Saturday, September 19, 2009

Saturday September 19 - Happy BIG 60, Kmon

Hope you had a great day Ken!!!

Day 34, Friday September 18 - Pismo Beach to Lompoc, California

We left in a fog this morning, plus it was really thick and cold.

It would not last, as shortly after Pismo and Grove Beach we turned inland. Not sure why the course put us on a 5 mile loop through the hills to progress one mile, but it did allow us wonderful views of sprawling rancheros.
and small nurseries. We see these plants all the time in flower arrangements,
strange florals.JPG
but never growing naturally.
We bumped into Don again in Guadalupe, where we learned from John
john and don.JPG
(made infamous in the Lonely Planet book) that they filmed "Odd Couple II" here. If you've seen the movie, you may remember this.
odd couple.JPG
We rejoined Highway 1 to bike through the Santa Maria Valley, home to hundreds of acres of farmed land
in different stages of harvesting. Most of the fields (if not all) are organic and it's amazing to see how green everything is, before it gets picked and shipped. We saw it all, lettuce-every variety, celery,cabbage,
broccoli and more strawberries. The smell was intoxicating and delicious. This is a roadside stand
strawberry stand..JPG
where you buy strawberries on the honor system; very cool and incredibly sweet. In between the very green, watered fields, was dry ground.
The contrast was beautiful.
We stopped for an early lunch in Orcutt in our first air conditioned building. The hour we took to relax and eat made us feel like we had stepped into Nevada as we left the restaurant. Maybe not that hot, but it was definitely in the 90's, no breeze and uphill, of course. But with most good climbs, comes good views
and a shot of the the Lompoc valley that we would descend into.
lumpoc valley.JPG
Our last five miles was downhill, it didn't matter that it was into the wind, we were almost there.

Sandy, Good Luck tomorrow on your triathlon. May the Travis Winds be at your back!

Day 33. Thursday September 17 - San Simeon Village to Pismo Beach, California

It was a quite, calm morning leaving San Simeon with the fog waiting just offshore.

leaving san simeon.JPG
After we passed through Cambria, a few miles down the road from our hotel, we headed inland enough to enjoy warm sunny skies and California farm country.
Ten miles later we turned towards the sea
towards cayucos.JPG
and the quaint coastal towns of Cayucos
and Morro Bay.
And a really cool bay it is.
morro bay rock.JPG
We're sure there is a name for this rock,
rock at morro bay.JPG
and though we stopped to take about 50 pictures of it from different angles, we never stopped to ask the name.
We definitely recommend putting these two towns on our 'must do' California tour list.
It's still strange to see cow fields mingled among these small towns.
Morro Bay is an beautifully protected harbor
stuffed with sailboats.
After our 'cooling off' tour of these two coastal towns, we were blown inland, off of Highway 1, around the 4000 foot 'hills'
hills of san luis obisbo.JPG
and once again, farm country; pumkins are almost ready.
We did manage to capture a couple of horse pictures
for Lisa and Quinn.
Stark dry hills contrasting to lush, watered vineyards
incredible. But there really is nothing like a beach
pismo pier.JPG
and this is the first time we've actually seen people bathing suits. Pismo Beach is your typical looking southern California beach town, surfboards, sand on the sidewalk and lots of skin.

Day 32. Wednesday September 16 - Lucia to San Simeon Village, California

Most magnificent morning,

lucia morning.JPG
most magnificent day.......again. Which means you will be subjected to another page of way too many pictures of the coast.
The colors of the earth,
sky and sea
are indescribable and tough to capture on camera. But of course, we'll try.
The view today was as dramatic
as the hills (note the cut in the rock-that's the road)
we had to climb
to complete the second half of Big Sur. But we enjoyed it nonetheless.
pic at big sure.JPG
The advantage of the climbs was the spectacular views.
The reality was that it took us three and a half hours to go 25 miles. A bit weary and in need of refreashment, we stopped early for lunch at Ragged Point.
ragged point.JPG
We caught a glimpse of fog sneaking around the cafe and thought we better hit the road. Heading out of Rugged Point the terrain flattened out
and we enjoyed an incredible tailwind that Travis had sent our way (Thanks Man!). It was unreal, the water looked like we were in the Brac
and the wind was an fabulous push! Luckily, we didn't disturb the elephant seals.
elephant seals.JPG
A couple more pictures,
and though it was early in the afternoon, we'd reached our destination. The wind was so strong we did 20 miles in one and a half hours, including stops for pictures. We forgot our camera for the sunset this morning, but we did post one (late) last night.

