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Published: April 28th 2016
I was relieved and felt lucky to have found them, Matt helped me drag my made up tent to the site and helped me unhook a bungee strap that had gotten badly tangled in my front tire. When I had the strap unhooked and my site finally set up I realized how vulnerable I was being so new to this type of travel and how good it was to get some real help. I started connecting with Matt pretty well and he had no problem rolling cigarettes for me to smoke every so often, we chatted for quite a while which I noticed quickly involved him chatting, a lot, and telling a lot of stories that were interesting enough for me not to get upset about having to listen to for a lengthy bits of time. Matt told me he was waiting for a bike part to arrive in the previous town and would be hanging around for a few days, he intended on taking some walks around the campground the next day to some cool spots. I decided that a break would be good and Matt was cool, I felt like I was under a safe umbrella of his knowledge
from him being on his 14th tour and being on his 3rd year into that one along. The next day we hugged the frenchies farewell, they were taking a year to head to Argentina and not in any rush so I figured I would see them again. Matt and I hung out, smoked more cigarettes and checked out the coast near the campground with it's large rocky area and huge waves constantly pounding on it. It was good to not have the pressure of a long ride and that campground was our home again for that night and we knew there was a big storm due to blow in possibly starting the day after next. We'd spent a fair bit of time talking about the food we were going to eat when we left the cold, wet and somewhat boring campground. We rode to a small family diner the next morning and ordered two servings each of biscuits and gravy, with two homemade scones each. Americans pronounce scones in a way that rhymes with bone, us Aussies say it the same as shone. This meal was old style deliciousness in a small, out of date cafe owned by a smiling American couple where the husband did all the serving and the wife stayed out the back doing all the cooking, obviously happy not to deal with people. That hour eating that food with rain bucketing down outside was heaven. Matt suggested we hole up in hotel for a few days to avoid the storm. I liked the idea so we made our way to hotel 6 and checked in, it was just over the line of being 'okay'. We ended up extending it by one night due to ongoing bad weather. So in those 3 days my 32nd birthday passed on a Sunday and I didn't really care, but I did. I'd only just met Matt so I couldn't expect much from him celebration wise, for all his knowledge he came across as logical sort of guy, not one for many feelings. I got an email from my brother and mother, an Instagram message from my sister in law and a whatsapp message from a friend in Australia which was nice. My phone had no reception so I couldn't text anybody thanks to my awful choice of using T-Mobile as my provider to try and save $10. Anyway I'd envisioned my birthday being surrounded by other cycle tourists and I was really putting myself out of the game by hunkering down in Coos Bay for these days. It felt like all my momentum was coming to a grinding halt so besides any logical aspect of me stopping, one being that the town itself was pretty crappy and unfriendly, my habit of pushing the pedals everyday had become ingrained and I had to leave it to my lazy side to relax and not go anywhere. We chilled out, ate good food, drank beer and I used 3 large cans of silicone spray to waterproof all of my gear, and I mean all of it. The room turned into a gas chamber for 24 hours even with the window open, I had stuff hanging up on every available spot in the room and bathroom. Doing this was Matts advice and I was appreciative of it, my tent was constantly getting wet inside before doing this. The storm never really was that bad and probably could have been cycled through, the threat of a heavy downpour however was constantly looming so our stop was justified. During our downtime Matt had told me a lot about his life, the trip he was currently on started in Fairbanks and he had cycled all the way to Whitehorse in the Yukon, Canada and then went north from there to the remote Native town Innuvic, then insanely he went East for 7 months along Canada's northern coast starting in the winter time. He told me he had worked on fishing boats like the ones on the TV show worlds deadliest catch and had earned hundreds of thousands catching king crabs. Plus he had other stories, stories stacked upon other stories I felt privileged hanging out with someone that had such an incredible life. He also told me that his IQ was tested at 175, I believed him. He sent me about 15 emails with links to all sorts of places and sites containing knowledge for cycle touring.
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