Then the rain stopped
And it was good. And we had to search frantically for that unused item so crucial to the upcoming weeks...sunscreen. But before yesterday, we had 11 straight days of rain.
The best thing about the rain is that it makes justifying a hotel room much easier. One night we biked into a campground (in the rain) and the woman said, "We also have one yurt left." Nina, Alex, and KC all got really excited and yelled out, "A Yurt, we'll take it!" I had to confess my ignorance and ask, "um...what's a yurt?" It turns out that a yurt is a Mongolian (I'm not making this up) dwelling whose sides are made of stretchy wood and covered with thick felt. In our case they were covered with some thick plastic tarp like material. The important thing is that they were dry and warm and had a skylight so it seemed very cool. Besides how many times do you get to do anything like the mongolians?
On Saturday we biked about 10 miles in the pouring rain and it continued to get colder as the morning progressed. Alex and KC were quite a ways ahead of us when Nina looked back and asked, "Does my back tire look flat to you?" Against every instinct, I answered honestly and said, "yes, you need to change it." Thus began Nina's first experience changing a tire. She did a good job being her first time, but once the new tube (no time to patch tubes in the freezing rain) was on, we noticed continuous bubbles coming out of one spot on the tire. Air leakage. Yuck. So, she had to start over with another new tube. At this point our fingers and toes were completely frozen and every fiber of my 5 layers of clothing was soaked. Once the tire was fixed we got on our bikes and I kept thinking, "Leigh, this is really stupid. It's too cold and too wet and there's a nice headwind thrown in there for good measure." After a bit, we saw the first sign of civilization - a bear and cookie store. It always amazes me that towns of 600 people can't support a library, a motel, or a bike shop, but can keep open a store that only sells stuffed bears and cookies. We stayed inside for 2 hours and never got dry or warm, but finally had to bike to the next town where Alex and KC were. When we walked in to the diner where they had been waiting for us, we couldn't sit down or even think we were so cold. Luckily Alex and KC had decided that we should all stop for the day and booked us a motel room. Yay! So we went and took hot showers and ended up drinking lots of local beer and watching college football. Every story on the bike trip has a happy ending.
I haven't written enough about how spectacular the coast of Oregon is. Every turn we take has a better view than the last. We've also been really lucky in seeing wild life. The other morning I looked down into the water and there were probably 15 whales swimming (although it was really hard to count). I stood there for 20 minutes totally transfixed by their lackadaisical meandering about and could have stayed there all day. On another day we were staring at a particularly beautiful spot and then noticed a whole bunch of seals diving around down below us. For me, someone who grew up in a landlocked area, the ocean and everything that we are seeing are such treats.
I hope you all are doing well.