Monday, October 2, 2023

FDOC Day 9-And Now We Are Two…

After much discussion last night and this morning, Sue decided she would call it good, and plan an exit strategy. Even though she was having fun, a high level of fatigue was setting in, and she wasn’t able to get enough recovery overnight (not having her sleeping pad didn’t help). I told he that as long as she wasn’t leaving because she felt she was slowing us down, that she should listen to her body, and do what was best for her. Having previously taken the bus from Newport to Corvallis, she k ew how she could get further to Albany, and catch the train back to Olympia. We all agreed we had had a great time, and Sue had done more than she ever thought she could, or had done before. I told her we would adventure again!

Per the usual, I was ready to roll before Matt. We’ve determined that it works okay for me to head out when I’m ready, because he is much faster than I am. Today he caught me at an hour and twelve minutes in to the ride. Then he goes on, in this case, to Yachats, and Bread and Roses Bakery. I still stop and take photos along the way. 

Sun on my face at Seal Rocks. 

Heading over the bridge at Waldport. 

Delicious food here!

Today was the farmers’ market in Yachats. I got a crepe at the market, then got a Strata and Chai at Bread and Roses. After our long break, we took off for the climb up Cape Perpetua. The next stop was the Devil’s Churn, Spouting Horn, and Cooks Chasm. 

Churn

Spouting Horn (but more “oozing” than spouting 

Cooks Chasm, and look at that spout!

When we took off again, I didn’t see Matt u til Fred Meyer in Florence. I did t bother to go down to the Heceta Head trailhead to the lighthouse. I’ve done it numerous times. After the tunnel, I did get this usual shot. 

Heceta Head Lighthouse. 

And, of course, the sea lions down on the rocks. 

Andafewswimming around. 

Apparently, a fly chose to photo bomb this seagull photo. 

We both got a few groceries at Fred Meyer, then went to Mo’s. It’s a must stop. 

Slumgullion and cheesy garlic toast. Yum…except for how full I was after, and still had to ride 4 more miles (a fair amount uphill).

We are camped at Honeyman SP in theNew H/B camp. It’s a vast improvement from the old one, and much closer to the restrooms/showers. 

We managed to get here earlier than yesterday’s ride, but we went 23 miles more (didn’t have to do laundry). I even had time to break out my chair to sit down and do this blog post! However, now it is dark and chilly. Time to wrap it up, and hit the tent. 




Sunday, October 1, 2023

FDOC-Day 8-WHALES!!!

In all the times I’ve ridden down the Oregon Coast, I’ve never seen whales. Today, definitely made up for it! 

We got a later start today at about 9:30. We just had 30 miles to do, but we needed to stop in Newport to do laundry. We rolled out of Lincoln City and onto the viewpoint that is Boiler Bay. 



After a bit of a break at Boiler Bay, we continued on through Depoe Bay. Since we had just had a break, we just rolled on through. Pretty much the same through Gleneden Beach. We made the turn onto Otter Crest Loop, and stopped just after the Ben Jones bridge. 

Down in the cove there was a grey whale! Here’s afewof the many photos I took. 

See the tail fluke?

Blowing 



Diving

Nose poking up. 

When we finally tore ourselves away from the whale watching, we started the climb up Cape Foulweather. Really, it’s my favorite climb on the Coast. It’s a one way road for cars, with a nice wide bike lane. At every viewpoint, I could see a whale. 

Yep, I saw a whale from here. 

When we went into the gift shop at Cape. Foulweather, I could see whales the 500 feet down below. It was so cool to see so many grey whales!

We did the descent down from Foulweather back to 101, then on into Newport. We stopped at the bike shop so Matt could have his derailleur looked at. 

While the guy was working on Matt’s bike, Sue and I went around the corner to the laundromat. We got started on laundry, and Matt joined us shortly. 

With the laundry chore done, we headed to Nana’s Irish Pub for some grub. We all had fish and chips. It was about 5:00 when we left the pub. We just had to ride across theNewport bridge, and then about a mile toSouth Beach State Park. 

The obligatory bridge photo. 

The tug was pulling the fishing boat into the harbor. The other boat was a Coast Guard boat. The tug was going really slow, apparently, so as to not swamp the fishing boat. We weren’t sure why it was pulling the boat backwards. 

