86.1 miles today, average pace 13.6 mph
Total ascent 3,248 feet
Washington to Oregon. The Oregon coast is just magnificent! Breathtaking views. The climbing was a welcome change from flat. All grades were 3% to 6.5%, so nothing very steep, but we did have length to some of the climbs, but probably not more than a few miles to any of them. The miles were manageable because unfortunately we had no headwinds to go with these climbs.
I was heartbroken today because my new love and windbreak, Luke, deserted me. He went and volunteered to sweep, so I had to work much harder today, and the others I rode with made me share the pulling. Then there is Carmen, who actually beat me to the first van stop, and also to the church. However, I stopped to help Turbo Tom with his flat tire, then we stopped to eat a late lunch before going to the church. Carmen is riding so much better than she was even at the end of the East Coast ride, and I hope she gets strong enough to kick my butt.
Today I was riding with "the amazing Blake Smith" just long enough to get lost with him. I should have known better, but I didn’t want to be rude, so I stayed with him. He, of course, manages to get lost about every other day, without even trying. Thankfully Sarah noticed that we missed the turn, and called Blake to let us know to turn around. We only rode about an extra mile or so, so not so bad.
I have been greatly enjoying attending church services at all the different churches that we are privileged to stay at. It’s fascinating to be sitting in the service thinking that this is not the way I am used to worshipping. But then, as the service progresses, I find myself thinking that whatever you are comfortable with is the best way. We are all serving the same Christ, so however each worships is the right way. I have started to try getting into each service more and to try to experience what each congregation is experiencing. After I got home from the East Coast ride I attended my church (Lutheran) and of course I was so comfortable with the familiar worship setting. But, it’s good to experience different liturgies and forms of worship, because after all, we are all praying to the same Jesus.
All of the churches we stay at are very much appreciated. Some provide snacks when we arrive, then dinner, then breakfast as well. Some don't provide any meals, but allow us to use their kitchen, pots, pans, utensils, and refrigerator. Some just let us sleep there and we have to eat out, or just provide a cold meal from our coolers. Whatever is provided is all greatly appreciated because it saves money that stays with The Fuller Center, even though we have a sponsor that covers these expenses.
Tonight we had a presentation for Allen. We all chipped in to give him a new duffle bag, and announced that tomorrow night we’ll have a new pair of running shoes for him (both his duffle and shoes have seen much better days, so we were thrilled to be able to surprise him with these items).