Friday, August 17, 2007

Troutdale, OR -> Arcata, CA

The Motel 6 in Troutdale was pleasant enough. Smoky, as they all have been so far. We began the day by driving through Portland, where they were having “bridge bike day”, where people get to bike or walk over the city’s bridges. What a great tradition!

We went south on route 5, a fast road, with lots of traffic. The vegetation is totally foreign to me here, I feel like I’m a long way from home, which I guess I am. We passed over the Cascade mountains, took a quick dip in one of the mountain rivers, and ended up on the Oregon coast about 1pm. My first glimpse of the Pacific was nice, but not overwhelming, that came later.

We continued on south on 101, which alternates between a four lane divided highway and a two-lane twisty goat path climbing up the side of mountains. All along the road, especially farther south, there were pull-offs with incredible views of black sandy beaches with craggy rocks coming up from the water at unlikely angles. At one particularly nice spot, I waded into the water, with my socks still on, gawking around at all the scenery. I didn’t bother trying to take pictures, I could tell it just wouldn’t translate anyway.

Took a blackberry break by the side of the road. The blackberries are as big as tomatoes! (cherry tomatoes, but still). They taste good, but not as good as the ones in Vermont. Of course, I picked a half pound in under 10 minutes, which you could never do in Vermont. Refreshed, we continued down the coast.

Picked up a nice traveler named Jerry in souther Oregon, and delivered him to the Redwood park outside Crescent City. My first actual (as opposed to virtual) hitcher. A pleasant, if lost, soul. Hope he finds himself out there in the woods.

Continued south through the redwoods, and bunked up for the night in Arcata, where there was only one room left, and a smoking room at that. Oh, well.

Tomorrow – San Francisco!

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