Day 65 - Monday, August 12, 2002
Total to date: 4256.61 miles (6850.3 km)
Moving time: 4 hr 20 min.
Average Speed: 11.8 mph (19.0 km/hr)
Total ascent: 2612 ft. (796.1 m)
Minimum elevation: 4 ft. (1.2 m)
Maximum elevation: 549
Ending elevation: 55 ft. (16.8 m)
Wind: Lt. var. winds.
The ride along the coast today was beautiful as ever. The skies are extremely clear, the temperature is not too high, and the ocean views are magnificent. I hoped that traffic would be lighter today since the weekend was over but it stayed pretty strong. There were quite a few stretches of road with no shoulder which made riding a little nerve racking. I would not recommend the coast highway as a bikerfriendly route. If the traffic were as light as the typical amount of traffic on the TransAm route then the ride would be far more pleasurable.
The route continued to pass through a number of seaside communities, over coastal headland mountains, and past wide intertidal zones. The ride out of Tillamook Valley between the sea strand and the coastal range smelled like a cow's rear end. The countless number of dairy farms give the area a very recognizable smell. Nearly all farmers liquefy their manure, store it in large, open tanks and then spray it onto the fields. They should have a sign that says "Welcome to the Tillamook Valley - Smell our Dairy Air." Luckily the odor wasn't as bad as the feed lots I passed by in Kansas.
Seaside, Oregon is a great little town with much to offer. There are a huge number of restaurants, motels, and shopping opportunities in town. This is the site of the historic Lewis & Clark Salt Camp. When the Lewis & Clark expedition arrived at Fort Clatsop near Astoria, Oregon in November of 1805 they had run out of salt. A small party was sent to this location to set up a salt making operation. They successfully boiled sea water to produce up to a gallon of salt brine each day. The promenade boardwalk along the coast is the premier landmark in town. A very nice statue of Lewis and Clark stands in the center of the famous automobile turnaround on the promenade. It is called "End of the Trail," a fitting name for both the Lewis and Clark expedition and my own journey. I will head inland from here so this is my last look at the Pacific Coast.
My road rash on my hip from two days ago is healing slowly. I think that it is staying too wet since I have it wellcovered, put antibiotic gel on it, and sweat all day. I got to town early today and made home for the night at the Seaside International Youth Hostel. I took the bandages off and changed into running shorts to let the air get to the abrasion and dry it out. I figure that once it scabs over then the healing will progress much better. I might even do a zero mile day tomorrow to give it more time to heal. I've yet to do a "zero day" on my adventure.
I have lost my ambition to ride to Vancouver, British Columbia with my painful, roadrashed hip. I may call it quits in Seattle, call their hostel my home for a few days, and see the local sights. The ferrys that run in the Puget Sound are supposed to be an excellent way to get around and do some whale watching. We'll have to see.