Going over the bridge, we had a massive tailwind. A big pickup truck stayed behind us the whole way! It was the best crossing of that bridge that I have done!

We arrived at South Beach at about 5:45. The day was just a bit over 30 miles, but still a long day. The campground is full, but the H/B camp is just us, and one other person that snuck in after dark. Perhaps we’ll meet them in the morning. 







Friday, September 29, 2023

FDOC-Day 7-No Rain, No Flats, Three Big Climbs

Ah, it was so nice being in the yurt last night as the rain pitter-pattered on the roof. The rain had quit by morning, and we were up and at ‘em for another day, continuing south on the Oregon Coast. Sue and I rolled out about 8:30, and Matt was just 15 minutes behind. Right out of the gate we had a 2 1/2 mile climb up to Cape Lookout. 

Go Sue Go!

It’s not an easy climb, and even though it was shorter than our last climb of the day, it had some 10-11% grades. It being first thing in the morning doesn’t help. 

A nice view at Anderson’s Viewpoint on the way up gave a bit of a break. 

It took me exactly one hour from when I started my Garmin at the yurt, to get to the top of the climb. Just as I pulled off at the turn up to the trailhead parking, Matt was nearly at the top. 

While my average was 3.6mph, Matt’s was 6…nearly double mine. 

Sue was not that far behind, even though she had to walk the steeper bits. 

Here comes Sue!

I walked down to meet Sue, and take her bike for her. She said she wanted to ride, but was in too hard of a gear. I told her to get on, and I would give her a power boost (push from behind) so she could shift into an easier gear. 

Sue making it to the top. 

Of course, the descent was a blast. Matt andAue caught up to me on Sand Lake Rd as I was taking off my rain jacket (it wasn’t raining, I had just had it on for a bit more warmth under my hi-vis jacket. 

We continued on to Cape Kiwanda. Matt arrived first. Just as I arrived, a young woman came over asking the usual questions. Her name was Anna, and she lives in Vancouver (my home town). She is getting into cycling, and was very interested in touring. 

After a bit, we went over to Stimulus Coffee and Bakery. We had some treats, then headed back out on the road. Before we left, I went down to the beach to take a photo (even though I have many from here). 

A paño of the beach. 

There were a ton of surfers out. I’ve never seen so many at one time here. 

Climb number two was not too difficult. At the view point at the top, we met Mary and John from Georgia (originally Ohio…Mary anyway. John was definitely from Georgia). They, too, were quite curious about the whole touring thing. They were driving down the Coast. 

Our new friends, Mary and John. Nice couple. 

Another descent brought us to Neskowin. We stopped to use the public restrooms, then headed toward Slab Creek Rd for our last major climb of the day, up and over Cascade Head. It’s a long one, but only occasionally steeper. Sue did an amazing job! I couldn’t even catch her, until almost the top where she took a break. 

I thoroughly enjoyed that descent too. When we got to Otis, I plugged Devil’s Lake State Park into my Garmin. It actually routed us a different way than I’ve gone before into Lincoln City. We had to backtrack .6 of a mile to Three Rocks Rd. That took us to 101 on a nice quiet backroad. We skipped Hwy 118 altogether, which was awesome, because that is a sketchy section. There were still a couple of short hairy parts in Lincoln City, but skipping that other part made it not so bad. 

We stopped at Safeway for some resupply. Matt is doing the same thing I used to do…buying too much food, then having to figure out where to put it. 

Another 1.7 miles on 101, and we turned off to the Park. They have made some improvements to the H/B site since I was last here. They fenced off the site from the road (to keep transients from hanging out without paying), and they made a path up from the registration booth. There is also a code for the showers. 

There are two young women here, Anna and Fiona. Fiona is from Michigan, and Anna is from Utah. They started in Bellingham on the 16th, with plans to do the Coast to California. However, they have been less enamored with the traffic, so tomorrow they are taking a bus to Bend, to then pick up the Sierra Cascades Route, going south. I’m afraid they will find that there is traffic everywhere, but maybe not as much as the Coast. The Sierra Cascades Route in Oregon is pretty good. They will find, though, depending how far south into California, that they have to go on I-5 for about 8 miles (there’s no other road). 

Tomorrow is a relatively short day at 30 miles to South Beach. It’s time to do full-scale laundry, so we’ll stop in Newport for that. There’s only one major climb, so the day shouldn’t be too difficult. 






