July 22, 2001

7/22/01 Pacific City, OR

69.2 / 4965 miles

Believe it or not, I was packed and ready to go before anyone else got up. Looking at maybe doing the Great Parks route from Glacier National Park to Pueblo, CO. That would at least get me back on the road and less isolated than the Great Divide route.

Said my good-byes and hit the road feeling good. Looks like the sun is going to shine all day. Yippie! Frank helped me with a route from their place so I go more-or-less west till I run into the TransAm route. A pretty peaceful ride. That is until I hit the highway.

For early Sunday morning, the road was especially busy. And while Frank thinks it's all for the casinos, I think with the sunshine, it's the beach that's calling.

At least a half-dozen eastbound cyclists have recommended the Otis Cafe as their best eats on the TransAm. Good thing they told me about it because I wouldn't have seen it. Otis, OR, is just the cafe, post office and a gas station across the road. I had to go off route about a half a mile. It was around lunchtime on a Sunday. Frank and Kathy warned me about a long wait so I was prepared when I met five other groups waiting to get in. Besides a few outside tables, there are only five booths, one table and six bar stools at the counter. The cafe had quite a few awards on the wall, mostly being for breakfast. My lunch was OK, but it seemed most people were still ordering breakfast, which was huge. Considering my mood and all the hype from other cyclists, it was good (I had gazpacho, homemade wheat & and black molasses bread besides my sandwich) but I'll have to come back for breakfast some time to give it a fair review. The couple next to me drove up from Corvalis just to try the place.

The famous Otis Cafe

From Otis, I followed Old Hwy-101 for a while. What a wonderful break from the heavy traffic. The road wound through thick primeval forest. I couldn't believe all the dark greens surrounding me. But eventually I had to merge back with the current Hwy-101, although the traffic didn't seem as heavy.

There's just something about the power of a forest

When I saw my first 'beach' sign, I had to stop. I can't believe I've come completely across the United States from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific. Beach access looked pretty sandy so I left my bike and trudged through the sand following others obviously headed for the beach. And behind a final dune, there it was, the Pacific Ocean. I wish I could have rode the bike down to the surf. I made it.

The Ocean!!!

The highway has a lot of ups and downs as it follows the Oregon coastline. At one of the road lookouts, I stopped to get a better view of the beaches down below. As I stood there, a van pulled up and out climbed three Tibetan monks in their orange robes from the passenger side. One came over to me to ask about my travels. But I forgot to ask him about his as he was clearly far from home. He had a big smile as we said good-bye. Maybe we were brothers of the road.

The beach at Pacific City

Had a little difficulty finding the small county campground stuck in a corner behind two hug RV campgrounds in Pacific City. Across the road, there was a lot of activity on the beach. The sun was still shinning, making it a wonderful day. Back at the campground, the weekend crowds were packing up. By the time night fell, the campground was almost empty.

For some reason, I was pretty tired. After a quick visit to the beach and dinner, I layed down for a bit and found I had slept for hours fully dressed. Getting cooler, so I snuggle deeper into my sleeping bag.