Days 83 - 95: Sooke, BC to Newport, Oregon

We are currently sitting at a pretty nice library in Newport, Oregon...about half-way between Washington State and California.  We ended up taking a round about way to the coast once we left Vancouver Island.  We took a ferry to Port Angeles, Washington and headed east for an unplanned visit to Seattle.  From Seattle we headed south-west until we finally hit the Pacific Coast at Astoria, Oregon....and now the road will be hugging the coast all the way to San Diego.

I think that we are still adjusting to the highly populated USA, and the hoards of vehicles and people along this coastline. But luckily the endless beaches and spectacular views distract us from capitalism at its best (?).  There are certainly no shortage of places of buy groceries and fill up our water bottles, but finding a free place to camp is a new and special kind of challenge.  

Here are some of our photos for the first part of this leg:

USA Pacific West Coast

And, on to the highlights:

Stealth Camping and Secret Notes: 

As I mentioned above finding free places to pitch a tent has been a little more complicated.  No longer are we surrounded by miles and miles of open space....but it adds a little extra excitement to the day.  Our first night back in the USA we arrived in Port Angeles later afternoon.  We picked up some groceries and decided to bike along the bike path until we found a good place to camp....well it got later and later and all that we saw were houses and farms....but after about 30 or 40 km we happened upon a creek (under a bridge!).  Just beyond the creek was an open field completely hidden from the was a pretty perfect camping spot.   We had a restful night and the next morning we went to the creek to make breakfast.   When we got back to the tent we found a note the tent saying "call me", with a number but no area code.  We weren't really sure when it had been   put there, and we don't have a phone, and we didn't have an area code we puzzled over it for a few days until we had Internet and looked up the number....turns out that it belonged to a local tree farm that was near our camping spot....still haven't called it....

We have also found some decent places to camp down abandonned roads, in a model airplane airfield, and on the side of cliffs.  Although, I sometimes want to give up and stay at a campground Glenn is vey good at persisting and looking for free and interesting places to his words  "it makes it feel more like we are explorers, than tourists"

Side Trip to Seattle:

We made an unplanned side trip to Seattle and took the day off there exploring the city.  My godmother Diana is currently staying there and we wanted to see her.  As it turned out we were put up by Diana's ex husband Jerry in his Seniors Centre... It is pretty high on the list of the most interesting places that we have stayed.  We took our meals with all of the residents and got a pretty good feel for life in the centre.... I think that we also sparked some curiosity among the residents.... But all in all is was a wonderful visit with Diana and Jerry!

Endless Beaches and Fog:

The Oregon coast is pretty stunning.  There is a turnoff for a beach about every 10 km or less...and they are the kind of sandy beaches that make you want to run around in bare feet and dive into the ocean....but the water is still pretty icy up here.  It is all the more stunning becuase of an almost constant fog that hovers .... Some areas are a little clearer ....but usually the fog sits around in the forests near the beaches and it all has an incredibly magical feel.  For me, this trip has been really interesting becuase my grandparents lived in Oregon, and as a child we drove this coast line more times than I can count...and it has been pretty neat to cruise along and have little memories sparked here and there.... The bicycle pace is perfect for this.

Oregon also has quite an amazing infrastructure for cyclists set up.  Good wide shoulders, lots of signage, and even the tunnels have a special button for cyclists to press which lights up a sign for drivers letting them know cyclists are in the tunnel.  Pretty cool.  And, although we have only made use of a state park once (because we are explorers, not tourists :) ), they are a pretty sweet deal for cyclists to camp at...only $5 a person....showers included!  Most parks even have a special area for 'hiker/biker' sites.

Tail Winds

Since we are so often complaining about head winds.... Let us proclaim with joy that the prevailing wind along the US west coast comes from the north.... THANK YOU last you are being very very generous!!!

Another Word from Glenn on his Knee:

Well, my knee continues to improve. There's hardly any swelling anymore and I can bike and walk normally now. Occasionally I am aware of it if I'm walking downhill or something, but fortunately it seems to be making a full recovery.


July 17: Sooke - Sequim, Washington (ferry Victoria - Port Angeles) 52 km
July 18: Sequim, WA - Port Gamble, WA  81 km
July 19: Port Gamble - Seattle 40 km
July 20: Day off in Seattle
July 21: Seattle - Shelton, WA 76 km
July 22: Shelton - Raymond, WA 81 km
July 23: Raymond - Bean Creek 78 km
July 24: Bean Creek - Hug Point, Oregon! 71 km
July 25: Hug Point - Cape Lookout 78 km
July 26: Cape Lookout - Otter Creek 90 km