Pacific Coast Route

Day Eight – Astoria, OR to Cape Lookout State Park

Day 7 began with an early wake up even though it was my planned rest day. I stayed at the Norblad Hostel in Astoria. It was right in the middle of town and really nice compared to my other hostel experiences in London and Portland. I went and found a coffee place. Exchanged a few bills for quarters and began doing my one load of laundry. Once that was complete, I found my way to the movie theaters to see TMNT. Michael Bay does not deviate.

The day got later and I needed to study the map or Oregon since I didn’t even open that up when I first received the Adventure Cycling maps. Turns out, I didn’t really need to study. I pretty much wake up every day and head south on 101. Pretty simple stuff. So that’s what I plan to do.

Day 8 once again began early. 6:30am, I pop up. I had a gift card to the local coffee shop because I man needed the bottom bunk so I offered to move up top. After breakfast, I came back and got cleaned up and began packing up. My roommate for the previous two nights was heading into Portland on his bike that he took from Key West to Vancouver, then is heading home to just outside of Portland. His tan lines were killer. My goal was to make it to Bay City about 60-65 miles away. I had some stops to make but knew that was at least doable.

I headed out of Astoria and for about 15 miles was inland a little bit. It wasn’t until I rolled into Seaside, OR did I catch my first glimpse of the Pacific. I couldn’t help but smile and only then did I realize what I had actually done the previous week. I made my way down 10 more miles and was back to where I traveled to back in January, Cannon Beach. I made my way through town and wound up at the beach access to see Haystack Rock. It was a great day to view it and it was also low tide so it made for great pictures and sights.

 

I didn’t stay terribly long because I didn’t know what was ahead of me so I got back on the the road with a few more checkpoints to hit. I made my way down the coast with some impressively steep climbs only to be rewarded with great views of the cliffs, waves, and haystacks that scatter the Oregon coast. Those hills were easy knowing what I had waiting for me up at the top.

I continued on, hitting Manzaneta, Bay City, where I originally planned to stop and then to Tillamook. I was feeling good and looked at the map. Cape Lookout State Park had an awesome name and could only expect the view to match it, so I pushed 6 more miles to camp making it my longest day so far in my trip. I’m glad I did too because it am currently writing this entry from the beach looking out into the haze with the sound of waves crashing onto shore.

Today was very exciting and I’m looking forward to the rest of Oregon.

Day Mileage: 82 miles
Total Mileage: 491 miles

Day 8 Bonuses:

  • seeing the Pacific Ocean for the first time this trip
  • stopping to talk with a guy that was walking from Seattle to San Francisco. He was 3 1/2 weeks into his trip.
  • camping with the sound of waves in the background
  • Cannon Beach
  • fresh(er) legs

Day Ten – South Beach State Park to Honeyman State Park

Day Mileage: 54 miles
Total Mileage: 622 miles

I thought it was supposed to rain last night so when I set up camp, I set it up under an awning/canopy of sorts where I’d stay as dry as I could if it did rain. Luckily, it didn’t and I was still dry. The day ahead of me was going to be a light one compared to the previous two days. I knew that and took my time this morning. I made oatmeal and coffee and then wandered around the State Park to discover a fun little trail leading straight to the ocean. I got back, packed and was on the road right at 9am.

The sun was beginning to poke out as I made my way south of Newport. I could only hope for it to stay out the rest of the day. My plan was to stop in Waldport but I spoke with a guy who ran a not-for-profit bicycle shop and he told me Yachats would be my best bet for a good meal. It was 8 miles down the road and would put me at 24 miles before 11am. All good things. When I pulled in, I was met with general questions as I usually am from locals about my trip. This time, a 21 year old kid was really inquisitive and wanted to know everything. It was awesome talking to him and to learn about his hopeful trips in the future.

