Cycle Oregon Coast

Day 3 Pacific City to Newport

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Time:              4:52:31
Distance:        56.7 miles
AVS Speed:  11.6 mph
MXS Speed:  32.5 mph

The next morning was again cloudy
and damp and the road was wet. 
We headed out about 9am once again
 into the teeth of a significant head
wind.  The first 10 miles were uneventful
 except for a little drizzle that was
coming down on us.  At about the
10 mile mark we turned off the
highway (as per the map) and headed
up Slab Creek Rd. and onto Cascade
Head.  As we got off the highway it
started to drizzle harder.  Despite the
dampness the road was fantastic. 
It was a small two lane, no shouldered road that wound its way up Cascade Head threw beautiful old growth mossy forest and even better then that was the total lack of traffic.  The road up and down the head was 10 miles long, and in that time we saw two cars going the other way, and absolutely no cars passed us.  Being as far off the highway as we were the only noises were the dripping of rain off the trees and the noises our bikes were making as we went down the road.  Even with the rain this was probably the highlight of the first 4 days of the ride.  If you ever find yourself on the central coast of Oregon I highly recommend that you turn off on Slab Creek Rd. and take in the stunning beauty of this section of the Oregon coast, better yet, get out of your car and ride the road on your bike.

 Once we were off Slab Creak Rd we hooked up with Hwy 18 and rode it a few miles back to Hwy 101.  As we were merging onto 101 we noticed a group of riders along the roadside fixing a flat.  We called this group two bents and a wedgie because there were two guys on recumbents (bents) and one guy on a normal upright bike (a wedgie).  They had started a few day earlier in Olympia Washington and were going to 100 miles north of Los Angeles over the course of 21 days.

 When we got back onto 101 it was about 5 miles to Lincoln City and our planned lunch stop.  About two or three miles before town I started to feel light headed so I knew I needed to eat.  We stopped at a nice little Mexican restaurant and had a good meal.  As we were about done the two bents and a wedgie group came up and stopped by the restaurant, one of them pushing his bike because it had another flat.

 As we were paying our bill one of them came in and got a table.  We talked with him for a while and learned about their route.  He said that they had done this ride before, and he gave us a few tidbits of advice like “the weather is usually better then this.”  This was the last time we saw the 2 bents and a wedgie group as they probably pushed on ahead of us to make it to their destination.

 Lunch did not sit well in my stomach and about 7 miles down the road I had to pull over and just sit for a while to let the food digest.  I know better then to eat a big meal in the middle of a riding day, but I was so hungry I ate the entire burrito the restaurant served me along with the rice and beans on the side.  I knew things were going awry when I started to feel nocuous and that is when we pulled up at the Salishan Lodge driving range and just planted our butts on a bench for about 20 minutes.

 After the break we plugged along for the next 8 miles into Depot Bay were we stopped to drink a Red Bull energy drink and watch a few boats come into the bay.  Depot Bay is unique in that the entrance to the bay is an S curve.  The boats have to time their entry just right and as soon as they get into the channel make a sharp left and then a sharp right to get into the bay.  This can be tricky with the 10 foot waves from the ocean pushing you along.  One of the nice things about this is that the bay itself is totally sheltered from the waves by the entrance.

 As we sat there drinking our Red Bulls the Coast Guard did a practice run of towing a disabled boat into the bay.  The had one of their 30ish foot power boats pull in a large zodiac inflatable boat that was dragging a sea anchor behind it. 

 

It was very interesting to watch them get everything lined up and then blast into the channel.

 We quickly knocked out the last 15 miles of the ride into Newport, the Red Bull having “given us wings”.  The road for this portion of the ride was dry, the wind was still out of the south, but the temperature warmed up to the low 60s, so all in all not a terrible end to the day.

 Once in Newport we cruised along the beach front road until we saw a cluster of hotels that looked promising.  We ended up staying at a Shiloh Inn with a nice beach view right on a little bluff overlooking the ocean.  For dinner we ended up walking about two miles (round trip) to a grocery store where we stocked up on all sorts of goodies.  Keith had the clever idea of eating a sandwich he purchased and then using the container from the sandwich  to warm a potato and some chili.  I on the other hand bought sandwich makings and some just-add-water soup mixes.  When we got back to the hotel it dawned on us that eating soup and chili without utensils was going to be a nifty trick.  Keith to the rescue. He called the front desk and then went up to the hotel café and got us some plastic forks and spoons.

 Once we were all settled in, showered and fed all was again right with the universe.  We got a weather report that tomorrow had a 20% chance of rain, and that the clouds were supposed to break around noon and the wind was going to be shifting to come from the north.  Little did we know what was in store for us.

 

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