Last night Dave and Ginny drove us out to the King Estate Winery, half an hou outside Eugene, for a celebratory dinner and a couple of bottles of their Pinot Noir. We had the best table on the terrace and the weather was perfect as we watched the sun set.
After sleeping in, we met up with them and took walks through a couple of parks- one in the hills and one next to the river. We couldn't resist harvesting some of the wild blackberries. Dave says these are actually an invasive species, the Himilayan blackberry, and not the kind that are cultivated commercially.
After lunch we took a nap. I think we may be tired.
Then we planned out our route for the rest of the trip. The plan, subject to revision, is to ride the Pacific Coast from Florence south to the Golden Gate Bridge, arriving there at 5:43 p.m. on Saturday evening, August 22.
Our hotel here is in the city center, so we had a lot of restaurant choices. The street scene is populated by a large number of relatively young people with large backpacks, guitars and dogs. They like to lie down on the sidewalks. The people, not the dogs, I mean.
After a while, they get up and move.
These pictures were taken from inside the restaurant.
There is a central gathering area which is also occupied by people who don't seem to have anyplace else to go.
This is definitely culture shock, as compared to the hardscrabble working world of, say, eastern Montana. I don't know if it's a problem or not. They don't seem to be bothering anyone, and they are obviously being tolerated by the residents. Actually, they're residents also, just not with a fixed address.
Tomorrow will be a 78 mile roll downhill to Florence. It will be a milestone, the way Pittsburgh or St. Paul or Missoula was, but since the trip is not over yet, I don't know how I'll feel to see the Pacific. A lot of pilgrims doing the Camino de Santiago break into tears when they finally see the cathedral, and I remember that being a moment for me as well. I'll share our emotions tomorrow night.