We left Bend, Oregon before dawn in order to bike the 120 miles to Eugene in one day and arrive for our presentation that afternoon. Crossing the cascades, though, we met our match. The road was closed to construction, and they would not let bicycles through – we would have to backtrack and take a longer route.
In order to make it to Eugene that night, we hitchhiked. Nicky and I caught two rides. The first ride was from a contractor who is working to make his developments more environmental. The contractor coincidentally had a booklet about energy independence in Oregon, which we had learned about the day before by talking to the director of 3EStrategies. It was great to see that the information was getting out. The second was from a pair of hairdressers, who were excited to share that they had just started recycling. They also shared their entire life story.
In Eugene, we gave a talk at the library, appeared on television, and met with the mayor, Kitty Piercy. It was good to hear about the efforts Eugene is making to fight global warming – pushing energy efficient buildings, buying wind power for the town, and encouraging biking as a form of transportation. Kitty has signed on to the mayor’s climate protection agreement, and you can see what the town is doing at her website, sustaineugene.com.
Accompanied by the Greater Eugene Riders, we left Eugene and crossed the coastal mountains, where we met Randy and Scott, two loggers who were out bow hunting. While they told us they didn’t believe in global warming (they gave us the standard ‘natural cycle’ argument), they were open and friendly to conversation with us, and it was great to see the environmental perspective of people working in the forests. It gives me hope that we will be able to work together for some solution. They also let me cock their bow.
We are now on the Oregon coast, following one of the more famous bike routes south towards California.