FDOC Day 6-Thwarted Getting to Cape Meares

Believe it or not, it wasn’t raining again this morning!!! Sue was not feeling it this morning (probably dehydration on top of fatigue). I suggested she take the bus to Tillamook, and meet us at the Cheese Factory. That turned out to be a perfect plan. Matt wasn’t quite ready at the stated departure time of 8:00. I rolled out at 8:15. He said he had another 7 minutes. I think he left a wee bit later than that because it took him just under an hour to catch me (just as I was coming I to Rockaway). My average was 9.1 coming into Rickaway. Matt flew by me, so had to have been going much faster. 

Crossing the Nehalem River near Wheeler. 

I stopped in Rockaway at the restroom, then continued on. 

Getting closer toTillamook. 

I rolled into Tillamook about 11:30. Both Matt and Sue were waiting. We went in and had some lunch, then did the tour, then had some ice cream before heading back out on the road. 

Making cheese!

Moo…

Next up was Cape Meares. For years, the road has been closed due to a mud slide, but bikes could easily get through. I’ve personally ridden it twice, the most recent being last summer on the Trans Am. 

There was a road closed sign at the turn onto Bayocean Rd, but there’s always been a road closed sign. We worked our way around the Point to where the road turns to go up to Cape Meares. Uh oh…construction trucks. I said to Matt, “That doesn’t look promising.” Indeed, it was not. Turns out, after all these years (I think sometime around 2011), they are finally fixing the road. Apparently, it’s due to open on Sunday. 

So, we had to ride the 6.2 miles back to 131 (aka the Netarts Hwy). Then, Matt got a flat just before we got back to 131. It was about 3:30. We had 8.2 miles to go to Cape Lookout which included one good size climb. After some time thinking, we decided Sue and I would go, as we would be slower. 

We arrived at Cape Lookout at 5:00. We asked if there were any yurts available. There were! We got one! Good thing too, because it’s been raining a bit (of course it has).

Ah…warm and dry!

Tomorrow we head to Devil’s Lake in Lincoln City. It’ll be 43 miles. With a few good climbs. We will finish the 3 Capes Scenic Loop having made it to two out of three. 





Wednesday, September 27, 2023

FDOC-Day 5-Sunshine While I’m Riding Makes Me Happy!

YES YES YES!!! The sun finally came out! Last night it stormed the whole night. The wind was howling, and it rained torrentially. But, by 6:30, when I woke up, the rain was gone, and so was the wind. Of course, we still put our rain gear on because it couldn’t possibly not rain!

From the top of the berm looking down into the H/B camp. See the sunshine?

Matt spent a fair amount of time reorganizing. He had sent a few things home with Darlynn. We didn’t roll out until 9:45. We need to work on getting an earlier start. 

When we got back out to 101, I made the brave move of removing all my rain gear! I know, you are thinking it must have then immediately started raining. But, it didn’t! In fact, it was really nice!

Even the elk were enjoying the sun!

The wind was not the best, but I really didn’t care because it was SUNNY! We made our way to Seaside. I really needed to pee, so I continued on, while Matt waited for Sue in Gearhart. 

I got to the public restrooms in Seaside, did my business, then waited for Matt and Sue. And waited…and waited. Finally it realized I should check to see if there was a text. There was. They were well into Seaside, actually at the other end of the Prom. I texted I would ride toward them. Fortunately, as I was going along Holladay St., I saw Matt cross the road ahead. When I turned onto the road he was on, I saw Sue too. I rolled up behind them as they got to the statue at the Prom. A woman took our photos. 

The statue. 

The ocean. 

We went back a bit to go to the Ocean Bakery and Café for some lunch. Turns out it was in the Best Western. Nice place for grub. We all had clam chowder in a sourdough bread bowl. 

While we were eating, Sue was looking at the bus schedule, seeing it she could take a bus to Manzanita. Well, she couldn’t take one from Seaside, but she could take one from Cannon Beach. That was about 7 miles from Seaside…with a good climb in between. But, she had plenty of time before the bus got to CB. 

