U.S. 360 Tour V – Day 69 from Anacortes WA to Blaine WA (Totem Poles and Contemplation )

Latest update on my purpose-driven cycling journey around the American perimeter.

52 miles – Total so far: 3,612 miles

This morning picked up right where yesterday left off: peaceful roads, a spectrum of green, pine trees, hills, ocean views, islands, and more. As has been customary lately, my camera cannot stop taking pictures. Today’s 52-mile ride was relatively easy, and when I wasn’t taking in the beautiful scenery, I was beginning to more fully reflect my current status, namely that I am about to successfully complete a significant milestone on my journey around the American perimeter: from Mexico to Canada along the Pacific Coast. More on that goal tomorrow!

I progressed through the quaint towns of Edison, Bow, Bellingham (not so quaint), and Birch City, with Blaine WA being my final U.S. destination before crossing the Canadian border tomorrow. Of special note today was the Lummi Indian Reservation I passed through earlier in the day. The Lummi, or Lhaq’temish which translates to “people of the sea”, have been inhabiting this area and the San Juan Islands for over 12,000 years.  As I was pedaling through the reservation I witnessed a commanding and ornate Native American totem pole crafted by this small northwest coastal tribe.  Not surprisingly, a salmon was carved prominently in the totem pole, representing I’m sure the important linkage between these great people and the prevalent fish.

Today I learned that, in the midst of my journey, there is time to contemplate, but there is also time to simply absorb the power of nature and the fascinating cultures that have called this place home for thousands of years .

It’s All Good.

A morning break with mountains looming in the background near Bow WA.
A morning break with mountains looming in the background near Bow WA.
Me and Pearl over a stream near Samish Bay in northern Washington.
Me and Pearl over a stream near Samish Bay in northern Washington.
Small vertical leap near Samish Bay in northern Washington.
Small vertical leap near Samish Bay in northern Washington.
Surly Pearl and a beautiful overlook with the San Juan Isles in the background, near Bellingham WA.
Surly Pearl and a beautiful overlook with the San Juan Isles in the background, near Bellingham WA.
Surly Pearl in Bellingham WA
Surly Pearl in Bellingham WA
Great totem pole on the Lummi Indian Reservation near Bellingham WA.
Great totem pole on the Lummi Indian Reservation near Bellingham WA.
Surly Pearl and a totem pole on the Lummi Indian Reservation near Bellingham WA.
Surly Pearl and a totem pole on the Lummi Indian Reservation near Bellingham WA.

U.S. 360 Tour V – Day 68 from Port Townsend WA to Anacortes WA (Whidbey Island and the Sound of Freedom)

Latest update on my purpose-driven cycling journey around the American perimeter.

47 miles – Total so far: 3,560 miles

Without question, today was one of top five days spent cycling on the entire Pacific Coast. And to make it even better, it was somewhat unexpected. The morning started out with a 6:30am sharp ferry ride across the Strait of Juan De Fuca from Port Townsend to Whidbey Island. Upon arrival to Whidbey Island, I was uncharacteristically treated with sunshine and very little wind. The route took me across beautiful green pastures and foothills, populated primarily with cows and sheep.

Passed through the quaint, cute town of Coupeville WA, and then down to the coastline along the coastal waters of the Strait of Juan De Fuca. The scenes along the coastline were absolutely breathtaking. Across the beautiful waters you could see the San Juan Isles, and in the distance the towering peaks of the Olympic Mountain range. Wildlife was a slice of Alice in Wonderland. Herds of deer literally strolled down the quiet roads right in front of me, without a care in the world. Cottontail rabbits, geese, and cranes were everywhere. There was even an improbable “Otter Crossing” road sign, but no otters were brave enough to pose for a picture as I cycled by.

