A Nightmare on Elm Street

 

While not as conspicuous as the gentleman in my previous post, I was reassured by the motorist who excitedly let me know that he could see my hi-viz vest and panniers from a half-mile back. A girl likes to stand out from the crowd. Hopefully that was also the case when I got caught in the first downpour of the trip shortly before Astoria, Oregon. Yes, I’m now in Oregon!

To be honest, I was rather underwhelmed by the state of Washington. Though I had glorious weather, the Adventure Cycling route frequently took me inland on busy roads. But there were some definite highlights: The views of the Olympic Mountains, Mount Rainier, and Mount Saint Helens were stunning, and seeing eagles overhead was awe-inspiring. Also to Washington’s credit is that the state is still at “peak beard” 🙂

Though I’ve had a lot of rain since crossing into Oregon, I’m loving the Beaver state. (Yes, it really is called that!) The scenery is spectacular and the Oregonians very welcoming. Take the scrawny, tattooed lad in Subway, where I’d sought refuge from a sudden downpour. Instead of the usual melodic “Welcome to Subway”, he darted from behind the counter – mid-sandwich – wanting to know if I was Robert Englund. Preening myself that I’d been mistaken for a Hollywood starlet, I sheepishly confessed that I had no idea who that was. Happy to inform, he googled Robert Englund on his phone and showed me … Freddy Krueger!

Raining heavily again today, but I had great company all day. Cycling past Umpqua Lighthouse State Park after leaving the warm, dry motel this morning, I ran into Tom from Vancouver, who is cycling from Seattle to San Francisco. Tom had camped at the state park last night – along with two other cyclists and a retired lady from the UK! Definitely made of sterner stuff than me – or Freddy Krueger!

Fishnet Stockings

 

Bellies in, boobs out for the photographer – in this case for our Paul, who had traveled to the US/Canada border to see me off. After joking that we need to be careful not to inadvertently step over the border, we very nearly did just that. A quick illegal u-turn later and I’m on my way south. Next stop Mexico. Well, not quite, as we had one more night at our B&B in Bellingham. So just 30 miles or so on day one.

The Pacific Northwest is known as one of the wettest parts of the United States. I’m not one to tempt fate, but the weather so far has been magnificent. [It’s now day 5.] Sunny and fairly warm during the day, but brass monkeys at night, so no camping so far, though I still get butch points for carrying my camping equipment with me. Hard core, even if I’ve not used it yet!

Scenery has been a bit of a mixed bag so far. Sometimes spectacular, but the route in the first couple of days took me on some busy roads, which aren’t much fun on a bicycle. Now that I’m south of Seattle, things have quietened down a lot, with peaceful forests, rivers and lakes. Or have they? The gentleman, who swept by on his racing bicycle, did rather take me by surprise. I had expected the lumbersexual look to be “de rigueur” in these parts (hence my own lush silver beard – I don’t do gray). However, this gentleman had chosen to combine his black cycling shorts with a rather daring pair of fishnet stockings. It seems we San Franciscans have some catching up to do!