Pacific Coast Bicycle Route – Day 21 – Washed Ashore

With a late start this morning after a breakfast at The Station in Bandon, Oregon, we only cycled about 28 miles today to Port Orford, Oregon. On our way out of Bandon, we stopped at the former workshops for the “Washed Ashore – Art from the Sea” organization.

Billboard for the Washed Ashore workshops
Billboard for the Washed Ashore workshops

The grounds around the workshop were filled with piles of marine debris and sorting troughs by type and color.

Banner for the Washed Ashore workshop
Banner for the Washed Ashore workshop
Piles of collected marine debris ready for the process
Piles of collected marine debris ready for the process
sorted by type and color
sorted by type and color
One trough filled with all kinds of shoes
One trough filled with all kinds of shoes
Inside workshop set up to do a dolphin
Inside workshop set up to do a dolphin
Completed eagle
Completed eagle
Detail of eagle's chest
Detail of eagle’s chest

It would have been interesting to have seen the students and artists at work on the projects. The photos don’t do justice to the completed projects. They were similar to the fish we saw yesterday in Bandon’s Old Town. If you are interested a traveling exhibit opens at the Smithsonian in DC on May 27, 2016  https://nationalzoo.si.edu/ActivitiesAndEvents/Celebrations/washed-ashore.cfm

And the website for the organization is washedashore.org- could make a great problem-based learning project!

A few miles outside of Bandon, the route became more rural as we were more inland today.

Baa-a-a-a
Baa-a-a-a
Cranberry bogs
Cranberry bogs

Sheep, cows, horses and cranberry bogs were part of the landscape. Even though we were back on the 101 Highway with several passing trucks, it wasn’t as busy as on the weekend.

Spent the day on busy highway 101. Being in the Pacific Northwest, there were "fir" too many trucks!
Spent the day on busy highway 101. Being in the Pacific Northwest, there were “fir” too many trucks!

We reached Port Orford, the westernmost settlement in the state of Oregon. It is also a small artistic fishing village where the forest and the mountains meet the ocean. Our lodging this evening has a beautiful view looking out over the Pacific Ocean and the local beach studded with rock formations.

Hill up to hotel
Hill up to hotel
View from the motel
View from the motel
View from the motel
View from the motel

Pacific Coast Bicycle Route – Day 20 – Seven Devils Road

An early morning start on a Sunday helped to avoid the traffic as we departed Coos Bay, with a steep hill to get over the ridge that overlooks the Bay.

Leaving Coos Bay, have to cycle over that hill in the background
Leaving Coos Bay, have to cycle over that hill in the background

Once we were out of the urban part of Coos Bay, it was “easy riding” as we cycled next to the South Slough, a canal-like waterway that connects Coos Bay to the Pacific Ocean.

Low tide in the South Slough, Charleston OR
Low tide in the South Slough, Charleston OR

We stopped in Charleston at the Crabby Cakes Bakery,  where scones had just come out of the oven. Umm -good!I also made a new friend.

King Charles Cavalier, 4 months old
King Charles Cavalier, 4 months old

Charleston is a little fish processing, sport-fishing village at the entrance of the South Slough into the Pacific Ocean. It was low tide and we saw lots of folks out clamming.

After our scrumptious “second breakfast” at the Bakery, we headed out of town  and turned onto Seven Devils Road. As we cycled up the first “hill”, I said to Bill I bet the seven devils refers to seven hills! I was right and some humorous cyclist had fun with comments painted on the road after each hill. See below.

#3 of Seven Devils
#3 of Seven Devils
Smart ___
Smart ___
last but not least
last but not least
right!
right!
I didn't walk any of them!
I didn’t walk any of them!

As we climbed the first hill, we noticed a fellow walking his bike up the hill, talking on the phone. I figured – hey, it’s Mother’s Day, he’s calling his mom. We stopped for a break at the top of the hill and the fellow made it to the top while we were resting. He shared his cycling stories, telling us he had been across the country, up to Montana, to Wyoming but it was snowing then over to Portland, OR and then on to the coast. We continued on our way and he kept standing there where we left him. A few miles down the road, a truck beeps its horn, our cyclist friend is riding in the truck and his bike is in the back.  We passed him standing on the side of Highway 101 about an hour later. We now figure that’s how he gets across country, using the bicycle as a prop so folks will pick him up.

Our "cross-country" hitch-cycling friend
Our “cross-country” hitch-cycling friend
Logged forest - Bill refers to the stumps as Oregon security fencing!
Logged forest – Bill refers to the stumps as Oregon security fencing!