Passing through the North side of the island near Oak Harbor, I was serenaded by a number of U.S. Navy F-18 Growlers taking off for training runs out of Whidbey Island Naval Air Station. One of the F-18 pilots at Whidbey NAS, and a fine American, is the son of a dear friend back in Austin, so this scene carried special significance for me. As my retired USAF father-in-law is accustomed to saying, the roar of the engines “sounds like freedom”. The entire scene made me proud to be an American, and yes, it sounded like freedom.

As I left the island, I passed over the incredible Deception Pass Bridge, considered a scenic wonder of the Pacific Northwest, linking Whidbey Island to Anacortes WA, leaving me with one lasting glorious impression of this special place. I finished off today’s ride at Bay View State Park north of Anacortes, a beautiful pine tree-laden park overlooking Padilla Bay and Anacortes.

Today I learned that heaven exists in many places, and one of those places is right here on Whidbey Island. God Bless America.

It’s All Good.

Surly Pearl getting anxious about her ferry ride from Port Townsend WA to Whidbey Island.
Surly Pearl getting anxious about her ferry ride from Port Townsend WA to Whidbey Island.
Surly Pearl on the bow of the ferry from Port Townsend WA to Whidbey Island.
Surly Pearl on the bow of the ferry from Port Townsend WA to Whidbey Island.
Port Townsend WA in my rear view mirror.
Port Townsend WA in my rear view mirror.
Kennewick Ferry out of Port Townsend WA.
Kennewick Ferry out of Port Townsend WA.
Ferry ride from Port Townsend WA to Whidbey Island.
Ferry ride from Port Townsend WA to Whidbey Island.
Whidbey Island vista.
Whidbey Island vista.
Whidbey Island vista.
Whidbey Island vista.
Fields of green on Whidbey Island.
Fields of green on Whidbey Island.
Whidbey Island silhouette.
Whidbey Island silhouette.
Whidbey Island looking over the Strait of Juan de Fuca with snow-capped Olympic Mountain range in the distance.
Whidbey Island looking over the Strait of Juan de Fuca with snow-capped Olympic Mountain range in the distance.
Improbable Otter Crossing on Whidbey Island.
Improbable Otter Crossing on Whidbey Island.
Whidbey Island Naval Air Station.
Whidbey Island Naval Air Station.
Strait of Juan de Fuca.
Strait of Juan de Fuca.
Brian overlooking the Strait of Juan de Fuca
Brian overlooking the Strait of Juan de Fuca
Brian overlooking the Strait of Juan de Fuca
Brian overlooking the Strait of Juan de Fuca
Surly Pearl and the Deception Pass Bridge linking Whidbey Island.
Surly Pearl and the Deception Pass Bridge linking Whidbey Island.
Brian and the Deception Pass Bridge linking Whidbey Island.
Brian and the Deception Pass Bridge linking Whidbey Island.
Camp for the night at Bay View State Park near Anacortes WA
Camp for the night at Bay View State Park near Anacortes WA
Camp for the night at Bay View State Park near Anacortes WA
Camp for the night at Bay View State Park near Anacortes WA

U.S. 360 Tour V – Day 67 from Bremerton WA to Port Townsend WA (Persevering Puget Sound)

Latest update on my purpose-driven cycling journey around the American perimeter.

52 miles – Total so far: 3,513 miles

Today was tough and beautiful, and tough.

First, the beautiful. As I left Bremerton WA, I was greeted to the West by a glorious view of the snow-capped peaks of the Olympic Mountain range, home of the famous Mount Olympus. Throughout the day, the landscape transformed from alpine regions to forests to captivating Puget Sound coastline. Landscape diversity was the order of the day, and it was superb.

Now the tough part. Don’t be fooled by the lack of mountains directly on today’s route. The reality is that the entire ride from Bremerton to Port Townsend WA seemed like one contiguous hill. The non-stop hills, together with the non-stop rain and non-stop wind made the ride a non-stop challenge. The going was slow, and there were points during the journey where the suffering almost outweighed the beauty.  Almost. Fortunately, when those feelings began to take root, they were short-lived. While undoubtedly a great ride, more than any ride on this tour I felt like I overcame a lot of stuff.

