Sunday, June 16, 2019

Day 15 - Washburne to Winchester Bay

Distance - 43 miles

Okay, we will admit it. We are sore!

Today we started with an uphill right out of the campground and it wasn't so bad. We passed by the Hecata Head Lighthouse, and smelled one of America's largest sea lion cave on the way by. We were too early to catch the elevator down, but the smell from above was enough.

Then we entered the dunes! There were dune buggys and ATVs everywhere! We found ourselves wishing we were on those rather than our bikes today. Everything felt like it was uphill.

We stopped to check out Honeyman Campground, the second largest in the state. We hiked up a dune and watched people boarding down the sand. Maybe it's the Canadian in me... But I think I'd take snow over sand - the falling didn't look very fun. With snow you also don't have to clear sand out of your ears for days! There was a beautiful fresh water lake with people kayaking around it here too. We didn't stop for a swim, the wind was blowing a little cold today!

We stopped for lunch at the Dunes Day Use Area and looked out overtop the expanse of dunes. There were some hikers down below who we didn't envy, the sand was hot and wind was blowing hard!

We headed out towards our camp for the night and suffered up one final hill. The scenery switches from dunes to wooded forest with freshwater lakes and back. It reminds us of the BC/Washington coast.

Finally we arrive at the campground, set up our tent and crawl in for a quick nap.

Once rested we walk over to Umpqua Lighthouse and out to Winchester Bay for dinner, about 2 miles. The walk takes us past several campsites with no trees, where every site has a massive RV, a truck, and a dune buggy or ATV (or several). The wind is blowing so hard we aren't sure how camping there could be pleasant. We then walk past a site flying a flag that says vote Trump 2020 - Keep America Great. Perhaps that explains it.

On the walk back to camp we can see our breath! It doesn't feel that cold, but according to the campsite host it is colder than usual.

We hit the tent before 8pm, hoping for a good night sleep and an easier day tomorrow!

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Day 14 - Beverly Beach to Washburne

We woke early to another cloudy day, and some noisy campers next door. We make new friends as we pack up camp... An older gentleman we met the previous night who continues to tell us the same stories on repeat. He brings me a rock to inspect while his friend asks Chris for medical advice on his dog's paw. They're kind and have good intentions, but we eagerly pack our gear and head out on the road. Chris even changed my brake pads and added little time to our morning routine. No... The hills have not been scary and I have not been using my brakes loads. Okay, my brakes were a little worn to start and some of the downhills have been a little scary.

First stop was a detour to the lighthouse in Agate. The winds are strong this morning and we get blown around by the first cross wind of the day. The sun has come out in full force now!

We enter the town of Newport and find another cute little bakery for breakfast, the Panini Bakery. This city claims to be 'the friendliest', and our experience doesn't disappoint.
We continue towards the famed Newport bridge and are stopped by a lovely couple who tell us all about what's to come. Several others we meet today tell us everything from nearby restaurants and breweries not to miss to the weather forecast, and many caution us about the winding road at the end of our day.

We've biked over lots of bridges now, they have the best views, but usually very little shoulder. If you want to look around you'll probably bike right into traffic. Newport was par for the course.

We stop at many other pullouts, the coastline here is rocky and stunning with beaches all around.

We stop for lunch just before Yachats (did they just spell yacht wrong?). Look ma I'm not JUST eating donuts and ice cream!

In Yachats we offset our vegetables by hitting up the local fish n chip stand! Giant bottles of tartar sauce should always be a thing.

The last 10ish miles through Cape Perpetua is stunning. This coast is so beautiful. The road people warned us about wasnt even as bad as some of the sections we've been through and the hills were made much easier by the crazy tailwind we had. We could feel the wind pushing us up the hill. It was so windy at one point our shirts started blowing up our backs and we thought we may arrive at our campground shirtless!

The rolling hills to the campground were so much fun. Although the cross winds on the corners made riding unpredictable, the tailwind made us feel like we could fly. As we arrive at he campground for the night, we let out collective "WAAAA's" because we didnt want to stop biking.

