Daily miles 88. Total miles 720.
We decided to pack up our breakfast gear early and have a hot breakfast out in town rather than cooking in the morning to try and get an early start and have something other than oatmeal to start off the day. We rode the 3 miles into Florence where we heard there was a nice Old Town section with cafes and whatnot. All the touristy stuff in town was closed when we pulled in around 7:45, but we asked a shopkeeper sweeping the sidewalk where to get breakfast. He pointed us toward a bar which didn’t look like the kind of place I would expect to find breakfast, but Chandra looked in and found it full of local working folks so we thought that was an excellent sign and went in. I had a good omlette which was filling, but Chandra totally out-ate me with a whopping head-sized breakfast burrito and a side order of biscuits. Fully fueled, we headed onto the highway and into the wind. The first few miles were still the dunes and far-off beaches we had been riding past for a couple days. As we went north, however, we started to see more long beaches without dunes, some craggy cliffs, and a couple really beautiful lighthouses.
Through the dune areas, we could often hear the ocean, but could not usually see it firsthand. Today, however, we could almost always see the waves. The wind was strong, and we came to realize that riding into the headwind is not intrinsically so bad. Climbing into the wind is also manageable since we are pretty strong climbers. The places where the wind really takes its toll are the incessant stripping away of personal space – particularly in the face, and the fact that we usually have to pedal hard to go downhill. It never seems fair that we climb for several miles and don’t always get the downhill fast section as a reward or break.
In a couple towns, we found breaks from the wind in the shelter of a library grass lawn, a picnic area, and a great little cafe in Newport.
We rode into Newport over a bridge similar to the nasty one out of Coos Bay, but on this on we were allowed to ride on the roadway which we did and,despite strong wind, didn’t run into problems. As we mae our way through town, we decided if we saw an interesting-looking cafe with a place to sit out of the wind and maybe some baked treats, we would stop. I almost skidded the bike when exactly such a place appeared. We shared a monster molasses cookie, had a cappucino, and sat in the lee-side of a building an chatted with local new mothers who worked next door at a little boutique called Bambino – critter clothes, high end.
It was a lovely little break, but eventually we had to go back into the wind which we didfor a final push of about 20 miles to Lincoln City. A bike shop owner we talked to briefly said there was a McMenemens bew pub in Lincoln City. I recalled Lori recommending such a place once before,so we decided we would set up camp and go out for pub food and beers rather than cooking. The final push had one long climb which was thankfully shielded from the wind and yielded a great view from the top of Cape Foulweather.
It wouldn’t be a coast day without a flat though – this time we got a pinch flat pulling through a construction area about a mile shy of the campground. Lovely. Asked a flag man where the pub was though, fixed it up, and still made it to camp by 6 or so – early for us. Met a guy from Oakland named Charles who was riding the same route as us pretty much, but was taking a few days longer and was cutting over to Portland in the morning.
The beers and fish and chips hit the spot, and we retired to the strange arrangement of a campground within a town.