Day 2 – ups, downs and flight

Day 2 – ups, downs and flight

I guess I’m still on East coast time because I was awake at 630am. I laid in the tent for another half hour before giving up and packing up camp and rolling out. There were a few descent grades, but I ended up with wonderful views from the cliffs in Oswald West park.

To me one of the most amazing things about Oregon had been how the cliffs and the sea come together so abruptly. They rise from the beach sand, with waves crashing against them at high tide, stalwart against the water. Sometimes you’ll see a jutting hump of rock just a few hundred feet offshore, with a tree or three clinging to life as the ocean moves around the rock. It truly is amazing to see.

Coming off the mountains are always a rush. Zooming along at 30, 40 miles an hour with only skinny tires keeping you up. You can pull on the brakes, but only so much before they start to overheat. Meaning you have to ride it out. Embrace the speed. The terror. And with turns and twists, you pray that the oncoming traffic stays in it’s lane, and those who try and post you leave enough room.

I’m not sure which worries me more honestly – ascent or decent. Ascending these hills can be arduous sometimes. The grade can be intense in places, with no good shoulder (I saw three areas today with no shoulder due to rock falls) and you’re moving agonizingly slow compared to cars. Uphill leaves you tired and hurting. But the decent can be freeing and fast, covering the distance of the ascent in a fraction of the time. Though scary in it’s own ways.

There was also an amazingly large deforested area, the whole side of the hill denuded of trees and vegetation. Truly amazing

Descent brought flat rides through the bay area. And an amazing treat: 2 foot long pepperoni sticks for a dollar!! They were delicious and i had to resist buying more from the factory outlet store – there was so much Jerky.

I did manage to get myself turned around in the afternoon. There was some poor signage in a little town called Netarts, and i was used to going up at that point that I just continued on a climb. I got myself turned around and stppped at a little grocery store for ice cream and a soda. Refilled my water and biked on.

I’m not a big shellfish eater – something which perplexes my father to no end (though he always says “more for me” so it must not bother him too much) but it was amazing to see people digging for oysters in the tidal areas. Shovels and buckets slung in the arms and over shoulders, tall rubber boots, they make their way through shallow water pools and wet sand to dig, hoping to fill their pails. Everyone had a smile on their face as they returned, anticipating their delicious (to them) harvest.

I had one final sharp climb of the day, but was greeted with someone spectacular i hadn’t expected – paragliders. Essentiall, very large parachutes that the pilits glide on, catching thermals to rise higher. I got to see one of them launch, by throwing himself over the side of a thousand foot cliff with his rig attached to him, inflating in a wonderful instant. It was amazing to see them fly effortlessly though the sky. On the other side of the climb I was greeted with a huge sand dunes area! Oregon’s terrain continues to surprise!

My day ended in a campground in a little town with a big name – Pacific City. I did more miles than I anticipated, stemming from the camping area I had expected to use being closed. I pushed on so now I have that much less tomorrow. My butt hurts!

Miles today – 64


More pictures when I get to better internet land…


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