We set up camp (oddly the only cyclists here on a Friday), hike some more nature trails, and prepare to get sandblasted through the land of dunes tomorrow!

Friday, June 14, 2019

Day 13 - Devil's Lake to Beverly Beach

Distance - 20 miles

Instead of taking full rest days and having some longer 60+ mile days, we're splitting the long days into two shorter days so we get to rest but don't get restless!

Today we woke up in a cloud! It was misty but not too cold, a perfect spring day.

We biked 10 miles out of Lincoln City to Depoe to the Depoe Baykery for breakfast (business card at bottom of post). The biking was mostly just trying not to get hit by houses (oversize loads). The bakery was definitely the highlight. Freshly baked donuts for breakfast are never a bad thing. We went back for seconds.

Biking through Depoe was awesome, the weather by this point has cleared and it's nice and sunny out. Depoe has one of the world's smallest navigable harbours, and is the closest harbour to the Pacific Ocean so there's lots of activity.  There's lots of whale watching tours run out of here. We saw lots of whale watching boats on our ride, but sadly no whales.

The ride from Depoe is a scenic route past Otter Rock (a giant rock out in the water) and Devil's Punchbowl (a giant hole in the rock in the coast, possibly from a collapsed sea cave). The riding was scenic and had really cool trees with green trunks from all the vines growing up them.

We arrive at Beverly beach campground in the early afternoon. Sadly the beach is too windy to enjoy, but we have a relaxing afternoon walking the nearby nature trails.

Now it's time for tea and card games as the mist rolls back in!

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Day 12 - Cape Lookout to Devil's Lake

This morning we are woken up at 1 am to a raccoon pulling one of our pannier bags out from under the tent fly! There isn't any food in it, but I guess it still smelled tastey. I sent Chris out to investigate and we secured everything else, we faired much better than the hikers beside us!


True to his nature, today starts with a massive uphill climb right out of the campsite - one only someone as crazy as Chris can appreciate. The climbs will get bigger as we approach California, but this is one of the best so far.

We stop halfway up the hill to take pictures, and Chris receives several text messages from his family wishing him a happy birthday! I'd feel bad that I forgot, but he did too! What day is it? Where are we?

We continue on through dunes and pines forests that smell a lot like we're at home in the Okanagan, through farm land with loads of cows, then back along the ocean . On our way we see two of the most interesting roadkill so far, a porcupine and a possum? Are there possums here?

We stop at MegPies, an amazing bakery in Pacific City, and get donuts and rice krispy squares. We decide that's not enough food so we get some waffles too (and eggs and sausages and hash browns).

After a bit we head up another big winding hill. The hill is the old highway, and is a steady grade for several miles. It's serene and lush and beautiful, and crosses several small rivers and streams.
The ride down the other side is winding and fun... For Chris!! I was maybe a little heavy on the brakes.

Somewhere along the way I swallowed my first bug.. we figure one in 12 days isn't bad!

After setting up camp at Devil's Lake, we head into Lincoln City and pick up all the ingredients for a proper camping meal - hot dogs!!! The evening is spent roasting hot dogs and marshmallows over the fire.

At the camp we meet a couple from New Zealand who is doing the Oregon coast trail in between sections of the PCT. They are very inspiring! Maybe we'll go there next ;)

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Day 11 - Nehalem Bay to Cape Lookout

I've got my toes in the water, ass in the sand not a worry in the world, beef jerky in my hand - life is good today!
The best quote of today - "I'm not sure what I thought cycling the west coast would be like, but this isn't what I thought!"
Thankfully we both agree that it's been much better than expected!

We started today at the usual time, getting up just after 7 am. In Washington the mornings were cool and we were in our down jackets to start. This morning there was not a chill in the breeze as we rolled out in shorts and a t-shirt.

Our first stop was a quiet little diner where we feasted on french toast and pancakes before heading 25 miles to the famous Tillamook cheese factory!

