Day 1 - Westport to Grayland Beach - C2C - from Westport, Washington to Sandy Hook, New Jersey - CycleBlaze

June 3, 2016

Day 1 - Westport to Grayland Beach

Glorious morning - clear skies and the sun peeking up over the horizon. Mark and I start out early for the coast.

Westport Harbor on a Lovely, Lovely Day
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There’s always too much stuff to see - one of these is the abandoned Satsop nuclear site. A huge boondoggle that was nixed before it was ever finished. Nuclear wasteland porn. Except that it is now fenced off. Still, you could walk right up to the base of the massive cooling tower. Hmmmm.

Abandoned Satsop Nuclear Plant Cooling Tower
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We zipped through Aberdeen - crossing the drawbridge, then made for the Pacific. Your nose always tells you miles beforehand that the sea is close by. We got to Westport and had a second breakfastr at a little diner on the waterfront - sun streaming in the window. Then Mark hung around until he was sure I got set up with all the parts. He even took a short spin to feel how smoooooth Lucy rides.

Mark & Me
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I spent a little time at the library setting up a Crazyguy journal - ya know? Then headed back to the old Coast Guard station to begin my trip.

The Old Coast Guard Station in Westport
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It was so clear that you could see the snowcapped Olympic peaks from the jetty on Grays Harbor Inlet.

View of the Olympic Peaks across Grays Harbor
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And the beach trail could not be a more perfect start to a tour. A paved trail on the dune crests with ocean on one side and marshes on the other. And a tailwind, too. I must be livin’ right.

Beach Trail to Start the Tour
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Westport Lighthouse - Quite a Distance from the Shore
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It was only a short ride down the beach highway to Grayland Beach State Park. Despite what Washington State Parks says, there were no hiker/biker sites. The young ranger was cordial and offered me one of the few remaining regular sites at the h/b rate. The park has been rebuilt in recent years with paved pull-thru sites for huge RVs and other sites converted to yurts. There was only one other camper in a tent. My how camping has changed since the 1960s.

Juanny on the Beach
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But the ocean beckoned. The wind was stiff, blowing the sand across the damp hardpack in sinuous sheets. Each shell and stick sculpted tiny ridges and valleys. The beach slopes very gently at Grayland, so that at low tide the ocean is far from the dunes. I am not content unless my feet get wet. And the sand patterns are mesmerizing anyway.

Wind Patterns in the Sand
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So I reach the water’s edge and walk toward the waves, then backpedal quickly as a big one comes in. It’s one of my favorite things to do. I wonder, “What is a shoreline?” You can’t define it. Each day it moves back and forth twice with the tides. And over the course of decades the shore here grows while elsewhere it erodes away. And through eons the continents dance apart and then come back together. Here comes another big wave.

Getting My Feet Wet
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And all there is to do is to watch the sun set.

Sun Melting into the Pacific
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Today's ride: 10 miles (16 km)
Total: 10 miles (16 km)

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