Day 7 Philomath to Pacific City OR
Yaquina Head Lighthouse - for Brook and my family
I did my first real day of touring today: 95 miles with about 4000 feet of climbing and 50 miles of headwinds. I'm tired!
My ride started at 10 AM when left Philomath, a small town just west of Corvallis. Mt friend Brook was kind enough to carry me and my bike there in his VW van. Brook and I had a good breakfast before we left his house, but the coffee left something to be desired, so we had good coffee and good conversation at a coffee house in Philomath before I left.
US 20 after the shoulder improves
Riding west from Philomath on US 20, you climb fairly gently (3% grade), but pretty steadily for the first ten miles, then there is up and down, but more up than down till just after Ellmaker State Park, when you reach the high point of the fifty miles between Corvallis and Newport. After that the ride is more down than up, and has long sections that are fairly flat. This is riding over the Costal Range, so there is a good bit of climbing: more than 2000 in fifty miles. This is riding west in Oregon in the summer, so there was also a pretty steady 10 mph or so headwind. That probably tired me out as much as the hills did.
That sign says Road Narrows, and they mean it
For the first few miles out of Philomath, the shoulder was not very good and the traffic was heavy, with lots of lumber trucks. From there till after the high point, there is a good shoulder. Then there are sections with little or no shoulder for a total of maybe 10 of the remaining 20 miles. In comparison to the OR 22/OR18 route from Rickreall to the coast, I think US 20 is hillier and has a lot more sections that have no or inadequate shoulders. Traffic is moderate, but includes a lot of big trucks and too many badly driven RVs. This is a pretty route, but not a route for the faint hearted. I don't think I'd want to ride it in tourist season..
I stopped for a snack at Bloget (general store) and on the narrowest section of 20 where it and the railroad are squeezed together with the Yaquina river - this is the prettiest part, and for a meal at the Dairy Queen west of Toledo. Riding from Toledo to Newport was the most congested riding of the day, so when I go onto 101 and out of that headwind, I didn't stop till I go to Yaquina Head, in the northern part of Newport, where Brook had told me I shouldn't miss the lighthouse. He also told me about the general store in Blodget and the Dairy Queen near Toledo - a very useful guy! Riding over to the light house (entry fee of motorized vehicles, but not for bicycles!) I got a great view of Newport, whose beach looks pretty typical of Oregon beaches.
Riding back from the beautiful lighthouse, I saw two whales 'blowing' in that bay. My first whale sightings from a bicycle!
Riding 101 north was pretty uneventful because it mostly has a good shoulder, but the traffic level was high enough that two times I left 101 to see some sights (at the lighthouse and at Otterrock) I had a hard time getting back across to my bike lane/shoulder. Getting across in Newport was downright dangerous, and some jerk (SUV license plate KILLER 1) who came from a side street into the bike lane at the same time I came from the middle (turning lane) didn't help. There was almost as much climbing in the 45 miles I rode US 101 today as in the 50 miles I rode US 20, but, without the headwind, 101 was easier riding. The hill on 101 between Lincoln City and Neskowin was the steepest long climb of the day.
US 101 north of Newport
US 101 north of Lincoln City
As you can tell by the images, it was a beautiful sunny day that got cloudy about 5 PM. I stopped for a snack at Depoe Bay - at the same place my nephew Mark and I had lunch last summer - and for supper in Lincoln City. Depoe Bay is neat, but Lincoln City is depressing. There a lot of miles of riding through junk commercialism in Lincoln City. That is part of the reason pressed on, over that big ridge, after supper. The main reason was sentimental.
I'm writing this sitting in the same room I sat in after I rode my first day with a broken collar bone in '96. I wasn't sure if I'd need help getting my shirt off that day, so I stopped at a the Eagle's View B+B near Pacific City. I stopped here again tonight. It is a nice place, and the jacusi (sp?) felt really good after my hard ride, but it costs a good bit more than I usually pay for a room. Then again, it is on the ocean and every thing in this area costs more than I'm used to paying. It was fun to visit with owners again and I look forward to a good nights sleep and a good breakfast. I didn't get here till about 8 PM, and it was raining by 8:30 PM. It is still raining as I finish writing this at 11:30 PM. The past two days have been beautiful, but the next two will probably be very wet. I'll close with a picture of Otter Rock, one of many big rocks out in the ocean that I saw today