20 miles south of Charleston, Nathan and I stopped at a coffee shop in Bandon for coffee (and Wi-fi).
Stopping for coffee has become a very anticipated part of my day. The enjoyment I daily derive from a hot cup of coffee and a Clif bar has become almost ridiculous. In fact, I've been surprised by how much I've been finding pleasure in such simple things as changing out of wet into dry clothes, eating a meal, and taking a shower.
I wish I could say the same about deriving pleasure from riding my bike, but in all honesty, between the cold, drenching rain, the slight pains in my butt and lower back, and the busyness of the roads I'm riding, I'm not particularly enjoying the actual act of bicycling. Wait, that's not entirely true; there have been a number of times where the weather has been nice, I'm not experiencing any bodily discomfort, and the particular road is desolate and scenic. Unfortunately, those times have been relatively few.
That said, I wouldn't want to be traveling any other way. Thousands of cars, trucks and RVs have roared past me and I think about how much the people inside are missing as I'm catching the subtle scent of the trees along the side of the road, hearing the sound of waves crashing on rocks mingling with the barking of sea lions on the beach far below, noticing the odd assortment of curios scattered around and behind someone's dilapidated trailer (home?), and feeling and tasting the salty haze generated by waves crashing on the shore.
It's a fantastic way to travel.
Here're three photos of the shoreline just west of Bandon, OR:
Just south of Bandon, Nathan and I wished each other well and I rode off toward Port Orford, where I am tonight.
Arrived here in a practical tempest. The guy at the desk at the motel asked rhetorically, "You're out riding in this?!"
I don't have much choice.
Not wanting to venture out in the storm in search of food (Port Orford doesn't have much to offer, anyway.), I fixed some rice in the microwave in the room and, slicing some vegetables, proceeded to just about cut my finger off.
I'm exaggerating. But I did slice my finger pretty good. Thinking about how to get it sewn up if the bleeding doesn't stop. (Port Orford has a little medical clinic that's open Mon-Fri.––it's Friday night right now––and the nearest hospital is 28 miles further south in Gold Beach.)
Tightly bandaged for now.