Sunday, July 8, 2007
oregonoregonoregon! our tenth and last state, our dove and olive branch. for me, it is like a sluggish, grandiose homecoming: this is my state of birth and upbringing, the only state about which i can successfully answer mundane trivia, (state bird: western meadowlark, state flower: oregon grape, state tree: douglas fir...) and it feels strange finally to have arrived, to know that we are less than a week away from the end of the trip, that these flagging days will be sipped and drunk up and then gone.
eastern oregon, in its desert sparseness and unimaginable heat (100+ degrees the last five days) has been trying, with great effort, to kill us. when we descended into hell's canyon two days ago, it was about 110 degrees outside; roughly 118 down in the canyon. yesterday, while biking, i felt dizzy and lightheaded and watery and thought i was going to pass out; paul, for his part, was stung impolitely by a wasp less than two minutes after crossing into oregon; and dave, our boyish hero, was also stung by a bee...on his upper lip. (the swelling has lessened. still, though: bulbous left cheek, plump lip, misshaped mouth) but we are indefatigable! we are armed with thunderous thighs and electrolytes. and we are in EFFING OREGON, so, really, there is nothing that can deaden our spirits at this point. we have skin like sunlight, we chew iron nails and break bodies out of boredom.
to catch up: we spent independence day in grangeville, ID, with our new friend Paul, a Brit, who, for reasons owing to his heritage, had no real reason to think that July 4th was a holiday at all. we are slowly turning him, however: already he has been coaxed into consuming peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, chocolate malts, american microbrews, a chili burger, cheesecake, root beer floats, etc, none of which he tried before this trip. he will have tried grits before we're through with him.
there is more to tell but it is late, we have sung long songs to ourselves today (115 mile ride, a new record), and so we now slump to sleep. i leave you, as usual, with the address for the next post and with a small selection of photos.
there is love.
Our final post:
United States Postal Service
35230 Brooten RD
Pacific City, OR 97135-9100
We will arrive in Pacific City on the morning of the 14th. The day before the last day of our trip. Send quickly, dearest loves; we've no time to dally!
dave kissing the Oregon soil:
adventure cycling office:
we bleed at the shins for all the scratching. we are desert lions with small reflections.