Day 10-pictures

It’s the morning of day 11, and I am having some excellent coffee with wifi. Now I can upload properly!

I came across another useful market, in case you need any things or stuff- it was in Garibaldi.

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A dense fog was hanging around, thankfully far above the roadway, and so was taking some pictures of how cool things looked. This old chimney was hanging out, and I think I got a good one with my camera:

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Since everyone told me I should, I went to the Tillamook cheese factory tour.

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As a bike tourer, there is really no excuse not to do this. It’s free, right on the route, and you get free cheese samples. Clean restrooms, plenty of food for sale, it’s a great pit stop if you need one!

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Here we see factory workers cutting the cheese. I got more like this with the camera.

Back in Astoria I changed my tube to take care of the slow leak. It worked, but somewhere around Tillamook I picked up this damned staple:

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I spent a solid ten minutes examining the tube, and I couldn’t find the slow leak. I’m debating changing to my backup backup tube this morning. Needless to say, I am not happy with the Giant brand ‘puncture resistant’ tires. The Schwalbe and Confinental tires that I used before seemed much more resistant.

Also, I’m not sure if this is good or bad, but I picked up a tire pressure gauge to monitor the situation, and apparently I have been running my tire really soft for the last 350 miles. I guess that’s what happens when you switch from a big pump with gauge to a small hand pump without one right before the trip. I guess I just wasn’t able to do 70ish psi by feel- but now I have a gauge. The rear wheel is also making some kind of a sound once per revolution. It goes away when I brake, so I think it might be a brake rotor that’s slightly out of true. I’ll have a look after coffee and blogging.

Regardless, I saw pretty things. This is Cape Lookout:

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I’m pretty sure it was, and I wanted to keep going since the day was still young and I wasn’t too tired.

I rolled past the Meriwether-Clark boyscouts camp, and saw this crazy scene:

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It looked odd to my eyes, largish evergreens getting eaten by a sand dune.

This is the big neat rock at Pacific City:

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Finally, last night’s high calorie $1.50 meal:

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Very good, but then I went and ate a $2 piece of fudge while charging my phone and blogging. Oh well, gotta have fudge!

Now I get to sort out my wheel, pack up, and head south.

Day 10- back to pedaling!

I made it to Pacific City tonight, and with some difficulty I found the county campground. It is full of rabbits. Example:

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This place is like a big grassy parking lot, but I counted about a dozen of these guys wandering around within sight of my tent.

I have more pictures and happenings, but I’ll update those tomorrow morning over coffee. The cellular data network here is really slow, and the coffee joint has wifi.

In summary until then: I am having trouble keeping air in my back tire and I saw some really pretty things today.

Day 9- More Tillamook

Walking around Tillamook, the most interesting thing that I saw was the pioneer museum. It didn’t look like much when you fist walk in, but as you get away from the entrance and check out the basement and top floor, it is absolutely packed with neat stuff.

There was a room full of photos of the earliest white settlers in the area, examples of artifacts from the people who were here first (lots of weavings, tools, etc), and a room full of weapons. You walk into the room and you’re greeted by a doll with an authentic machine gun:

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Skipping over the rest, we come to a weapon used extensively by the Tillamook County PD… Nunchucks?!?

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That’s ‘interesting’! What was Even more fascinating was a display case where they had (I think) at least 50 different types of barbed wire. Here are a few:

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The museum also had a huge collection of taxidermied animals upstairs. Although the majority were birds, I saw enough mammals to confirm that the animals I saw earlier in my trip were almost certainly weasels.

To wrap up the night, we stocked up on some serious chutney and feasted while watching movies.

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So much chutney. (actually completely joking about chutney consumption)

Day 9- laundry and Tillamook

Last night I made it into Rockaway Beach, where Molly’s friend Erin lives. She was kind enough to let me stay in her guest room, do some laundry, and have a hot bath. That felt great!

We also ate some crabs!

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This was my first time eating a crab in the shell, and the taste was amazing. I really noticed how different parts of the crab had different flavors and textures, and they were all awesome. After crab, we had some Tillamook ice cream cones. As expert as Erin was at eating crab, I was the complete opposite with the ice cream cone.

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Today I got a ride into Tillamook where I’m going to wander around on foot while Erin’s at work, and then I’ll see some more of the area with a local guide before I continue on down the coast. It’s probably good to have some real recovery time for my butt and the nerves in my left hand. Will have to focus on nutrition and rest today.

Day 8- starting the Oregon coast

Last night I stayed in a little campground in Cannon Beach, and it cost more than my spot in the Hostel in Astoria. Geez! To give you an idea of what kind of town this was, the pizza place didn’t have any pizzas for less than $22, and this establishment was two doors down:

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A little bit froofy. Anyway, I was able to procure two slices of decent pizza for dinner, and it didn’t break the bank any worse than the silly camp site. The to-go window had this hanging just inside the door- does it make any sense to you?

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I’m really happy that I decided to bed down in Cannon Beach instead of carrying on, despite the relative expense of it. I was really tired and I didn’t notice that I was coming up on one of the tunnels. Scary!

