The next morning, I packed up camp, but I couldn’t find my wallet, yay! After digging through everything, I realized I had left it at the campsite pay station, and phew, that was a relief. Nothing like starting your morning tweakin’.
I set off back into town for replacement parts for my bike rack, and I made sure to get some spare parts as well. After that I stopped at the deli next door and picked up a couple of fried ham and cheese breakfast sandwiches(I think?). I’m not sure what to call them besides that they looked like a meaty, cheesy hash brown. The clerk was shocked to hear about my trip and made sure to let his coworkers know what was going on. They were really nice and filled up my water bottles as well. I eventually left and started south again towards Long Beach, WA.
Early on my ride, maybe 5-10 miles out of town, I met Declan, a fellow bike tourist. He was in his 50s or 60s and had biked across the Middle East and along the Nile River when he was in his 20s. He carried only a sleeping bag and a few personal items, he was very intent on being an “old fashion” adventurer as he proved it by sleeping in a storm drain the night before. His route for this trip started in Fairbanks, AK, and will hopefully end in Tijuana, Mexico. He plans to leave his bike and return to it next year to ride it into Argentina.
Not only was his story fascinating, but so was his mentality and vision for his adventure. He opted out of most comforts one may desire when on the road for months on end. Often “stealth” camping by ducking into the woods off the road and making a nest in the grass with his sleeping bag. I couldn’t believe his pictures from Alaska when he started in March. I mean the dude was camping in the freezing cold snow with a thrifted sleeping bag, maybe rated to 20°F. I look forward to catching up with him, as he said he would send me a list of books to read.
Before we parted, he made sure that I wasn’t running from any problems and that I enjoy my life back home. Nobody had ever asked me that, and honestly, that thought had never crossed my mind. I thought about it for a bit and told him “Nope, I’m so grateful to be where I am in life, and I look forward to going back home.” This thought weighed on me as I continued biking. It made me wonder why he left home in his 20s to explore. I hope I can get the chance to chat with him more about those trips.
The road to Long Beach, WA was so beautifully flat! I was absolutely cruising in high gear smashing miles and absorbing the scenery I passed of massive old-growth forests and wide rivers.
I arrived in Long Beach fairly quickly, and I stopped at the first food truck I found, I believe it was called Sierra’s Place. I ordered the special, a taco bomb which was a deep-fried taco smothered with cheese and salsa. A beautiful decision at the moment, I sure hope I don’t regret it later tonight.
After lunch, I biked the discovery trail along the beach and explored the town which turned to be quite a tourist trap. I decided to dip and head to Cape Disappointment instead of lingering around countless ice cream and gift shops.
The forest was dense, and the views were incredible. I met a guy named Andrew at a lighthouse in the park and he had told me he cycled from Hoodsport, WA to San Francisco with some buddies a while back. He was incredibly nice, and I enjoyed hearing his stories of his trip down the coast. We chatted some more, and he let me pitch my tent next to his converted sprinter van down near the beach. We cooked up dinner, shared some beer, and had a fire before calling it a night.
This trip has allowed me to connect with people very easily as I must seem approachable, or I’m becoming more extroverted. I’ve loved hearing about other people’s lives, especially those who chose a nontraditional path.
I am not sure if it was the shorter day, the flat terrain, or that I could possibly be breaking my body into this lifestyle, but I love how my body feels! I can’t believe I’m almost done with Washington. I’ve loved how quiet the roads are and how beautiful the landscape is.
Stats from today:
- Roughly 65 miles biked
- 2,300 vertical feet climbed
- 1 bike repair completed!
- 1 ocean visited
- 1 taco bomb disarmed in my belly