I really didn't want to leave this place on the river. This lodge was awesome, but off we went to Eugene at 7:15am. Another WOW ride as we wove our way along the river through McKinzie Bridge, Blue River, and yes.....Nimrod. This ride is gorgeous, the river is beautiful and the roads were great. Even found a couple covered bridges, yes, more photo ops. Of course Gina and I kept looking for an excuse to find something to eat, and finally came to Vida, an awesome cafe there where we Wolfed down some breakfast. I mean WOLFED it down! Dad and love biscuits and gravy, but this morning I had hash browns and gravy.....finished off with 3 Berry Pie and Ice Cream! All before noon! It doesnt get any better than that!! The food was great, we were all there together, laughing and eating together, in another cafe, in another small town in America. What memories these guys have together.....
Eugene is a pretty cool city, If we have to be in a City. It's the second largest city on the route, which means these guys have been really
living in the backroads of America for 2 1/2 months now!! Gina, Paul and I cruised out to e Co-Motion bike company to check out the operation, pretty great company, made me want to get a touring bike - maybe.
We are all starting to miss each other already. At map meeting tonight we talked about the "wheel dipping ceremony" tomorrow in Florence. It sorta brought it all home to most of us. Simon and Ubold have to get back to work in Europe right away. Mike is retired and headed out for another adventure soon. Greg and Monica are newly retired and headed back to Alaska. Wendy has a family and business to get back to, and a wedding to plan. Gina gets back to Seattle in time to head out Again on another awesome bike trip next week! Judy has volunteer commitments waiting for her in Santa Fe. And Huey is off to another exciting adventure in India. Our guides Nicole and Paul are just happy to get away from us.....I'm sad to leave them all.
Though I'm sure there are a few who are excited to get away from each other, others are anxious to separate from these new friends. I wish I could spend a few more weeks with them, but tomorrow it will be our final day together. Dad is on our minds. I'm still shocked and humbled by his impact to this group in such a short time. He is missed, and has been missed by these friends since June 4th. They have been dealing with his death in a very real and personal way for 2 months now, managing that loss in their own ways.
Wednesday (today) will bring a lot of sadness and closure for me, his family, and for most of you reading this blog. It makes it feel so "Final." We've all been living through the blogs, adventures, and photos of this group, and suddenly it will cease to be there, and He will cease to be there as well. His spirit was kept alive by this group of wonderful people, and tomorrow Dad will end his journey with the rest of them. What an honor to bring it home for him. And what an honor to get to know his friends on the Trans Am trip.
We will leave for the final leg to Florence at 7am, eat our way to the coast to be there around 3pm, and dip our wheels in the Pacific Ocean - together. I know family and friends of some of the riders will be there as well to witness and congratulate these Rock Stars. After that, I've invited those who want to join me, to send Dads ashes to the ocean as well....he wanted to be here so badly.
Enjoy the photos of our trip from Belkamp to Eugene