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One of the guidebooks I read said, “This tunnel is dangerous, wait for a lull in traffic, push the button, and pedal like mad!” – it wasn’t actually that bad, but I was glad that I was fresh and rested to tackle it, and we had a lot of light. When I got out the other side the lights were still flashing to indicate bikes in the tunnel, so if anybody else is following along you should know that although it’s uphill and narrow, you’ll at least have the warning lights for a good length of time.

Not far after that was the Oswald West state park, with this amazing view:

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This was one of the highest climbs of the coast, and it wasn’t really so terrible. It was gradual enough that I could just go slow in my lowest gear and pull over for a drink and rest every now and then. Psychologically, that’s helpful because there are about a dozen noteworthy climbs left, and only two that are taller.

I had a friend of a friend offer up a couch in Rockaway Beach for tonight, so although it’s been a short day I’m almost done.

If anyone else out there has a couch, I’d appreciate sleeping on it.

Day 7 (2)

The late start and the hills really took a toll on my pace today! I made it as far as Ecola State Park, and their only camping was a hike-in site with over a mile to go and no place to really leave my bike. I wasn’t crazy about that arrangement, although the park was beautiful.

Before I get ahead of myself, here are some pictures from the Maritime museum.

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They had some fishing boats on display, with…. dolls? Thankfully they were not animatronic.

This is a spear used by the native people for salmon. The detail in construction is remarkable.

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Check out the lashing job:

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I saw this kind of thing in museums a long time ago, but now that I have some engineering education and experience, I can see and appreciate the ingenuity. See this bow for launching darts at big fish? I was in my sophomore year at RPI when I started getting the math to tell you about why this bow has cords on the front and back:

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This machine looked cool- I was surprised to see something so heavy and elaborate to do what it does; it winds shuttles for weaving and repairing fishing nets.

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I saw more relics, and examples of modern maritime stuff, but then it was time to finally get back on the road. I think now that I’d have made better time in the rain. It seems to work well for me to set out early, then take at least an hour lunch break to rest, digest some food, and stretch out. There was a decent climb coming out of Astoria, but I could really tell that I lost a lot more elevation than I’d just gained. I had a looooong fast coast down to the ocean. Saw these signs all over-

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Saw Fort Clatsop briefly, but didn’t pay to go inside. I felt like I was running short on time, and there was some crazy traffic slowing me down. See?

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That joke just barely beat “Congestion? I took my allergy pill!”

Ah….. Jokes. Speaking of jokes, my friend Agustin will get this one:

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Then I made it out to the coast, and saw this beautiful scene:

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And wait- what’s that in the distance? The Rock??

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Day 7- slow start

Last night was fun, I sampled the delicious beers and met some cool people, and ended up talking until really late.

This morning the weather was rainy and foggy (and so was my head), and the hostel manager wasn’t up early for bikes, so I walked around Astoria. I tried one coffee shop that was highly recommended, and it was good but on the other side of town. I forgot that a mile takes some time to walk if you’re not on a bike!

So now I’m just sipping some coffee until I get my bike and check out the maritime museum and get on my way to Ecola. The good news is that the forecast says this should clear up later in the day.

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Day 6- having a breather in Astoria

I think I have a lot of photos for this update! I only did 30ish miles today. I had a couple of long days, and I thought it was time to slow down a little. My body and equipment seem to be doing alright, but I was getting a little fatigued mentally.

First picture- I forgot to post this picture of the passenger compartment of the ferry I took over from Puget Island. If you’ve read Catcher in the Rye it may have some significance.

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Next up, on the recommendation of my friend Molly I went to the Fort George brewery, where I sampled their brews and had some nice fish tacos. Good stuff!

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And tacos!

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Unfortunately the fish wasn’t a highlight (thought it might be, since we’re on the coast), but the ‘tortillas’ and fixings were fresh and amazing.

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I don’t plan to ride it unless it takes me to the top of a huge hill, but Astoria has a trolley.

The maritime museum also has this huge propellor- I wish I knew if it was a legitimate piece of equipment. It’s marked as a memorial to somebody, but it also has some maintenance information engraved as though it could be installed on a ship. I plan to visit the museum before I go so that I can learn more.

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They also had an anchor, far larger than I am:

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I got a picture of my hand grabbing a link on that chain with my other camera. Its a huge chain, huge anchor! Stay tuned!

From the marina area where I saw these, I also space this huge bridge- which I am thankfully not biking over tomorrow!

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There were these little shacks on the dock with some heavy steel…. Thingies in front of ’em- kind of odd!

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A close-up of the “thingie”

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And the sign on it; instructions for unloading your firearm. I guess that somebody (who??) is supposed to walk up to this shack, stick the tip of their gun in the red thing, and try to take all the bullets out… Accidental discharge, no problem!

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Got an M16? No problem!

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I also saw this cool tower overlooking everything , and I don’t think I’ll take the time to go to the top of it, but I got a few sweet pictures with my other camera-

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Between dinner and blogging, I walked around town for a while, and saw this- thought it was relevant to my trip;

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Also, this: (I think I know a few people who are into this kind of store)

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Another observation:

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(but you may return from the beach with crabs)

Finally, to do tonight’s blogging I returned to Fort George.

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Oink!!

And finally, I was able to get the friendly barkeep to take a picture of me in front of the aging casks:

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I think I’m setting out for Ecola state park tomorrow. Let’s see what Oregon’s hills are like!