Short Stories
Entry No. 19   August 23, 2004

Innovation Created by Necessity

I've been working hard since Eugene. I'm sitting here writing this at 10:30 am on Tuesday the 24th just south of Stillwater Cove. It is so foggy along the coast here and I'm nervous about an upcoming downhill. I have bright clothes on, but I figured I'd wait awhile until the hot sun burns off some of it. For "Sunny" California, I haven't been overwhelmed by the bright sun. I've enjoyed more beautiful days in Washington and Oregon than here in California. Granted, I've only been in California for a few days and still have quite a ways to go, but so far, there has been more fog and light drizzle than sun.

I left Eugene the morning of the 16th, and I've covered about 63 miles per day, on average, with a long 85+ mile-day from Eugene to Reedsport. I've given a few presentations in Southern Oregon at the state parks, but since I've been in California, I've been doing nothing but biking. With all of this talk, maybe I should have a self-pity party...

Lately, my eagerness to see someone I know is stronger than it has been in awhile. I guess you could call it loneliness, but I don't get depressed and softly cry myself to sleep each night about it, I just work longer and harder to get to a destination with some friends - old or new. I was just offered a free dinner by some bikers riding from Lincoln, OR to Santa Barbara, CA and I really wanted to make it to their camp, but their destination was just way too far away. They had a support camper, so without gear, they were covering at least 100 miles each day. By about 5 pm, I accepted that I wouldn't catch up with them and so stopped for some pizza in Fort Bragg and chose Russian Gulch State Park as my home for the night.

At Russian Gulch, I set up my tent and crawled in to pass out for the night. As I lay there, digesting the garlic and artichoke personal pizza, I just couldn't fall asleep with the surrounding noises and it wouldn't quiet down until 10 pm, when quite hours start. I thought about looking for the earplugs I was gifted with by a Pittsburgh native on a motorcycle and searched around a bit in the tent. I remembered that they were in the control center on the bike. There was no way I was getting up so I looked for other options to stuff my ears with. After looking in most of my medicine/first aid bottles for some cotton, something caught my eye: yep - an OB tampon. As I wrestled with pulling that puppy into two, I was amazed at the design of that little piece of cotton. Ladies, if you've ever worried about the string detaching from the cotton, don't sweat it. It's secure.

Anyway, I got it into a few pieces and stuffed my ears with it and slept soundly for the remainder of the night. When the going gets tough, the tough use OB.

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