Of special note today was the tense crossing of the Hood Canal Bridge. At 7869 feet long, this ominous structure is the longest floating draw-bridge in the world. Ironically, I arrived just as the bridge was being split apart to allow a large barge to navigate passage. I was privileged to be able to ride past hundreds of cars and trucks waiting on the bridge to reassemble itself, pulling right up to the large crevasse created by this engineering marvel.  I felt very small on this very massive structure. After a difficult day, I’m fortunate to be going to sleep tonight in a warm room with a 180 degree view of Puget Sound, wondering if I’ll be able to enter dreamland, as a group of sea lions has decided conduct a debate just outside of my balcony.

Today I learned the meaning of the word perseverance, and I didn’t even need a dictionary.

It’s All Good.

The sign was correct as I passed over the blustery Hood Canal Bridge.
The sign was correct as I passed over the blustery Hood Canal Bridge.
Hood Canal Bridge was just drawing shut as a barge passed through.
Hood Canal Bridge was just drawing shut as a barge passed through.
Selfie with the Hood Canal floating bridge in the background.
Selfie with the Hood Canal floating bridge in the background.
Immersed in green near Port Ludlow WA.
Immersed in green near Port Ludlow WA.
Resting in Paradise (Bay) WA.
Resting in Paradise (Bay) WA.
A well-deserved rest between rainshowers near Port Hadlock WA.
A well-deserved rest between rainshowers near Port Hadlock WA.
Reflecting on today's difficult ride near Puget Sound at Port Townsend WA.
Reflecting on today’s difficult ride near Puget Sound at Port Townsend WA.
Fishing Pier at Port Townsend WA.
Fishing Pier at Port Townsend WA.
My “dot” in the midst of the Strait of Juan de Fuca.
My “dot” in the midst of the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

U.S. 360 Tour V – Day 66 from Shelton WA to Bremerton WA (Surly Pearl, My Wilson)

Latest update on my purpose-driven cycling journey around the American perimeter.

46 miles – Total so far: 3,461 miles

“We live and die by time and we must not commit the sin of turning our back on time.” — from the motion picture “Castaway”.

Woke up to all-to-familiar raindrops in Shelton Washington, but was soon enjoying cruising down the historical-looking and appropriately named Railroad Avenue as I was leaving town. As so often seems to be the case, I got the morning started off with a steep climb right out of town, but soon settled in to the more moderate terrain of the day’s ride. The majority of the route paralleled the western portion of Puget Sound, heading northward to Bremerton Washington, almost directly across the Sound from Seattle. Hills, forest, the beautiful Isabella Lake, and inland waters were the norm as I paced myself throughout the day.

Given the lack of significant landmarks, and the terrain not being overly taxing, I found myself daydreaming a bit as I pedaled through the alluring surroundings. I don’t exactly “tune out” during my daydreaming moments. In fact, those moments usually manifest themselves into sort of an active conversation with my bike, Surly Pearl. While I normally don’t find myself immersed in deep conversation with inanimate objects, I have found that one way to deal with long days in the saddle is an occasional conversation with Pearl. My behavior is not without precedent. You may remember the movie Castaway, where Tom Hank’s character, stranded on a deserted island, had routine conversations with Wilson, his volleyball friend. I too, have conversations with Surly Pearl, my Wilson; like Tom Hanks, I converse with her, I ask her questions, sometimes I am forced to stop and take pictures of her, I sing to her, and I always trust her.

There are other interesting parallels between Pearl and Wilson. In Castaway, as he is about to launch a make-shift boat to escape the desert island, Tom Hank’s character says “Okay. Here we go, Wilson. You don’t have to worry about anything. I’ll do all the paddling. You just hang on.” I’m sure you understand where I’m going with this. Replace “paddling” with “pedaling”, and you get the picture. Anyway, I do love my bike more than what is probably healthy, and I am always amazed at the punishment she can absorb and still ably transport me through my journeys and dreams.

