I had been excited for the stretch along the Pacific Coast Highway ever since driving from San Francisco to Los Angeles on a different stretch of the road a few years ago. I was blown away then by the overlooks and out-of-this-world rock formations.
However, after spending the last two plus months on quiet backroads or busy roads with huge shoulders, I was not impressed with the PCH. The shoulders were there but were very narrow and cars sped by me all day at ludicrous speeds. Gone were the patient drivers of small town America, instead I was surrounded by vacationers in a rush to get wherever it was they were headed.
Even though the views were just as scenic as they were on the drive (when the fog allowed me to see) I did not enjoy the biking today as much as expected. I was constantly looking in my rear view mirror and felt more like I was surviving rather than riding.
After another short day I made it to town pretty early and spent the afternoon riding around Seaside and taking in the sights. It was, once again, too foggy and cold to enjoy the beach, but I was able to check out their Lewis and Clark exhibits. Seaside prides itself in being the turnaround point for the expedition so they had a statue commemorating “The Turnaround” as well as a re-creation of the ovens the party used to remove salt from the ocean water.
After exploring, it was time to get dinner with Zack, a friend from high school. We hadn’t seen each other in years so it was great to catch up. Over burgers and then a bonfire on the beach, we talked all about my trip, his upcoming tour, his girlfriend’s upcoming PCT thru-hike and the van that they have been traveling in for the past couple of weeks. It was great to see Zack and an awesome way to spend the last night.
Next stop Astoria.
Miles: 40 miles
Elevation gained: 2,300 ft
Miles to Astoria: 25