We backtracked to Seven Devils Road and hit the first hill. I met all seven of those hill devils over the course of two hours. The upside was the curvy downhill on Wiskey Run Lane. Twenty miles down the road I pulled into the city of Bandon. The Minute Cafe caught my attention just after entering town.
Upon entering the cafe, I noticed a group of four cyclists having large lunches and smiling. They invited me to sit down. Snelling joined us and we talked about our trips and lives for over an hour. The group was from South Dakota and had graduated from college in the spring. They were forty days into a tour of the lower forty-eight states on tandum bicycles. This trip was an adventure as well as a fundraiser. They hoped to make a large donation toward building a high school in Honduras. Ben handed me a card with their trip website address: www.thegreat48.us. Check it out if time permits.
The group talked highly of www.warmshowers.org. This site had been mentioned by a few cyclists we met over the past few days. It is a networking tool for people touring on bikes and people who are willing to offer their home as a free place to stay for the night. I was interested in giving it a try.
As we were leaving the cafe, Snelling noticed that his tire was going flat. He pedaled toward the bicycle shop, and I rode to the information booth in the middle of town. The woman inside highlighted a town map with the route to the public library. By this time, I was conscious that the day was moving along faster than I wanted it to. I rode up to the bike shop to meet with Snelling and checked the status of his bicycle. It turned out that the tire work was going to take a little time so I cycled to the library.
While I was there, I reserved a public computer, signed up on the Warm Showers site and figured I'd give it a try. I sent messages to two people residing in the area of Bandon letting them know that we were in a pinch. Almost immediately, a man named Brian answered my request and offered his home. He sent me a text with his address and asked that we pick up a few select drinks and some buns at the store. They planned to make hamburgers. We had a little time, Brian and his family were not going to be back until seven-thirty, so we rode out to Coquille Point for a look at the view of the ocean. The point was beautiful, and I took a short video. I looked forward to the evening indoors.
We left in time to pick up the requested groceries at the store and make it to Brian's place by seven-thirty. Upon entering the vicinity of the house, we were met by the barking of Brian's dog, Mr. Peepers. I talked to him for awhile and held out my hand. He finally calmed down and became comfortable. I later learned that he has been known to nip. To date, Mr. Peepers has never broken the skin of a human. Brian, his wife, Nicole, and two children arrived soon after. They were very hospitable, offering us dinner and the use of their living room to sleep in. Their one requirement was that we read an essay that Brian had written drawing parallels between the Erie Canal and a proposed bicycle trail along the coast of Oregon. I enjoyed the essay, and Snelling and I collaborated on a short piece in support of the proposed project. Later, Brian showed us a couple of his inventions - a drive-by shooter and a dog dish that connected to a pickup truck's trailer hitch. The drive-by shooter was a basketball hoop built on top of a trailer. It looked a little like a siege weapon from the dark ages. You could tow it to any park, extend the backboard upward and shoot hoops. The trailer hitch dog bowl attachment was an interesting idea. While turning it over in my hands, I imagined Mr. Peepers' paws on the back bumper, straining to eat from it. Brian must have come up with the idea when his dog was much younger. Throughout all of this, their children were flitting about, interested in everything. I could tell that they were very creative and used to having cyclists in the house. Brian said that they have offered accommodations to over five hundred people over the last six years and never had a problem. I couldn't help but think about the possibility of inviting people into my own home. I will have to talk to Christina about it.
We ended up cycling just over twenty miles today.