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The Guardians of the Pacific Northwest
East of the Cascades, Washington
Day 109: Sept. 20, 2002

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There was nothing but sagebrush and pines beyond the village of Wauconda. Or so it seemed. Four sentinels guarded the Pacific Ocean from westbound journeymen. The first was Loup-Loup Pass, a fifteen mile climb of approximately three thousand feet. As I approached, pheasant and grouse bolted from the dusty foliage along the road. The day was metered by three flats. Each and every time I pulled off my tire, I ran my fingers along the groove of the wheel's rim and found a thorn. I had three flats; one for each wheel.

Besides more flats, Loup-Loup Pass was the only major obstacle. I earned my daily bread in a town called Republic when an old man hailed me from the driver side of his RV, saying, "His 'Adventurer' motorhome is the way to go." I told him he was probably right and pedaled the fuck away.

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