Our ride was short today and we arrived in Bandon by noon. We were able to take advantage of the sunshine and walk around the “Old Town” section of Bandon- referred to as “The Southern Oregon Coast vacation destination”.  It is small and quaint and has a lighthouse. It has a unique community-based art project, Washed Ashore – art from the sea- folks help to pick up trash from the beaches and create “street art” from the trash. Very cool project!

Washed Ashore - art project
Washed Ashore – art project
More street art - Bandon
More street art – Bandon
Coquille River Lighthouse, Bandon
Coquille River Lighthouse, Bandon
Holy Trinity Church, Bandon
Holy Trinity Church, Bandon

Off to dinner – had planned to go to an Irish pub tonight but it is closed for Mother’s Day – typical Irish. So maybe Italian or seafood tonight.

PacificCoastBicycleRoute – Day 19- Coos Bay, The Bridge Less Traveled

I spoke too soon yesterday as today was a bit foggy and gray, but no rain. Our route today kept us on the main Highway 101 with a decent shoulder leaving Reedsport. After reaching the summit of the first hill, we could look out over Winchester Bay, and see the oyster and clam cultivation in the v-shaped levee.

Foggy Day in Winchester Bay - oyster and clam cultivation
Foggy Day in Winchester Bay – oyster and clam cultivation

Traveling through the last part of the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area, we finally saw the dunes! They do look a little unusual with fir trees growing out of them.

Finally, the dunes, Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area
Finally, the dunes, Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area

Since it is Saturday, many dune buggies are out on the dunes. We stopped for a quick warm-up coffee and snack at a little market called The Wagon Wheel, in Hauser, Oregon – where Bill was pulled away by the old car and truck.

1951 Oldsmobile
1951 Oldsmobile
late 50's or early 60's Ford Econoline
late 50’s or early 60’s Ford Econoline

As i finished my coffee, an older, local gentleman came up to me and said he really liked our LED lights and wished all cyclists used them. He said once the cyclists are in the shadow on the side of the road, you can’t see them. Then he proceeded to scare me out of my wits with a story about a recent cycling accident on the 101. He was behind a vehicle and saw a bicycle come over the vehicle – and then a piece a luggage. He thought stuff was falling off someone’s truck or trailer. Turns out the piece of luggage was a woman cyclist that had been hit. She didn’t survive the accident.
Again, we are doing our best to be safety conscious with our bright lights, bright colors, staying over on the shoulder as much as possible, and watching out for what’s behind us (Bill’s mirror) and what’s ahead. But the story sure unnerved me and I was very cautious and tense for the rest of the ride on the 101. As we approached Coos Bay there is a mile-long bridge that we didn’t take – high winds, not much space for bicycles, and my fear!

Coos Bay bridge
Coos Bay bridge

The route we are following maps out an alternate way that was about 10 miles longer, but it was nice to get off the Highway 101 for a bit.

Along the alternate route, east side of Coos Bay
Along the alternate route, east side of Coos Bay
Coos Bay, alternate route
Coos Bay, alternate route
Alternate route, Coos Bay
Alternate route, Coos Bay
Seen on the alternate route
Seen on the alternate route
Still smiling after the hills
Still smiling after the hills

We have stopped for the evening in Coos Bay and we’re just in time for their Tall Ships Festival… photos tomorrow!

Pacific Coast Bicycle Route – Day 18 – Inlets, Chasms, Creeks, and Dunes, oh my

Sunshine today, who said it always rains in the Pacific Northwest? We have been fortunate so far. We actually had a heat wave today, it was in the 70’s with a wind out of the north – nice to have a little tailwind to help climb the hills. And climb we did, right after leaving Yachats this morning  (after passing the folks exercising on the side of the river).

Exercising along the Yachats River
Exercising along the Yachats River

We cycled up through the Cape Perpetua headlands, managed by the Forest Service, beautiful views of the inlets, chasms and creeks. WE missed the impressive tide action that occurs during high tide, blowing the water up through the holes in the rocks for many feet. The views were still amazing.

Devil's Churn
Devil’s Churn
Devil's Churn, explained
Devil’s Churn, explained
Hard to stay upright on this bridge, just kidding
Hard to stay upright on this bridge, just kidding

As we reached the upper part of the climb, I would have to stop to look over the cliffs and I was particularly looking for sea lions. I lucked out and saw a few swimming in the surf.

Sea Lions! for free viewing
Sea Lions! for free viewing

A few miles up the road, one could pay $17 dollars to view the famous Sea Lion Caves, where we were told by our hotel clerk tonight that they are not always visible in the caves.

