternal vigilance.