The Great Pacific Coast Escape

Day 6: I talked with a real bicycle tourist!
(Ft. Stevens to Cape Lookout)

date: Saturday August 10, 2002
daily miles: 86 miles (138 km)
total miles: 535 miles (861 km)

At the campground last night, I had these neighbors that everyone has to deal with at times – they were incredibly loud and drunk. The kids were running through everyone’s campgrounds and bothering everyone. The parents themselves were yelling and screaming themselves until 2:30am when they finally passed out around the campfire -- it wasn't pretty to see or hear. At 6:30am -- their hellion children were wide-awake and running and screaming through camp again. Arggghhhhh!!!!

My first true encounter with another cycling tourist happened today. His name was Hans and was from Scotland. A very unassuming chap who is cruising north up the coast from Los Angeles to Vancouver, Canada. He was so quiet I didn't here him come up behind me at first. His equipment amazed me – an older bicycle, old canvas bags that were at least fifteen years old on wooden frame -- I just imagined all the weight on that bicycle that he was cycling with. His story -- he travels all the major cycling routes backwards throughout the world so he can constantly meet new people -- original way to travel!

More incredible scenery today appeared once the haze burned off. But by then my legs were toast and I wasn’t enjoying the scenery as much as I should have. Lots of long hills today and I hammered the first ones pretty hard not realizing there were more to come...
I think it's a bit cold to be at this beach

Yes – I didn’t know they were there -- I am not carrying the Kirkendal Coast Book in regard to this cycling adventure with me. I figured that was HIS adventure and this one is MINE. I don't want someone else swaying my decision on the route as where to stay, where to eat, what sights to see, etc. I'm also riding without the Cycle Oregon Coast map for the same reason -- I do not want to see the elevation changes themselves, as it will just psych me out before I actually get to the big hills. So far I have had no problems at all in regard to traveling with minimal maps – I’m using a freebie one currently!

Also I will guess I'll be the thousandth person who will mention this about riding through Oregon on the coast -- I hate riding through the tunnels. Today it was hit the button to turn on the flashing lights indicating a bicyclist was in the tunnel and then start pedaling like mad to get through the tunnel itself before the flashing lights go out. In once tunnel, I ended up getting a Dodge pickup with a diesel Cummings engine in it rattling behind me and honking its horn. I can deal with that in almost all scenarios... but since we were in a tunnel, the sound itself was so greatly amplified that I couldn't hear anything for almost ten minutes afterward -- I was extremely concerned that my hearing had been damaged. (It's ok now)


Where is the sunshine?
Yes, I made the traditional tourist stop at the Tillamook Cheese Factory today. Wasn't too impressed. But I DID have an ice cream cone though -- mint chocolate chip!

Got into Camp Lookout this evening. I found quite a few touring bicyclists finally spread throughout the hiker/biker campground. Didn't have a chance to chat much as I got in fairly late. I did find the couple who had made those deep tire grooves in the pavement outside Raymond yesterday though. From the sounds of their voices -- they weren't all that particularly excited by the sinking feeling of new pavement and fresh oil along that section of road either.

I’m back from my shower and just ate dinner. Everyone around here is asleep or is off at the ranger presentation in the main campground tonight. I'm hitting the sack early to catch up on my sleep from last night.

Goodnight!

Mark

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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?