Hecata Head Lighthouse in the background, us in the foreground
Hecata Head Lighthouse in the background, us in the foreground

So, I felt pretty good, I got to see them free of charge.  After leaving the beautiful cliff-side, forested headlands, we stopped for lunch in Florence,

After lunch coffee drinking one for Dane - Dutch Bros. coffee raising money for ALS/MDA today
After lunch coffee drinking one for Dane – Dutch Bros. coffee raising money for ALS/MDA today

and then into the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area. One would expect to see sand dunes, but from the road we saw lakes and forest – not what I expected for Dunes!

In the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area
In the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area

The dunes exist closer to the ocean – 40 miles worth of dunes!  We have stopped for the day in Reedsport and hope to be in Coos Bay by tomorrow.

What kind of flowers?
What kind of flowers?

Pacific Coast Bicycle Route – Day 17 – The Oregon Coast “Rocks”

While checking out at the Best Western in Lincoln City, the hotel clerk and I conversed about her roots in Germany (she grew up in Wiesbaden and married an American soldier stationed there). We talked about our shared perceptions of the world as seen through the eyes of children growing up in Europe. We both acknowledged that living in different countries as children grow up seems to make one more tolerant of others who are different. As we cycled out from the hotel, the mural across the way echoed the theme of our conversation.

Mural -Diversity!
Mural -Diversity adds dimension to our world

Colors were brighter in the landscapes and seascapes today as the sun was shining. The winds were also blowing from the north, creating tailwinds for us cycling south, increasing our mph especially going uphill. The bridges were a little scary, but I managed.

Bridge from Newport over Yaquina Bay scary, but a school bus stayed behind us the whole way.
Bridge from Newport over Yaquina Bay scary, but a school bus stayed behind us the whole way.

As we cycled towards Yachats, we were routed on the 101 for most of the trip. One scenic bypass, The Otter Creek Loop was a one way road, a little lower on the cliffs than the 101. It was striped for two lanes, one for cyclists and pedestrians and the other for cars going one way.

Otter Creek Loop below Highway 101
Otter Creek Loop below Highway 101

It made for a nice, gentle climb towards Cape Foulweather. This Cape was discovered by James Cook in the 1770’s and so named because of the harsh weather. Winds could reach up to 100 mph.

Looking down on Agate Beach from Cape Foulweather
Looking down on Agate Beach from Cape Foulweather

We passed through the towns of Newport, Depoe Bay and Waldport, all unique little oceanside communities. Traveling during this time of year, we are not experiencing the traffic, the crowds, or the no vacancy signs on hotels.

We met two cyclists today, one gentleman was traveling from Moab to Seattle, the other was a young lady from England traveling the Oregon coast. We also met a young lady who had a few weeks off as a mentor teacher in Portland schools and was auto-touring  the coast of Oregon. Arlene, if you read this, I did ask if she knew Spencer – she didn’t.

Bill kept stopping today to take photos of the gorgeous outcroppings of rocks along the coast line – and with low tide some were more photogenic than others. Hope you enjoy the photos – and the title the Oregon Coast Rocks!

low tide rock display
low tide rock display
Shoreline as Rocky Creek empties into the Pacific
Shoreline as Rocky Creek empties into the Pacific
Broken Arches at Depoe Bay
Broken Arches at Depoe Bay

Pacific Coast Bicycle Route – Day 16 -Netarts to Lincoln City

We rolled out of Netarts at 7:00 AM, seems like we get going earlier and earlier. Again, there was no breakfast at the motel, so we cycled 20 miles to build up our appetite for breakfast. From the map profile we knew there would be two “good” hills today, the first one was just a few miles outside of Netarts. We followed the coast road for a few flat miles then began a gentle climb to an overlook above Netarts Bay.

Looking back over Netarts Bay to Netarts
Looking back over Netarts Bay to Netarts

This quiet morning ride was on a less-traveled road and provided 20 miles of very few vehicles. As we followed the Three Capes Scenic Route through the Sand Lake Recreation Area, we were amazed at the large area of sand dunes –

Sand Lake Recreation area - sand dunes
Sand Lake Recreation area – sand dunes

“1000 acres of sand dunes that begin at the Sand Lake estuary and extend to the northeast about 3.5 miles. The dunes are surrounded on three sides by a coastal mixed-conifer forest and on the west by the Pacific Ocean. The dunes are an example of an extended parabolic dune system. Dune vegetation is mostly European beach grass and shore pine.”
Leaving the dunes, we began to look for a breakfast place and found one similar to yesterday’s cafe – in Pacific City, the Village Coffee Shop. Fueled up with lots of carbs (waffles, french toast) we tackled the next 30 miles to Lincoln City. We traveled through the Siuslaw National Forest

Suislaw National Forest
Siuslaw National Forest

and had a delightful ride of 10 miles with just a few vehicles passing us. We climbed the last hill of the day and had a four mile downhill run, a little chilly on this overcast day.