I rolled into CB after Matt, but before Sue. By the way, I even stopped to take my leg warmers off, and the sleeves of my jacket! It was like it was summer!!! Anyway, I stopped at the bakery in CBthi King Matt would be there. Nope. This time I checked my phone right away. He said he was near the Visitor Center, Public restrooms, and the Market. I looked up where that was, and rode on over. No Matt. Sue rolled up shortly after I got there. I had texted Matt again telling him I was there and where was he? He was at the Mariner Market and the Post Office. Sue and I rode over there, and finally found him. He gave each of us a caramel as a peace offering. It was delicious, and all was forgiven. Sue went back over to the Visitor Center (which was also the bus stop) to inquire about the us to Manzanita. It came shortly after 4:00. It was about 3:15. Matt and I headed out while Sue waited for the bus. For the first time since I’ve been riding down theOregon Coast, I didn’t stop at Julie’s quilt shop to say hi. If you are reading this, Julie, sorry about that. We were just running short on time, and still had many hills to climb. 

I had to stop to take this crappy photo of Haystack Rock…just because. 


I caught up to Matt at Tolavana, then he got ahead again, and waited at the Arch Cape tunnel. 

Matt heading into the tunnel. This is not a fun tunnel because it is uphill. Still, Matt pushed thebutton to activate the lights that let motorists know a cyclist (or 2) is in the tunnel. They are then supposed to only go 30mph. Actually, it wasn’t too bad. There were only a few cars that came up behind us. 

We did the climb up Cape Falcon, then down to Oswald West State Park. Matt waited at the top. I told him, unfortunately, we now had to lose all the elevation we had just gained, only to have to regain it. It old him the viewpoint near the top was worth it. 

I got to the viewpoint. No Matt. Then I saw him a couple of pull outs further. 

See the speck of yellow?

I still took this photo of Tilmann. 

Afterall, it’s my favorite viewpoint. 

When we finished the climb, we just had the ice long downhill to Manzanita. This time, I stead of going the highway to Nehalem, then somewhat backtracking to Nehalem Bay State Park, I had Google route us through Manzanita. It was a much better way to go, with less hills. 

We arrived at the park at 5:30 on the nose. The Ranger said, “You must be Sue’s friends.” Yay, Sue made it. Sure enough, she was getting her tent set up in the H/B camp. 

Igor my tent up, and just así was heading to the showers, a squall came through…sigh…more rain… At least it didn’t last too long. Dinner was cooked, and now I’m in my tent. 

Tomorrow we are heading out at 8:00. We have more miles to do than today, and we want to have time to stop at the Tillamook Cheese Factory and at Cape Meares. We’ll see how it goes…







Fall Down the Oregon Coast-Day 4- We Finally Make it to Oregon

We thoroughly enjoyed our night at the Best Western! We had gone to dinner at what seemed like the only open place in Long Beach, The Castaway and had delicious fish and chips. Back at the hotel, Sue and Matt had pulled out their tents to dry. Sue put hers in the shower, and Matt draped his over his bike in the boiler room where we parked the bikes. Both tents were dry by morning (Sue’s tent left about a million fir needles in the tub). In fact, pretty much everything was dry. 

Once again, we wanted to get an early start. We had about 57 miles to go to Nehalem Bay, and we wanted get over the Astoria-Megler bridge as early as possible. Sue and Iwere ready to roll, and since Matt is quite speedy, we rolled out a bit ahead of him. I told him we would not cross the bridge without him (somewhat jokingly because we had about 12 or 13 miles to get to the bridge. He would catch us for sure. 




Mouth of the Chinook River as it empties into the Columbia.

It was shortest for us to go back to the cut-off road at the place we had stopped yesterday for coffee (me, hot chocolate), then over to 101. Sue and I rolled through Chinook, and no Matt yet. We continued on toFort Columbia State Park. Oh, did I mention the wind and, of course, the rain? Yeah, same ol’ same ol’, except the wind was quite fierce, and it was a head wind. Because there was more shelter from the wind and rain at Fort Columbia, we decided to wait for Matt there. For a brief moment, the sun came out!

Happy Sun dance!

Bikes were slightly protected under the trees. 

As we were waiting for Matt, we got a text from him, saying he had a flat on the front, and he was at the Chinook County Park fixing it. That wasn’t too far away, so we figured we would see him soon. Time went by, the rain came back, and we were getting cold. I texted Matt to let him know we were going to slow roll toward the bridge. Shortly after we started, he texted he was testing it, and would be on his way soon. It wasn’t too much further to the bridge. The sun managed to make another appearance. 

