~ Day 6 – Pay Day ~

06/05/2010 – 76.7 miles

As predicted, the day started out glorious. Despite a quite horrid sleep, awoke around 8:00 to the sun beating directly on the tent. Groggy as always, shuffled out to evaluate the day and morning surroundings. The tent was dew-soaked, but the day was perfect and clear. Slowly (slowly) began packing up before having a quite awful breakfast (banana, plain bread, trail mix). I already loathe trail mix in the worst way. Packed up, brushed teeth at NFS bathroom, and was on the road by 10:00 — my best showing yet.

Starting out in shorts and t-shirt was a liberating experience, as all previous days consisted of at least long-johns and often bike jacket. Within 10 minutes on the road I realized that I had stopped at the perfect spot the night prior, because the most glorious stretch of coast that I have experienced so far was before me. This was the pay off. This was the legendary Oregon coast. The sweeping shores, the massive craggy outcroppings, clean ocean air, the continuous rolling boom of the littoral, the unmistakable pastiche of coastal Oregon’s soft light and colors. There were 3 American bald eagles patrolling overhead, and a beached colony of California sea lions jabbering and honking in the morning sun. Yesterday, I hadn’t seen the coast at all for more than 5 minutes. This was the day I had been waiting for.

Rode to Yachats by noon, stopping often, about 20-25 miles. Picked up some fruit, jerky, drink, chips, and a corn dog at the grocery and continued on to a suitable picnic area (the corndog was consumed immediately outside the store). Ate sardine sandwiches washed down with an Odwalla and potato chips, and lived to regret it. Not that the sardines were bad, just that I think I over ate on a sensitive stomach that demands excessive calories yet can only “stomach” so much at a time. I must be more careful of this, as I felt horrid the rest of the afternoon and even chucked some lunch up (forcefully). Note to self: be more careful.

The afternoon grew frustrating as winds picked up and the day cooled off. Worst head wind yet. Compounding this was the rough road and the onset of aches and pains. I am pushing myself extremely hard – I must remember that the past several weeks and months much consisted of loose mores and living carelessly. Yes, be more careful.

Rode a good distance, insisted on making it to Lincoln City, bought organic mac n’ cheese, salad, milk, and a coke (been craving sweet drinks like a fiend). Continued on down the road in hopes of finding a (very) nearby campsite, but soon realized I was on my way to Tillamook (45 miles) with nothing in between. So after some dubious prospecting, settled on a patch atop a steep embankment with the highway on one side and a pasture on the other. I love free, impromptu camping, but this is pushing it. A sign of desperation. Though there is a waterfall just down the way which suits me well.

So tired, so janky, so ready to crash. I pray it does not rain tomorrow.