Day 08: Junction City - Winchester Bay
Wednesday, September 14, 2005

93.11 @ 15.9 = 5:51'25, max: 37.6, trip total: 603.7

51° - 68°, sunny and nice

pop-tarts, apple spice muffin, snapple, PB&J, double bacon cheese burger, fries, vanilla shake, pizza, clam chowder, alaskan ale

Winchester Bay Campground, $2.33 p/p

It was a calm start today- the routine has set in and not having to clean up camp, rather just pack up from the motel room, made it quick. Well, easier than other days. We got up around 6am and try to be on the bike and ready to ride by 7:30 but that's really more of a theoretical start time since we've never actually made it on time. We usually head out around 8 - 8:30 and even left as late as 9:15 one day. But today we got on the road just after 8- not bad.

The foothills in the morning were a good way to warm up for the day- a set of climbs out of the valley to reach the descent to the coast. So we rolled to the next small town just on the base of the climb and got some breakfast- or the closest thing to it. The espresso hut with it's friendly staff had an assortment of muffins - and of course some coffee for the rest of the riders. We hung out enjoying the morning- it was warming up nicely and the air was crisp. We were ready to hit the hills.

It started out pretty chill with a low grade climb- easy enough to keep about 15mph as we went up. It was a welcome surprise that the hills weren't more severe. With logging trucks zooming by the winding road we slowly made it up the long 20+ mile ascent to the top. And, there at the top, waiting for us was THE tunnel- with the "Push button before entering tunnel" for bikes. A contraption that turns on some signal lights to let drivers know that there are bikes in the tunnel. But our concern was that the trucks and RVs really didn't have much incentive to pay attention to that. Especially since the way they had been driving all day wasn't much to be desired. But off we were- push the button and run! Go!

All was good. It started a nice section of downhill which took is half way to Florence- the first place we would see on the coast. And after a stiff head wind for about 10 miles (blowing up the river valley channel) and some bumpy roads we got to town. We made it to the coast! It was a harsh 10 miles in and we were all ready for a break. Dairy Queen was just the place.

After that it was back to the up and down terrain that is well known on the west coast. I keep trying to remember my last trip down the coast and compare the days, places and so far much of it looks the same but form a different perspective.

Todd seems to be ramping up fast and pulling some long miles for having just started with us. Being fresh and all will help at first but he's certainly gone beyond that. Everyone is in generally a good mood and dinners are the joy of the day- that and a hot shower, no matter how far we need to go to get one.

The fog is already rolling in- looks like rain in the distance but as it approached the haze just brushed over the water and into the bay. It's amazing and also gives you the sense of it being colder right away.

We're camping on the bay- not the place I had planned; an old light house. But nevertheless its on the coast and we really don't have much time to tour the sights after getting in for the day.

10:23pm {driving around Winchester Bay, pop. 317, looking for wi fi from the mini van. converter plugged in.}


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