Day 31. Tuesday September 15 - Carmel to Lucia, California

Most magnificent morning,

most magnificent day. The sun was bright, the day was warm, perfect for climbing Big Sur
big sur hill.JPG
The homes in the Carmel area are incredible; I can't fathom the architectural prowess necessary for some of them.
Architecture and some clever landscaping and it's difficult to tell where the cliff stops and the home begins.
carmel highlands.JPG
It was tough to make progress for all of the picture stops,
doubt we went more then a couple of miles at any given time in between photos.
big sur coast.JPG
We needed a video camera attached to our helmets,
one incredible scene
after another
and another.
First we are here
1932 bridge.JPG
and then we cross to view the bridge fro the other side.
bridge from south.JPG
This is Point Sur
with a working lighthouse. And this was all before lunch at Nepenthe.
lunch at Nepenthe.JPG
Yes, this is stopping soon
because the fog was coming in.
It rolled in off the sea like a huge wave.
rolling fog.JPG
Our stop after 50+ miles had a pretty nice view, too.
Our first sunset.
lucia sunset.JPG

Day 30 DAY OFF Carmel By The Sea

Carmel By The Sea is an enchanting place, expensive, but enchanting. Charming inns,

carmel hotel.JPG
shops and more art galleries than permanent residences. We played tourist for a minute
hogs breath.JPG
poked our head in to see if Clint Eastwood was at the bar, then headed for the beach. It's spectacular;
carmel beach.JPG
pounding waves,
waves of carmel.JPG
and wonderfully soft sand. Apparently Carmel is the only place on the coast where the sand is created from quartz. And then there's the view of Pebble Beach and the 17 mile drive.
pebble beach.JPG
That's all we have, back to resting and preparing for the climbs ahead.

Day 29, Sunday September 13 - Santa Cruz to Carmel by The Sea, California

We cruised through Santa Cruz and it's connected cities on sleepy Saturday morning roads. We understand the UC Santa Cruz campus is beautiful, tucked in the Redwoods at 1200 feet, but we didn't need any extra climbing. The towns, however, are quite funky; a collection of college, california and hippie.....or is that redundant.
Once out of town we went on a culinary tour of all that the county grows: rubbarb,

brussels sprouts,
brussel sprouts.JPG
artichoke (comes from the Thistle plant)
and Strawberry Fields Forever (can you hear the music?).
driscoll strawberry.JPG
But this is by far the strangest plant/tree we saw...... look closely,
cell tower tree.JPG
only in California!
Moss Landing, the beginning of the Monterey Bay, played host to a pier of sea loins.
moss landing.JPG
Our last 25+ miles was on a great bike path
monterey bike path.JPG
along the Monterey Dunes
and Bay, where we paid dearly for our tailwind of yesterday. The head wind did not prevent us from enjoying the sights, however.
One last straight up hill
and into Carmel By The Sea and a much needed DAY OFF!

Day 28. Saturday September 12 - Half Moon Bay to Santa Cruz, California

We managed to roll away (instead of going back to bed) from our incredible fireside breakfast

mill rose breakfast.JPG
into a foggy morning. Riding through fields of brussels sprouts, green beans
farm fields.JPG
and occasional groves of Eucalyptus trees whiles breathing in the sea air was very refreshing. When we were able to see the sea, the waves were huge and pounding the rocks.
pounding seas.JPG
The sky tried to clear close to noon for a quick shot at Pigeon Point Lighthouse,
then all of a sudden the sun was blazing
and the sea came alive with color.
blue pacific.JPG
Though we had some tough climbs the downhills were straight with smooth wide shoulders so our 51 mile ride was great; did we mention the wind was at our backs?

Day 27, Friday September 11 - Sausilito to Half Moon Bay, California

In Remembrance of 911 and Those who have Given to Our Country (taken at the foot of the Golden Gate Bridge).

