Mileage: 21.83 -6ish from a bus ride.
I waste no time, it's 5am and I'm stuffing my face with this amazing hotel food. I check out and hit the railroad tracks.
I learn, that I hate walking railroad tracks. I've done it before, but not for 10 damn miles no thank you. I hop off 5 miles in, hit the 101 pavement and move into Tillamook.
The railroad was creepy and smelled like death and stagnation.
101 ain't much better. Cars and trash. Massive trucks that give no fucks about your human body and how easily it can be destroyed.
I'm actually not feeling too bad. I'm not in a tremendous about of pain, I've taken no ibuprofen just to be clear about my pain levels.
I realized that my shoes are so worn down on the heel and forefoot that it's putting too much pressure on my arch. Aha! How did I not see this earlier? This is very likely part of my pain issue.
I pick up some new soles in Fred Meyer. This helps a lot. I'm feeling hopeful!
I'm going to move into Cape Lookout I decide. I'm going to keep going. This is fixable. My body is adapting. If at any point I feel the pain is too dangerous I can quit, everything is ok. You're ok. It's ok to stop if it hurts too much. You're not a failure, you're just understanding your weaknesses more closely and intimately than you're used to.
I know Tillamook has a public transit system. I check to see if it runs near Cape Lookout. It does! Its still a long road walk to get there, but the shuttle will shave off about 6 miles of road walking for me.
I walk through downtown Tillamook and it's cute and homey, a little smelly due to dairy cows, but nice all the same. I locate the transit station and I've got an hour till the bus to Netarts/Oceanside. It's Saturday and the farmers market is going. I meander, tasting honey, brittles and peaches. I'm feeling happy. I can do this, I think. Everything is ok!
I want to coffee myself before my road walk and shuttle, I walk a block down the street to a tiny cafe. That's what it says it is, but I feel like I just walked into someone's home. Plants, books, news papers and random trinkets litter a large and long dining room table. Shelves filled with more randomness. I can't take it all in, it's so much. An old man in a frumpy hat is behind the counter.
"Can I get some drip please?"
Its like he made a fresh pot in the exact amount, just for me. It just finished brewing.
"Ahh, uhmm... This," I grab his biggest paper cup.
"That'll be $2 please."
I hand him a 10.
He gives me back all $2 bills.
He smells like patchouli.
"You a walker?"
"I am, yeah I hike. All $2's?"
"This is a cozy place you have."
In a trance, I walk out of the shop. It was a small shop but it had this vastness about it, like there was more space in there than meets the eye.
I fucking forget to tip him! I was so mesmerized by the whole thing I forgot to tip. I am realizing this now as I type. The bills had sugar on them and smelled like patchouli. I felt like I stepped into another dimension. I think I did.
He was a hoodoo man, alright.
I'm back at the bus station and my shuttle shows up. The driver is insane and speeding down these back roads like a bat outta hell. I buckle my seatbelt.
He drops me off at a three way crossroad and I make my way south.
All sorts of folks are out clamming, families and old folks. It looks like fun. Getting to know this costal culture has been neat. Much of my childhood was spent in and around the Gulf of Mexico. I fished for snapper and battled the territorial barracuda that would take up residence under my dock surrounded by salt leafed mangroves. He would see my hooked fish flipping and darting through the water with its iridescent flashes and boom! I would reel in only a head. Sometimes I would catch the barracuda and eat him. Another would eventually take his place and the cycle would persist.
I'm walking Whiskey Creek road and it's winding and lush green. I can hear the ocean beyond a thick wall of trees.
Splash splash! I peer down into a little run off and small stream... Otters! They stare at me and snort warnings to the rest of their family of a nosey lady watching them. They disappear through a drainage pipe.
I pull off a dirt road to pee. I've become really good about stealth peeing.
Back on the road, some dickweeds in a Volvo honk loudly at me. Aggressively jerking me out of a reverie.
And I'm there, Cape Lookout. I'm so glad. My feet are tired and sore from road miles and balancing on slick railroad planks.
There was a lot of rain in the forcast and it was due to start pretty soon. I checked in with the Rangers for my site and we joked around a bit.
This was by far the prettiest hiker biker camp yet. Little sites nestled in around salal bushes and under pine. The ocean was a good 200 feet away and you could hear it roaring.
I kept hearing drumming in the distance, and I didn't know if it was my mind or the ocean or what... I wandered around to the beach access and saw a group of what I believe were American Indians dancing ceremonially. I was too far away to tell exactly. But their sound and ecstatic rythmic group dancing was entrancing. I wondered what it would be like to be part of a deep and long tradition like that, and to share it with a community. They danced and danced as the tide pulled in and they didn't care, they danced through the surging water... It was a beautiful scene against the headland, dark moody skies and strong winds.
I went back to my site to set up my tent. It was in a tight spot. But I managed to get in a good place. My pitching skills are improving! It started to sprinkle a bit. This was going to be my first real night of strong rain and wind. Then it started to pour. The wind beat at my tent like it was wielding a bat. I sat kinda frozen with excitement and mild anxiety as to whether my little tent could weather the storm that was going to rage most of the night. I tightened up the detachable floor of my tent to prevent spray from coming in, so far so good! Then it suddenly stopped raining. Oh fickle coastal weather! Always changing on a dime.
The skies started to clear a little. I took this as an opportunity to batten down the tent hatches for the night. The ground was soft in a few spots, so I found large rocks to set on my stakes. The back of my tent faced the ocean and where the rain and wind were pushing in from. I found a thick branch to prop up my ground sheet for further spray protection from the back. I felt pleased and excited, but also slightly dreading the night ahead of me.
A French couple who were cycling asked me if I'd be ok in my little tent.
"I don't really know! I'll have to find out."
They laughed nervously for me.
The air was so charged with negative ions that I felt blissfully happy even if I was in for a wet night. I was happy to be moving again and to be in my tent, not laid up in a hotel.
I took a free and super steamy shower. When I was done and stepped out, it was pouring again. I raced back back to my shelter and burrowed into my downy sack like a little critter. The tide was shifting and the air got chilly, the wind howled and whooshed through the pines. Eventually, sleep took me.
My bum ankle had me laid up in a hotel for two days, this unexpected expense put a dent in my budget. Interested in supporting me, buying me a coffee or a burger? You can donate here!