From Cape Meares to Jones Creek Campground
Our camp on the broken road blooms onto a silver morning. It has rained during the night again, but we all stayed dry – Pacman in his teeny one-man, Nick, J, and I sheltered under the blue palace. We pack up our wet things and ride the lonely road and slick, wet leaves down the cape to Tillamook Bay.
Wet road, silver sea, silver sky, and a single boat moored to the shore. All this time longing to be back on the trail, but it breaks my heart to leave the sea. Even a desert rat like me knows the draw.
By the time we get to Tillamook we’ve left everything gray behind. We stop at a pancake shop and order blintzes filled with cheese. “Last chances to calorie-load before the PCT!” I say, digging in.
“Mmph,” J replies, his mouth dusted with powdered sugar.
Fueled up, we hit the road. Nick leads the way. We’ve got about 90 miles between us and Portland, and the coastal range to ride over. We’ll do part of it today, the rest tomorrow.
In a month of riding we’ve had relatively few flat tires, but yesterday’s streak continues for Pacman. We pull over so he can patch it. An hour later, we pull over again. Fifteen minutes we pull over again. The unflappable Pacman is starting to lose his cool. His inner tube is starting to look line a crazy quilt. A closer examination of his tire reveals two side-wall blowouts and a rotten tire.
“Well, you’re screwed,” J comments.
“Only seventy more miles!” Pacman replies. “I only need this bike to make it seventy more miles!” His gear set is bad, his derailleurs are worse, but this tire situation might be the end of his ride. I get out my backpacking repair kit and we attempt to patch the tire sidewall itself.
Half an hour later we’re pulled over again. I hand Pacman the repair kit. “Use anything. As much as you want.”
“Okey-dokey.” He pulls out the tenacious tape and starts to layer it over the holes in the sidewalls. It’s a good thing I still had most of a roll.
Pacman finishes patching his tube (it’s a good thing Nick had some extra patches as well) and puts his tire back on. “Well?” we ask.
“Only one way to find out,” Pacman tells us. All fingers crossed, we resume our ride.
It holds! We make it to Jones Creek Campground, halfway up our last mountain pass. Nick’s brother and J’s brother & girlfriend meet us there. Back in the trees, surrounded by friends, we celebrate the last night of the ride. Nick’s bro brought his rain fly, but J’s bro didn’t bring his, so we sleep three in the tarp one more night. Portland tomorrow.
Hi Dirtnap 🙂