Lincoln City to Yachats, Oregon - Grampies Go Coastal - CycleBlaze

December 18, 2012

Lincoln City to Yachats, Oregon

With no rain falling and only a fresh south wind, we were ready to go this morning as soon as there was enough light to see by. We passed along the strip that comprises Lincoln City, and finally snapped a photo at the part that seemed densest. So that is what we will designate "downtown".

Lincoln City
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Just beyond downtown is one of the prides of Lincoln city, the "D" River, which is claimed to be the world's shortest river, at just a few hundred feet.

World's shortest river
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The sky now showed us some blue, which is unique enough an event to merit its own photo. The photo actually shows some of our surroundings as well, which were spectacular through most of the day.

Blue sky!
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We left 101 on one of two diversions today recommended by our various guuidebooks and maps, and climbed toward Cape Foulweather. Along the way we met Joshua, a young man from Ohio who is housesitting nearby. Joshua soon asked us if we had a Crazyguy blog, and said that he too had an ambition to cycle down the coast. We found his mention of Crazyguy encouraging. The reason is that if you are going to do something this "crazy", the idea that you are not alone is a great source of strength.

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Interesting coastal houses
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The day that had begun with blue sky now rolled out a few tricks to keep us from getting complacent. First came hail. It was heavy enough to turn the ground white, and was kind of enjoyable, in a White Christmas sort of way. The next trick was to put maybe a 60 kph wind behind the hail, turning it into little darts. Dodie had these come behind her glasses and sting her eyes.

Straight wind was something else the day tried out, and we found that gusts could violently shove the front panniers. There were not enough gusts to be a real problem, though, and much of the way was sheltered by trees in any event. Of course, a little old fashioned rain was mixed in, but again, not enough to be a problem.

If I were to look for a challenge this day, it would be the often poor condition of the shoulder, coupled with the amount of traffic. With the traffic, and also the lingering effects of our previous falls, there really was no room at all for allowing the bikes to go skittering. Yet the shoulder was often covered with tree needles and debris from high winds. We went very very slowly, leaning on the brakes on downhills, focussing all our brainpower on staying upright. This is quite different from my usual style, which features swanning around behind Dodie, looking through the camera, drinking coffee, or daydreaming.

Slippery stuff on the shoulder
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A second diversion from 101 took us mosly around Newport, which is quite large, and is a "real" town, with many streets. I took a shot of where the bypass begins, begins I wanted to illustrate a point at which the signed bike route diverges from the ACA route or the Cycling the Coast book route. As it happens, later checking showed that all sources agreed on the bypass. Oh well, the shot also illustrates the wet roads.

The bypass itself contained a special treat - a dedicated bike lane, and almost no traffic on an adjacent southbound only car lane.

The signed bike route directs us off 101
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Dedicated bike lane
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It was quite a different story at Waldport, which has a large bridge over Yaquina Bay. With the heavy traffic on the bridge, the only way to cross is on the rather narrow sidewalk. The sidewalk is naturally on the outside edge of the bridge, and hangs out over the water. This is the kind of situation that gives me the heebie jeebies: Two hundred foot drop on one side, stream of oncoming traffic on the other side, and my way a two foot channel between the two. I did it by focussing on the ground two feet straight ahead and singing to myself. Meanwhile, Dodie fearlessly charged on, way ahead. Show off!

The scary bridge at Waldport
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From Waldport to Yachats is only about 15 km, and we were eager to as far as possible to make up for our day off yesterday. Only thing, the sun was now setting. We could figure on usable light until about 5 p.m., but we figured to arrive at Yachats a little before 6. That's ok, assuming it's not raining, the shoulder is ok, and we are not facing some giant hill. This time, all those things were in our favour, so on we cruised to Yachats.

Oh, Oh, sunset.
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Since we are now spoiled by the $39.99 rate we got in Lincoln City, we do not want to pay more than $49 for a motel. The first place we stopped at was completely empty. The lady wanted $60 and would not budge. Neither would we. So the lady saw us back out onto the dark highway. Her parting words: " You guys are real troopers. My daughter is a touring cyclist too".

We did find a $49 rate at the next place. It is very cosy, and our room is decorated exclusively with paintings of covered bridges. Cosy could be a big plus, because the forecast is again calling for rain and 80 kph wind gusts. The next part of our route goes up Heceta Head, the highest point on the Oregon Coast. It is already known for 60 kph gusts, even without a storm in progress. So in the morning we will poke our noses out the door and decide whether to chance it. We are distrustful of the doomsayer weather forecasters now, but we really don't feel like finding ourselves on that hill in a storm!

Cosy bed in iour cosy room.
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Depoe Bay harbor
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Houses on the Siletz River
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Near Depoe Bay
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Loneliness of the long distance cyclist.
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Today's ride: 87 km (54 miles)
Total: 705 km (438 miles)

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