Today I learned that you don’t have to be ashamed of having an occasional dialog with your bicycle, but it’s probably best to save those conversations for remote riding.

It’s All Good.

Surly Pearl and an old west style locomotive in downtown Shelton WA.
Surly Pearl and an old west style locomotive in downtown Shelton WA.
Resting with the old locomotive on Railroad Avenue in downtown Shelton WA.
Resting with the old locomotive on Railroad Avenue in downtown Shelton WA.
Beautiful forest near Mason Lake in WA
Beautiful forest near Mason Lake in WA
Resting in Illahee State Park near Bremerton WA.
Resting in Illahee State Park near Bremerton WA.
Ramen noodles is what's on the menu at Illahee State Park near Bremerton WA.
Ramen noodles is what’s on the menu at Illahee State Park near Bremerton WA.
Beautiful camping spot in Illahee State Park near Bremerton WA.
Beautiful camping spot in Illahee State Park near Bremerton WA.

U.S. 360 Tour V – Day 65 from Centralia WA to Shelton WA (Mother Nature’s Best)

Latest update on my purpose-driven cycling journey around the American perimeter.

65 miles – Total so far: 3,415 miles

Woke up to a nippy 34 degrees Fahrenheit, broke camp quickly, and hit the road around sunrise. From that point forward, I played in Mother Nature’s world. As today’s long 65-mile ride materialized, it became evident early on that I was entering the southern region of the famous Olympic Peninsula. From the beginning, I was immersed in mile after mile of pine forests, wooded ridges, and a few horse farms thrown in for good measure. The Douglas Fir-laden forests were immense and seemed endless at times. This area is home to some of the nation’s great old-growth forests, undoubtedly a national treasure.

Of particular note today was the route between Elma Washington and Shelton Washington along the Cloquallum River. The quiet 25-mile stretch of winding roadway gave me a unique perspective of a working forest. According to a couple of locals that I spoke with, this area apparently has a long legacy of cooperation with logging companies, and that perspective seemed evident as I meandered through the forests along the way. As I would occasionally come into an area recently harvested, the very sad sight seemed eerily similar to a moonscape, stumps the only remnants of the once proud forest that stood there. Then, down the road I would notice previously harvested forests in various stages of restoration. Some of the forests contained small saplings, others with more mature trees, and finally, vast full-grown forests that had apparently been replanted decades ago. So, while not entirely pristine, I saw firsthand how industry and environmentalism can coexist.

As I push further into the Olympic Peninsula, I can’t wait to see what else Mother Nature has in store for me. For now, I am resting comfortably in Shelton Washington after dining on easily the best plate of fish and chips (local Cod) that I have ever eaten.

Today I learned that Mother Nature has it pretty much figured out, and if we will abide by her simple rules, we can all enjoy the fruits of her efforts for generations to come.

It’s All Good.

 

A Christmas tree farm near Elma WA.
A Christmas tree farm near Elma WA.
A typical view from today's ride, somewhere near Elma WA.
A typical view from today’s ride, somewhere near Elma WA.
Surly Pearl taking a rest at Cloquallum Creek near Shelton WA
Surly Pearl taking a rest at Cloquallum Creek near Shelton WA
Me taking a break at Cloquallum Creek near Shelton WA
Me taking a break at Cloquallum Creek near Shelton WA
Surly Pearl and me taking a break at Cloquallum Creek near Shelton WA
Surly Pearl and me taking a break at Cloquallum Creek near Shelton WA
A recently-harvested ridge of Douglas Fir's near Shelton WA
A recently-harvested ridge of Douglas Fir’s near Shelton WA
A forest restoration project near Shelton WA.
A forest restoration project near Shelton WA.
Immersed in the forests of the southern Olympic Peninsula.
Immersed in the forests of the southern Olympic Peninsula.
Mouth-watering cod fish and chips at Blondies Restaurant in Shelton WA.
Mouth-watering cod fish and chips at Blondies Restaurant in Shelton WA.

