|Crossing the Border - Westport Ferry|
I woke up this morning and was surprised to see an older "Nomad" RV parked right next to me. The fact that I didn't hear it drive in confirms how well I'm sleeping on this trip. It was a special moment looking out on the Columbia rolling by in the early morning. Before leaving, I noticed that my rear tire was flat. I changed out the tube and we were on the road by 7:30.
The ten miles to Cathlamet on Ocean Beach Road was relaxing. The shoulder was good and the pavement smooth compared to the eastern section we did the previous day.
We stopped at Thyme Square Bistro for breakfast. The service and food were very good. The waiter told us that the ferry to Westport left on the hour. We planned on catching the 11:00 ferry, so we quit the restaurant in plenty of time to cycle over Puget Island and board it.
The ferry was an open vessel that could only take a small number of cars to Westport at a time. According to the deckhand, the ferry was owned by the county. We parked our bicycles on the port side and enjoyed the ride.
After arriving in Westport, we swung into a local Texaco, grabbed groceries and watered up. The counter clerk assured me that we had three major hills to climb on highway 30 before reaching Astoria. The first climb was the longest and worth the effort. We peddled into a park at the peak and looked out over the Columbia. While there, I enjoyed an apple pie and talked to another local cyclist. He was "horsing around" for the day, visiting a few waterfalls that, according to him, the general population knew nothing of. He claimed one was seventy-one feet high. I would like to check those out someday. We left the top and enjoyed the ups and downs into Astoria. As I took the hills, I was conscious of the fact that I was becoming a stronger cyclist.
After entering Astoria, Snelling and I stopped at the Rogue Public House on pier 39 for a drink and an opportunity to carefully look at our maps. We decided to put in a little more time in the saddle and ride highway 101 into Seaside for the evening.
We crossed the 101 bridge and headed south. With a relatively flat grade and the wind at our backs, we reached Seaside in a flash. I was happy to ride on a wide shoulder all the way. As I was pedaling, I pondered where we would be sleeping for the night. My cycling map gave me a couple options in the immediate area.
After being turned down at the Thousand Trails campsite, we road to Seaside International Hostel. The woman at the front desk was very kind. She offered us a room, but gave us the option of sleeping on the front lawn for fifteen dollars. We decided to take her up on the latter offer. After setting up my bivy under the protection of a small shrub, I unpacked my dinner and ate in the common room.
After dinner, Snelling and I struck up a conversation with a Norwegian woman named Hilde who was also cycling the coast. She was a surgical nurse from Oslo who was taking an extended holiday in the states. She had just attempted to summit Denali, but was turned back due to weather conditions. After completing the coast route, she planned on taking a plane to Ecuador to meet her sister and continue touring. Hilde was getting the most out of her time away from her job at the hospital.