This morning we encountered this Ride’s first Budget Hotel Waffle Machine. Jeffrey made a waffle and applied strawberry jam. He’s from maple country and can’t abide fake maple syrup.
Then we explored a bit of Newport. We pedaled to Yaquina Bay State Park.
As we pulled into a parking lot, Deanne was out for her morning walk. She called to us.
Deanne was amazed at our speed and asked whether the trike is motorized. Jeffrey gave his standard response: “I’m the motor.” He said we aren’t so fast after we’ve biked all day with a full load.
Deanne’s motor question was just an entré. She was more interested in the Ride. She asked about our flag; Jeffrey thinks it shows that we belong, and that Real Americans support human rights. The conversation turned to asylum policy, to Oregon counties’ signs proclaiming “We Honor Vets” (see our 2014 Memorial Day post quoting retired 4-star general Stanley McChrystal on “service”), to Abraham Lincoln’s home in Springfield, to under-appreciated home health aides. Jeffrey mentioned a bumper sticker he saw in Eureka, California: “When We Kill the Innocent, We Become the Enemy.” That led to further discussion of religion and politics. Alas, we had to cut things short so that kind, thoughtful Deanne would be on time for a scholarly lecture about gender issues.
We pedaled through a residential area . . .
. . . to where we could see the Yaquina Head Light, a.k.a. Cape Foulweather Lighthouse.
Then we loaded the car and headed north past houses that won’t survive the next tsunami . . .
. . . past vast clear-cut areas with timber company signs stating “Planted [replanted?] 2016” and “2017” . . .
. . . under a forming vee of wild geese . . .
. . . and past the first snowy mountaintops we’ve seen on this Ride . . .
. . . to Tillamook.
Hannah’s father was killed by a drunk driver when Hannah was 4. She and her brother were put into foster care. Her problems taught her how flawed are our legal and social systems. She fights rigid bureaucracy and insensitivity, improving the world by helping the people around her. She buys food for Tillamook’s street people. She accepts and befriends people of every background and inclination.
Hannah was influenced by her late grandfather. He emigrated from Croatia, was treated rudely when he arrived, and through luck, hard work, and character, became a successful American. Hannah believes today’s immigrants will do the same if we give them a chance. She says everyone needs a chance.
Our exploration of Tillamook was interrupted by our first flat tire of this Ride.
Jeffrey wasn’t carrying our tools and tubes. He pushed the Sprint 26 along a highway toward our motel. When he paused to cross the road, he felt a tap on his shoulder and saw a hand holding cash.
The hand belonged to Jeanne. She supports the Ride and backed her support with a donation.
Jeanne works for an organization that promotes Oregon products, Paul for a major outdoor equipment company. Jeffrey told them about the Ride and about some of the injustices that the IWC and Human Rights First work to remedy.
There are crazies everywhere, but Jeanne and Paul said that overall, and despite its lack of diversity in some respects, Oregon is a welcoming place.
That has been our impression.
And the coast is spectacular.
Jeanne and Paul wished us luck, promised to provide a mailing address for their souvenir Beatles postcard (every donor gets one autographed by Jeffrey and me), shook Jeffrey’s hand, and gave him hugs.
Tomorrow we turn east—and, we hope, return to full days on the road.