911 Remembrance.JPG
We arose to a beautiful sunny and warm morning, so we pilled on the sunscreen, packed the jackets and headed out the door
in sausilito.JPG
to see Sausilito.
downtown sausilito.JPG
Downtown Sausilito is charming, rich and seems to deadend into the San Francisco Bay, offering a beautiful view of the city
s.f. in fog.JPG
or so we are told.
So we turn the corner to head to San Francisco and realize Sausilito is not without it's steep climbs. This hillside filled with beautiful homes needs to be biked over
to get to the other side, HA! At least, we hope, the higher prespective offers a better view of the city. As we soon realize, we can't even get a good glimpse of the Golden Gate Bridge.
northend of golden gate.JPG
What were we Thinking? We've been to San Francisco, We've been over the Golden was Freezing.
golden gate in 09.JPG
But we were able to get a clear shot of the bridge, from this angle anyway.
look up.JPG
Our course took us to the west side of San Francisco, which we had not seen in previous visits
and dropped down to the cold Pacific Ocean. It was just south of the city we encountered our very steep climbs.
steep clim.JPG
Luckily, our last nine miles was downhill or flat
moss beach.JPG
filled with beautiful homes that stood off the beach allowing trail (yes, as in horses) riding and beach going.
But the biggest treat was the pot of gold at the end of today's ride.
Don't ask me how or why we ended up staying and the magnificent Mill Rose Inn Bed and Breakfast, but if you want an incredible and romantic getaway wihin walking distance of the beach, a charming town and wine country, book it

Day 26. Thursday September 10 - Bodega Bay to Sausilita, California

"We" had to get up before 6:30 this morning, because "we" wanted to get an early start. That was until we bumped into Don (pictured later), the Brits, Jim and Allen (hamming it up and showing off their t-shirts),

jim and allen.JPG
staying at the same place, and the stories began. Shortly before 9 am, "we" managed to pull away, just in time to catch the fishing trollers in the early morning fog.

bodega bay trollers.JPG
After riding along Bodega Bay, we turn inland into a beautiful sunny day.
The air was crisp, but the sun warmed our chilled bones and the continuous rolling and rolling and rolling hills burned our legs. Fifteen minutes after leaving, we'd stripped off all our cold weather gear.
What western cowboy country ride is complete without a covered wagon?
With the wind at our backs, we biked along the Tomales Bay for miles
tomales bay.JPG
enjoying the colorful sights.
By late morning, we happened upon a great lunch spot
tomales bay lunch.JPG
and Don.
don on tomales bay.JPG
The clam chowder was incredible, the view beautiful,
the entertainment off key (look closely, those are sea lions on the sailboat)
sailing sea lions.JPG
and the characters unexpected.
molting sea lion.JPG
As we were pulling away, this French Canadian pulled up,
french canadian.JPG
though it is the second time we've met him, still haven't gotten his name. But his story is great; he has biked and skateboarded across Canada from Quebec and now down the west coast.
By one o'clock with the sun high in the sky, our course tuned us onto a wonderfully shaded and paved bike path.
We didn't realize how much we appreciated the one hour ride in the shade until we reached the end of the trail and were once again in the 90+ degree heat. Note: the sun and heat comments are not a complaint, just tough to go from 50 to 90 in one day. Fifteen miles from our destination, we start to see signs of civilization past
and present.
As always, the last miles are the toughest, but we made it 65 miles to a wonderful hotel room in Sausalito.

Day 25, Wednesday September 9 - Point Arena to Bodega Bay, California

It was a beautiful ride today, cloudy/foggy, and hilly

thick fog.JPG
but incredibly peaceful. It helped us to appreciate the part of the view that did not include the coast.
morning ride.JPG
roadside weeds.JPG
The water is just as beautiful today, however without the sunshine you may not fully appreciate it.
Much of our ride was on twisting,
very narrow and steep roads with no shoulder and straight down drops off the right side white line.
narrow road.JPG
Not sure if the thick fog made the challenging road seem better or worse.
The coves we could catch glimpses of were beautiful
and without the sun we made better progress, except when we had to stop to take multiple pictures of the wildlife.
deer family.JPG
For lunch we dined beside Fort Ross (we never found the historical maker, so couldn't tell you it's significance)
on leftover smashed cinnamon rolls and tortilla chips......lunch of champions apparently. Towards the afternoon, it lightened up enough to showoff the water's beautiful color
incredible coast.JPG
and lighten the famous (to wine drinkers anyway) Russian River.
Our last seven miles cleared enough to light the small coastal towns
as we approached.
Happily we found a great little place in Bodega
bodega harbor inn.JPG
that overlooked the now sun-filled harbour.
overlooking the harbour.JPG
Time to enjoy the day, 64 miles done.