The bay views we get today are stunning, and the hills are still rolling!

We have perfect timing and get to watch the steam engine roll through Rockaway Beach. I love small beach towns. Our favourites so far are Long Beach, Cannon Beach, and Rockaway Beach!

We stop 4 miles short of the cheese factory at the Tillamook smoke house to pick up some jerky for the road. The staff are incredibly friendly and we are treated to abundant samples of pepperoni and beef jerky. Their sales tactics worked, because we walked out of there with 2.5 lbs of jerky! I'm drooling just writing about it.

We roll up to the cheese factory and feel a bit like monkeys in a zoo. We stand in a long line to get sub par samples of cheese (in comparison to the meat samples), and then after a brief stop in the gift shop (sorry we didn't get you any souvenirs, we used all our weight for the jerky) we find the ice cream! We are herded through the line and barely have time to contemplate flavours as the place is just packed! The ice cream was delicious, but there were far too many people for our liking - we have been mostly in lonely hiker/biker campsites so far!
We brave the storm of people one last time to get pineapple cream sodas. Yes we have an eating problem... But it's hot outside, okay?

We stop in town to pick up groceries for the evening, mostly fresh fruit and vegetables ;)

We wind our way to Cape Lookout, our campsite for the night. The hiker/biker campsites here are nestled in the trees right by the beach (in contrast to some of the other campgrounds that have been open fields near the road, or anything in between).

Here we are treated to a nice warm beach - finally the wind isn't blowing hard enough to send us running for the hills... err... dunes!

We finally stayed up late enough to watch the sunset!

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Day 10 - Fort Stevens to Nehalem Bay

Hellooo Oregon!
My are you ever hot and hilly ;)

Our first full day in Oregon starts with a trip to Walmart to get fuel. So much excitement!

We then head into Fort Clatsop and Lewis and Clark National Park! We take a short unitentional detour into the ranger station before we find our way.

The morning is a beautiful ride through farmers fields, with lots of pretty ponies! Can I have one? We also spot a coyote stalking something in the grasses.

The hills are rolling. We shoot out onto the promenade in Seaside where we eat breakfast and watch people play beach volleyball.

It's a short 8 miles into Cannon Beach, which should be our lunch stop, but we're both rather full from breakfast still. We stop at the market to pick up a few snacks for later and accidentally end up in the local candy shop. One ice cream cone, one gingerale, and a large bag of saltwater taffy and we've found ourselves the perfect lunch! So much for not being hungry....

We haul ourselves over the two final climbs with amazing ocean views and a rather long feeling uphill tunnel before arriving in Manzanita. We stop for dinner groceries, and bike a bit further to our camp for the night - Nehalem Bay.

We walk out to the beach to get sandblasted by the wind and watch some kite surfers, then wander out to peaceful Nehalem Bay where people are riding horses along the waterfront.


Monday, June 10, 2019

Day 9 - Cape Disappointment to Fort Stevens

It's sunny!!!
We have a lazy morning and pack up slowly as the last of our laundry dries.

We finally understand the name of the park, because we are quite disappointed to be leaving while there's so much more to explore.

We head out mid-morning and are treated to rolling hills, with a view of the 4 mile long bridge to Astoria. We get to go through our first tunnel, and it was as fun as it sounds. We pressed the bikes in tunnel light and held up an RV which was already holding up traffic. SO FUN! ..But it was actually really cool.

We pass through McGowan, and wave hello to Chris' ansestry - though there seems to be no resemblance here but the name.

The 4 mile bridge to Astoria was also rather fun, except for the hill on the far side! There was more shoulder on the bridge than a lot of the highway, and traffic was light.


Astoria has a Sunday market and lots of breweries and cideries. We find a nice cafe for lunch and people watch for a bit. I want to stay and eat kettle corn and cotton candy, but the wind is blowing unfavourably to get to our camp, so we reluctantly leave town.

We have a headwind for the last 10 miles to camp as we pass through a few more small towns on our way to Fort Stevens.

