Daily miles – 60. Total miles – 780.
We awoke this morning realizing we were faced with a choice. We could either push three more long days up to Astoria and into Portland without rest and laundry, or we could cut over today into Salem for a rest and logistics day. If the trip was only from SF to Portland, I’m sure we would have opted for the push, but as it is, we are only about 1/4 done and were feeling in need of a little rest. A compromise of one or two intermediate days would have been nice, but the logical cutoff from the coast with only a 750 foot climb (rather than two 1,000 foot climbs and a 3,000 foot climb) originates in Lincoln City so we chose that route. Once we made our decision, we were happy with it and bade farewell to 101 for the last time. There have been many transitions already – leaving CA, leaving the farthest road from home we had previously ridden, and this was another. 101 passes by what is now our former home, but it felt good to head east – it’s like turning the corner from leaving to arriving, even though we still have over 2,000 miles to go.
The ride over the coastal mountains was pretty uneventful. We had a picnic lunch at a table where a family offers pony rides. They were interested in chatting about the trip and their long-term lives on this mountain. It was relaxing and nice to have the wind at our backs for once! We called Lori Barnes who used to live in Salem to get the lowdown and maybe find a floor to crash on. She was not able to find us a floor, but did recommend some good eats and dissuaded us from the Phoenix Hotel because of bugs! We pulled into town and were not able to get to our email so we started calling hotels. It turned out the Phoenix was the only place with a room besides a Comfort Inn far out on the edge of town for the same price. We hesitantly decided since everything of interest seemed to be downtown, we would have to stay at the Phoenix. We weren’t sure what bugs meant – like NSA style bugs or critters! Figuring it must be critters,we really wanted to ask them about it, but before we could, the concierge mentioned the building was brand new – the old one had been torn down. Stoked! Turns out, the room was beautiful! They stored our bike and trailer for us behind the desk so we didn’t even need to look at it!
We headed off to the Indian place Lori suggested then saw the DaVinci code. This was the beginning of some well-deserved rest and, while the hotel was a little decadent, we figured this was just what we needed. Yeah. No biking tomorrow…