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Pacific Coast Bike Route – Day 9 : Nehalem Bay State Park > Cape Lookout State Park

Sometimes you call an audible and fumble. Other times you score a touchdown. Can you do both? I know I did, but, unfortunately, that story will have to wait until tomorrow due to lack of coverage.

Woke up early ish at around 4:30 this morning. That isn’t too much earlier than usual back home so I’ll take it. Instead of getting up and moving in cracked open my book and read for a few hours instead. I did get to a point where I was dozing a little while reading and almost rolled over and tried to go back to sleep. I checked the time and seeing it was 6:30 I decided to just get up.

I started breaking down camp at a leisurely pace. Last night I found a local breakfast joint and decided I’d eat there instead of burning my last freeze dried breakfast. They opened at 8:00, but I didn’t think I needed to be there that early.

I finished packing up camp and left around 8:30. I did grab Robyn’s Instagram info before I left and wished her a safe journey north. I also wished the couple traveling my way good luck as well thinking I wouldn’t see them again.

I pulled up to Yolk and the place was jumping. I guess that’s bound to happen when you’re the only breakfast joint in town. I put my name on the list and started taking some of my gear off, like helmet, gloves, cap, etc. Also grabbed my glasses so I could read the menu. When I walked back in the hostess asked if I was Elvis. I confirmed I was and was then asked if I was good with a bar seat. I was fine with a bar seat so I was waved right through. One of the advantages of eating alone.

As I sat there eyeing the menu, a couple to my right hand their food arrive. The lady had a half order of Egg’s Benedict and the gentleman had an order of French Toast. I eyed both and even leaned over to get a real good luck, and the gentleman spotted me and said, “You have to get the French Toast it’s amazing.”

I returned to the menu and decided on the Baja Scramble (chorizo, onion, tomato, and cilantro, topped with sour cream, salsa, and avocado) with sauteed potatoes and fruit. I asked about getting the French Toast instead of the fruit/bread but was told they don’t do that, but I could order a side of French Toast which I did. The food arrived pretty quickly considering how busy they were. I ate the eggs and fruit first saving the French Toast for “desert”. I’m only disappointed that I didn’t get a larger order of the French Toast because it was absolutely amazing. Quite honestly it’s the best French Toast I’ve had out ever. The edges were crisp, the center perfectly soft, and the flats of the bread were firm as well. Words really can’t describe how good this French Toast was.

I finished up at Yolk and rolled out around 9:30. Much of today’s ride was along US-101 and because of the traffic I didn’t feel comfortable taking too many pictures. I rolled into Tillamook and thought about visiting the famous Tillamook Creamery. As I rolled by I saw the line out the door of people waiting to get in and I just kept on rolling. I can only imagine how that place must be on a weekend.

As I was rolling through town I spotted a sporting goods store and stopped to take a look. There were a few things I was hoping they’d have and lucked out on all of them. First I grabbed a 50′ length of paracord because I left my clothes line back at Lewis and Clark State Park when I was shuffling between my two campsites. Next I grabbed a cheap pair of sandals to use while in the shower. Last thing I want is foot fungus in my riding shoes. Picked up some duct tape. Finally, I grabbed more freeze dried breakfasts. Think I’m all stocked up for another week. After checking out it took me another 15 minutes or so to get everything packed and rolling on.

Right about here is where the audible I’d called last night kinda bit me. As I mentioned yesterday, I had been told that the Three Capes Scenic Drive was passable to cyclists. Unfortunately, my route map had me doing a bypass. I thought I only needed to find Bayocean Drive and turn onto it from US-101 to be golden. Unfortunately, I was dead wrong and only realized it after I was a few miles outside of Tillamook. I was so mad thinking my Garmin had routed me wrong and was fuming. I settled down pretty quick and just laughed it off saying, “This is what road trips are made of.”

When I rolled back into Tillamook I checked my map and routed myself manually (gasp) over to the highway I needed out of town that would connect me with Bayocean Drive.

I made the turn onto Bayocean Drive and there was the big sign, “Road closed in 6.1 miles”. At this point I figured in for a penny in for a pound. Worst case scenario I roll out there it is completely blocked, I turn around, and come back. Wouldn’t have been half bad either because the ride back would have had a nice tailwind to go with it.

I made the turn onto Bayshore Drive and saw another sign saying road closed, active construction zone. Also saw the lovely climb on not so lovely asphalt staring me in the face. I put my head down and started climbing. I kept my eyes up and ears open looking and listening for any construction noises. Everything was silent and chill as I passed a couple more road closed signs.

Then I came to a final set of gates with concrete barriers on each side, but on the right there was a gap just big enough for a bike to go through. There was also the sounds of heavy machinery just off to the left as well. I skirted through the opening and then spotted three pickups sitting there with flashers on. I just rolled on by like I belonged there.

