Mesa to Pitt 2015

Mesa to Pitt 2015
Mesa to OBX

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Lincoln City Oregon to Florence, Oregon. October 4

80.43 in 7:01......what a difference a day makes! Two days ago when I was suffering from leg lock in the cold, rainy weather, I had serious concerns about my ability to bounce back completely from my downtime. It turns out, all I needed was some sun, temperatures above 60, and a mild tailwind. It's been so long since I've typed the word 'tailwind', that the spellcheck on the iPad couldn't even find the word! A ten mile an hour headwind, turning to a ten mph tailwind doesn't seem like much, but that's a 20 mph turnaround. Ten degrees makes the difference between misery and a beautiful ride. Two days ago when I asked my legs to go, my quads cussed at me using four letter words. (Quads!  Get it?) today I climbed and descended over 4000 feet up and 4000 feet down, yet when I asked my legs to put the pedal to the medal, they responded. I'm healed!
I left Liberty City at about ten AM, when the temps hit 50. By the time I was out of town, the temps were up to 55. US 101 was up on a hill, but I could see the Pacific off to the right. That was a theme for the day. I could have taken 100 more pictures than I took, because it was just that beautiful. Mountains and the ocean in the same picture. Side by side. Constantly. One of life's new experiences today, was riding up a serious ascent, and listening to sea lions bark on the rocks below. How different from anything I've experienced! 
The stretch from Lincoln City to Newport, about 25 miles,  was pretty populated with small beach towns, with a lot of mom and pop businesses. One thing I'm noticing about this area of Washington and Oregon, is that there are very few chain motels, restaurants, stores, and cookie cutter mall stores. This area just hasn't been invaded like that yet. That leaves lots of opportunity for the little guy to keep his family business alive. I like it.
 US101 was nice, with a good shoulder, and the lava rock cliffs, rocks in the water, and sea stacks, were a constant. I must have seen thirty creeks, rivers, and streams, pouring into the ocean, many with bridges, from which the views were great, even though the roads would get narrow on the bridge. There were several waterfalls that fell right into the Pacific.  When I got to Newport, it was a pretty big beach town, possibly due to its proximity to Corvalis, which is where Oregon State University is located.
Once south of there, the road leveled out, the cliffs weren't as dramatic, and the sea pines and scrub trees reminded me of riding certain stretches in Florida, only the ocean was on my right, instead of my left.
 Soon I was climbing through heavily forested, curvy, wet roads in the Siuslaw National Forest. The roads narrowed and climbed, making for the best scenery I have encountered on the Pacific coast  I went through a tunnel, and looked over the cliffs at coves with names like Devils Punch Bowl, because of the crazy currents, rock formations, and uneven coastline. When I climbed, the mountain tops had names like Cape Foulweather, and I saw three lighthouses, some more secluded than others, that told tales of Pacific storms, even though the sun was everywhere today. There were 24 Oregon State Parks, Recreation Areas, State Viewpoints and Beaches in the 80 miles I rode today. There were people in every one of them that I went into, and I probably cruised through about half of them. The state of Oregon has done a fantastic job of making all the scenery accessible along the coast, for car drivers, hikers, and bikers. There was one national park that was closed due to our politicians, but everyone parked outside the gates and walked in at the Yaquina Head Lighthouse. I did the same. 
Words and pictures can't totally describe the great day that I had with the weather and the scenery. Today I was glad we were here now, instead of the summer, when it may be so much more crowded with traffic and tourists. I don't feel like that every day though!

                                                           Enjoy the scenery!
Creek feeding into Pacific

The government says NO!!!!

But guess who climbed over the gate?!

Yaquina Bay Lighthouse

Seaweed washed up onto the beach!  Yes, this is the monster seaweed that grows in the Pacific Ocean!

We've been going in and out of tsunami hazard zones all day

Island filled with birds

Hillside filled with purple flowers

Now that's a bridge!

And we are still having elk crossing areas!

There are some cool bridges out here!

Looking down on the sea lions at Sea Lion Caves

Just snoozing and losing!

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