U.S. 360 Tour IV – Day 57 from Florence OR to Eugene OR (A Takedown and The Never-Ending River)

Latest update on my purpose-driven cycling journey around the American perimeter.

80 miles – Total so far: 2,976 miles

Everything had to fall in line perfectly today. I had planned the inland route between Florence and Eugene OR, knowing it would be long, but made longer due to the safer, but higher mileage route via Highway 36.

I left Florence at 5am sharp, roughly two-hours before sunrise. I had fully charged every illuminating device in my arsenal, and probably looked more like a Christmas tree than a cyclist as I departed Florence heading East. About an hour into the ride, a motorcyclist passed me going Westbound, and as he passed, he slowed down dramatically, probably trying to figure out who I was and what I was doing at such an ungodly hour. At that very moment, as I looked back to see what he was doing, Surly Pearl drifted right, and when I turned back around, I was headed straight for the guard rail. Being too late to correct, and traveling 8-10 mph, I ran headlong into the guard rail. I must admit that I am fairly adept at laying a bike down, which I promptly and involuntarily did. Sprawled out on the shoulder’s pavement, I was reminded that this was all for adventure and for fun. I popped up, no worse for the wear, with the exception of a little road rash on the contact points (elbow, hip, knee). I will not ride in the dark again unless I am forced to do so.

The unique aspect of today’s ride was that it was completely unique from all the other rides on this particular tour. I estimate that 50 of the 80 miles were ridden in parallel with the Siuslaw River and the beautiful valley it has formed. Apparently, this valley is one of the most productive timber regions in Oregon. I was surrounded by mountains of timber (literally) through the vast majority of the ride, going in an out of breathtaking canyons. The river is also a spawning ground for Chinook and Coho Salmon, but unfortunately I didn’t spot any. Interestingly, today is World Rivers Day, so it was quite àpropos that I spent most of the day on one!

As the long ride began to come to a close, and as I approached the outskirts of Eugene, I jumped on Eugene’s Fern Ridge Bike Path, a wonderful urban dedicated bikeway, and it deposited me downtown where I am staying for the night. I’ll end the tour tomorrow morning by riding a short distance to Pre’s Rock, to pay my respects to one of the truly great athletes of our time.

It’s All Good.

Riding next to the Siuslaw River between Florence and Eugene OR
Riding next to the Siuslaw River between Florence and Eugene OR
A rare open view in the Siuslaw River valley
A rare open view in the Siuslaw River valley
Highest elevation in the Siuslaw River Valley
Highest elevation in the Siuslaw River Valley
Surly Pearl and me in Eugene OR after a long day
Surly Pearl and me in Eugene OR after a long day

7 thoughts on “U.S. 360 Tour IV – Day 57 from Florence OR to Eugene OR (A Takedown and The Never-Ending River)”

  1. Brian,
    In an attempt to beat the heat in Idaho I elected to hit the trail I New Meadow, ID about 1 hour before daylight. Moon yes and I did have head and tail lights on. Problem was that just as leaving New Meadow the highway folks decided to grind off the top layer of asphalt. Unfortunately this left a dangerous high or low ridge right at what was (now ground away) white fog line. Since my illumination was forward it was extremely difficult and stressful when a motor vehicle overtook me. Did not crash.
    Made it to Cambridge and it got unbelievably HOT by the time I arrived.

    1. Joe – understood. I will ride in the dark, but not unless I absolutely have to. I tend to do it in my hometown on occasion, but that’s mainly because I know the terrain.

    2. Joe, what time of year were you crossing Idaho? Were you on the Northern Tier Route? If so, when did you leave Washington? Sorry for all the questions, but I’m looking to do that next year and need all the info I can muster! Thanks!

      1. I was in Idaho in August following the ACA Great Parks North route. Jasper to Missoula, MT, Lolo Pass on ACA Trans America Route into Idaho. Kooskia-Grangeville, White Bird, Riggins, New Meadows, Cambridge then over a nice climb and descend to the Snake River to Oxbow, OR then on to Halfway, Baker City, John Day, Mitchell (not to be missed), Prineville, Redmond, Sisters, McKenzie Pass, Eugene. Originally planned to head south from Sisters on Sierra Cascades but the heat caused me to head to Florence and down the Pacific Coast Route. Got as far as Ft Bragg where my daughter picked me up to attend California grandson’s Birthday. It was so hot in Montana, Idaho and Eastern Oregon in August. Too hot for a 70 year old. More questions? Give a holler.

  2. Great stuff.
    Sounds like the perfect bike crash, rash and nothing broken. Yea baby.
    Brian I am not sure about my email but my cell phone number is 541 5718 161
    Please keep me posted. I am trying not to pack on the pounds. List thirty before this last trip.
    We snowmobile allot and thinking about snow shoes.
    I live in Hermiston or

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