We slept in a bit tired from… well nothing, not really sure why we slept in. I headed over to the Holiday Inn Express again to "use the internet". On my way over, I stopped by the visitor's center and ran into some luck. I picked up a "cycling the Oregon coast" map as well as a mile by mile point of interest magazine. What a perfect stop, glad I decided to do it. I slyly slunk in Grinch style to the buffet and was golden again.
Paul called when he got up, and met me there as breakfast was closing. We were allowed to stay for a while after so no worries. While we were eating, we saw a news story about a cessna propellor plane that had crashed into a house in Gearhart, probably our first stop of the ride that day. We finished off what little was left at the buffet and headed back to our campground.
We quickly packaged everything up, and hit the road. Gearhart, about 15 miles in would be our first stop remembering that I told Paul we could take it slow now that we were on the coast. Once we got into town, we made our way to the beach there, but didn't go in because it was overcast. We developed a slight hunger, so I got a cinny roll at this bakery and Paul got an ice cream. Gearhart is a small town apparently of wealthy people because everything was really expensive.
The size of the town also seemed to have an effect on the general mood which was a bit somber because of the plane crash. I went into a grocery store, and saw a woman getting interviewed about the incident as well as virtually everyone talking about it. There I heard the sad news that some children had been in the house, and that the pilot wasn't experienced and there were several casualties. It was not a great place to be at the time, so we left and headed over to Seaside, the more developed sister town.
When we rolled into Seaside, about two miles down the road, it was a 180 degree turnaround. It was a Monday, and still bustling with tourists even on this crummy day. The strip leading to the beach was lined with little shops, and people. We made it to the beach and were surprised to see people suntanning in fog . There we met a woman who rode the Oregon coast with a friend who was 65! They were doing it as a memory of a previous biking trip they had gone on. When chatting with her, we found out that the weather might be better down the road about 10 miles to a place called Canon beach. With that news, we hung out there for a few minutes, and rode along a street near the beach until meeting back up with the 101 at the end.
The Pacific is amazing in how little coves and inlets can have completely different weather while only being separated by a few miles. Canon beach was an absolute spectacle, without a doubt the most beautiful beach I had ever been to. Rocks were jutting out of the water maybe 150 feet into the air with birds swirling all around them. Breathtaking. The weather was gorgeous too. The sand was amazingly soft, and the sun was shining. We were on top of the world. We could see the mist engulfing the land where we had come from, and clouds in the distance, but not where we were. We took out the soccer ball, and parked it on the beach for a while. I took a dip in the water; it was quite frigid. We were so happy to be enjoying the ocean, after all, it is the summer and it was mid May last time we got to.
After a few hours of hanging out, we headed out to get some food. We were looking to get some pizza, but at $25 for a large, we decided against it. We rolled down the street, to get out of the main tourist trap, and found a really good burrito shop.
Once we filled up, we kept on down the road. We left the tropical micro climate, and were back in the yuckiness. No fun. I wanted to make it to this cheese factory in Tillamook, about 40 miles away, before it closed that evening, so we would have to make a quick stop in between. As we rode, we decided to just straight shot it.
When we got there, we went in and did the self-guided tour where we saw them making cheese. It was pretty cool I guess and we got some free samples of cheese which is always nice. They apparently had amazing ice cream too, but we were really hungry for dinner first, and their real food options weren't that great, so we left.
Still in the mood for pizza, and especially after seeing all that cheese being made, we stopped at a pizza place in town. We ordered their large pizza, which according to the menu and waitress feeds 4-6 people. Paul and I split it, and I ended up eating about ¾ of it. It was the first time in the trip we had bad food, and probably the first time in my life I didn't thoroughly enjoy the pizza. But, we paid for it, so it was going down the hatch. Me need calories.
By the time we left the pizza place, it was getting dark. We had another 12 miles or so to this campground near the water. We went down some very lightly trafficked back road to get there. It had to be the road that was in the worst condition of the trip, and of course we could hardly see. It's as if it were Sim City, and they turned transit down to zero, and let the simulation run for like 1000 years. Awful. But we made it.
We crawled in to this campground as it was past check in time, and navigated our way to the hiker/biker section which was through a path, again difficult to traverse in the near complete darkness. We put on some Pearl Jam, one of our favorites, set the tent up, and went to bed.
The Oregon coast had lived up to its name thus far, although other than our stay at Canon beach, it was a pretty misty, cloudy day. We were on the ocean and could hear waves crashing as we went to sleep.
Life was good.