Day 24, Tuesday September 8 - Fort Bragg to Point Arena

We pulled out of Fort Brag this morning in full sunshine, within a couple of blocks we were in heavy fog.

For the rest of the morning we watched the continuous tug-of-war between the sun and the fog over control of the coast. Each offered us a spectacular show

We hesitated to leave each spot as the scene changed by the minute,
mendicino shoreline.JPG
but we couldn't wait to see what was around the next bend. The quaint coastal towns and coves of Mendicino County are beautiful.
The road and hills between the town of Mendicino and Elk are filled with magnificent home,
homes on the coast.JPG
cute B & B's, lodges, inns and everything in between.
Still cannot get over the color of the water
or how one minute the sky is crystal clear and the next minute is thick fog.
No matter, every scene was like a postcard
and every turn offered another incredible
incredible cove.JPG
breathtaking view.
looking down.JPG
......just one more.
The land on our left side is stricking as well,
but still cannot compete with the coast.
mendicino coast.JPG

Day 23, Labor Day Monday, September 7 - Gaberville to Fort Bragg. California

We can break today's ride into thirds, not equal thirds by distance or time, but by contrasts. The morning started in rugged cowboy hill country

hill country.JPG
with narrow valleys being cut by the ever present Eel River.
eel river again.JPG
The winds were so calm the water reflected the 100'+ trees like a mirror.
redwood along the eel.JPG

And then part two began with our 2500' winding, hairpin curve climb
hairpin curves.JPG
that lasted most of the day. Take a look at this shot early in the climb of the Eel River.
Deep in the middle of the woods as we came around a narrow turn, we had a close encounter with what has to be Kurt's cousin.
kurts cousin.JPG
Luckily, he's as fast as Kurt is on the court, so we didn't have to rush.
This is one mountain we had to climb down; the sharp corners and grades didn't allow us a good downhill fly.
All of a sudden the temperature dropped and we knew we were getting closer to the coast. It took another hill to climb to reach part three, the coast. One minute we are in thick forest, the next on a spectacular sunny shoreline.

pac coast.JPG
Just can't get over the sight.
We still had a winding road to get to town, but.

winding road.JPG
We reached our destination, Westport, by 3:00, but it was a one-deli town. That was the only restaurant/place to eat, and though the deli was filled with Duckies
ducky deli.JPG
it wasn't enough to keep us. Only 15 more miles to Fort Bragg, and though it took us another two hours on very weary legs, we made it long before sunset.
Another ten hour, 72 mile day!

Day 22, Sunday September 6 - Scotia to Garbervile, California

Have you heard us mention that it's cold out here? You must think we're exaggerating, but it's the first week in September and the leaves are changing,

changing leaves.JPG
that's just plain cold.
But the sun is shinning,
and it's a start to a beautiful day.
morning south of scotia.JPG
Scotia is this country's largest company owned town; (Pacific Lumber Company)
pacific lumber co.JPG
you can see how well loaded with lumber they are.
Shortly out of town, we entered the Humbolt Redwood State Park Avenue of the Giants; a 30 mile treat of the incredible redwoods
av of am..JPG
that snakes along the Eel River.
The enormity of these trees still amaze us
huge trees.JPG
as we go ithrough tunnels of trees
along the eel.JPG
then out to the river.
eel river 2.JPG
We went through a couple small yet colorful towns
and met a couple of equally interesting Brits.
couple of brits.JPG
With a 2500 foot climb that the map calls "arduous" ahead of us tomorrow, we stopped early to rest.

Day 21, Saturday September 5 - Eureka to Scotia, California

The weatherman promised us a south east blow (in our face) and rain. It didn't seem to matter, as for the very first day on the west coast, we felt warm (60's) air.
Our course today took us inland on a tour of the countryside. The skies were threatening,

but the scenery beautiful.
Small towns
and country stores
were nestled between the fields. In Ferndale we actually felt we'd stepped back in time.
gingerbread house.JPG
We had seen a sign that invited us to, 'Come smell our Dairy Air'.
It was very apparent what it meant.
diary butts.JPG
We followed the Eel River
eel river.JPG
to our destination, Scotia. It's a short ride today, as to go any furher would put us out or television reach for the Virginia Tech game this evening. Fortunately for me, there is only one hotel in this town
scotia inn.JPG
and it's a beauty. It's a small, very sleepy town owned by the Pacific Lumber Company which is evidenced in the construction of several of the buildings including the museum.
Great place to get away if you want peace and quite in very nice surroundings.
Game On, gotta go.