U.S. 360 Tour V – Day 64 from Longview WA to Centralia WA (Volcanic Visions)

Latest update on my purpose-driven cycling journey around the American perimeter.

58 miles – Total so far: 3,350 miles

The day was beautiful early-on, the ride was pleasant, the hills were moderate, but I felt a little jilted for a good portion of the day. Two iconic and prominent Washington volcanoes were just out of reach by bicycle all day. As I left Longview Washington, the once notorious Mount St. Helens was barely visible on the Eastern horizon. Throughout the ride, I spent a fair amount of time envisioning what this place must have looked like on May 18, 1980 when the most catastrophic volcanic event in U.S. history wreaked havoc on this region. Later in the day, I saw another active volcano, the beautiful and dramatic Mt. Rainier about 60 miles due East of Centralia Washington. Likewise, while appearing closer than it really was, it was just out of reach by bicycle given my route and aggressive schedule. At an elevation of 14,411 ft and the highest in the entire Cascade Range, Mt. Rainier is thought to be one of the most dangerous volcanoes in the world. While not nearly ready to “cash it in”, I could think of much worse places to take my last breath if this grand mountain decided to blow it’s stack.

Throughout much of today’s ride I was deeply imbedded in pine trees, a fact easily understood given that this area encompasses one of the last stands of old-growth forests in the state. I had intended to camp in the middle of this fascinating old-growth forest at Lewis and Clark State Park, but unfortunately the park was closed for a reason not widely publicized. Disappointed but determined, I pushed forward into Centralia Washington, where I was inhospitably greeted by a pesky hailstorm just as I arrived in the city limits. After safely waiting the storm out at a Centralia restaurant, I located a private RV campground just North of the town. Assuming the weather cooperates, I will call this place home until morning.

Today I learned that volcanic visions on a bike are the next best thing to actually being there, especially if the volcanoes decide to misbehave.

It’s All Good.

 Surly Pearl wanted her picture taken on this old truss bridge near Castle Rock WA.
Surly Pearl wanted her picture taken on this old truss bridge near Castle Rock WA.
Pearl and me on an old truss bridge near Castle Rock WA.
Pearl and me on an old truss bridge near Castle Rock WA.
Camping near Centralia WA.
Camping near Centralia WA.

U.S. 360 Tour V – Day 63 from Astoria OR to Longview WA (Salmon Appreciation Day on the Columbia)

Latest update on my purpose-driven cycling journey around the American perimeter.

58 miles – Total so far: 3,292 miles

“One day it started raining, and it didn’t quit … We been through every kind of rain there is. Little bitty stingin’ rain… and big ol’ fat rain. Rain that flew in sideways. And sometimes rain even seemed to come straight up from underneath.” — F. Gump

Today was a day entirely dominated by the mighty Columbia River. It was also a day entirely dominated by heavy rains. As such, I did my best to mimic the Sockeye, Soho, and Chinook Salmon who frequent these waters on their annual upstream migration. The Columbia River is, in a word, powerful. It is easily the largest river in the Pacific Northwest, spanning over 1,243 miles through British Columbia, Washington and Oregon. By volume, the Columbia is the 4th largest river in the United States, and generates more hydroelectric power than any river in the country.

It’s volume was increased today, I’m sure, by the heavy rains which lasted a majority of the day. And like the famously-focused salmon, I found my way laboring (i.e. spinning) upstream towards Longview Washington all day. As for Washington, after turning inland I crossed the Oregon border into the Evergreen State shortly before noon in a ferry crossing, of all things, the Columbia River.

I passed through the small inland towns of Westport OR and Cathlamet WA on my way towards Longview WA. Of special note were the beautiful homes and properties along the Columbia on State Route 4 in Washington. It was obvious to me that this is THE place to be in the southwestern region of the state.

Today I learned that, like the Columbia River’s salmon, I can prevail even when the odds are against me, and this gives me an acute appreciation of what they do on an annual basis. Except die at the end, of course.