Today ends up being 30 miles and not the 22 we were promised. But it's okay. We aren't bitter at all. And our butts aren't at all sore. Ok maybe a little, but it's actually too sunny and beautiful out to be anything more than a little miffed.

We set up camp - we have pick of the hiker biker sites yet again... Where are you bikers? - and head out to the beach to see an old shipwreck and watch some kite surfers.

Oh yeah - the campsite has lockers with charging stations and again... showers!!!!

While eating dinner, a couple bikers roll in and set up. We chat for a bit. They're retired and spending a year or two biking all over the country. Sign me up!

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Day 8 - Bruceport to Cape Disappointment

Today is our last day in Washington, and despite the name - it does not disappoint!

The ride today was 46 miles. We chose to split the 60+ mile ride to Astoria into two days, today's 46 and tomorrow's 26. We've had a big week of riding and we're both feeling it!

This morning we rode rolling hills through nature reserves, and several bridges across rivers and streams.
This afternoon was winding highway with no shoulder alongside the ocean, and thankfully very little traffic.

The town of Long Beach was like a fairground with carousels and go karts lining the main street! The sun even came out as we turned onto the discovery trail to bike a beautiful path along the longest beach in the world! People drive their cars right out on the beach, and it looks awesome! We even rode right past a wedding! Why are we already married? Can we get married again on this beach?

We wind our way along the beach and then uphill to one of two lighthouses in the area. We find another wedding party taking photos here - it's that incredible!

We arrive at the campground at Cape Disappointment to full sunshine and free showers!

As I write this we are sitting on top of a hill in the glorious sunshine, listening to a free concert in the campground with an ocean backdrop.

Not a day has passed where we haven't been blown away by the people or scenery out here. Thank you Washington!! Can't wait to see what Oregon has in store!

Saturday, June 8, 2019

Day 7 - Westport to Bruceport

We wake up to sunshine and pack up our tent dry!!! We are so lucky. Then we spent 15 minutes hiding under a tree waiting for a rain shower to pass.
Will this be the day we finally get poured on?!

Today's ride starts down the coast and is relatively flat. We pass a few nice campgrounds and lots of little touristy shops. Maybe not your typical tourist shops, these ones were loaded with everything you could think of and had so many signs out front it was impossible to tell what they were actually selling! Not sure if you want lawn art, ice cream, kettle corn, or a kettle?! They have it all! We were too afraid to stop.

We rode through Grayland Campground and ate our breakfast there. Once again, another beautiful spot! Also have we mentioned Peanut Butter is the new hot sauce? We put that shit on everything!

The rest of the ride to the town of Raymond is oceanside and stunning! We can see across the bay to where we will be camping tonight, and it doesn't exactly look dry over there. We arrive in Raymond and have lunch at a local diner. This is where the rain starts and doesn't stop.
We hit a grocery store in South Bend, and hang out in McDonald's to wait out the worst of the rain. I ordered a stroop waffle mcflurry with extra stroop and it was about the best think ever! Who said rainy days aren't for ice cream? They are wrong!
As I'm sitting there with my icecream, a gentleman comes up and gives me $20. He says he's been touring a ton of places, and to use it to get our next meal! People are amazing!

We get a break in the rain and go for it - it's only 10 miles to camp. The break doesn't last long. We finally get what we've been avoiding for days. Rain, rain, rain!!! There's a really nice biking path out of South Bend, I'm sure it would be even more stunning in the sunshine.
We passed a catamaran sales place, and almost bought one to sail back home in!

We make it to our campsite soaking wet. We thought since it was a weekend the place would be busy - but the weather helped keep people away!

The camp caretaker is wonderful and let's us set up under the group shelter, so we have a dry place to set up and hang our gear!

A reflection on week 1 as we sit snuggled in the tent surrounded by warm happy down fluffiness:
-Bike touring is wild and incredible.
-Roadkill is identifiable 75 percent of the time.
-Please send food.
-People are so amazing there isn't a word or feeling to describe it.