Friday, October 30, 2009

Port Orford to Brookings

Captions from the top: Greg feeling the power after a great descent to the ocean in the sun, Pedaling out on the coast, Staci this pressure canner is for you!, Whale spouts, Pretty ocean shots, Us posing for the camera, and another beauty shot
October 29
Port Orford to Brookings OR
60 miles

We had a beautiful day of riding today. The sun was shining for the entire day and we actually stopped about fifteen minutes into the ride to change into shorts and tee shirts. We joked that we might even get a sunburn if we were lucky. We rode through Humbug Mountain State Park, where the road left the coast for a little ways and wound through a narrow, beautiful canyon. We made great time and were at Gold Beach before we knew it. Immediately after Gold Beach we had a large climb from what it showed on our map. The climb ended up being high, but very gradual and it didn't wear us out. We even had a guy in a minivan coming from the other direction turn around and follow us back down the descent and then ask us if he could take our picture at the bottom. Our fan club I guess. The descent was awesome and it felt so good to feel the warm air and sunshine on our bare legs.

We rolled into this gorgeous section of the coast with beaches and jagged rocks like monuments. Soon after we stopped at a pullout to take pictures and a man also looking out told us that there were whales out there. We waited and watched and then finally we saw spouts. We watched for about 20 minutes and I would guess there were probably five or more whales. We think they were Grey whales. It was really cool because it the Greg's first time seeing a whale. The whole day had great scenery and we got into Brookings and our campground around 5:20PM. It would have been even earlier if it were not for a flat we got about a quarter mile outside of town. Tonight we celebrated our first five-hundred miles of the trip and our first two weeks on the bikes at Pancho's Mexican Restaurant. We had some really filling dinners and some drinks and slept really soundly that night. The trip distance on my bike reads 550 miles today.

Another note about southern Oregon: cranberry production is the #1 economic driver. We saw many cranberry bogs and fields and many were scattered along the roadway because this is the cranberry harvest time. We even saw a machine harvesting from a flooded bog.


More on the cranberries, it was pretty weird riding along and seeing all of these red marble sized orbs on the roadside. We realized they were cranberries after a large old dump-truck sputtered out in front of us along the highway. The back of it was heaped with just harvested cranberries. They blow off the top of the truck on the way to the processing plant. They were fun to see on the road and I purposely tried to line my tires up so I could squish them as we rode by. Ahh the simple pleasures in life. Cranberry squashing! The bogs were interesting to see. Each bog has a berm neatly dug out around it that acts as a dam. Then the bog can be flooded and the berries float to the top for harvesting. Cool.

Another crazy thing happened today... Dani mentioned in the earlier post that we saw some other bicycle tourists, and we ran into them and another couple in the same day. It is odd knowing we are not the only ones out here riding our bikes down the coast. We had been fooled into thinking we were the only people riding bikes down the coast and it made us feel a bit like crazy pioneers. But, it is also nice to know that there are others braving this wet fall weather and we are not completely insane.

Right before we arrived in Brookings, we saw whales! The first time I have ever seen them. We didn't really see the whole whale or anything like that because, obviously, they are in the ocean, but they were very close to the beach. They were at least five of them and we could see glimpses of their backs and tails and they swam around, but the easiest way to spot them was their spouts. When the whales exhale their breath hits the cold ocean air and creates a steam column 10-15 feet tall that looks like smoke. We are no experts, but we think they were probably grey whales. Very cool to see.


Port Orford to ...?

I just have to write this one comment for today before we've even gotten out of the hotel room. Greg and I just saw two tourists chugging down the road past us!!! They are the first bicycle tourists we've seen on this entire trip and we are so excited we want to catch up with the only other people crazy enough to be riding their bikes right now on the Oregon Coast. I'll write more later!


