Open Road Press

Hope to Carry On

July 5, Day 3 of TheHopeLine Tour of 2014

We enjoyed Burgerville in Monmouth so much last night that we had to revisit it this morning. There’s a great presence of philanthropy on the walls inside. In fact, they’ve supported Young Life, which partners with TheHopeLine. After speaking with the manager, she’s referred us to the area manager who deals with larger programs.

Jack and Joe, friendly cyclists from Corvallis just down the road, escorted us out of town before accelerating their riding pace. We were content to continue with our touring pace. There was no reason to hurry on this day. Old GloryNevertheless, we appreciated their warm hospitality and their recommendations on routes and stops for the day.

Today was our third spectacular day of bicycling. Oregon is not only beautiful, but very bicycle friendly. Its roads reflect its commitment to increase bicycle travel. The past three days have been quite different from four years ago, when we left Seaside, Oregon, and rode along the Columbia River Gorge.

Creative Roadside ArtworkThis time around, we headed south along the Oregon coast, and then east. The coast was unique with its adjacent forest and hills, both rolling and steep, with the Pacific hiding from view until it reappeared around the next curve or beyond the next rise.

Today was perhaps our favorite day yet…lots of leisurely cycling over flat roads with open space surrounded by the expansive fields typical of an agricultural economy. A tailwind took us farther south.

Mt. HoodThe roads leading to historic Coburg on the outskirts of Eugene were as flat as the ones we saw in North Dakota four years ago. The mountains in the distance enhanced our ride. We’re sharing a shot of what we think is snow-capped Mt. Hood along with foothills in the foreground. I suppose I shouldn’t get too excited about the mountains I see surrounding us now because we have to bicycle over them in a day or two. Deceptively WarmBut the joy of riding here is the freedom from bug attacks, rarely a dog seen or heard, and a tailwind often making our first few days of riding pleasantly cool, despite the 93-degree temperature reading we saw tonight at 6:30.

Yesterday, a billboard caught my eye. I took a picture of it to share it with you. There's Always HopeIt’s a beautiful word, “hope.” With it, we can forge ahead to live a new day when today is all we can handle. There’s hope to carry on. Without it, there is no reason to carry on. Tim and I share hope as volunteer coaches for TheHopeLine. And, sometimes, when the time is right, there’s a source of hope we share that beats all.

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