Launched

 

image

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.

— Dave

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

 

36 thoughts on “Launched

  1. 62 miles while dodging halibut hunters sounds perilous! Great first day adventure. Congratulations on your own opening day.

    Like

    1. Perilous, indeed! Each time I’d hear a rig coming up behind me, I’d find someplace to pull over and hug my bike as far to the side of the road as I could and let them pass. Made for slow progress, but the technique saved my life. I had to use it a few more times in subsequent days for shoulder-less sections when logging trucks were passing me going 60. So far, so good. Thanks for your support. — Dave

      Like

    1. Thanks for your interest, Kristi. I met a retired WA DNR guy on his mountain bike out by Joyce. We talked briefly about forest management planning! — Dave

      Like

    1. Did you read the Makah’s “office hours”? Great place, Mary Sue and I always stop there when we are way out this way, which isn’t often enough. My rig is compact, but heavy! So far, though, it’s riding well. A good workout! Can you share my web address with the relatives? Thx. Love you, Pat! — Dave

      Like

  2. Congrats on the start! looks like you knocked off a nice chunk. Glad to hear you are eating well. Did you remember your binocs?

    Like

    1. Thanks, Doug! Binocs are in my handlebar bag on the ready. I’m keeping a bird list, which I’ll figure out a way to post at some point. I was serenaded all day today by Black-headed Grosbeaks and Western Tanagers. Camping tonight at Dungeness Spit. — Dave

      Like

  3. Bon courage et bonne chance ! Le voyage sera fantastique ! Soyez prudent et tu arriveras en bonne forme aillant eu un trek formidable.

    Beel

    Like

  4. Good Luck Dave!
    I guess it couldn’t have been a more typical start in the NW – except for sharing the road with big boats.

    Like

    1. Maybe I won’t encounter similar perils with big boats on small roads until I get to the Eastern coast of Maine, God willing! Thanks for your interest. — Dave

      Like

  5. Dave I know that road and I know boaters! Glad to hear you’re off and running to the tune of Grosbeaks and Tanagers! Of all the museums we’ve been in, I think the Makah was the first to give us the feel of how a long house might actually have been really lived in. To the next 50 miles!

    Like

    1. The Makah long house was very cool, indeed. I’m loving listening to the bird songs as I ride along — I’ve added a running bird list to my site. Onward I go…

      Like

  6. I missed your launch day and yesterday, catching up on your progress this morning. What an adventure! I’m feeling that anything I come up with to start my retirement will be tame in comparison.

    Like

  7. Dave – We are following your adventure. i love the first pictures of the local area where you started. I can’t wait to see the pictures of Maine to match them up, coast to coast.
    Tonya & Steve

    Like

    1. Great to hear from you, Tonya and Steve. I’ve added a “Photo Gallery” where I’ll put pictures that I don’t include in my blog posts. I hope you’ll enjoy them. — Dave

      Like

    1. Mike – Based on your and others’ questions, I’ve added a “Where’s Dave?” page with maps that I hope to update each evening. You should be able to click there and see where I am each day. Hope it works. Thanks for thinking of me, sorry to miss lunch in the city! — Dave

      Like

  8. Dave, I am both excited for you in your journey, impressed at the level of planning and forethought that went into it, and happy to hear that you’ve had a good first day of pedaling! Cheers, good luck, god speed, and all that!
    -Josh

    Like

  9. Hi Dave! What a great adventure! I see you are traveling through Wisconsin – where are you going? Would love to drop in and say hello. Let me know… Anne Moser

    Like

    1. Anne — Would love to see you! My route takes me north across maybe by Wausau, then headed for the U.P. If it could work out for you to come up to intersect my path, that would be lovely. Let’s keep in touch. — Dave

      Like

      1. That would’ve wonderful! I wil keep an eye on your blog and we can touch base as you approach. Happy riding!

        Like

  10. I’ll be looking forward to hearing about your greasy spoon adventures across america…. I know there are many great diners along the way…
    go dave!

    Like

    1. Peter — My first recommendation is the Blackberry Cafe in Joyce, west of Port Angeles on highway 112. Great food, local berries, logger clientele, and a waitress who said out loud, “You kill it, we’ll grill it.” “Where you from?” “Seattle.” “Oh, the city,” she said with clear pity in her eyes, “Life’s much better out here in the country.” Gotta love a place like that. — Dave

      Like

  11. What’s with all the dog attacks? 12 days, 7 dogs?? Maybe you should put a sign on your bike: ” NOT Trump!”??
    -Beel

    Like

    1. Loose dogs are one of the hazards of peddliing rural country roads. Four attacks today as I rode through the Kalispell Indian Reservation. At least three of those were serious beasts aiming for blood; the other I outran. My handy container of pepper spray kept me out of the emergency room. As for the suggested “Not Trump” sign, I head into northern Idaho tomorrow, which is skinhead country. I’m seriously considering buying a small American flag to fly off the back of my bike for the next week or more. I’m a patriot after all…

      Like

  12. Dahve , This is excellent. Follow you every day. We are all traveling vicariously with you. You, Mary Sue and Nick all looked great in the photos. When you start to go across the northern Midwest in the heat of the summer please take care. Also watch out for the deer ticks and lime in our part of the country.

    Beel

    Like

  13. Tonight you are in Milaca MN. Yes, it’s a hole, but it’s 41 miles from Hinckly MN, Dylan’s birthplace. OK…so it’s still a hole…🙄

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s