Day 20, Friday September 4 - REST DAY in Eureka

Sorry, we were lazy today, so no great photos of the really cool Victorian homes that populate the town. Took our bikes for a massage and tune-up at Henderson Bikes; they did a fantastic job, thanks guys.
BUT, we must wish ODU a Great FIRST Football game tomorrow in like ........... forever!

go Monarchs.JPG
GO MONARCHS!!! Have fun everyone, like we really need to say that!

Day 19, Thursday September 3 - Orick to Eureka, California

Happy Birthday flowers for Mom!


This morning we awoke to crystal clear blue skies and crispy cool air. We had a short hilly trek through the trees to the coast; hoping we'd still find sun next to the ocean. Around the shaded corner and there it was,
west of orick.JPG
sunshine and beautiful lagoons.
Ocean on one side, large pine and fresh water on the other.
Each cove offered a different view, but we had to go around each half moon of land; there is no straight or flat road here.
lagoon 2.JPG
It really didn't matter, it was all gorgeous.
In Trinidad, our halfway point for the day, we saw more of the dramatic coastline
in a most incredible color blue
pacific blue.JPG
and as calm as we'd ever seen the Pacific ocean.
Just one more
trinidad harbor.JPG
then off to Eureka for the night and a rest day tomorrow,

Day 18, Wednesday September 2 - Crescent City to Orick, California

We started late today (9 am) as we were 'taking the day off' so only doing 20+ miles. At our regular sugar rush-filled breakfast, we saw the sun trying to break through to the south, so we gobbled down breakfast and headed out of the door into ..... fog!
Crescent City is "The Gateway to the Redwoods"

and it is NOT just a tourist trap slogan. Though we highly recommend it on a bike so you can actually absorb the beauty, it's a bear of a ride, through ..... ten miles straight up in two the fog.
Amazingly, it appeared as the true gift it was
sunshine; in time to light the redwoods to their full majesty. They are amazingly tall,
tall redwoods.JPG
huge (note bike at base of tree),
huge redwoods.JPG
and awe-inspiring.
We dropped out of the hills to see our first glimpse of the Pacific Coast as the fog was lifting; lifting just enough to show us our next hill.
south of crescent city.JPG
Again, the sun did beautiful things to the color of the water.
The view of the sea was short lived as we climbed back into the redwoods and then dropped into a narrow yet beautiful valley.
We're not huntin' wabbit, we be huntin' Elk....
hunting elk.JPG
But look Elmer Fudd, we sess one
wait a minute, we found more than one!
lots of elk.JPG
With 40 miles completed we decided we'd done enough.
Bar Note: Justin, had dinner at one of the best biker bars ever.
hawg wild.JPG

Day 17, Tuesday September 1 - Gold Beach, Oregon to Crescent City, California

Foggy or overcast (whatever you want to call it) and cold, but not windy, we were psyched. Once again our course took us on the sightseeing loop out of town.

We were not disappointed.
gold beach.JPG
We needed the boost as he had a straight up 800 foot climb ahead of us, which occasionally offered us a view of the water.
After our first straight hill up, we had four more sharp up than down hills, but each offered spectacular, albeit not sunny, views.
This is Arch Rock.
arch rock.JPG
Luckily, though is was not sunny, we were able to see more of the coastline than in the last couple of days.
Can't imagine what it would look like with sunshine.
south oregon coast.JPG
We encountered several seagulls that would not get out of the way of the camera until their picture was taken.
However, the coast is what we came for.
Searching for lunch in Brookings, we found the King Daddy of all Duckies.
the BIGGEST duckie.JPG
Our duckies were very excited.
The southern tip of Oregon and northern tip of California is the Lily Capital of the World......Lily!
As we approached our destination, Crescent City, we were once again treated to a flat, coastal, scenic route.
This is the REAL Pebble Beach, California.
And an incredible lighthouse
crescent city lighthous.JPG
to beckon the salmon fisherman (and weary bikers) safely home.