Thursday, October 29, 2009

Denmark to Port Orford OR.....and it rained

Denmark to Port Orford
10 miles

We stayed at our KOA until about noon doing laundry and working on our blog. Thank goodness for clean clothes! Within minutes of leaving the campground we ran into a fine rainy mist. It was deceivingly wet for how light it looked and we were completely soaked within ten minutes. We kept riding in the gusting wind and rain for ten miles into Port Orford, where we went to the public library for an hour. we got some blogs entered and then rode to the next cafe we saw and had some burritos and shivered, soaking wet. We decided the only option we really had was to get a motel room because we were too cold to keep going in the wind and rain. Visibility was poor, so it was not the ideal riding situation. We called Greg's mom Sherry and she looked for a cheap room for us (the library kicked us off the internet after 1 hour). When she called back she let us know she had booked a room for us. We were so excited we just couldn't wait to get inside, dry our clothes, and get a hot shower. Thanks Sherry! We spent the rest of the night writing more, eating cookies, watching the news and doing some internet research for jobs and a new vehicle for me. hopefully tomorrow goes a little better.


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Umpqua to Denmark, Oregon that is...

Umpqua Lighthouse to Denmark, OR
71 miles

We packed up pretty quickly this morning and were so thrilled that we might be out of camp before 10 AM. It was 9:20 and we were about to roll out when I looked down to see I had a flat tire. We quickly changed the tire and pulled out the two small shards of glass embedded in the tire. It was 9:50! we technically got out of camp before 10, by a hair. I am also quite pleased to announce that my idea for what I like to call a "coon hang" has been successful. As you may have read from our first stay at Oregon State Parks, the raccoon problem is rampant. So I took a lesson from Yellowstone and our "bear hangs" and hang all of our food from a rope on a tree branch each night.

Now, Oregon State Parks are well aware of their raccoon issues and just warn visitors to put all food in their car or RV at night. They should think about the hikers and bikers who don't have a car. Just a side note.

Anyway, today we rode through an area of Oregon where there are tons of sand dunes. Riding ATVs is big here. We rode until we came to the bridge north of North Bend, where we had to walk our bikes over a bridge that was about a mile long. While it was slow going, I'm sure glad we didn't ride on the busy road. It actually refreshed my leg muscles to walk for a while and I had a lot of energy when we began to ride again in North Bend/Coos Bay. After leaving those towns and downing some locally made chocolate milk, we began up the Seven Devils Road. It was a very hilly road with a rather steep climb. At the start of it, misfortune struck us again as a spoke broke on Greg's rear wheel. Thankfully we repaired the spoke with a cool Kevlar emergency spoke in about a half an hour. We kept riding and near the top of this twisty road met a couple of old cyclists. One was 71 and the other was 67 and they told us they were riding 57 miles today with 2,800 feet in climbing. What a couple of badasses. We talked for awhile and they shared some stories and bike knowledge with us before urging us to get on our way if we planned to camp at Langlois. We rode into Bandon and got groceries. The town of Bandon is nice and the view of the ocean and the rocks out at sea are beautiful. We didn't get to take pictures because we were in a hurry to get to camp. Only 13 more miles, which turned out to be 16.5 miles. I was getting really tired that last stretch with my seat aching and energy very low. Thank goodness for Greg's encouragement and iced gingersnap cookies. We got to Langlois and found out that there are no campgrounds in town, so we rode to Denmark and stayed at a KOA. We even found out that our friend Eli, from Missoula, is just four days ahead of us on his bike and stayed at this place as well. We had a chili dinner with salad and fell asleep exhausted after hot showers. Goodnight!


I have learned a few things about bikes and touring so far. First, I am just way too big. I have the biggest bike frame (62 cm) almost any widely available bike companies sell, and I am really finding out how it is just too small for me. I bought a new seat post and it alleviated my knee problem, but now I am sitting much higher so I have to bend over more to reach that handle bars. To fix this would require a new hugely tall stem that would not only look ridiculous, but I would have to buy yet another part. I think I will just try to adapt to the more leaned over position. I did think that we were both fine with the tires we had (Panaracer Paselas) but I am coming to find out I was wrong about that too. They are just not rugged enough for the beating we are handing out. The tread is just disappearing on my rear tire, and as you can tell we have had a fair amount of flats. I see why $60 per tire tires might be worth it instead of $20. We will wear these out completely and then trade up. I also knew that at some point my rear wheel would give out, but i didn't think it would be so soon. I snapped a spoke off not at the elbow, but at the threads. Hopefully the Kevlar spoke will do for awhile until I can get the spoke replaced, but eventually I will probably need a new wheel all together. The original was little better than junk. Someone start making big bikes for big guys that are reasonably priced.


