I knew today was the day I would see the Pacific but I didn’t know when in the ride it would happen. After biking the first few miles out of Independence on a bike path, I spent the rest of the day craning my neck hoping for a glimpse of the Pacific.
Every time I crested a hill I would search high and low for any site of water and sniff to see if I could smell the salt water in the air. Each time I was disappointed as each time I saw no signs of the Ocean. (I was less disappointed that each time I crested a hill the temperature dropped noticeably. The high in Independence was 95, in Neskowin it was 65.)
By the time I was almost in Neskowin, the fog was so thick that I gave up all hope of seeing the ocean and just headed to Nancy’s house (Nancy is an AirBnB hostess who also takes in cyclists). But as I pulled into her driveway I heard the crashing of the ocean. She, Anita and Geert beckoned me into the house but I waived them off.
Four or five pedals later, the ocean was in view. I hopped off my bike and stared for a while. Even on such a gray, ugly day, the ocean looked magnificent and powerful. I had been imagining this day for so long and I didn’t know what to do so I just stared. Finally I decided to take a few pictures and FaceTime my girlfriend to show her the big news. I decided to go inside and say hello to my gracious host before wandering down to the shores.
Nancy gave me a tour of the wonderful beach house that went 100% over my head as my only thoughts were about getting down to the ocean. I nodded through the rules, saw where I could pitch my tent and then sprinted down to the waterside. Unlike earlier, I knew exactly what to do. I marched into the water and dipped my front wheel in. At that point I had officially biked the whole way across the country. I forced an unsuspecting couple to take a few photos of me (more submerged than I meant to be) to document the occasion.
The rest of the evening was a wonderful celebration. I spent the night chatting with Anita, Geert, Nancy and her other guests. We talked about the ride (the other guests were very interested) as well as topics ranging from Nancy’s children (she has 5 incredibly accomplished daughters) to foreign countries we had travelled to to Geert’s stereotypes of other European countries. We had a few beers to toast to our accomplishments and then settled in to bed.
I’m listening to the sounds of the ocean and it has me too excited to sleep. It’s been an amazing journey and I still can’t believe I have made it this far. I still have three days to go until Astoria, but those feel more like a victory lap now!
Elevation gained: 2,600
Continents I’ve biked across: 1