Day 16, Monday August 31 - Bandon to Gold Beach, Oregon

Play Misty for Me!
You've heard it before, it's cold and foggy, etc., etc. The course takes us on the Beach Loop Road out of Bandon, which is only a few miles long, but it takes us about an hour to get through it. Thank goodness it wasn't for any hills, but the view.

lighthouse at bandon.JPG
We barely had to paddle to see a different view everywhere we turned; Tabletop Rock,
tabletop rock.JPG
Face see the face?
face rock.JPG
Cat and Kittens Rock (not sure on this one)
cat and kittens rock.JPG
and all these rocks are on practically on the beach.
roacks on reach.JPG
The homes and trees along the way
magnificant treet.JPG
are incredible as well.
But we really needed to get some miles on, so off we go. The fog was trying to lift
really foggy.JPG
and offered some great views.
pretty creek.JPG
We reach our halfway point of Port Orford just before lunch, so plenty of time for some sightseeing, especially since it was now nice and sunny.
This port actually lifts the boats out of the water because of the huge tidal flows.
Unfortunately, in the time it took us to eat lunch, the wind changed (from the south) and the fog blew in;
fog rolls in.JPG
and it was thick and cold. It was amazing to see it roll in,
more fog.JPG
though it hid some incredible sights...
...can you see the phantom rock? But, the fog seemed to turn the water a beautiful Caribbean blue.

It was a wicked ride 30 miles into a strong head wind, so the sight of the bridge to Gold Beach
bridge to gold beach.JPG
was definitely welcome, though we almost lost Jerry to another day of fishing. The Rogue River meets the Pacific here, and there had to be 50 boats in the river fishing for salmon. But we are tired and ready to thaw out in a hotel room.

Day 15, Sunday August 30 - Reedsport to Bandon, Oregon

Though we were still tucked behind the over 50 mile long Oregon Dunes, the morning was shrouded in thick fog, so we never saw the end of the hill we had to climb right out of the chute. As we moved further from the ocean, we saw glimpses of daylight and the sand dunes that had buried the forest.

oregon dunes.JPG
This is an ATV riders paradise
atv dunes.JPG
with miles of dunes to traverse. While they played, we climbed, dropped and climbed again through the fog.
steel bridge no bend.JPG
We stopped at this Veterans Memorial
north bend memorial.JPG
just outside of North Bend with a very poignent quote by our first president.
geo. washington.JPG
As we bike through
coos bay.JPG
we see almost clear skies and the ocean in the distance.
sea at coos bay.JPG
Before noon "we" stopped in to check on the local fishing. We mentioned to them that we were heading to Seven Devils' Road. There said something about us thinking it was the devil if we were doing it on our bikes......and they all laughed.......Ha, Ha, wasn't funny. Seven Devil's Road was much longer than 7 miles, certainly had way more than seven killer hills and we definitely cursed the devil that named it. Once we finally reach the crest, we see just how far we are from the ocean.
view before bandon.JPG
The ride into Bandon was mostly downhill, which is really good, as we are spent. This is a darling town
and we would have taken more pictures, if the wind wasn't blowing 30+ mph off a very cold bay.
Jerrism: In a 50 mile day, it's not the first 50 that's the toughest, but the last 50!

Day 8, Sunday August 23 - Centralia to Longview, Washington

It was COLD this morning. We hoped that by waiting until 8 am to leave it would warm up, but it was still only 47 when we pulled out......and it was Freezing! But alias, the hills came to our rescue?

steep grade.JPG
We climbed for over 30 minutes straight and went less than two miles. Needless to say, we warmed up quickly.
Once again we were embraced by the quite beauty of the hills and majestic pines, hemlocks, douglas and fraser furs and spruce of every kind.
wasington view.JPG
Since we were on Jackson Highway (the old Oregon Trail) for a good part of the day, we took a picture of where Joe, Mitilda and their seven children lived in the 1800's.
jackson house.JPG
Yes, it's that small.
These next two shots we really can't explain, but question as to whether they are "guarding" the junk yard.
junk yard lama.JPG
look closely, do you realize what these are?
yard dogs.JPG
Holy Toledo, we made it!
Toledo ("Gateway to Mt. St. Helen's) isn't where we stopped, but had to share the pain of hearing "Holy Toledo" the entire afternoon.
We rambled along the Cowlitz River, that feeds into the Columbia River,
cowlitz river.JPG
watching fisherman waiting for the big one.
fishing on the cowlitz.JPG
We traveled off course to Longview for the night, hoping to catch a glimpse of Mt. St. Helen's in the distance. But the partly cloudly sky, was the part between us and the mountain.
Our maps up to this point have yet to show elevation, meaning we have yet to begin to climb. Not sure what Oregon has in store for us, but we reach there tomorrow.

