112km out of 1157km so far
I woke up at 7am, the murderer had already left the campsite and I was still alive. I was now completely by my self and I didn’t see any passing car up until I got to the bottom of that hill 3 hours later. It was a rather cold morning at 6c within the forest and next to the river, so I made my self a hefty portion of warm tea to drink, together with instant oats, while packing my stuff. I was still trying to absorb the beauty of the place I had just woken at.
Two hours later I was on the road cruising down the hill, at a relatively slow pace due to the 5km of unpaved road I went through right after the campsite. The route was still very scenic, but it was still very cold. Every now and then the sun beams would penetrated the dense forest, hoping that they would warm me up a bit.
Two hours later, I was back in civilization, with farms and barns all around me. Quite roads, family houses, horse stables and farms with any kind of animals and produce. A couple of times vicious dogs went mental on me and started chasing me while barking. One almost grabbed my pannier’s strap, just to realize I was a little faster to keep up with its jaws.
I got to the very end of that section at the intersection with 101 just before noon. I decided to go a few kilometers north, to catch the scenic route via the coast, even if it was a little longer than sticking on 101 south. Some locals mentioned that there aren’t any shops down that road, so I thought I should have something to eat for early lunch/second breakfast in the nearby grocery store.
Over my two and a half weeks I am on the road, I’ve met many cyclists, either couples of guys on their own like my self. Today I was set to meet two different solo girls. As I finished my sandwich and I was ready to depart, Carol came in to the store to take a cover from the rain that had just started. I extended my break and sat down for a bit, to exchange stories and information. Carol is on the road for more than 100 days and she has many more to go before reaching Mexico, or somewhere equally warm. She was heading to Portland though to pick up some gear, via the scenic route I had just finished. I gave her my printed map which I no longer needed, along with a few other information. She writes on a blog as well, which I will check shortly after I finish this post.
The rain paused for a minute and I took the opportunity to depart, even though I was certain I would get wet at some point from the coming storm that everyone was talking about. Apparently it will keep raining on and off for the next five days and some people even mentioned hail and lightnings. Oh dear…
After a few kilometers north on 101, I turned west and finally headed to the coast. As usual for the most of the coastal route, the road is running behind private properties hiding the ocean. I really didn’t have a clue what to expect, up until the point a public access beach appeared right in front of me. I had to take a break to admire the scenery. Even if I wish it wasn’t as wet, the fine mist and rain created a very mystical atmosphere, together with the crushing waves of the ocean. Further down the road at Pacific City, there was a surfing competition, so I had a quick stop there as well to observe the dudes.
Pacific city is a nice little surf town. As I was heading out though I had yet another douche-moment. I stopped for a second on the side of the road to put my mp3 player on and this monster-truck honked at me right as it was passing me. I flipped my hand wondering what was that about and second later the mean machine stopped and reversed. The guy obviously didn’t have enough bacon this morning, so he started yelling at me for stopping 20cm on the road, even if the road was big enough for his douche-wagon and threatening me not to flip my hand on him again. I need to clarify that this is a rare behavior between the drivers I’ve shared the road with on this trip. But somehow the world is not a perfect place.
I moved on further south, heading to Lincton city. The cycling map recommended to take a detour to the old 101 which was more scenic, quieter and had a more gradual climb over the 250 meters hill. Again a really nice route via old growth forest. I didn’t take many photos as it was raining for most of the time. That’s when I met the second solo girl of the day. In a cool way, she was a weird, hippie looking ragged girl. Rather than any fancy gear, she was riding a just about functioning bike, without a helmet, wearing a vintage coat and some army boots. Her minimal bags were covered with a military raincoat. She didn’t seem to mind that she was soaked and at some point she even mentioned that she is thinking of getting a wet suit, so at least she could keep warm. Hardcore! She seemed very connected to the forest and I wouldn’t be surprised if she told me she was high on mushrooms.
I moved on to the city, as I wanted to call it a day after 100km in the rain. Even if Lincton city has a campground, I was willing to pay the extra cash and stay in a motel or something, so I don’t have to face the wet ground under my tent. I went through a few different motels and I chose the most economical one. After having a shower, I went to the near by restaurant, for a massive stake and veggies, which happened to be on $10 special offer. A full stomach at night, makes the next day much easier.