Previous: Portland to Beverly Beach
Day 6: Beverly Beach State Park to Beachside State Park
This short day of pedaling started with a long breakfast in Newport, OR. Finding food that all four of us want to eat is sometimes challenging. Someone isn’t in the mood for that, or they don’t like that or any other reasons the choice is bad. But breakfast is easy, we can usually find something on the menu that everyone likes. After breakfast we stopped into Bike Newport looking for kids bike gloves. We struck out on gloves but we did learn that the shop has showers, laundry and a lounge that they provide for touring cyclists. If only we had known! After lingering and chatting with some other bike tourists at the shop, we pedaled down the highway a few miles to the Marine Science Center. We stayed longer than planned, but I just couldn’t pry my science loving boy away. We finally left in the late afternoon, hoping to arrive at the next campsite before dinner.
Miles: 30.28 miles
Climbing: 2633 ft of climbing
Route: Hwy 101
High: Hatfield Marine Science Center
Low: Missing the Oregon Coast Aquarium
Sleep: Nice private hiker biker campsites at Beachside State Park
Day 7 :Beachside State Park to Honeyman State Park
We woke to a heavy damp coastal fog. The laundry we hand washed the night before and left on a clothesline was wetter in the morning than it had been after we washed it. And now it all smelled like wet, damp sea air. After coffee and breakfast, the kids and I wandered over to the day use area so we could walk on the beach while Tim finished packing. Beach time was brief, too cold to linger! Dip your toes in the ocean, kids, it’s time to get on the road!
Thankfully the sun quickly burned off the fog and warmed us up. We enjoyed a fast ride down the coast aided by a nice tailwind. Nothing like looking down at your bike computer to see you’re going 25 with little effort!
The kids talked us into a tour of the Sea Lion Caves, after seeing all of the billboards on the Highway. A stinky tourist trap that I could easily have skipped but it ended up being a highlight for the boy, so I guess it was worth it. I can still smell the stinky cave and hope I won’t ever have to go back.
Miles: 35 miles
Climbing: 5366 ft of climbing
Route: Hwy 101
High: According to the kids, the Sea Lion caves
Low: According to the parents, the Sea Lion caves
Sleep: Stayed in a regular campsite at Honeyman State Park.
A quick note about families and hiker/biker sites and rates: In OR state parks, the hiker/biker rate was $5 per person. A regular tent site was $16. With four of us, it was cheaper to stay in a regular site. Some campgrounds didn’t charge us for the kids but instead charged us for two bikes or $10. This policy was inconsistent and the amount charged varied by park. We much preferred the quiet and camaraderie of the hiker biker sites if given a choice. But we didn’t want to pay more for it (dirtbag bike tourists!)
Day 8: Honeyman State Park, OR to Coos Bay, OR
The wet stinky laundry from the day before was still not dry and was now rotting in our waterproof panniers. So we decided to stay at a motel in Coos Bay and do some laundry. The ride to Coos Bay was pleasant enough and uneventful. We arrived in Coos Bay, checked into a motel and set out on foot to find the laundromat. Why didn’t we ride? It would have been so much faster. Not much to say about Coos Bay and after about an hour there, we were wishing we’d planned our motel stay for a better town. We couldn’t find anywhere to eat and ended up eating breakfast for dinner in a roadside Denny’s clone.
Miles: 46 miles
Climbing: 3457 ft of climbing
Route: Hwy 101
High: Happening upon a 7-11 on our way out-of-town on Free Slurpee Day!
Low: Coos Bay
Sleep: Super 8 in Coos Bay
Day 9: Coos Bay to Cape Blanco State Park
Eager to get the hell out of Coos Bay, we drank lots of coffee in the room, the kids consumed free pastries from the breakfast bar and we made an effort to kickstart our morning. The kids dragged their feet, hoping to prolong bad TV watching on the real bed with pillows. Eventually we convinced them it was time to go, and we were on the road.
