We woke to the smell of diesel exhaust in our room. We never did figure out why, but we hustled over to Takoda's for the Rainbow breakfast--2 eggs and 3 pancakes.
We hit the road around 9 with about 50 miles to go. Route 126 was busier than expected. Usually there was a good shoulder, and the traffic was polite, but the truck tire noise was wearing.
We were running along the MacKenzie for a good portion of the day. There was a lot of shade and the road was rolling, but primarily downhill. The berms were covered blackberry bushes bearing loads of ripe fruit. Finally, we yielded to temptation.
Yummy! We also kept seeing lots of orchards but we didn't recognize the trees, which were full of leaves but had no visible fruit.
When we got to Walterville, we circlred looking for a shady spot to eat. A man came out of his house and suggested we rest in his very shady front yard. It was heavenly. It was also near a market where we were able to obtain a double chocolate Magnum bar (Marie) and a Good Humor bar (Roy).
Thus fueled, we opted to follow the ACA route, which was 6 miles longer than staying on Route 126. We saw lots of cyclists on this route. One told us we were on a great route, but to be sure to always lock our bikes in Eugene.
The route was pleasantly rolling, but the traffic was much calmer. We climbed up a road called MacKenzie View, and it delivered.
Entering Eugene, the population sign said 157,100, approximately 1000 times larger than some of the towns we have been in recently. Biggest place we've been in since St. Paul.
As we did our usual make two wrong turns then consult the map again thing, a cyclist came up and asked if he could help us. He explained we were being routed on a side street because there was less traffic. He also told us this was an unusually prolific year for blackberries and that the orchards in question were filberts or hazelnuts. He said Oregon is one of the largest producers of these nuts. No wonder we couldn't see any fruit! Oregonians are smart and informative!
We are staying at the Timbers Motel, which is very centrally located. Speaking of Oregonians who are smart and informative, we are looking forward to having dinner with two former Washingtonians who are now Oregonians, Ginny and Dave.
Tomorrow we will have a day to tour Eugene with Dave and Ginny. We will also rest, plan, and refit for our next leg of the trip. The plan is to be in Florence, Oregon (the coast!) on Tuesday and then check out the Pacific Coast Highway.