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Washburn to Umpqua

Captions from the top: Dani entering the Gardiner in Oregon, Sea lions from afar all of those little things that look like rock are sea lions, Sea lions for the last two.
Carl G. Washburn State Park to Umpqua Lighthouse State Park
Day 11-43 miles

We left the comfort of our yurt this morning. Oh, how comfortable it was. How warm and dry we were. We got out of there at 11 AM, which was probably because we liked having a nice dry place to sleep, eat and dry our clothing and tent. We also saw some awesome bright red and bright yellow mushrooms and a salamander at the yurt.

We had a little oatmeal for breakfast and we were starving when we rolled in to Florence. We found a neat little place called "Kathleen and Nina's Restaurant." We decided to get a second breakfast/lunch there and it was amazing. Now I know what all the retired people in Florence do all day. They hang out and K&Ns. We ordered omelets and they came with toast and homemade peach jam. It was really good. The omelets were huge and so tasty. The home fries came with homemade gravy on them and we also had a side of biscuits and gravy. The sign on the building says "You can't say Yummy enough." They are right!

We rode our bikes past Sea Lion Caves, which are the biggest sea caves in the world. Before we got there we heard a barking noise from below us on the cliff, and there were enormous numbers of sea lions lounging on the beach below and swimming in the surf. We were very excited to see the pinnipeds because several times before we had spotted "kelp seals." It went kind of like this..."GREG!! SEALS!!! look at the seals there are so many seals!!!" Greg takes a photo and zooms in, "nope, its kelp Dani. Not seals." "aww.....darn! I was so excited." This probably happened three times before we actually saw seals, or, sea lions.

That night Greg made an amazing dinner of pizza. We got some precooked pizza crusts, sauce, pepper, onion, zucchini, cheese, and some of Don's dehydrated tomatoes. We fitted the pizza crusts into our skillet and then loaded them with the ingredients and cooked them over the MSR. They came out SO good, with the crusts toasted and everything hot, the cheese acting as a lid for the other ingredients. I wish we had a picture of this because it was so awesome, good looking and tasty. I couldn't believe they came out so good being cooked over the blow torch that is the MSR stove. Nice job Greg :)


Monday, October 26, 2009

Yachats to Carl B Washburn State Park

Captions from the top: Greg Writing the blog in the yurt, Yurt ceiling, yurt wall, yurt bed, Crazy mushrooms!, salamander.
Yachats to Carl G. Washburn Memorial State Park 10/26/09
Day 10- 10 miles

In the middle of the night, the rain really started coming down at the Cape Perpetua Campground. At a little after 7:00 am we were both starting to stir when our alarms went off. Minutes later I thought heard a vehicle coming down the road, the closed road. Oh God, I thought, this is going to be bad. The vehicle approached and didn't sound like it was slowing down, it had just gone past our camp and I thought we might be in the clear when I heard the brakes come on hard. The vehicle went into reverse and then pulled straight so that the headlights were bearing down upon us. Then, the horn started to honk, on-off, on-off, on-off. "Dani," I said, "You stay in here I will go talk to him." Before I could get out of my sleeping bag and look out of the tent lights started flashing and I heard a car door open and close. "Are you awake?" a male voice yelled angrily. "Yes," I called back. At this point the man was standing outside but the tent fly was closed so I couldn't see him. "What do you think you are doing here? This is a closed campground," the man huffed angrily. "Well," I said, "The sign said road closed but we didn't see a sign that said the campground was closed." "Oh give me a break,." He barked back. "Do you know you are messing with the Federal Government? Pack up and get out of here!" With that he got back in his truck and drove away. We quickly got dressed and picked up camp in the rain. I am happy to report that this little run in led to our fastest camp take-down time ever; 40 minutes! At least I am being positive.

