I finished my ride through Oregon almost a week ago. There were dunes and a gorge, kite surfers and water falls, and lots of nice people. I did have a few things in mind when I entered Oregon. I accomplished some of them but let others slip away.
1. I went on a tour of the Umpqua Lighthouse. I learned some things, probably the most interesting of which is that there are people who visit lighthouses all over the country (and world) and get a little booklet stamped to prove that they went to this lighthouse or the other. Also, all lighthouses have a unique, signature light pattern. At this one, its signature light has a red light and two white lights (which I am told is highly unusual). This signature is meant to help the ships figure out exactly where they are when they see it.
2. To say that I’ve been “swimming” in rivers is still a stretch. I’ve been in many rivers, yes, and I’ve dunked my head in several bodies of water. But I can’t say that I’ve actually gone swimming. I’m definitely getting much more comfortable with existing in bodies of water (even if it only involves standing), so that’s something.
3. I stood on a large rock at a viewpoint in Seal Rock. It wasn’t very far from shore, but I got a great view and did feel the winds try to sweep me off my feet. I think that counts.
4. The extra set of brakes that I asked the bike store at home to install are not compatible with my brakes. Which, as Corey the bike mechanic told me, “is fine because you’ve gotten this far.” My chain is half-way through its life. Corey also replaced my rear brake pads and adjusted my gears, and advised me: “Don’t mess with your cassette. Then you’ll need to change the chain, the cranks, the derailleur…it’s really better if you don’t mess with it while on tour.”
5. Chris and I skipped the brewery tour but drank beer at all of the breweries in Hood River. (All three.) That counts, right? A tour of breweries!
6. I haven’t found another creamery to satiate my cheese lust in, but I’ve been indulging in fancy Tillamook cheese at any and every chance I get!
7. Portland is hip. There’s no denying that. It’s all, food-carts-organic-breweries-local-soap and I’m all too-cheap-for-this-game. I didn’t hate Portland, but I certainly didn’t like the direction it seems to be moving in.