Coast to Coast 2022 Adventure Day 1: Florence, OR to Eugene, OR

Alan Gilbert
4 min readJun 24, 2022

This post is part of a series detailing my 2022 coast to coast cycling adventure.

Finally, after all of the training, planning, and staging, the real thing is here. Our coast to coast adventure is no longer just a bunch of stuff on my computer screen. It’s real. We said goodbye to the Pacific Ocean but plan to see its cousin, the Atlantic, in a little over six weeks.

Day 1 Highlights:

Song of the day: Highway Star by Deep Purple
Start: Florence, OR
End: Eugene, OR
Distance: 80.64 mi
Elevation: 2,615 ft
Breakfast: Eggs, sausage, cheese, english muffins (made the night before)
Lunch: Sandwiches and chips at Triangle Lake
Dinner: Forresters Bar & Grill in Eugene

Day one was amazing but it didn’t start that way. When I awoke at 5AM, met Dave in the kitchen, and he responded “not good” to my obligatory “how’s it going?,” I figured it was related to being up too early. But turns out he stubbed his toe in the middle of the night and half tore off the nail. Yikes! But, as it turns out, it was good enough to ride. Adrenaline has a way of masking pain.

We had planned the customary ocean wheel dip, pictured below, at our starting point — Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area. That looked like a good idea on paper but it turns out we had to scale the sand dunes to get to the beach, which we did. But it took us about an hour because of the short hike there and back, and then we had to wash all of the sand off our bikes. We also violated the basic rule of the beach — never turn your back on the ocean. The bikes got a lot wetter — and sandier — than planned.

The customary ocean wheel dip

I’m also dealing with a corruption issue on my Garmin 530 GPS and it is currently unable to navigate. I violated another basic rule — never upgrade your device firmware the night before a big trip. (Same as never deploy code on Fridays.)

Once we finally got going, 90 minutes later than planned, the day was just about perfect. The temperature ranged from 55 to 75 with lots of sunshine, a mild crosswind, and an occasional tailwind. Here is a link to today’s ride:

Today’s ride was on a beautiful winding road, much of which was along the Siuslaw River. We went through several tiny towns including Swisshome, Deadwood, and Blachly.

This part of Oregon has beautiful flowers that my daughter tells me are called called foxgloves.

Foxgloves are everywhere is this part of Oregon

Some other highlights from our first day.

The journey begins
Railroad bridge over the Siuslaw River
I wonder who lives here?
Whaaat? A giant nose cone?
Route 36 from Florence to Eugene is just beautiful

Tomorrow we have a long day (100 miles, 6000 ft) but get to ride the beautiful and magical McKenzie Pass-Santiam Pass Scenic Byway.