As soon as we hit the road on our bikes, the heavens opened and rain really started to come down. I think we would have been drier if we jumped into the ocean. The wind was coming straight from the South into our faces sometimes gusting easily up to 30 mph and maybe more. Needless to say, our progress was somewhat hampered by environmental conditions. We made hay to the little town of Searose Beach hoping for breakfast and a warm dry place to sit, but there were none. We continued to ride and the rain continued to hammer down. Now I see how this place receives 90 inches of precipitation per year. We finally arrived at the Carl Washburn State Park and by luck they had a yurt, or little circle shaped cabin, up for rent. We snatched it up and decided to take the rest of the day off and it has been a good choice. It has rained all day long. Sometimes the rain slows a bit, but it is always raining. Oddly, there has even been some lightning and thunder. We, however, have been staying nice and warm and dry in our yurt. These cool little huts have heaters and nice wood floors. A great place to spend a rainy day reading and going through our gear. Hopefully we can make some big miles in the next few days to come and get out of this beautiful, but rainy place.


Sunday, October 25, 2009

Beverly Beach State Park to Yachats

Caption from top: Pelicans and other sea birds on rock by lighthouse, View from lighthouse, Yaquina Head lighthouse
Beverly Beach State Park to Yachats 10/25/09
Day 9- 35 miles

Beverly Beach is a great campground along the Oregon Coast. It has the nicest showers amenities of any campground we have stayed at yet. The showers are each in their own individual room, and they get hot! For some reason we were out of camp almost an hour earlier than normal this morning, but we didn't even get up any earlier. Within a short distance, a lingering pain in my (Greg) knee started to flair up. I am dragging a bunch of weight up these hills and the strain on my quads is pulling upward very hard on the top of my knees. My right knee had a sharp pain on every hard down stroke of the pedal, so hills were quite painful. I was basically trying to pedal with one leg.

We stopped after about 5-6 miles at the Yaquina Head Lighthouse. This is the tallest lighthouse on the Oregon Coast, about 140 feet. Surprisingly, we were allowed to go to the top and even check out the lantern. This was a very old lighthouse, 1860's I believe, and the lantern and reflecting unit is all original. The lens is a type one, the biggest type, and it is a Fresnel style lens. Fresnel was a guy who invented this type of lens, similar to car lenses, that concentrate a glow of light into a beam. The lighthouse lens was very intricate, there are over 100 separate pieces. The whole things was pretty cool to see.

We stopped in Newport because my knee hurt and my appetite was already voracious. We found a nice little lunch spot with some wireless internet so we could work on the blog. We loaded up on food and I loaded up on Ibuprofen and off we went. Between Newport and Seal Rock the weather deteriorated to very intermittent rain and mist, but it was still very manageable. At Seal Rock we stopped for a lunch of avocado and cheese sandwiches. A nice old man told us we like migrating birds on our way South for the winter. Just as we were leaving Dani spotted seals feeding in the surf. Seal Rock lived up to its name!

We stopped for groceries and gas in Waldport. In Oregon, it is illegal to fill your car or any vessel with fuel. An attendant must do it for you. So, it was quite funny to hand the attendant our 22 ounce stove fuel bottle and ask him to fill it. The total purchase was $0.37 at $2.79 per gallon. Funny. A peculiar thing about the Oregon coast; there are many towns all along the way, but few of them have actual grocery stores. Instead they have little markets, which are great, but they don't always have everything we need. In Waldport we went to two stores for four items. Oh well, better way to see the town.

