After hopping off the train at Kelso we road a short 20 miles that evening to a campground, it was dead, the water was not drinkable and I didn’t bother with a shower, still feeling down after Seattle I slid into my tent early and went to sleep, not an easy night. The next day would see us finally hit the coast in the town of Astoria. The place has lots of history particularly in film, being the location of The Goonies, Free Willy and a long list of others. Around the docks in town you can find hordes of Sea Lions chilling out making their goofy sounds, great watching. I also realised how difficult it is to tell Seals and Sea lions apart. The easiest way to know is if they have ear holes or ear flaps, the latter being a Sea Lion like the lad featured in my picture below. There all Pinnipeds regardless.
The salt in the cold sea air instantly triggered thoughts of home, fish & chips for lunch, no mushy peas unfortunately. The route took us inland slightly before bringing us back out into a beach town a mile away from the campground for the evening so we decided to hang around in town a while before finishing up for the night. After a hot shower I sat in the steamy room for a good 30 minutes with my phone plugged in so that I could get some charge to make calls.
We emerged from our tents tents and checked the breakfast situation the next morning on the maps. Cannon Beach wasn’t too far away so we could ride until then. It was a very well pointed postcard town, I had the best pastry breakfast, bear claw + dohnut. The towns main attraction was the rock haystacks that stood out in the sea, after making our way down some steep hills for beach access I took my shoes off and waded along the sand to get a closer picture.
Magnificent riding all day, just how I had remembered from my days riding on the Oregon coast previously. Steep climbing up high onto the cliffs always rewarded by stunning overlooks. We ended the ride in Pacific City, almost a carbon copy town of Cannon beach. Spectacular sunset sat outside a small brewery whilst playing fetch with a dog. Lifes a beach.
From Pacific to Newport the pattern was much the same, blessed with tailwinds and sunshine. Impossibly perched homes on top of rugged cliff-tops, the waves crashed up a hundred feet with every swell, simply epic riding and clear enough to pretend you could see Japan.
The Oregon state parks along the coast are great, all $5 for bikers with a guaranteed spot and hot showers. By the time we had arrived in Newport hit the brewery and made our way to the park a heavy sea fog had rolled in. Cold, damp night ahead. A guy pitched next to us came over to let us know he was getting up at 4am for work and apologised in advance in-case he woke us up, strange. Too bad for him some kids disco that night raged on until around 10, the kids sliding on there knees type. He was trying to go for kip around 8pm, hard lines pal.
Super cold morning with the fog still lurking around. Looking at a 2-3 day plan on the maps to see what towns line up it was nice to find today would be a short 45 miles to Florence. A special place for me, that’s where I finished the TransAm. So I raced on ahead so I had some time to spend in the nice historic district.
I had lunch at a small bakery then went to the cosiest coffee shop right on the river to get some long overdue blog action going. Eal found me several hours later as the heart palpitations from too much caffeine began to kick. We rolled up the road a few miles to another state park biker spot amongst a huge circle off trees. Later that evening we were joined by and older guy from Maine and an Irish guy who I think was pretty drunk, unless he was just generally bleary. Camp notices mentioned a recent bear in the park so no food in tents, in the middle of the night some mammal snagged itself on my rear tent rope tugging it downwards, not bear sized though, more like fat raccoon Still had me eyes wide open for a good hour with held breath before I nodded off again.