When you are done for the day, you are pretty much done for the day

“I don’t know how you have it”, said my warmshowers host in Ashland to me, “but for me, when I am done for the day, I am pretty much done for the day.” So true. And I felt very much so this afternoon when I found out that Cover Hot Spring states park was still for miles to go from Markleeville which was still 6 miles and a little climb to go from where I was. It was already 5.30pm and still around 30°C down here. So I decided to head for the next Campground which is Turtle Rock County Campground just off the highway 89 and certainly less crowded, because there is no hot spring. So no warm pool for me tonight, but an awesome Campground with the best host ever. It is 10$ for tent camping and it has a shower. So at least some water, to wash off sweat and dust before changing into clean (aka fresh from laundry) clothes. There is soap in the restrooms, (a standard up in the Pacific Northwest but missing down here in California) and even ladies sanitary products. The camp host welcomed me with a cold beer and there is a working wifi, you don’t know where it comes from, because there is nothing around here,  but it is offered to you by Alpine county. Thanx guys.

When you travel around staying on Campgrounds a lot, you always end up for the night in a beautiful place but more often than mot it is far from civilisation. So no shops, no bars/restaurants (very few states parks have these, not to mention USFS campgrounds), you have to bring in food. I would love to arrive early (say mid afternoon) at the place for the night, pitch my tent and do some writing. But nope, you have to do it somewhere on the road. Except here and in Winthrop and to be honest there was a Wifi yesterday at the Eagle Point Campground, but you have to book sites 1 or 2 to get it working. Hiker/Biker is 15, no choice.

Driving styles

There are drivers that are gentlemen. They slow down behind you, overtake slowly and with a polite distance. That is they move to the other lane even if it means crossing a solid line. There are macho drivers that overtake at high speed, let it get behind us, right? When you drive fast you cannot draw aside too much and in any case 2 feet should be enough. There is this solid line, it’s illegal to cross it… 

I am old fashioned, I like gentlemen.
PS. French drivers are overwhelmingly gentlemen. That’s why I love France. Vive la France!

Endless fog

It was a very foggy day. That is not uncommon for the Oregon coast. Where the fog is light it makes a great scenary when it becomes thick then it’s like November at home. Humid, cold and unpleasant.
I did lot of little detours today. First to the Yaquima head lighthouse. It stands out on a little cape which still was deep in the clouds while back on the highway I had already been riding in the morning sun. Lots of birds nest in the rocks around there. You may climb down to the tide pools at the bottom of the lighthouse. It was low tide,  you may find starfish there and lots of mussles… but you will be observed by watchful seals out in the water. It is not so sure who watches whom more closely.

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I later went to the Hatfield marine science center in Newport run by the Oregon state university. It is a bit chaotic, but they have lots of cool stuff there. Some aquariums with octopuses, fish and all sort of other marine creatures. A kind of open pool where you can touch all sort of funny things like sea cucumbers, starfish, sea urchins, mussles and observe how they react towards it, from which you can deduce how they feed. The staff explains everything to you to even your most naive questions. They have teeth and balenes from different types of whales, skulls of sea mammals (ever seen a walrus skull?), little experiments where you can build some lego houses and then have them swiped away by a tsunami wave. There is material on tidal energy, “migration” of species on ships and the ecological problems this might cause, geology (the tsunamis again…). All for free. So there is much cooler things than the road works you Oregon folks tax money pays for.
The landscape was rolling I left and entered tsunami hazard zone as I climbed up hills and rolled down again, left and entered…

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I had a nice backwind all along and let mr push up the last meters of Cape Perpetua, only the hwy top, of course.  The road going all the way up winds and twists and is far too steep to be pushed up. There is a rock on the cape shelter from where you can see 70 miles south on clear days. Not today though.
In the afternoon I spent quite some time watching spouting hole, a funny kind of coastal geysir, which with the tides coming in became mor and more spectacular. It is a hole in the cliffs, where the water flows in and is hurled
out from time to time by the tidal waves such that it jumps up in the air.

Churches?

In Europe villages have a church which is visible from far and well distinguishable from other buildings by its shape. They ring their bells whenever time or tradition demands it, to remind you of their presence. Depending on where you are, you know the affiliation of the church, whether it is catholic or orthodox or lutheran… Bigger places have different kinds. All is well ordered and the landmarks clearly set. Here, there is no such thing. I have only come across church-like looking, imposing buildings in bigger cities. But there are churches all over, they greet you in form of a panel:

x-y-z Church
Prayers at 5pm
Service by pastor Jack Sparrow Sunday 10am
Everybody welcome

from every corner of the road, in front of any kind of unsuspicious looking building. They are numerous. But you never know what you have to expect in case you showed up. At least I don’t. That is what makes them suspicious to me.

Overhead traffic

In the last two days I have been passed by 3 low flying aircrafts. Yesterday it was a small plane that flew ruttling and shaking over my head shortly after the “low flying aircraft” sign at the airfield outside Port Townsend. No wrong promises, huh? Today it was a whiteheaded eagle with a rabbit in his claws. The eagle shrieked and the rabbit struggled and it felt as if they were touching my head. Then later in the afternon a fighter plane set off from the base close to Oak Harbor on Whidbey island. No warning sign this time..

Port Townsend

I stay here at Fort Worden states Park.  It is an Ex military Fort has a campsite,  a hostel with cafe (where I am sitting right now) and HOT SHOWERS!! 1$ for 6 minutes of warm water pleasure.  Weather is cold and rainy.  If I am really going towards the Cascades I need some more warm clothing.