We left Waldport and rode a bit further to Yachats, then a little beyond that. Dani had said she wanted to stop at the next campground for the night, and we found Cape Perpetua campground. This campground is run by the National Forest Service and it is also closed for the year. There was a road closed sign and gate, but we easily wheeled our bikes under the gate. We thought great, free campsite, and made camp.


Saturday, October 24, 2009

Blazing Saddles and Blunders Cape Lookout to Beverly Beach

Captions from top: Greg gazing at the ocean, Huge splashing wave at Boiler Bay, Old Scenic hwy 101 in the Suislaw National Forest, Dani on old hwy 101, Dani on a one lane bridge old hwy 101.

Cape Lookout to Beverly Beach 10/24/09
Day 8 - 75 miles!

Oh, what a day today was. We started off planning 60 miles, by far the most miles we have done in a day on this trip. We got good sleep from our rest day and we were feeling good to go. We conquered the biggest climb on the Oregon coast right off the bat on fresh legs and we felt great. In no time at all we were 20 miles into the day, just cruising right along. The sun was actually out and it was a beautiful day to be riding a bike. After about 20 miles there was another steep climb, but it was up some of the most scenic road we have been on so far. We went off of hwy 101 on the old scenic 101 (a much better choice).

We rode into the Suislaw National Forest and it was beautiful, check out the photos. The beauty made the climb that much easier. Dani was starting to have issues and run out of energy mostly (I think) because her butt was in a lot of pain from her seat and from chaffing. When we reached the top of this climb, the descent was amazing, probably 3 straight miles of downhill and perfect twisty mountain roads with no traffic through an old growth forest. We were both energized after such a great ride, and then... We reached an intersection and both agreed on taking sa left turn. Well, that left turn was wrong. We should have gone straight and it took us 10 total miles out of the way, and on such a long day.


When we reached the town of Otis, which had taken the extra 10 miles to get to, Greg and I decided to stop at a little place called Pronto Pups. Now, I haven't had a corn dog in over 6 years, and well, we thought we should get some. I know, I know, I don't usually even eat meat. But, it sounded so good and we needed the fuel, so we indulged (SHAME ON US! haha). Greg went all out and got a huge cheddar jalapeno dog. We also had sweet potato fries and a chocolate peanut butter milkshake. Thank goodness we stopped for food because what was supposed to be a 60 mile day ended up being a 75 mile day and we would have really hit a wall if it were not for the food we had there. I was really struggling to get through the last 10 miles with tired legs, but I felt great when we finally got to Beverly Beach. To add insult to our earlier detour, we had to ride all the way through the town of Depoe Bay and back looking for a grocery store.One of the best parts of the day was a beautiful 2 mile detour off 101 that took us along the edge of a cliff looking over the ocean at sunset. It was so nice to be at Beverly Beach. I will say that Oregon must have something about keeping the cyclists far away from the comforts of other campers in their campgrounds. We're always at the furthest possible point in the campground from hot showers, but who can complain for $8. At least we still get hot showers. In fact, I think I shower more now than I have for the past year.

I have to recall a funny conversation we had the other day at Fort Clatsop.
Greg was commenting on how amazing it was that Lewis and Clark made 40 miles in a day, when we were making about the same distance on our bikes on roads. He said, "How do they do that, 40 miles a day?" and I said, "Well, they must get up earlier than we do!"
No matter what time we get up, it seems we can't get out of camp before 10 AM.


Friday, October 23, 2009

Rest Day

Captions from top: Greg blogging in the woods, Greg at the beach, Greg looking at pretty waterfalls, Our Hotel at Oceanside, Ironing board standing up in the ditch of the road!, Beach view, creek on beach, Dani and tree.

Oceanside to Cape Lookout State Park 10/23/09
Day 7- 8 miles (Rest Day!)

