Rough With The Smooth (USA Day 109)

Amy’s ankle felt weird today, maybe due to some sort of tendonitis. Because of this, she cycled most of the day (about sixty miles) on one leg. Pretty impressive, until you realise she’s done the previous five thousand on two legs, and that’s only one more than today. Anyway, we shortened the day, did plenty of RICE (which stands for Rice, Ice, Crying and Egg) and mainly talked about ankles instead of normal conversations.

What rocks about touring on the coast: when you need a break, you have it on a beach. We sat on a large pale driftwood log, nibbling cookies made by Bruce and his great-grand-daughter, enjoying that end-of-continent buzz that’s still present, but fading fast.

We took the day slowly, making steady and calm work of a decent hill approaching Lincoln City that would have been incredibly easy if Amy’s ankle wasn’t on strike. Sitting in the Safeway parking lot a while later, munching on ‘Chinese’ food with the sugar content of most deserts, we came across Terry, a southbound Pacific tourer, two weeks into his journey. He was much musclier than us, wore very cool sunglasses and represented the kind of bloke who’d intimidate me greatly in real life. We compared notes on today’s route, and he brought up how tough the last hill had been. We visibly agreed, out of English politeness, but internally thrilled at what the past three months had done to our legs.

The target was Otter Rock, or a campsite near there, but we called it a day about ten miles before that in an effort to give Amy’s ankle time to recover. Also, we realised that we’ve booked in our next WarmShowers host in three days, not two like we meant to. Out of English politeness, we wouldn’t dream of re-arranging, so just when we needed it most, we have an extra day to play with. We found a state park right on the beach, with great views of the sun setting through streaks of dark cloud, bold surfers riding huge white horses and an unfair expanse of sea between them. It’s a fine place to camp, though not strictly legal so we’ll wait until it’s dark to pitch our tent. Amy’s got a sock full of ice strapped to her ankle with an elastic band, which is a local delicacy here in Oregon.

Let’s hope that Amy’s ankle, out of English politeness, gets up bright and early tomorrow without a jot of today’s insolent behaviour. If not, it’ll be three laps around the state park in its underwear and detention after class. That’ll teach it.