It’s All Good.

Anchors Aweigh at the U.S. Coast Guard base in Astoria OR.
Anchors Aweigh at the U.S. Coast Guard base in Astoria OR.
Riding the ferry across the Columbia River at the Oregon/Washington border.
Riding the ferry across the Columbia River at the Oregon/Washington border.
Selfie at the Washington state sign near Cathlamet WA.
Selfie at the Washington state sign near Cathlamet WA.
Incredible truss bridge over the Columbia River at Cathlamet WA.
Incredible truss bridge over the Columbia River at Cathlamet WA.
Surly Pearl and the mighty Columbia River near Cathlamet WA.
Surly Pearl and the mighty Columbia River near Cathlamet WA.

U.S. 360 Tour V – Day 62 from Manzanita OR to Astoria OR (God Hitched a Ride Today)

Latest update on my purpose-driven cycling journey around the American perimeter.

41 miles – Total so far: 3,234 miles

God hitched a ride with Surly Pearl and me today. After a couple days of ever-so-slight pessimism, I woke up with a sparkling new attitude, despite the dreary weather forecast. My iPhone weather app subtly predicted a day of 90% rain shower chances, from sunrise to sundown. As I left Manzanita OR at the break of dawn, the rain seemed to be somewhat at bay, but instead of a downpour I was only greeted with a couple of significant climbs, right out of the chute. The payment for the climbs were some of the most spectacular mountain and ocean views of this tour, and I spent a fair amount of time resigned to the absolute awe of my surroundings. And to top it off, as I began the delightful descent toward Seaside OR, I noticed a chilly feeling on my back that I had not experienced on this tour. A rare, full-blown tailwind was fully intact, giving me the distinct feeling that I was in Heaven!

Beautiful scenery, rain-free riding, tailwinds, and a fresh perspective …. what more could I ask for. It was crystal clear that God had hitched a ride with me this morning just to remind me He’s large and in charge. Ironically, shortly thereafter, the rain kicked back in, and no worse for the wear, I frolicked with newfound energy the rest of the way into historic Astoria OR. A beautiful ride, a beautiful landscape, and ahem, a Riding Partner that assuredly brought it all together.

Today I learned that “Grace Happens”! (I think that would make a great bumper sticker.)

It’s All Good.

Magnificent scenery looking back down at Manzanita OR.
Magnificent scenery looking back down at Manzanita OR.
Beautiful mountain passes and climbs after leaving Manzanita OR.
Beautiful mountain passes and climbs after leaving Manzanita OR.
Taking a break at the city limits of historic Astoria OR.
Taking a break at the city limits of historic Astoria OR.
The incredible Astoria Bridge.
The incredible Astoria Bridge.
Selfie at the incredible Astoria Bridge.
Selfie at the incredible Astoria Bridge.

 

U.S. 360 Tour V – Day 61 from Pacific City OR to Manzanita OR (Big on Small Town Oregon )

Latest update on my purpose-driven cycling journey around the American perimeter.

56 miles – Total so far: 3,193 miles

I cannot remember a single day on this entire cycling tour passing through so many charming towns, quaint fishing villages, and beautiful seaside communities. At the risk of sounding like a charter member of the Oregon Chamber of Commerce, it is rare that one can enjoy so many cool, small towns in a single day, and rarer yet on the saddle of a bicycle.

From the beautiful little town of Pacific City OR with its huge offshore sea stack, through the fishing villages of Netarts, Garibaldi, Wheeler and Nehalem, to the Native American-named Tillamook made famous for its dairy, to the hipster beach town of Manzanita, it was simply a pleasure to be a part, albeit fleeting, of these places. Of special note, rode up and over Cape Lookout this morning after a 900 foot climb, and was rewarded with spectacular ocean and mountain vistas that I won’t soon forget.

