On to Track Town

[ Day 16 – June 28, 2012 ]

I woke to find that my picnic-table-as-sleeping-platform, which in darkness seemed both clever and inconspicuous, was, in daylight, obvious to anyone entering or exiting the park. I might as well have marked my spot with a giant flag. Even then, I doubt my presence would’ve garnered much interest.

SR 58 Overhead Railway Trestle

SR 58 Overhead Railway Trestle

No hiding spot could have saved me from the mosquitos, which were as keen on making my acquaintance as I was stubbornly opposed to insect repellent. My mosquito defense playbook is pretty thin, so I opted for a hasty escape.

Neither insect nor mountain nor mileage would prove as harrowing as riding SR 58 towards Eugene. After fifty miles of uneventful riding, the two-lane highway seemed to narrow at precisely the point that truck traffic and road debris increased. Traffic was busy in both directions, filling a narrow roadway hemmed in by the Willamette River on one side and a steep upward slope on the other. The twenty miles from Oakridge to Lowell were barely rideable, but turning back would have been just as hazardous, so I gritted my teeth and hugged the narrow shoulder until my exit at the Lowell Covered Bridge. I crossed to the quieter side of the river thoroughly frazzled, but no worse for wear. I fixed my mind on Eugene and the welcome reprieve it would offer from the unanticipated gambits and compromises of cycle touring.

The day’s final miles followed the Willamette past wide-open parcels and into the carefully laid developments of Springfield. I crossed the Willamette once more and headed west towards Eugene, towards the company of friends, the magic of Hayward Field, and the excitement of the Olympic Trials.

[ Daily Miles: 105 ] [ Total Miles: 910 ]

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