[ 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.
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 ]