Pat and Sari's Honeymoon Bike Ride
Friday, June 20, 2008
We were reminded this morning that Oregon is supposed to be foggy and chilly - for the first time in several days, it was. It looked like it would clear right up, though, but it clouded over again as we headed north. Visibility on the road was still good, at least. We ate breakfast right next door to the motel and headed out around 8. We were expecting an easy day (always a bad expectation - it seems to invite mischief to happen) and it turned out to be the case for once. We only had one large hill, a 2-miler but it had a very easy grade, and other than that, there was just a little up and down, just enough to keep it interesting. We were on 101 all day again; today the traffic was worse and seemed to worsen as the day went on. Other than that, it was a very pleasant day.
Nothing major to report today. We went through a number of small towns, all of which look so much like the New Jersey shore towns - Pat often remarks how strange it is that towns on the two coasts should be so similar. They even have salt water taffy here! The first town was Wakonda Beach which was very picturesque. Then came Waldport, a little larger but also very artsy. Here we crossed the Alsea Bay at low tide, with lots of tidal pools. The bridge was not as ornate as some we've been on recently but had a nice wide shoulder. Then there were a string of little towns, all with their state beaches. Seal Rock was the largest of these and had some very large, impressive rocks along the coast. Then we came to Newport, our big midpoint town, but it was too early for lunch so we got a snack and had some sandwiches packed to go. At Newport, we crossed Yaquina Bay on a long bridge with no shoulder. This time, we had a button to push to set off flashers indicating there was a bike on the bridge. We pushed the button, but I don't know how much time it gave us (it probably thought we'd be much quicker than we were). Pat noted that this bridge was no wider than the one where we had to use the sidewalk to walk the bike across. This one had a similar sidewalk but a much lower guardrail so I was pretty glad not to be on it. Yaquina Bay was pretty, with the houses of Newport arrayed on the far hillside. Newport itself seemed like a vibrant town with lots of colorful shops and a lot of traffic.
We hit our hill soon after Newport and our first view of it was a little daunting - there was construction clogging the road at the bottom and heavy fog part way up. However, the construction was just at the bottom and the fog lifted pretty magically - in fact, the sun came out for the first time while we were climbing (it didn't last long). We actually passed someone going up the hill (that was a first!). He was walking his bike and carrying a backpack as well as a bag on the bike. He complained about his mountain-bike tires being too slow on the hills, but he also didn't look like he was in any hurry to get anywhere. After the hill, it was more small towns and beaches/state parks - Otter Rock, Depoe Bay, Lincoln Beach, Glenenden Beach - all of them cute shore towns with lots of gift shops, wood carving, glass blowing and other crafts, fudge and salt water taffy to sell and lots of forms of recreation available. Depoe Bay claimed to having the world's smallest harbor, but it was a very pretty one. Just before Lincoln City, our destination, we crossed Siletz Bay, a marshy bay which is also a National Wildlife Refuge. The bay and Siletz River itself were both beautiful, but as we got closer to the city, the edge of the bay there seemed to be a tree trunk graveyard. It was strewn with large dead trees half-buried in the water.
Lincoln City is another large, lively town with lots of traffic. We pulled into our motel at 3 pm (the earliest we've been in a while!) having done 51 miles in 5-1/4 bike hours, our best since San Francisco. We have an ocean view at the motel which was very nice when we checked in but now is so socked in with fog, you can't even see the water (we can still hear it, though!). We just about hit our 5,000 mile mark - 4,999.4 - close enough for me, but Mr. Stickler for Accuracy wouldn't hear of it, so we'll take our 5,000 mile photo tomorrow at breakfast I guess. The next two days will be a lot hillier again, and will end at Seaside, our last stop on the Pacific Ocean. We will certainly miss it!