The bridge in the distance. 

Just as I was about to text Matt that we were going to start across the bridge, I saw him coming. When he caught up, I said, “We’ll talk later, let’s get over the bridge while the sun is shining, and it’s not raining.”

Not too long after we got onto the bridge, it started raining again, and the wind was a ferocious headwind. It was blowing water up through the drain holes on the side of the bridge deck, and making a whistling sound. As I’ve encountered before when crossing this bridge, the traffic came in spurts. Some of the time I could ride in the lane when there were no cars coming from behind, or there were no cars coming from ahead, and the cars behind could go around me. Only got honked at by one asshole. 

Partway up the climb at the other end of the bridge, I passed Sue. She was walking up the steep climb. It’s a long steep climb, and with the added wind and rain (and traffic), it’s a wonder any of us could ride. They are still doing work on the bridge (they were working on it last summer when Doug and I rode over for the Trans Am). When I got to the flagger, he had me wait, and go at the end so I wouldn’t have any cars behind me. He said, “Your buddy is waiting down in the parking lot.” I could see Matt down below. 

Sue showed up not too long after. 

Sue having survived the treacherous bridge crossing!

While Matt and I were waiting for Sue, we talked about what we should do. Matt really needed new tires, well…better tires for the job at hand. He called the bike shop in Astoria. They were moving…today. They thought the shop in Seaside would possibly have them, but we couldn’t call to find out because they are closed Monday and Tuesday. With the delay from Matt’s flat, and the lengthy distance left to go, we decided it would be best to just go to Fort Stevens. In addition to the tire situation, Sue needed to get a sleeping pad because she inadvertently left her’s at home. Yes, the two nights we have camped in our tents, she has slept on the cold hard ground (she’s a tough cookie for sure)! And, we needed to resupply some food. We told all this to Sue when she arrived, and she agreed it was a good idea. 

We rolled on to the official start of the Oregon Coast Bike Route. 

The sign says welcome to the Oregon Coast Bike Route

Heading off to the Young’s Bay bridge to Warrenton, and Fred Meyer. 

At Fred Meyer, Matt called Darlynn to ask if she would consider bringing him the brand new set of Schwalbe Marathon tires he had at home, along with a couple of new tubes. She was happy to do that. It was a better plan than hoping the bike shop in Seaside would have the tires. 

We got our resupply at Fred Meyer, then went over to Big 5 Sporting Goods to see if they had a sleeping pad. They had a reasonably sized closed cell foam pad that was far better than nothing. 

Matt is an official bike tourer now, complete with bag of chips riding on the top of the rear rack!

Shopping chores finished, we headed on to Fort Stevens. At the turn in Hammond, I saw Matt waiting. When I pulled up to him, he pointed out the elk.

See the big guy back there?


First I thought it was a statue. It was not. A woman warned us to stay away from him as he has been charging people. She even offered to keep her car between us and the bull. We told her it was okay, we were going the other way. 

The girls and kids munching on the bushes. 

We ended up seeing two more cows at the entrance to the State Park. In all the times I’ve been here (even camping here when the boys were young), I’ve never seen the elk! 

At Fort Stevens, we inquired about the possibility of a yurt. Alas, there were no yurts available. We called over to the KOA across the street to ask about a cabin. They were ridiculously expensive, and, at the moment, the weather was actually nice! We opted for the Hiker Biker site at $8 per person. 

We got our tents up, and I even managed a shower! When I got back, Darlynn was here with Matt’s new tires. We also realized we could send anything we didn’t want to carry, home with her. I was going to send both my extra shoes and my chair, but in the end, I couldn’t part with my chair. It’s a good thing I didn’t, because, of course it started raining again, so I cooked my dinner in the bathroom, and sat in my chair!

Matt got the tires on, and all should be good now. Even though we are now a day behind, it’s okay, and everything will work out. Now that the dreadful bridge is behind us, and we’ve seen there is still a sun in the sky, we can enjoy a bit more leisurely riding day tomorrow. Oh, I’m sure it will be raining, but we are getting pretty used to it. It would be nice to get a bit more sun (or even just no rain) because then I would be inclined to take more photos.