The day was not without its emotions, however, when I found out that Ms. Dottie Nelson, the wife of my friend and spiritual mentor Ed Nelson, had passed away peacefully. The day’s ride was dedicated to Dottie. It was a beautiful day all day, except that the usual North wind picked back up around noon and made the last 10 miles or so feel more like a crawl than a bike ride.

I’m staying in Manzanita OR tonight after consuming a rather large plate of Mexican food, something I don’t usually do outside of the TexMex-friendly confines of Texas. I also had the pleasure of a phone call with my friend and fellow adventure cyclist Matthew Jarrett about the many challenges (weather, physical, mental) I have faced thus far. Matt’s words picked me up after a frank and meaningful conversation.

Today I learned that after feeling a little sorry for myself, I sometimes feel better simply by manning up, taking things one day at a time, and, did I say manning up?

It’s All Good.

Time to reflect at a beautiful spot near Pacific City OR.
Time to reflect at a beautiful spot near Pacific City OR.
The climb up to Cape Lookout OR.
The climb up to Cape Lookout OR.
Cape Lookout OR.
Cape Lookout OR.
Eating at a bridge in Tillamook OR.
Eating at a bridge in Tillamook OR.
A cheesy selfie in Tillamook OR.
A cheesy selfie in Tillamook OR.
Surly Pearl overlooking Tillamook Bay OR.
Surly Pearl overlooking Tillamook Bay OR.
Happiness at Rockaway Beach OR.
Happiness at Rockaway Beach OR.
A tight fit for Pearl and I in Manzanita lodging.
A tight fit for Pearl and I in Manzanita lodging.

U.S. 360 Tour V – Day 60 from Newport OR to Pacific City OR (Emulating Abe)

Latest update on my purpose-driven cycling journey around the American perimeter.

41 miles – Total so far: 3,137 miles

If I told you today was an enjoyable day, I wouldn’t be honest, no matter how hard I try and spin it. So, I plan to emulate ol’ “Honest Abe” Lincoln in my writings today, which is sort of apropos considering I spent most of the day in Lincoln County Oregon passing through towns aptly named Lincoln Beach and Lincoln City.

Driving rain was a constant for most of the day, pelting my face because of the constant North wind. The precipitation, frigid temperatures, and three really “good” climbs buried my fun meter to new depths. I didn’t come close to reaching my goal of Cape Lookout, which would have been another 16 miles up the road in these miserable conditions. My hands being completely numb, my clothes soaked all the way to the bone, my spirit depleted, I finally surrendered at a nice little cottage in Pacific City OR. Upon my arrival, the lady at the front desk felt so sorry for me that she volunteered to take my drenched clothes and dry them for me, while I tried to restrain my teeth from chattering out of my head by the heater!

I passed through the quaint fishing and whale watching villages of Depoe Bay, Lincoln City and Neskowin today. Depoe Bay was of interest, not only because of it’s strategic whale watching location, but also because the fishing scene in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest was actually filmed there in 1975.  I saw no whales, although I did see the place where you’re supposed to see them; saw no elk, although I saw the ODOT road sign where the big animals apparently hang out.

Today I learned that there are nice little old ladies everywhere that enjoy taking care of me, and I also learned that ODOT construction crews are mighty friendly to this Texas Boy.

It’s All Good.

Surly Pearl watching the rough seas and looking for whales in Depoe Bay OR.
Surly Pearl watching the rough seas and looking for whales in Depoe Bay OR.
Selfie between rainstorms at Depoe Bay OR.
Selfie between rainstorms at Depoe Bay OR.
Me and Pearl overlooking the beautiful fishing village of Lincoln City OR.
Me and Pearl overlooking the beautiful fishing village of Lincoln City OR.
Home for the night at the quaint Pacific City OR.
Home for the night at the quaint Pacific City OR.
Real fish n chips at the Pacific City hotspot aka the Sportsman's Pub-N-Grub.
Real fish n chips at the Pacific City hotspot aka the Sportsman’s Pub-N-Grub.