I was waiting for someone to roll up on me any second but it never happened. I did eventually hear one of those huge off road dump trucks coming up behind me so I pulled over as far as I could and stopped until it, and its lead escort truck, went by. I rolled on and did my best to avoid the worst of the rough spots.

The worst section of road was a gravel section with larger sharp rocks maybe four inches and smaller in diameter. Pretty common stuff used for construction access roads. I did my best to aim for the smaller and smoother sections and feel lucky to have not cut a tire.

There were a few more gravel sections, but it eventually returned to the same poor asphalt as before. It was amazing to be up there in the woods with no worry of cars. Very quiet and peaceful when you were away from the construction. I don’t know how much longer that section will be open as the bypass construction continues. Who knows, maybe they’ll convert the old alignment to a cyclist only segment.

I was super excited when I came to the construction exit. It put me right at the road that went down to the Cape Mears Lighthouse parking area. A quick scream down the hill and an overly cautious descent to the lighthouse and I’d made it. Despite having to turn around south of Tillamook I successfully cut through to the other open section of the Three Capes Scenic Drive. Score!

After checking out the lighthouse and grabbing a couple pictures I continued on south. Soon enough I came up on Oceanside. It was after noon by this point and thought this would be a great place to grab a bite to eat. Sadly, the only cafe I saw is only open Wed-Sun.

Rejected I continued south and climbed up out of Oceanside. Then I started the descent into Netarts. I was cruising a good 30 MPH clip when my Varia went off. I kept on it and the car behind me was perfectly happy to chill while I enjoyed my descent. Besides the posted speed limit was around 30 anyway so it wasn’t like I was really holding them up. Immediately after the bottom there was a little kicker so I pulled over to the right as far as possible, grabbed a bunch of gears, and waved a thank you as they drove on by.

On the lookout for lunch, I made a right turn to continue the Three Capes Scenic Drive and spotted The Schooner Restaurant and Lounge. I had to give it a double take thinking it was closed before turning around to grab some lunch.

Before being seated I asked if they had an AC outlet I could use so I could top up my power bank and phone. The brought me into the bar area and set me up with a high top with an outlet. I was able to set both my phone and power bank on the second chair to charge while I ate.

I decided on the fish and chips with a Coke to wash it all down. I have the be honest the food was alright, but I’ve had better. If I were in the area again with the family retracing this trip I’d skip this one. It wasn’t that it was bad. I just have high expectations for seafood when I’m on the coast.

With a full gas tank I set off for camp for the night.

This is the second audible of the day. I had originally planned on camping at Whalen Island County Park. However, after chatting with Robyn last night I changed my mind.

During our conversation about the Three Capes Scenic Drive she asked where I was going to stay tonight. I mentioned Whalen Island County Park and without missing a beat she says, “I don’t know how flexible your schedule or itinerary is but if you can you should camp at Cape Lookout State Park. In my opinion it has the best hike/bike sites along the Oregon coast. Trust me it’s worth it.”

I hemmed and hawed about it late into the night. It was already along the way to where I was planning on staying. Stopping would shave nine miles off the originally planned route. Granted I have to make those up tomorrow, but come on nine miles? Really Elvis? Come on son live a little. So I went for it and damn am I glad I did.

Check-in was quick and painless. I was told where to go and off I went. When I came into the hike/bike sites I was floored. They sit right next to the beach. Walking to where the paved trail ends from my site takes all of a minute tops. It is amazing! Robyn certainly did me a solid with this recommendation!

With my site picked out I scrambled to get everything set up. The quicker I set up, the quicker I can do laundry, the longer everything sits in the sun trying to dry. I also grabbed all my toiletries to sneak in a shower for my troubles.

All camp chores taken care of I set out in search of some cell service. I’d given the family a few brief messages with updates, but they really didn’t know what was going on. Last thing I want is them worrying about me so I walked over to the northern section of the campground and found just enough coverage to send some text messages and post a couple updates.

Content that my family and friend obligations were satisfied I walked back to camp to write all this, eat some breakfast for dinner, and enjoy the sunset. Looking forward to what’s in store for tomorrow.

New bike fund: $5.15 (+$0.07)
52.26 new miles — From
Mostly sunny-Sunny, 57°F-64°F, Feels like 66°F-73°F, Humidity 93%-73%, Wind NNW 2mph-WNW 4mph – by
myWindsock Report —
Weather Impact: 1.3%
Headwind: 32% @ 9-16.4mph
Longest Headwind: 47m 14s
Air Speed: 9mph
Temp: 68°F
Precip: 0% @ 0 Inch/hr
— END —

Total distance: 58.88 mi
Max elevation: 531 ft
Min elevation: 14 ft
Total climbing: 2885 ft
Total descent: -2883 ft
Total time: 07:11:19
Published inCycling

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