Today we took our time and rode from Oceanside, past Netarts to Cape Lookout State Park. We stopped for around an hour in a nice little market in Netarts and ate lunch and bough some food for the night. We tried to rent a yurt for the night at Cape Lookout, but they are all booked up pretty far in advance. They are a great deal for $27. They have a heater and provide a nice dry place to sleep. Sometime before we leave Oregon we want to stay in one of these yurts. Luckily the rain from the morning subsided and we pitched our tent in the hiker/biker area of the campground. We spent the day relaxing on the beach along the campground and had a huge supper of burritos. We started reading Buffalo for The Broken Heart by Dan O'Brien aloud. It seems like a great book so far, excited to keep reading it. We went to bed early to top off our day of rest.


Thursday, October 22, 2009

Manzanita to Tillamook Oregon

Captions from the top: Tillamook cheese factory, Coast Guard Blackhawk helicopters, Heicopter again, Rockaway is Tsunami Safe!, Greg and Tillamook.

Day 6, Manzanita to

30 miles plus more to come

It was nice to fall asleep and wake up to the sound of waves hitting the sand. It seems like no matter how hard we try, we can't leave camp before 10 AM. I think we really need the sleep because we seem to go to sleep around 10 and wake up around 7:30-8 each day. Our muscles are sore but getting stronger each day. We're trying to stay off the vitamin I (ibuprofen). We had an awesome breakfast of potatoes, onions and eggs with hot sauce. The ride was beautiful along the coast with less hills today. We saw some seals lounging on the beach in the bay. While near the town of Garibaldi the Coast Guard was doing what we think was some training with two Blackhawk helicopters which were dropping swimmers into the water and then picking them back up with baskets. Soon after we reached Tillamook, where we visited the cheese factory. We had ice cream and cheese samples. We even bought cheese curds, 1/2 off! It was so good. I love cheese.


P.S. We will be posting multiple days at a time on the blog because of limited internet access, so please scroll down to check out all of the new entries.

The rest of the Tillamook Day

Finish in Oceanside 10/22/09
Day 6- 45 Miles

We left Tillamook in the rain bound for Cape Meares State Park. There was no campground there but we though we might be able to poach a campsite somewhere in the woods. Yeah right. Tillamook county receives 90 inches of rain per year on average. The amount of vegetation in the forest here is not conducive to camping in an unmarked spot. We could not even find a place where we could wheel our bikes off of the road. We gave up and had to ride back up a huge hill to get out of Cape Meares State Park. We rode to the next town as dusk fell. Luckily Oceanside was only 3 miles further down the road. Unfortunately, however, no one in Oceanside knew of a place we could camp and it was starting to rain harder, so we succumbed to the only option in town, a hotel.

The cheapest room in the town with three hotels was $79. The owner at the Oceanside Inn greeted us with, "Yeah I hate that room it is my least favorite one in the place." To which I replied, "Well then you should give us a discount." He huffed and said it was the going rate take it or leave it. I tried telling him he should give us a discount because we were traveling on bikes (I will try anything) and he said "I don't care that is your fault". This guy was a real ass. He continued to tell us that people riding bikes doesn't make sense, and that we have a big hill coming up that we probably can't make it over. I had to bite my tongue. Our room, once we got inside, was acceptable, clean at least, but pretty run down. There was a kitchenette, but the room instructions left on the door informed us that guests must wash and put away any dishes they get dirty. What a place for $79. All I could think of was how many new chains, or new tubes we could buy for $79 instead of giving them up to this bloodsucker. Our experience at this hotel ended with us forgetting my rain-jacket in the room as we turned the key in. Dani asked for the key back and he asked why. She told him and he said "Well that was dumb wasn't it." What a miserable jerk. Oceanside itself is beautiful though, but rainy. There is a nice little coffee shop there where we ate breakfast. They had great breakfast burritos with zucchini! My favorite.


Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Seaside to Manzanita Oregon

Captions from the top: Roosevelt elk, nice tunnel safe for cyclists, Cannon Beach view, The signs along hwy 101 for cyclists, ocean view along road.

