I’m not going to lie, biking has been a bit rough over the last few days. We gladly left Cape LookOUT behind us, ditto the family of raccoons who terrorized us all night, and headed off towards Pacific City. We were trying to find the humor in it, but it wasn’t easy as it was rainy, cold, and windy. It is so true how much the weather effects your mood and outlook. On top of it, I was drained after sitting up all night in the tent in what felt like a Blair Witch Project reenactment and I could not wait to sit down inside away from the wind, have a cup of coffee, and relish in a moment of non-camping normalcy.
We turned out of the the park, and right into a huge hill. No big deal, we plowed up it, and right into a stiff headwind. The sky was depressing grey, it was threatening to rain, and the wind was ripping from the south slowing us down. Basically, it was the kind of day that makes you want to crawl right back into bed. (Actually, bed would have been handy last night -- a bed nestled in between four walls with comfy blankets and no wild animals clawing their way into our space would have been just perfect.)
Our first stop was Pacific City. From the inside of a coffee shop, looking out the window at the never-ending gray, watching the wind tear through the town, we had the type of loaded silence where it was painfully obvious what we were both thinking -- we didn’t want to go back out. We were exhausted and the raccoon incident hadn’t faded far enough into the past for it to be at all remotely funny. Our silence was broken by a friendly, smiling guy who asked us about our trip. He asked us where we were headed that day, Brooke told him, and he quickly replied, “No way! You won’t make that today in this wind!” and in an instant, he was loading our bikes into his truck. He drove us through the stiff wind and threatening sky, right to the front steps of a cheap hotel.
The next morning, we were up and on the road early. Things were going fine, until we stopped on the side of the road to eat a banana. During the two minutes of banana scarfing, my knee somehow locked up, refused to bend and simultaneously sent shooting pains down the side of my shin. The knee has been giving me trouble the past few weeks, but nothing like this. I tried a few times to hop on my bike and ride away, but this approach didn’t work. I couldn’t even bend my knee enough to even get clipped into my pedal. Standing there, in the gray depressing cold outdoors surrounded by cheesy seaside shops that were now closed for the season, I thought, there’s no scenario in which this doesn’t end badly.
With all the nearby hotels being either too pricey or closed for the season, our only option was to push our bikes three miles down Highway 101 to the local bike shop, where we could re-evaluate our options. Enter Bike Newport -- a bike shop that caters to bicycle tourists, with it’s biker’s lounge, showers and laundry. And as soon as we were in the door, the owner offered to refit me on my bike to try to alleviate some of the pain in my knee. He made some minor adjustments on my bike, and prescribed a rest day. So, here I sit in the biker’s lounge, catching up on the blog, excitedly wooing customers with bike touring stories . . . and feeling pretty defeated all at the same time.