Day 9, Monday August 24 - Longview, Washinton to Astoria, Oregon

Cold and overcast again

morning in longview.JPG
this morning, however, once we get over the initial shock it's refreshing to ride in. Our morning ride was slow but beautiful
along the Lewis and Clark trail. First we had to stop to pick blackberries so sweet they tasted infused with sugar. Then we had to stop to fix a flat tire and then one more time to watch a fisherman pull in a huge salmon.
salmon fishermen.JPG
By 10:30, as the sun was breaking through, we finally put some mileage under the wheels.
As we cross the bridge to Puget Island, which lies between Washington and Oregon in the Columbia River, we realize we have 15 minutes to catch the ferry to Oregon. We race across Puget Island, which looks pretty in the blur of screaming legs and lungs, but we make it to the last ferry of the trip, thank goodness.
riding the ferry.JPG
On the short ferry ride we meet Nick and Morgan
nick and morgan.JPG
from San Diego. Nick actually lived in Norfolk a few years ago so we are practically neighbors. We all grabbed a quick lunch once reaching land and rode together to Astoria.

The road we traveled was loaded with fast non-stop traffic, but the shoulders were wide and the view colorful
john day creek.JPG
and gorgeous.
Our climbs seemed a lot longer and higher than the marker would indicate
elevation 6560.JPG
and the downhills were met with a stiff headwind. But it is all rewarded by making into the cute fishing town of Astoria, Gateway to the Pacific and western end of the Lewis and Clark Trail.

astoria waterfront.JPG
liberty theatre.JPG
And Happy Birthday, Morgan!
happy birthday morgan.JPG

Day 10, Tuesday August 25 - Astoria to Wheeler, Washington

We woke up to rain this morning, so we rolled over and gave it another hour. By 9 am the rain had stopped and though the clouds were still dark,

there seemed to be a small patch of blue calling us south; we followed. The course out of Astoria was hilly, but it gave us a great view of the Astoria Bridge to Washington.
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Our first 20+ miles was filled with rolling hills on roads we had almost all to ourselves. And though it was windy
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it helped to clear the sky to a crystal blue and lighting the fields a glorious green.
We could feel and smell the coast before we could see it. But as we turned a corner we dropped out of the hills, stopped to feast on fresh plums
and arrived at Seaside Beach
and met a family (boys are 4, 6 and 8 years old) that were taking of a year and biking from Alberta, Canada through South America.
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Seaside is a cute resort town with inviting homes and lodges.
Climbing out of Seaside for the next five miles along the very busy Highway 101 we were treated to the dramatic Oregon Coast.
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Dropping back again to the waterfront, we were treated to the even more charming waterfront town of Cannon Beach. But the coast from the elevation we climbed
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back on Highway 101 was what was stunning.
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After 50 miles of climbing and too many charming towns begging us to stay, we stayed at Wheeler on the Bay Lodge. Note: town of Wheeler is around 300 population.
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for some wine, lovin'
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and sunset.
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Day 11, Wednesday August 26 - Wheeler to Pacific City, Oregon

We regretfully pulled out from our sweet little hideaway in Wheeler to a crystal clear morning.

