After yesterday’s mega ride we needed a breather. We rode 22 miles up the Willamette Valley, planning to stay in a town park in Independence about two miles off route.
We arrived in Monmouth after a little over 20 miles and began searching for second breakfast. (Predictably the Corvallis Super 8 lobby breakfast was meager. Raisin Bran and coffee.) Along the way we rode under cloudy skies past farms and orchards, and one very large vineyard.
We stopped at a brew pub that served breakfast. The food was pretty good. In truth it’s hard to screw up scrambled eggs and biscuits and gravy. After eating we checked out the park online and saw the reviews were off putting. Vagrants. A scuzzy bathroom. No thanks.
Across the parking lot from the pub was a motel. We found the rate and the room acceptable and checked in.
Tomorrow we head for the coast, then two days to the end of the TransAmerica Trail in Astoria before riding to Portland for transport home.
Our tent site in the woods next to the river made for sound sleeping. As we were cooking breakfast (I was “cooking” PB&J sandwiches) we could hear helicopters flying over the forest. We never found out what was going on but I suspect they had something to do with logging operations in the burn zone on this side of the mountain.
We headed west down Hwy 126 descending gradually below 1,000 feet of elevation. For me this was my first time in such thick air in over seven weeks.
We kept a brisk pace with Corey joking that we were going to ride a century (100 miles) today.
Our ride was hardly peaceful with all the logging and dump trucks zooming past.
We stopped for second breakfast at a cafe in Vida. The food was quite tasty. About 15 miles later we finally got off 126 and away from the infernal trucks.
Back roads took us around Eugene to the north. We stopped for lunch in the town of Coberg. We jointly inhaled a large pizza then Corey and Mark tried to find a place for us to sleep. Everything nearby was booked so they looked further afield,
We eventually settled on a Super 8 in Corvallis, over 30 miles on route to the north. Corey led the way using his GPS which disagreed with my paper map and Mark’s GPS.
We kept pedaling and getting more tired and grumpy with each passing mile. Corey’s route took us on low traffic farm roads through Hazelnut orchards, and fields of hay and clover.
At one point we saw hay devils, dust devils made out of dried, cut hay.
We rode the grid of roads until we popped out onto busy Peoria Road, the direct route from Coberg to Corvallis. About 12 miles later we arrived at our motel exhausted.
We went out to dinner at a brew pub down the street. The food and beer were very good. To be honest, we’d have eaten anything after riding 95.5 miles.
A note about Super 8 motels. I’ve stayed at many of these motels over then years on my bike tours. I could count on them being a reasonably priced, consistently well run motel. Not anymore. The Super 8 in Florence CO was overpriced and offered coffee and granola bars for “continental breakfast”. The Super 8 in Corvallis had an empty pool for starters. Our room is missing a light bulb from a ceiling fixture and has a dysfunctional bathroom faucet. On top of that our room had not been properly cleaned. All for the low, low price of $280 per night.
Tomorrow we plan on an easy, short ride to Independence.