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Pacific Coast Bike Route – Day 10 : Cape Lookout State Park > South Beach State Park

I would love to say that each and every day is wonderfully beautiful weather. The roads buttery smooth asphalt. Unfortunately, that isn’t realistic in the slightest and today was one of those less than ideal days.

I was awake about the same time as yesterday, around 4:40 ish. I cracked open my book and read for about an hour and a half. When I finally opened my tent I was disappointed to see that the fog/mist/rain had moved in over night and EVERYTHING I had left out was soaked. When I went to bed I was looking forward to nice dry gear in the morning. It was definitely a bummer.

Before I started breaking down camp I grabbed my kit and went to the bathroom to get changed and throw on sunscreen. I then threw my camp clothes back on to keep warm while I broke camp. Everything being wet made break down take longer than I would have liked. Thankfully the important things that go inside the tent (quilt, sleeping pad, pillow) all remained dry. The tent got packed up wet after I dried it to the best of my ability. With everything packed I left around 8:30.

I rode to the end of the service road and at the intersection with Cape Lookout Road I decided to get my rain jacket out. The fog was just thick enough I was worried I’d get soaked through. Considering the day as a whole it was a wise decision.

Right out of the gate I started with a climb. I kept it easy, but by the time I was near the top I was drenched and throwing open the rain jacket. Then of course the descent afterwards had me bundling back up. This would be a theme throughout much of the day.

I rode into Pacific City and stopped at a great little coffee shop named Stimulus Coffee & Bakery. I ordered coffee and a cookie and then sat down to publish everything for yesterday’s ride. They had a great bar area with outlets along the wall. Perfect setup for me to top up my power bank and keep my cell fully charged while I worked. I did spend about an hour, which was longer than I would have liked, but it was nice to get out of the wet and cold for a while.

After coffee and Internet it was back on the bike and shivering cold to start. I warmed up quickly and it didn’t take long before I was rejoining US-101. I was on US-101 for maybe ten miles before leaving it for an old US-101 alignment. Now I want to say if you’re ever along the west coast and you see a sign saying “Old US-101” you hit your blinker and make that turn. I promise you won’t be disappointed and I certainly wasn’t today.

This little old alignment was an 11 mile stretch of just gorgeous country. The road certainly wasn’t the greatest, but I think I was passed by a total of two cars the entire time? If you’re on a road and there is moss growing in the travel lanes you’ve found something special. The second shot of Shadow in the middle of the road is from that section. Very much reminded me of Avenue of the Giants but a lot less traffic.

After the monster descent of that old US-101 alignment, I had to stop to put my rain jacket back on. As I hit the valley floor the mist was pelting me pretty good. From here until Lincoln City was nothing but a head down ride through the rain. No real chance to take any pictures.

It was just about lunch time so I stopped at Hilltop Inn. Honestly I stopped there because the rain looked like it was going to be getting worse and it looked promising. It actually turned out pretty dang good! I went with the Jalapeño Chicken Wrap (With chipotle mayo, lettuce, tomato, onions, pepper jack cheese and jalapeños.) with curly fries and water to drink.

Before leaving Hilltop Inn I packed my rain jacket back into itself and put it in my rear jersey pocket. It certainly didn’t appear to be raining. Of course I get outside, feel it spitting and it comes right back out. As I started riding the rain got even worse and I could really hear it pelting the jacket.

Maybe a dozen or so miles later I was again diverted off US-101 and onto Otter Crest Loop. This was another special gem. It began as a simple surface street but then it turned into a one way road with a bike lane. With this change in configuration it also got quieter and prettier. I think I saw maybe five cars the entire stretch that was one way. It was so calming and peaceful.

At the end of the one way section I arrived at Otter Crest State Scenic Viewpoint. I ride over to take a look. There was this huge sign saying to take in the view and visit the shop. I tell this pair of ladies walking up, “Enjoy the views!” as we look around and everything is completely socked in and flat grey. I even went out to the viewpoint and snapped a picture of the placard and the grey. Funny stuff.

Leaving the viewpoint the rain got heavy again. I took it as a sign from Mother Nature that I shouldn’t be mocking her. I apologized and did my best to keep warm as I rode the descent.

I rejoined US-101 again and was with it until the outskirts of Newport. I was routed along the west side avoiding the worst of the highway traffic. Eventually I would pass through Yaquina Bay State Recreation Site on my way to crossing over the Yaquina Bay Bridge. The bridge was pretty and I wanted to get a short video of the crossing but I couldn’t get the phone ready in time. Then again that’s probably for the best as a few folks got impatient and sped around me.

I rolled into South Beach State Park around 4:45 and I had a decision to make. I can either do breakfast for dinner again, or I can go back out and find something. I text the family this and get the following reply from the kiddo, “Go back in town! Go find a local joint! Come on. That’s what we’re known for doing”. It may sound silly but she’s right and it nearly brought me to tears. I went ahead and set up the tent real quick before heading back out to find food.

Doing a quick map search I find a local looking joint named Off The Hook Bar & Grill. The ride over was quick despite passing it once and having to double back. Once inside I went with the Smoked Salmon Pesto Alfredo described as “a heaping pile of fettuccine noodles with a house made creamy pesto alfredo and smoked salmon”. It was pretty dang good. Even finished it off with a slice of banana cream pie!

On the way back to camp I stopped at South Beach Fish Market to grab some Clif bars to go with my freeze dried breakfasts. Just one of those breakfast packets isn’t quite enough considering how much riding I’m doing. Adding in a Clif bar is just about right.

Once back at camp I went about finishing setting up. The tent was nice and dry by this point so everything went inside without issue. Next I went over to enjoy a scorching shower to put some heat back into my body after the cold damp day I’d had. I skipped washing my riding gear from today. I’ll ride tomorrow followed by a rest day. I can take care of both sets of kit then.

Finally got to chat with another cyclist, Chad, who is also riding to San Diego like me. We’re even tent Twinkies both sporting the Nemo Dragonfly Bikepack Backpacking Tent. Right before we started talking some random camper brought him a full pizza for no other reason than they could. Of course Chad offered me some, multiple times, but I declined because I was still very much full from my earlier dinner. Him and I had a nice talk for maybe up to an hour before I let him get about the rest of his night.

I will say there were multiple times today that I wanted to call it and get a hotel. While riding down a busy US-101 cold and wet I pictured myself in a nice warm hotel room with my gear spread out all over the place drying out. At some point while passing through Newport the clouds parted, the sun shone through, and I immediately started feeling better. The little bit of warmth from the sun went straight to warming my bones and my soul. I said, “Ok Mother Nature I’m going to take this as a sign that I should at least go and look at camping before deciding on a hotel. Maybe this is you way of accepting my apology for earlier.”

New bike fund: $5.15 (+$0.00)
72.21 new miles
🏘 Completed 25% of Cape Lookout State Park
— From
Mostly cloudy-Cloudy, 57°F-55°F, Feels like 61°F-51°F, Humidity 88%-87%, Wind NW 2mph-NNW 9mph – by
myWindsock Report —
Weather Impact: -6.6%
Headwind: 20% @ 8.1-12.8mph
Longest Headwind: 46m 27s
Air Speed: 12.4mph
Temp: 55.4-62.5°F
Precip: 0% @ 0 Inch/hr
— END —

Total distance: 76.72 mi
Max elevation: 878 ft
Min elevation: 7 ft
Total climbing: 4233 ft
Total descent: -4276 ft
Total time: 09:57:56
Published inCycling

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