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Within minutes we were in deep fog
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which embrassed us for the next hour and offered us some spectacular scenery....
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...and though we think these photos are good, it doesn't come close to reality.
The sun burned through by 9 am to bath us in sunshine.
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Quick coffee stop in Garibaldi
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and then our continuous ride along every bay on the Oregon coast.
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But first a stop at the famous Tilamook Cheese Factory
and a cheesy smile.
We stopped in Netarts Bay for lunch
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and met Ivan
cooking his own lunch of freshly caught Dungeness Crabs, check out the size of these tasty critters.
With stomachs filled we began our 800 foot trek up. Now this might not sound like a lot, especially compared to last year's mountains, but thats like climbing an 80 story building with one of the pretty views we've never seen from any building.
Halfway up, we get our first view of the day of the Pacific.
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On our way down we get a quick glimpse of Sand Lake
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formed by sand blowing several miles in from the coast and almost burying a forest. And once again the beautiful Pacific ocean.
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With cheese from Tilamook and a bottle of wine in our bags, we pull into the sleepy town of Pacific City and join the attitude.

Day 12, Thursday August 27 - Pacific City to Ney Beach/Newport, Oregon

After yesterday's beautiful ride, incredible weather and quite fishing town we'd settled in, we were ready to pack our bags and move to the Oregon coast. We didn't fully understand our waitress at breakfast when she commented, "yesterday is the prettiest day we've had all year."

We woke up to cold and fog again this morning,

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but we knew this routine and the clearing seemed to be right on schedule.
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We paddled through the hills past babbling streams
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incredibly tall trees and hardly any traffic. We came out of the forest and wrapped around Devil's Lake dotted with vacation homes and wildlife.
But the coast was not it's a bit corny, but true. The closer we got to the coast the darker and colder it became; the clearing we thought that had occurred was only inland. For a brief moment the fog lifted enough to treat us to a spectacular coast.
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It didn't last long; you could literally see the blanket being pulled back over the coast.
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Not sure who came up with the idea of "blanket", as it did nothing to warm us.
The coast in filled with small towns, each with there own character and claim to fame.
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We heard that earlier this morning, when the sun was shinning, that whales were actually spotted in the bay......we missed it all. (sun and whales)
Once again our course took us off Highway 101 (Otter Crest Loop) and treated us to a peaceful road
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and though we were directly on the coast and could hear the sea below us, the fog was too thick to see.
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We made it to our planned destination, Nye Beach/Newport, a bit chilled.
Happy (belated) Birthday Robyn and Sherry, enjoy Saturday night on the beach!

Day 13, Friday August 28 - Nye Beach to Yachats, Oregon

The view from our window this morning was spectacular and clear.

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Was is a promise of a beautiful day or threat of rain as the weather man predicted??
Since the Duckies didn't get to go the beach last night (we couldn't even see this yesterday)
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they were ready to play in the rain. So we donned our rain gear, hoping not to need it, and took them for a paddle.........which we needed.
Just after crossing the bridge out of Newport
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we hit rain. It wasn't pouring, but raining enough to not stop for photos. Except for a quick shot of Seal Rock.
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Close to 25 miles down the road, we hit a gusty wind that instantly chilled us to the bone. Luckily we were able to find a cup of coffee not that far away, we decided Ducky play time was over.
We found the charming "Ya Tel Motel", a great play on 'No Tell Motel' and the town of 'Yachats', that's our take on it anyway. Don't get us wrong, put this place on your list as a place to stay on your tour of the Oregon coast.....which we also recommend. With an ocean view, we realized after our two hour thaw, that the rain had stopped and the sun actually may come out.
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Though the seas were still stormy,
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we look forward to a dryer day tomorrow.

Food Note: I must relinquish my lasagna crown to "Heidi's at Night"...........excellent lasagna!

Day 14, Saturday August 29 - Yachats to Reedsport, Oregon

Yachats, another cute coastal town in Oregon we hated to leave.

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We definitely had the BEST seats in the house today. Take a look....
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We entered Cape Perpetua National Forest and were about to be dazzled.
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See that small cute in the trees on the side of the hill???
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that's the road we climbed through to get to this point.
Since we have run out of superlatives for this incredible view, we'll just show you the pictures.
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Whew, bikes gotta take a break.
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Have you ever heard either one of us this quite? This is Heceta Head Lighthouse.
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Our last shot of the beach, Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area, as we headed inland for the remainder of our ride.
And now the characters we ran into.
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Grizzly bonding.....
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.....I have no idea what they are looking at or for.
We did find a great piece for the Mojo Lounge, though.
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If you'd like to order some chainsaw artwork, click here, he will ship anywhere. Seriously, check out this detail.
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That's the show for tonight.

Week 2 Complete

Centralia, Washington to Reedsport, Oregon

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348.7 miles