The Great Pacific Coast Escape

Day 4: Casual cruise to pavement pain
(Ocean Shores to Raymond)

date: Thursday August 8, 2002
daily miles: 63 miles (101 km)
total miles: 370 miles (595 km)

An incredible mural on the local fire department

This morning I woke up to wet dew outside -- the tent is all wet and I didn’t want to touch anything because I’d get wet. Yuck, yuck, yuck. But at least I was warm and dry on the inside during the night.

The town of Ocean Shores isn't exactly what I think they had originally envisioned -- it's like a half-developed planned community that ran out of money twenty years ago and doesn’t quite know what to do with itself. Not bad if you are looking for a cheap place to live I guess... but not for me.

Waiting for the ferry boat
Today I saw my first official "touring cyclist" today!! An older man with a Germanic/Austrian accent and instead of chatting like I figured he was going to do -- he was urgently telling me to crank my bike up to speed fast. It seems I only had a few minutes to catch the ferry that that make a run only once every two hours. I wanted to find out more about him – as he was riding in his swimming trunks and had very minimal luggage -- but I pedaled like mad in an effort to try and catch the ferry before is sailed.

I missed it by about one minute. Penalty -- two hour wait. :(

The small people-only ferry arrived back at the docks two hours later. I caught it across the Gray's Harbor water inlet from Ocean Shores to Westport (a fishing village). During the trip across, I saw a bunch of different types of seagulls -- but then again the seagulls know that this was a tourist boat full of people and bread is a free meal for them if they come to vist...

What amazed me were all the sea otters though. Up they would pop their heads out of the water. Some would watch us; some would gracefully extend their body in a full dive -- whereas other would pop back under the water as quickly as they appeared. (Didn't see any whales though -- I guess the sightings have been pretty sparse this summer)

This was the ferry boat
As for the fishing village of Westport itself -- pretty neat little place. But my true memory if the smell of seafood (and cooking seafood!) that was in the air. I didn’t want to leave – but I need to keep riding. The roads south of there were perfect were good shoulders and minimal traffic – plus the weather itself was just perfect.
But my fun and casual day turned to torture eventually. Somewhere between North Cove itself and the sawmill town of Raymond, the county road department had sprayed "new oil" sealant onto the freshly coated miles of pavement. This wasn’t any fun at all. Do you know you can actually FEEL the sensation of your bicycle wheels sinking into the fresh new pavement as you ride along?? (Plus I now have miles and miles of fresh tire grooves on the shoulder of the road that how many thousands of other bicyclists will see now – yes, those are mine!) But although the road itself wasn't fun, I did get some consolation during this fiasco in seeing that there was two other sets of bicycle tire tracks in the fresh pavement also -- and their grooves were deeper than mine...
I like this kind of riding

As I headed out of Raymond itself with a long ride ahead of me before I reached the expected campground – I was only but a couple of miles down the road and I came across a county campground that is pretty darn nice and NOT on any of the maps anywhere. Hiker/Biker is $6.00 and the showers are clean. Top of the hill, quiet, nobody there hardly -- and no bugs. Hopefully I was able to capture this incredible sunset picture that I took from up on the bluff looking out over the bay.

Stories: It had to happen. I was run off the road today. The vehicle was a black Suburban SUV that was hauling a big Airstream travel trailer. He went wide onto the shoulder and got heavily into his horn. He must have followed me for two miles honking his horn. The road was wide and I was on the shoulder – which was about six feet wide. Next thing I know he is upside me yelling out the window to get off HIS road. He threw a beer bottle at me to make his point. I ducked as I saw it coming. Then he swerved taking me off the road. The barend of my handlebar hit his Suburban in fact. I'm fine after going through the ditch and coming out the other wide. No damage to myself at all – really lucky I think. The lady behind him stopped immediately and offered to call the police if it would help -- she gave me his license plate number of his trailer. I figured I was fine with no scrapes or bruises and would forget it...

My sunset picture

That was until I was at least ten miles down the road and coming upon this tavern. Wouldn’t you know it -- there was a black Suburban with an Airstream travel trailer sitting there in the parking lot. So I just had to go and check the right side of the Suburban -- you could see where my barend had hit his rig as it left a small dent and a big scratch. Plus the license plate number for the trailer that the lady who stopped had given me – it matched the license plate on the trailer!

Did I call the police? Nope. Without going into too much detail, let's just say that I have nine of his tire aircore stems from his wheels with me now (I got the trailer spare too!). I even had help from a stranger in pulling them and giving him all his flats once I told him what happened. As I left the parking lot, I stopped and knocked on the window of the tavern as I left – the Suburban driver was sitting there on a barstool at the counter. I waved to him with a nice friendly gesture. I wanted him to fully understand that I knew he was there – and that I hadn’t forgotten him. As I write this page tonight in my journal -- I still have the all the tire aircore stems from his wheels with me still --- anyone need a spare??? =-)



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The Great Pacific Coast Escape
Introduction time
Two weeks before - Welcome to "BOB"
One week before - Panic time!
The trip begins! (Bellevue, WA to Sequim)
Awesome sights to be seen (Sequim to Sapho)
The longest day (Sapho to Ocean Shores)
Casual cruise to pavement pain (Ocean Shores to Raymond)
I survived the bridge!! (Raymond to Ft. Stevens, Oregon)
I talked with a real bicycle tourist! (Ft. Stevens to Cape Lookout)
Hills, hills and more hills (Cape Overlook to Newport)
It was slow going today (Newport to Florence)
Kickback, relax and just surf (at Honeyman Camp in Florence)
Time to escape the convention (Florence to Bandon)
Sputter, misfire, detour... and a new direction (Bandon to Brookings)
Please turn off the fog machine!! (Brookings to Prairie Creek Redwoods, California)
Keeping it simple (Prairie Creek Redwoods to KOA in Arcata)
Enter the 'Avenue of the Giants' (KOA in Arcata to Weott)
Running on empty (Weott to Leggett)
Back to the Pacific Ocean (Leggett to Van Damme SP at Mendocino)
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (Van Damme SP to Stillwater SP)
Just another simple day (Stillwater SP to Samuel Taylor SP in Bodega Bay)
What were you expecting -- Baywatch??? (Samuel Taylor SP to Half Moon Bay SP)
There actually is sunshine in California (Half Moon Bay to Sunset Beach in Watsonville)
Sleeping in late means a late start huh? (Sunset Beach SP to Pfeiffer-Big Sur SP)
Riding above the clouds (Pfeiffer-Big Sur SP to San Simeon SP
The ranger told me that I probably wouldn't want to camp here (San Simeon SP to Oceana SP)
I see cracks!! (Oceana SP to El Capitan SP near Goleta)
Are we there yet? (El Capitan SP to Leo Carillo SP near Malibu)
The “City of Angels” in one day (Leo Carillo SP to Doheny SP at Dana Point)
The end has arrived (Dana Point to San Diego)
Equipment Reflections
Personal Gear Review
Review -- Planning and Maps
Would I do it all again?