It was a gray Tuesday, at noon we started off. My musician friend Rich watched as I pedaled the Landshark II across all four lanes of heavy traffic, traveling south in the rain. I’m sure he thought I was crazy, my dog Jo sitting comfortably in the steel baby trailer attached to my bike. Jo must have appeared just as anxious as I was.
The temperatures were mild and the rain was sporadic. It served to fog up the lenses on my sun glasses and had me rotating different jackets for a few miles. The panniers I attached to my bike, I loaded down with everything needed to remove most fears a man has.
A south wind pushes firmer against me with each stroke of the pedals. I somehow thought I’d have a satisfying tail wind the whole way but I don’t. Jo lays low in his trailer. The steel frame its created from ads to the resistance, and its being buffeted by the wind…
I pedal steadily along the coast passing one Tsunami warning sign after another. I hope it’s not my time but imagine in my mind the size of the wave that one day may roll inland.
I offer a “Hello, Goodbye” when I reach the visitors center in Waldport handing over a fistful of “Be nice…you’re in Oregon” bumper stickers, to be nice. Eight miles later I pull over for an ice cream at a roadside shop that’s attracting tourists, in the town of Yachats.
With a warning that there was a climb ahead, I conquered the hill quickly, Jo in the trailer still! It was breezy in the afternoon shade, arriving at a lookout with a view of the beach below and a staircase that may have had a thousand steps, but I don’t know for sure.
Cape Perpetua sits about 500 feet above sea level. I rested awhile, the waves rolling into the bay below.
A man appeared out of nowhere wielding a camera capable of shooting the moon. We shot the shit instead for a few minutes and agreed it’s nearly impossible to take a picture that reveals the beauty that surrounds us. We both were grateful to be where we were.
Cars pass giving courtesy to our roadside meandering. Jo’s ears alert highway travelers as they approach from behind to his existence, sitting calmly in the trailer, they flop just over the top. At times he rides with his head out of the side so he’s able to catch more wind in his face. He grins, squinting his eyes when we go fast, It’s like he’s smiling. Perhaps he is.
When we stop for a break, everyone wants to meet Jo, they smile too!
A few miles and several leg busting climbs later we meet Dave and Roberta, a young couple traveling by bike from Vancouver to San Francisco. We exchange a few words at a turn out on the busy highway beside us, Dave offers up carrots and conversation. His girlfriend, Roberta snaps a photo of Jo and I for their catalog. We ride behind the couple, losing them to the hills as I gear down and adjust my speed.
State Parks, offer five dollar camping. Before checking in I sit on a cliff overlooking the ocean, I summarize the day in my mind.
At first glance of the white capped waters, I witness a whale surface and blow, then diving again. I think to myself how lucky I am and ask my dog Jo to agree with me about what a fantastic day it’s been traveling the coast by bike.
After an hour or so of staring at the ocean, I pedaled across the highway registering as a “hiker/biker” at Washburn State Park before finding my camp. It was dark and comfortable, a wooded forest. On the ride in I see Dave and Roberta who we met earlier in the day. They are headed to the sand to build a bonfire with driftwood and cook their dinner.”Noodles” they reply, when I ask what’s on the menu. I’m invited but decide instead to cook my dinner at camp.
I spread all of my food out on the picnic table, mostly Picky Bars. Its dinner time and I am starving. I cook loaded mash potatoes with it a packet of salmon. I’m still hungry, so I eat three tortillas, each with gobs of peanut butter. Afterwards I bite into two picky bars, one snickers bar, four handfuls of almonds and few other snacks.
Day one, long bike ride. With a food baby in my belly, I passed out in my tent with Jo beside me.