My odyssey began today, finally after all the planning and anticipation. I’m now sitting at Crescent Beach on the Strait of Juan De Fuca after peddling 62 difficult miles, eating the best smoked salmon on the planet along with Fritos, for starters; full dehydrated meal to follow as I try to replenish the 3000+ calories I burned. I’m off the vegan wagon on this trip!
To back up, Mary Sue drove out to Neah Bay with me yesterday. We camped at Hobuck Beach where the Pacific Ocean’s waves thunder ashore. We hiked out to Cape Flattery, at the edge of the continent, the farthest one can go in the Northwest corner of the lower 48 states, and looked across to the lighthouse on Tatoosh Island. We visited the Makah Tribe’s Museum, which houses an amazing collection of wooden, ocean-going canoes, whale bones and artifacts from the famous Ozette excavation site. We also bought smoked salmon from our favorite Makah place, Take Home Fish Co.
It rained most of the night, and I kept waking up thinking, “How fitting for my first day to get soaking wet here in the Northwest.” But the gods were with me as the day was cool, overcast with only scattered light rain, actually good weather to bike in.
Yesterday was opening day for the halibut fishing season, so usually-sleepy Neah Bay was packed with guys and their gear, rigs pulling enormous boats. The downside for me was that most of these rigs pulling gigantic boats left on the little curvy road out of Neah Bay today, and I spent most of the day trying hard to not get knocked off the narrow, winding road with no shoulder. This is actually a very dangerous road to bicycle on — I wouldn’t recommend it for others. But I survived.
I stopped at a nice diner in Sekui after a couple hours riding and had a gi-normous eggs-and-hash-browns breakfast. I hope to repeat this pattern all along the trip!
For my first day, on a difficult stretch of road and weighed down by a lot of gear, I felt that the first 62 miles of this voyage were hard earned. I’ll sleep well tonight.