Discovery Trail – Part Two: I slept in today. Yeah, I know, big surprise for the people that know me. It was cool and windy, so I bundled up (undershirt with shelf bra, performance tank, performance tee, AND performance long-sleeved shirt with zipper at the neck. Never let it be said I’m not a wuss about the weather…), rode into town to buy a hat (!) at Dennis Company’s sidewalk sale (grey knit beanie, $3.50, right on), and headed south on the Discovery Trail.
I started at Bolstad Avenue, and biked the roughly five miles to Cape Disappointment State Park. What a beautiful ride! While mostly flat, the trail has a few gentle ups and downs to keep it interesting, and some curves – watch out, I had to brace myself once to keep from sliding out as I rode rapidly down one particularly sharp turn. You can’t always see the ocean from the trail, even though it runs parallel most of the way. But there are some sections where you can pause to watch for whales, or walk down to the beach below. The trail itself has its own charm. Beautiful stands of shore pine, California laurel, salal, and seagrass line the trail.
As you get closer to Cape Disappointment, you begin to see a more forested view, with spruce, alder, and lush stands of sword and lady ferns. Check out this turkey buzzard drying its wings; I couldn’t believe how close he let me come!
When I arrived at the park, I locked up my bike (thank you, Adrift Hotel), and walked the 1.3-mile trail to the North Head lighthouse. You can bike all the way, but on a fixed gear bike, no thank you! It’s not unbike-able, but it is a steady climb, with some fairly steep sections, and I’m a wimpy bicyclist at best.
The lighthouse is closed for renovation, as you can see here. This information board shows you what the lighthouse looks like in perfection. The view of the beach below is quite beautiful. There’s another lighthouse at the park – an active one, manned by the U.S. Coast Guard. There’s a two hour time limit on the hotel bikes though, so I didn’t quite have time to check it out.
As I returned down the trail, I saw a little unmarked path off to my right. I followed it to this little hollow, with another lovely view.
All told, I biked approximately 9 miles and walked/jogged almost 2.5 miles. I stopped frequently to take pictures, talk to people on the way, eat the very ripe, very yummy salal berries I found everywhere, and spent roughly three hours on this trip. (Yes. I was late returning the bike. Those of you who know me are thinking, “of course you were, Leila….”)
All in all, it was a rather pleasant expedition, I must say. Back at the hotel, I enjoyed a snack (the rest of my pizza and some fresh blueberries from my friend, Lesley), and (yes) a nap. Mmmm. I took this particular nap on the beach. I’m not sure how long I slept, but I’ll tell you one thing, I slept like a baby!
Later that night, I enjoyed another delicious meal at Pickled Fish. Flat iron steak, cowboy beans, greens, and grilled polenta. Perfectly seasoned, perfectly prepared. (Sorry, folks. As a rule, I’m trying to avoid the ubiquitous food photo.) I also ordered a dessert, a rare occasion for me. The chocolate mousse with caramel sauce was smooth, creamy, and delicious. I saved half the meal and dessert for the next day, and patted myself on the back for all that self-control.
I had a lovely evening walk yesterday, but today after dinner I was plum tuckered out, so I headed back to my room to pick up where I left off in my Star Trek marathon – Season 2, Episode 15: The Trouble with Tribbles. See folks, that’s the beauty of vacation; doing whatever the heck you want at any given moment.