posted on Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Cape Lookout

Had a glorious ride and finally reached my beloved Pacific Coast. The further I moved away from any large city the more the wilderness of Oregon took centre stage, the horizons became wide and the first mountains appeared. After a flat start, I began climbing to the 1500 feet of Tillamook State Forest catching the first few glimpses of sequoias and gigantic pine forests. The road followed Gales Creek and the Wilson river and the climb despite my luggage was bearable.
I was thinking how much a day like this on the bike is a condensed version of a lifetime. You ride on a flat straight road and it soon gets rather boring, then you hit the first steep uphill and you feel the pain in your body, its struggle made worse by all kinds of negative thoughts and doubts. Then eventually the time to freewheel downhill comes and you are smiling again, you scream of joy and then you get to the ocean, your final destination and bliss;  you can finally rest your body and know that all you went through, the good and the bad was so much worth it.
Arrived in Tillamook seriously late for lunch and extremely hungry I headed to Fat Pizza as the name sounded very promising. The young guy at the counter was very friendly and telling him I was Italian and that I thought his pizzas were really good I ate two large ones.
I then told him I love making pizza too and went into a technical discussion of dough kneading, cheese, ovens and he started throwing his pizzas about and showing me how he made it. Pizza went into the oven and we turned to toppings. I said to him it was great to be creative and use all kind of toppings but also said I just don't understand how people can put sweet things like pineapples on them. I could see his facial expression suddenly change and only realised why when he showed me his finished work of art. A large piping hot pineapple pizza! To redeem himself he said that another local place sells M&M' s pizza too...
Reaching the ocean was a fantastic emotion, returning to this corner of the world after almost nine years a great joy. I found quickly Cape Lookout, a stunning campsite right by the beach and as I write my diary in the tent all I can here is the soothing sound of the  crashing waves. Not having met any cyclist the all day long I was surprised to see 7 cyclists trickling one after the other. A girl from Portland experiencing her first bike ride and camping, three Germans who have been riding all the way from Calgary, James from Portland and another solitary rider on the way to San Francisco. I suppose our path will probably cross again along the way!
On a less poetic note my arse is having all kinds of issues with my new Brooks leather saddle. Riding on it for hours every day has come as a bit of a shock. The question is who will give in first and given how tough the saddle feels, I think it will have to be my rear.
It is goodnight for today.