After 45 or so uneventful miles in the saddle, we arrived at our planned campsite for the night. a depressing little KOA off 101. But after a quick tour, we decided to ride 10 more miles to Cape Blanco, hoping to find a more inspiring place to rest our tired legs. The ride out to Cape Blanco was brutal, we pedaled against a raging headwind the entire way. We finally arrived to find a nice hiker biker area tucked in the trees and out of the wind. A super friendly couple from Austin we had met a few times in campsites and on the road had already started a fire when we rolled in. One of the best aspects of hiker/biker sites is sharing stories with all of the other bike tourists. Most didn’t even mind sharing the sites with old people and their kids.
Miles: 57 miles
Climbing: 4704 ft of climbing
Route: Hwy 101
High: Ice Cream from a General Store in Langois
Low: Riding the last five miles with a head wind to Cape Blanco
Sleep: Hiker biker site at Cape Blanco State Park
Day 10: Cape Blanco State Park to Gold Beach, OR
Hoping the previous night’s headwind would blow us back to the Hwy, we set out from Cape Blanco with Gold Beach as our destination. We had decided on a rest day in Gold Beach and were pleasantly surprised when the sun came out and warmed us up. We enjoyed another day of riding with winds in our favor, North to South on the Pacific Coast in the summer is the way to go! Every couple of days, we encountered cyclists who were riding the Pacific Coast from South to North. One guy riding North told us the headwinds were so bad, that he was only able to ride 20 miles a day. He said often he’d reach the top of a climb, head for the descent and realize he was riding slower on the descent than he had ridden on the climb!
Miles: 48 miles
Climbing: 4217 ft of climbing
Route: Hwy 101
High: Tailwinds, baby!
Low: Lots of road construction on Hwy 101
Sleep: Indian Creek RV Park (don’t let “RV” in the name fool you, it’s a pleasant spot by the creek with really nice quiet tent spots in the back of the park.)
Day 11: Rest Day in Gold Beach, OR
The RV park ended up being a very pleasant place for a rest day. The tent area was deserted so we had the place mostly to ourselves. We ate breakfast in the restaurant, cleaned all of our laundry, used the free wi-fi and lazed around in the sun most of the day. But for some reason, I couldn’t sit still. I thought since we were in a beach town we should really go to the beach. I convinced everyone to ride into town and have a picnic lunch on the beach. Apparently my short-term memory had blocked out the tail wind that blew us South from Cape Blanco. We pedaled to the beach, pushed our bikes through the sand, our faces getting pelted by sand. Sand blew in our food, and in our eyes, and in our chains. We left after 10 minutes wishing we had just stayed at the RV park out of the wind and rested like we’d planned.
Miles: 4 or so, into town for groceries and dinner
High: Kids enjoyed finding and playing with salamanders in the creek at the campground
Low: Wind and blowing sand foiled our planned picnic on the beach
Sleep: Indian Creek RV Park (Did I mention the breakfast? Yummy!)
Not sure if they’ve changed owners, or if we just had a bad experience, but I wouldn’t recommend a stop at Bike Newport. We detoured back there from South Beach State Park after one of the wires on my dynamo snapped, and were greeted by a rude, condescending mechanic (“We don’t work on those. This is a bike shop.”) We were also directed across the street to a coin laundromat, so the laundry option doesn’t seem to exists either?
On the bright side, we picked up some great snack finds at Grocery Outlet while we waited on our clothes. And Newport has a health food store where we got vegan marshmallows and graham crackers, so we were able to pull off s’mores in the first park we’d been to with no burn ban. Score!
Not too much farther down the road, the folks at the Green Bike Co-Op in Waldport were incredibly friendly and happy to help us get the dynamo up and running again. They seem like an awesome organization, and I’d encourage anyone riding through to stop and check them out.
That’s too bad, Julie! Maybe they did change ownership? Or they are feeling grumpy today. I’m sorry you were treated that way. I remember them being friendly.
I hope your trip is going well. Yay for fires and s’mores!