It's all about the grub...and the coffee stops

Trip Start Jun 22, 2010
Trip End Sep 21, 2010

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Where I stayed
Nehalem State Park
Gales Creek Campground

Flag of United States  , Oregon
Sunday, July 18, 2010

It's funny how the wave of bikers goes. My first night in Ft. Steven's S.P. there were half a dozen bikers staying. Coz I was a bit knackered and coz the campsite had endless 'free hot showers' (my three new favourite words...'anyone for cawfee'? being a very close second and only because I never have to be asked...). It's not the 'free' part that appeals, it's the fact that I'm not on a timer and can luxuriate (sp?) in the whole experience. You'd swear it was a ride at Disneyland I was talking about!!

Anyway, I stayed another night just outside Astoria. On the second night, there wasn't another biker to be had (lots of regular campers but no bikers). It seems to go like that.  

The next morning, knowing there was no one around, I was surprised to be woken very early by some pesky person bouncing a tennis ball slowly on the wooden table near my tent. How annoying. It takes about 10 minutes to get up outta bed coz I've usually ended up putting on every item of clothing I have with me. Including (last night) my rain jacket. I don't know what it is but I'm feeling the cold these nights. Well, as it turns out it wasn't a pesky person at all but a crow who'd gotten into my food bag and found a lovely peach that I was planning to have for my brekkie - he kept dropping it on the table as he took a fair crack at it. 

And that's how I ended up 15 miles later tucking into a short stack of blueberry pancakes. Yu-um. Big bum. 

After 'Pig 'n Pancake' (real name!) in Seaside, I continued south to Cannon Beach (see pics of Haystack Rock). Nice little tourist town. Just as I was cycling on again, I saw a big Irish flag flapping away outside a coffee shop called The Sleepy Monk. Not that I needed an excuse but I went in and it turns out that the guy who served me/owner was from Mallow! He - Victor - very nicely insisted on paying for my coffee and we'd a grand ole chat. 

On then to my favourite spot of the day - Manzanita. Again, quintessentialy American seaside town but this was much quieter and with a little bit more charm. Thankfully camping that night was only 2 miles away. 

After dropping back into Manzanita the next morning for a cuppa, I hit the road for Cape Lookout - one of three capes just west of the town of Tillamook. Or Tillamoooook (big dairy country). I sailed through the first 40 miles but my God did the last 15 take every ounce of willpower and determination I had left in my body. It was into the wind and uphill all the way to the first Cape - Cape Mears (pics). While there I met Gunther the German who I'd met back in Astoria. Happy chappy. He'd me convinced that it was all downhill to Cape Lookout from there - only another 12 miles. 

It was not. And the road was shite. And it was windy. And all the way there I was composing a letter of complaint in my head to ODOT (Oreganarian Dept. of Transport) saying what I thought of their road upkeep! Lucky for them I didn't have a stamp. Lucky for Gunther that there were 'free hot showers', otherwise...

And now I'm turned inland. I've left 101 and spent today on Highway 6 on my way to Portland. Because you've to cross over the coast range mountain, I was prepared for an Alpine-like stretch. Thankfully, the road followed the river along the valley and it was a grand cycle. After lunch en route though, it was all uphill climbing to 1586 feet. Always after lunch!! Still I made it to Gales Creek campground without writing any letters of complaint or plotting a murder - it's quite a primitive campsite, no showers, no sink in the pit toilet and there's only the one pump for water. I lit a fire - I'm becoming a dab hand - and am right for bed. In my head (for that's where all the action is) I'm beginning to look like Gary from Thirtysomething (it's a stretch that anyone will get that reference but sure feckit), complete with scraggy hair, beard and patchy tan. I've only had the use of my small vanity mirror lately so checking that I look somewhat 'ok' is like a Garda Patrol photofit exercise.  

In Portland, I'll be staying with the son of my Mum's friend. I've only just realised that I'll be doused in eau de campfire and two days cycle sweat when I meet him. Oh dear! I'll be like Mick Dundee when I get into the big city.

Slán go foil
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Tricky on

I gotta ask Maggie, have you ventured into the sea?

blahblahblog on

Only up to my's fffffffreezin' ! Think of you every time tho and know you'd be egging me on. Definitely will once the weather gets a bit warmer.

Norma on

Hey I love my diner. The pics and blog are fab mags. Im sittin at work viewing yer slide show and readin your stories when I really should be workin but at least im not at a weddin in europe somewhere!

Mel on

I get the Thirtysomething ref and Gary was gorgeous!!

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