Horse near Otis
Horse near Otis

As we reached the bottom of the hill, there was a quaint cafe in the crossroads called Otis.

Otis Cafe
Otis Cafe

Soup and hot chocolate warmed our innards and we headed out for the last 10 miles of the day. The only truck today that piqued Bill’s curiosity was the one at the Roadhouse where we ate dinner, “The Rusty Truck Brewery”.

Rusty Truck Brewery
Rusty Truck Brewery

Pacific Coast Bicycle Route – Day 15 – Tillamook Cheese and Ice Cream

Rockaway Beach doesn’t wake up in time to serve breakfast so we headed off this morning around 7:30 to the next town with a breakfast place open.

Garibaldi viewed from the other side of Tillamook Bay
Garibaldi viewed from the other side of Tillamook Bay

The Parkside Coffee House was a perfect choice in Garibaldi, Oregon with only about  5 tables. We lucked out as a guest was leaving and offered us her table. Delicious breakfast, coffee, and scones to go fueled us for the trip along the coast (read flat) today.

Along the way to Garibaldi
Along the way to Garibaldi
a closer look at that tree branch on the rock
a closer look at that tree branch on the rock

We arrived in Tillamook a few miles later and toured the famous Cheese Factory. Fascinating machinery  processes the cheese and can be viewed from the Observation Deck.

Tillamook Cheese Factory
Tillamook Cheese Factory

At the end of the self-guided tour there were several cheeses to sample and then a small cafeteria and the creamery – where Bill had his breakfast ice cream – two scoops of marionberry and blackberry.

Several folks had warned us away from the route that would have taken us past Three Capes (evidently there was a slide and a detour was in place). We took the suggested alternate route, not quite as scenic . While cycling on the alternate, an older gentleman in his pickup truck slowed way down to tell us to be very careful as this road was a “deathtrap”. Way to really make me feel safe, fellow. The only places I felt unsafe were on the curves.

We stopped in Netarts, another very small town on the beach.

View from our hotel, overlooking the Pacific
View from our hotel, overlooking the Pacific

Below the motel, a set of wooden steps wanders down the cliff to the beach. Since it was low tide, we could walk a long ways on the beach.

The beach below the motel
The beach below the motel

We thought we saw logs on the bar of sand across the water, but they turned out to be sea lions.

Sea Lions on our walk along Netarts Bay
Sea Lions on our walk along Netarts Bay

As we walked farther down the beach, we did see a baby that was either stranded from mom, or sick. Oregon law states do not touch the marine animals.

Stranded baby
Stranded baby

Dinnertime required another long walk to the only restaurant in town, but a good one, The Schooner, where Bill enjoyed a stout and another chowder. Methinks he thinks he’s in Ireland. It is green, there are lots of hills, and it is rainy.

Tomorrow we hope to reach Lincoln City – and the map profile says a few more hills.

Pacific Coast Bicycle Route – Day 14 – Trucks, Hills, and Headwinds

Our morning began with a tasty breakfast at the Osprey Cafe in Seaside.

My wonderful cycling mate and photographer. Yes, he does exist!
My wonderful cycling mate and photographer. Yes, he does exist!

Bill tried the arepas – a cornmeal and cream type pancake. I settled for traditional eggs and bacon. We sat outside as the sun warmed our spot at the picnic tables and we could keep an eye on our bikes. After breakfast we headed out of town to tackle the 3 hills

Cyclist's comment on the first hill - halfway up !
Cyclist’s comment on the first hill – halfway up – on a guardrail

that showed on our map profile, stopping at the top of each one to take a breather, drink some water, and also photograph the gorgeous scenery.

Top of the first hill, outside Cannon Beach, view of Haystack Rock
Top of the first hill, outside Cannon Beach, view of Haystack Rock
Scene from the top of the third hill today, looking down on Manzanita
Scene from the top of the third hill today, looking down on Manzanita

Downhills were quick and most vehicles including the trucks either slowed down for us or gave us plenty of room.

Vehicles are cautioned to share the road with cyclists! Most do!
Vehicles are cautioned to share the road with cyclists! Most do!

We even cycled through a tunnel today at Arch Cape.

Tunnel at Arch Cape
Tunnel at Arch Cape

Before entering the tunnel, cyclists push a button that activates flashing lights at the entrance and exit to let motorists know that cyclists are in the tunnel and the speed is lowered to 30 mph. Pretty cool. But very noisy. I’m glad it wasn’t a long tunnel.