I was nearly halfway complete with my planned mileage for the day when I took off from Yachats. From that town until Florence, I stopped at every vista and scenic byway that I passed. I rode along the coast for the majority of the remaining miles which made today’s riding the easiest out of all the days. Anyone with a pulse would have loved bicycling the route today. With breathtaking views that the Oregon coast had to offer, putting in miles is an easy task today.

Tomorrow calls for an area known for sand dunes and sand buggies.

Note: Couldn’t get more pictures to upload…. I’ll upload when I can.

Day 10 Bonuses

  • views, views, views
  • roughly 9 miles of downhill. No pedaling downhill. 30mph downhill. I’ve given up braking downhill
  • late starts and “light” mileage
  • camp being close to a town. Cell phone service and IPAs

Day Eleven – Honeyman State Park to Sunset Bay State Park

Day Mileage: 57 miles
Total Mileage: 679 miles

Yesterday was wet. All day. I woke up in Honeyman to a nice consistent rain. It didn’t stop until 1 or 2pm. It’s not like the rain back home rather it’s just always present. My gear was soaked but I could only figure one thing to do… head south.

The day was going to be short because of the rain. The scenery didn’t change much. Just a wet Oregon basketball court all day long. The miles went slower too. I can only assume because of what I just stated. As I pulled into North Bend and Coos Bay, I stopped to have dinner. I spoke with a lady that lived in OKC for 8 years. All the coastal towns I’ve hit haven’t been much since Cannon Beach. All real towns I suppose, unlike touristy Cannon Beach.

The fun started once I got to camp. The hiker/biker site was small so it was awesome. I ran into the same father/son team from the night before. They lived in Portland and were holding out today to wait for another member of their party. I also ran into a guy from Vancouver who started the same day I did and I had camped with 3 days prior at Cape Lookout State Park. We all chatted for a bit that night and I wandered away talking to this couple from Chicago. They were on a road trip and I had seen them the day before at South Beach State. Fun story to come about this couple.

So today, my plan is to make it to Mount Humbug State Park.

Day 11 Bonuses

  • a wet and foggy lake
  • finally, the sun!
  • camp and all the people I met

Day Twelve – Sunset Bay State Park to Humbug Mountain State Park

Day Mileage: 58 miles
Total Mileage: 737 miles

Today, began a bit wet just the same. But that quickly went away just as I set out. I said farewell to the father and son I had been talking to the past two days and said goodbye to the guy from Vancouver. He took off a bit before me, but planned to meet back up at Humbug.

The first twenty miles went by smooth and I was hungry as I came through Bandon. This was the first port town that seemed very quaint and very awesome. I made my way to the closest breakfast place and enjoyed eggs and pancakes and then I was on my way again. I then pulled into a scenic overlook not too far out of town and the Vancouver guy, Jörn, pulled in behind me. Again, we made plans for the next town and set out on our own pace.

The next town before Humbug was Port Orford. It had an incredible overlook where you could see whales coming up for air. Pretty surreal. I hung there a bit before going to meet up with Jörn for dinner. It was in a Port Orford that I met a guy who was from Langhorn, PA taking 3 weeks to go from Florence, OR to San Jose where his son and grandson live. Allen is from the same town near Philly that my family friends are from so it was fun to talk to him. He was also staying at Humbug so we made plans to meet there as well.

Humbug State Park was fantastic. Each hiker/biker site was on its own platform so you could pick and choose on how high you wanted your site. The beach was quite a hike, but well worth it. This was the first beach that was sunny and warm (not the water) since I could remember, probably Cannon Beach.

Day 12 Bonuses

  • the couple from the night before that I talked to for some time was heading south like I was. I didn’t think much about them after that morning because it wasn’t like I’d see them ever again…..

    Turns out, I come up this long hill and turn the corner to head back down this long stretch of flat land and I see this car parked on the side of the road with two people jumping up and down, yelling and cheering. It was them. I stopped to talk to them, forgetting to take a picture, and I was back on my way. It truly made my day that they took the time to stop and wait for me, just so they could yell and cheer. It was awesome.