We have officially made it 200 miles down the coast to where we are now resting in Coos Bay, Oregon! Following the coastline has been nothing less than amazing, with the blue sky over the blue ocean, foggy mystical rainforests, and sand dunes as far as the eye can see! With many wonderful host friends down the coast to stay with, we’ve been averaging about 35 miles a day. Beginning in Seaside our stops have included Nehalem, Oceanside, Pacific City, Lincoln City, Yachats, Florence, and now Coos Bay. Our longest day was just yesterday at 45 miles with 2000ft elevation! We have thoroughly enjoyed spending time on the road and with friends, and are incredibly grateful for the generosity and cozy spaces they’ve provided. We’ve felt so supported, by friends old and new, even by the many strangers who’ve asked about our trip and cheered us on. So thank you!
After just one day riding, we waited out some wild winds and rain in Nehalem for a day at our friends’ cozy home. As soon as the weather let up the next morning, we began the ride to Oceanside and were surprised that not one drop of rain fell on us. Passing through Tillamook, we had to stop at the Tillamook cheese factory for Kate (and Alanna, too) to experience some massive scale cheese-making machines and ice cream, cheesy noodles, and cheese curds. We made the mistake of getting our ice cream in cups, while we should’ve gone for the lower-waste option of cones. *Note to self: when carrying all your trash with you, and in life in general, cones > cups! Way too full of dairy, and burdened by our accumulated to-go waste, we made it over some substantial ups and downs to the cutest cliffside city.
Christian, or Oceanside host, surprised us and arrived home with a large amount of oyster mushrooms he had just found, from which he made a wonderfully warm soup! As we waited for more rains to die down the next morning, we thoroughly enjoyed some drizzly beach time, the highlights of which was watching a family frolicking on the beach and many bouncing beach babies.
Our ride to Pacific City was along the 3 Capes Scenic Loop which was super stunning. Cape Lookout, an 840 ft hill, was our hardest climb thus far. The climb took us into a socked-in, foggy rainforest - the beauty of which offered a slight distraction from the struggle. We were welcomed to Pacific City with a stormy ocean beach walk with a one-of-a-kind dog: the Great Sheepadoodle, Napoleon, and his wonderful owners Alex and Sean. Highlights of our stay in Pacific City consisted of Sean’s garlic bread pizza creation, lentil soup, a film photoshoot by Alex, many great puppy cuddles, and shared memories of our beloved Cameron. Fueled the following morning by scones from the neighboring bakery, Grateful Bread, we were off to Fogarty Creek!
A few miles in to our morning, our friend Sam joined us for a days ride! The pedal featured another substantial hill as well as some great views, plus it was our first day of full sun, perfect for our first night of camping. Fogarty Creek was a magical little spot, tucked into the trees on a cliffside overlooking the ocean. Upon arrival we set up our home and with the sun still shining we ran down to the water where we cooled off in the ocean and soaked in the creek. Kate made a delicious and hearty meal of noodles and veggies, including a homegrown zucchini from the wonderful Lydia! We rose with the sun, opening our tent to see whale spouts off in the distance! Perhaps the most exciting way to start a day.
We bade farewell to our magical campsite and continued down the coast, stopping at some notable spots like the “Devil’s Punchbowl” on the beautiful Otter Crest scenic road, and then in the bustling metropolis of Newport, Oregon, where we made our first food co-op stop to stock up on some minimal packaging foods to help in our minimal waste effort. Also in Newport, we were thrilled to get to meet up with Kailey, a friend of ours from Catalina Island! Always nice to see an island (and Oregon State University) friend and catch up! We crossed the grand Yaquina Bay Bridge and finished the 36 mile day just north of Yachats, OR, at another OSU friend Alissa’s incredibly charming A-frame forest abode where we showered, cooked, and slept al-fresco!
Refreshed and fed by the awesome vegan establishment The Green Salmon the next morning, we left “the gem of the Oregon coast” and began maybe the most scenic ride yet through the Cape Perpetua coastline. We compared the cliffs and curves and views to Big Sur, but with a lot more trees and probably less incline. Dropping out of the cape, we came into the Oregon dune landscape that we’ve followed for the last few days. Passing some beautiful stretches of beach and dune coastline, we ended the day just past Florence, OR, at the campground at Honeyman State Park surrounded by tall, tall pine and fir trees. A short stroll from our tent brought us past pocket lakes and up to some massive sand dunes and the perfect sandy rest, stretch, and swim spot.
Awaking after a good rest under the trees we set off on our longest pedal yet, 46 miles to Coos Bay. For being a longer ride, it wasn’t extremely hilly and actually kind of flew by. We saw a lot more dunes and trees, and crossed three bridges, one of which was mildly terrifying with some incline, crosswinds, lots of trucks and semis, construction, and no shoulder added to the mix, but mostly considerate drivers and more and more comfort on the highway saw us through safely.
We write this post from the cozy Coos Bay apartment of Bree, Alanna’s high school friend, on our first *planned* rest day, doing laundry, lots of stretching, watching Disney movies, and holing up indoors from a new load of smoke that’s rolling through the west coast. Our thoughts are on what the next legs of our ride looks like, how we may have to adapt to the smoke and fire conditions, and with those directly affected by the fires.
THANK YOU to all of our tremendous hosts and to all of you for following along! We are very excited to continue trekking south.