View of Nehalem Bay
View of Nehalem Bay
Looking back on that last hill we climbed - Neahamnie Mountain (in the background)
Looking back on that last hill we climbed – Neahamnie Mountain (in the background)

We have stopped for the evening in Rockaway Beach and the waves are rolling in right outside our window.

Pacific Ocean right outside our window.
Pacific Ocean right outside our window.

Won’t need the air conditioner on tonight for white noise.

Pacific Coast Bicycle Route – Day 13 – Seaside, Oregon

Another gorgeous, sunny day (unusual in these parts) greeted us as we cycled towards our destination of Seaside, Oregon. We left Astoria

Leaving Astoria, cycling along Young's Bay
Leaving Astoria, cycling along Young’s Bay

by way of two short bridges across Young’s River and then the Lewis and Clark River. We cycled past Fort Clatsop, a Lewis and Clark National Historic Site. Then we followed a winding road

Along Lewis and Clark Rd, near Astoria
Along Lewis and Clark Rd, near Astoria

through the valley with short rollercoaster hills, with one long hill before we viewed the Pacific from the summit and headed down

Heading downhill towards Seaside
Heading downhill towards Seaside

into the town of Seaside. With temperatures in the 80’s, families had come to the beach for the beautiful weather.

Seaside Beach with headlands we will have to cycle over tomorrow
Seaside Beach with headlands we will have to cycle over tomorrow

Since our hotel room  wasn’t ready, we cycled around town, checking out a few of the shops, picking up snacks at a mom and pop market, finding socks at the Eddie Bauer outlet and Bill picked up WD-40 at the local Ace.

We cycled next to the Pacific on the Promenade, a busy boardwalk similar to Virginia Beach – but much more sand and dunes between the Promenade and the Pacific.

Scene from the Promenade Boardwalk, Seaside, Oregon
Scene from the Promenade Boardwalk, Seaside, Oregon

This evening we walked the Promenade to dinner and back, fewer people as most folks have to return to work tomorrow. Bill is sampling the chowders each night and claims that Pacific Coast seafood is much better than back home.

Tomorrow’s weather will be a few degrees cooler, only in the 70’s and we are headed over some hilly headlands and rocky cliffs towards Manzanita, Oregon (as long as I can continue to make it up the hills).

Just in case we have a Tsunami – we must be prepared.

Tsunami Evacuation Route
Tsunami Evacuation Route

Pacific Coast Bicycle Route – Day 12- Finally, Oregon

This morning dawned bright and sunny. We left at 7:30 hoping to cover 4 miles to the ferry by 8:00 with no hills to slow us down. A short bridge took us across part of the Columbia RIver to Puget Island,

Bridge from Cathlamet to Puget Island, across part of the Columbia RIver
Bridge from Cathlamet to Puget Island, across part of the Columbia RIver

where we caught a ferry that took us the rest of the way across the Columbia to Westport, Oregon. The ferry had been out of commission all week and we ended up being the only passengers on the short ride 1.5 mile crossing.

Ferry ride to Oregon
Ferry ride to Oregon

Leaving the ferry dock,

Oregon, finally
Oregon, finally

we took a short breakfast break at the Berry Patch Restaurant. In a separate kitchen from the restaurant kitchen, the staff cook all kinds of jellies and jams from all kinds of berries and fruits, including elderberry, loganberry, marionberry, raspberry, blackberry, red currant, strawberry, and blueberry. They even had a selection of fruit wines – including rhubarb – which I purchased for Bill. Back on our bikes, we traveled Highway 30 another 27 miles along the Columbia River. We had quite a few hills to climb again today, some were 2 mile ascents (slow and gradual) and 2 mile descents that were covered quickly.

I know, not quite a tall hill
I know, not quite a tall hill

Once we reached the outskirts of Astoria, we were able to leave the highway for a riverside trail.

View from the Riverside Trail, Astoria, Oregon
View from the Riverside Trail, Astoria, Oregon

After a few miles on the trail we thought we heard barking dogs, only to discover as we got closer, it was a sea lion colony.

Barking sea lions
Barking sea lions
Lazing on the docks, Astoria
Lazing on the docks, Astoria

We have stopped for the day in Astoria and plan to cycle to Seaside tomorrow. Bill may get up early and ride the bridge we did not take. I will have my second cup of coffee and enjoy my book.

The bridge we did not take, 2 miles long
The bridge we did not take, 2 miles long
Finished with Map 1, on to Map 2, 12 days -398 miles
Finished with Map 1, on to Map 2, 12 days -398 miles