Monday, April 5, 2010

I’m getting around to re-reading the journal I kept while on my trip down the California coast last summer. At the end of each day before going to sleep I would lay with my journal and write for a while. I wanted to revisit it, and finally get around to posting the rest of the photos from my trip. I won’t be posting all of my journal here, but I will transcribe most of it.


With all the nervousness + planning last night I didn’t get to bed until 3. I had palnned on getting up at 9, but that was out the window when I first hit the alarm. After waking up at 10, I decided to take my time and not rush leaving (mistake!) I showered and finished the dishes, took out the trash, went for an egg bagel and coffee at Noah’s and came back to finally load the bike. It was like a game of tetris, but none of the pieces were square, just a mass of lumps that I had to make fit.

And i finally all did! I felt I had room to spare too! I mad sure everything was super secure, took a deep breath, and took off.

I got to Tacoma really quickly, but the drive between Tacoma and Olympia is pretty nondescript, and I thought I had taken a wrong turn. Olympia finally surfaced, and I made my first stop.

When I did, I found out the cover on my left side of the bike had dislodged and was hanging off. I must not have reattached it well after checking the fuses. I secured it , got some water and drank it all at the gas station, then spend half an hour looking for zip ties to be sure the plate was scure. Didn’t find a place so I took off again, but on 101N, not S, so I had to turn around (only a 2 mi. detour).

The ride to Aberdeen was FREEZING. I had left Seattle sweating. I think it was 70 when I took off. I put on another layer under my jacket and decided to look for long underwear/johns/thermals. None in Aberdeen, but I did find zip ties + a watch so I can tell time w/o my cellphone on. Aberdeen looks like any other old coastal down, one way “Main Streets” with the other direction a block away. Lots of old mining + logging stuff.

I ate at a place I think called Billy’s. Looked old + unique, had a bar. I ate a yak hamburger. I twas pretty good. I’m determined not to eat at a chain (even though I shopped at Aberdeen Walmart).

Finally I made it to 101. The first section was through logging forests. Big hills with curvy ups + downs. This was a lot of fun, but very cold. There was no sun, maybe 60 out. Aberdeen was bright + nice, but 65 is nice when you’re not going 55 mph.

It took a while (and an addition of another long tshirt) but I made it to Astoria + Oregon! The bridge in was amazing.

Half an hour before, I had stopped to add the shirt, and took some pictures. The brown grass lit by the sun, in the middle of the water, with silhouetted hills in the background were amazing.

Anyway, found long johns in Fred Myer in Astoria and put them on in the bathroom there. 7:30pm + ~60mi. to Tillamuk, which would be my 250 mi. for the day, I was cutting it too close, but pushed on.

Checked for any campsite within 30 mi of Tillamuck with no luck. Definitely getting dark. Huge cliffs menacing against the dark sky + ocean. I started looking for hotels too, but all “No Vancancy” signs were lit. ~2 miles from Tillamuck there was an RV park w/ camps ites. I was so relieved. It was at least 9:15 and pitch black. nice woman checked min in, got me fire wood, so I started that up, set up the tent and started relaxing. Drank a canteen of water, stopped used complete sentances. Stared at the starts for 15 minutes and saw two shooting stars.

Then I threw all the wood in the fire so I could see to write this. Time for bed.

Oh yeah, plan for tomorrow: Last start park in Oregon. 282 mi from where I am now. I’m getting up at 7:30 hopefully! Wooo! 7.5 hrs sleep! Vacation!

See photos from this day here.

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