Seaside - Manzanita, October 21
Day 5- 31miles

We left Seaside pretty late in the day after hanging out at the Hostel and Taking care of some business around town. The Oregon Coast is actually quite hilly. It seems that between every town we cross over at least one big hill or divide and then drop down into the next town. This was true from Seaside to Cannon Beach. Cannon Beach, we found, is a pretty high end vacation/resort community. It seemed like every other house had a sign on it about vacation rental homes. As soon as we arrived here it started to rain on us so we headed into a restaurant called Mo's. My mom recommended, or actually more or less demanded that we go here to eat. It was pretty good. They are known for their clam chowder and it was excellent. Dani had it in a bread bowl and I had some Halibut fish and chips.


We left Mo's and headed for Nahalem Bay State Park, which is near the town of Manzanita. While taking a break on a large hill, the weight of the BOB trailer caused it to fall over and jacknife Greg's bike. He realized soon after that this had bent the part of his frame where the derailleur attaches. The nearest bike shop would be in Tillamook, so Greg had to adjust his shifting the bent derailleur and make the best of it until tomorrow. On the way we climbed a very large pass which was historically a troublesome spot for travelers. People used to travel on the firm wet sand of the beach before there was a coast highway. This mountain juts out into the ocean and has always been hard to cross. As we neared the top, we were engulfed in fog. A very thick fog. We could hear the ocean below but we could not see it. We turned on our lights and proceeded carefully. We decided to keep going because we knew the fog would burn off as we came down the mountain. Sure enough, it was all clear when we got to Manzanita, at the bottom of the pass. We stopped at a store and got some fresh apples, bread and beer.

Just as we were entering the state park, I spotted a herd of Roosevelt elk. It was cool looking at them and seeing how much bigger in body they are than our rocky mountain elk. Their antlers are definitely smaller also. The reason for that difference is due to the large amount of food out here, but relatively fewer minerals in the soil to build large antlers.

When we got to the campground, there were no yurts available, oh well. Maybe next campground. I was sure to keep our food bagged and hung from a tree branch at this campground. I learned my lesson from the raccoons at Ft. Stevens. We even met another camper who asked us if we had been harassed by the raccoons yet. Thankfully, we had no trouble with them. I guess hanging food works as well for raccoons as it does for grizzlies.


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Astoria to Seaside Oregon

Captions from top: View from the hostel yard, Mom just for you us at Lewis and Clark, We can see our shadows!!! Sun!!, Seaside from way above, Dani eating her health food,
Astoria-Seaside 10/20/09
Day 4- 34 miles

We started today with the notion that it should be a rest day. Our legs are pretty sore, especially our quads. Our butts are also adjusting to long hours in the saddle and they are a bit sore. So, we figured we would take it easy. We started the morning by picking up the raccoon trash Dani talked about and picked up camp. Then we headed down to the beach for our first glimpse of the Pacific Ocean. We took a nice bike trail through Ft. Stevens State Park to the shipwreck of the Peter Iredale on the beach.

From Ft. Stevens State Park we took some nice slow paced country roads to Ft. Clatsop National Historical Park about 10 miles away. When we arrived at the visitor's center the sun peaked through so we took the rare opportunity to sit on a bench and dry while we ate lunch. This park is small, but it was worth visiting. The interpretive video is told through the eyes of the Clatsop Indians that Lewis and Clark interacted with. We left this park and headed to Seaside, Oregon.

The ride to Seaside was easily my favorite part of the route to bike so far. The route took us off of hwy 101 and onto small country roads that were not even always two lanes. The scenery was amazing, nice agricultural lands mixed with dense forest and plenty of turns in the road to keep things interesting. The last few miles go up a fairly steep grade and then drop straight back down an extremely fun descent back to the ocean at Seaside. In Seaside we found a hostel and they allowed us to pitch our tent in the back yard. We met two guys from British Columbia at the Seaside Hostel that are traveling down to Baja Mexico for two months so that they can learn how to surf. One of the guys was a firefighter in Canada, so it was interesting for me to chat with him about similarities and differences. We treated ourselves to supper at a Chinese restaurant and gorged ourselves on some needed food. I was still so hungry I ate a huge ice cream cone after dinner.