We peddled only(!) 40 miles from Ft Steven's to Nehalem Bay State Park this day. We had a few decent hills, which is par for the course on the Oregon coast. It's a rugged coast line, people.
Riding the coast meant meeting lots of interesting people, as well as hills. Lots of folks ride the coast from Canada to Mexico or parts therein. At Ft Steven's, we'd met three different sets of people. One was a single guy who just up and decided a few months before that he was going to do a bike trip. He sold his truck to buy his bike, then, one day before us, took off from Portland and headed to the coast. He took three days to get there and was going to take a rest day at Ft Steven's before moving on. He was feeling pretty tired out by the whole affair. He was a backpacker prior and had a backpack along with him in which he could fit all of his gear. He said that if he got tired of riding, he'd load up the pack, ditch the bike (sell it? lock it up? We don't know) and hike around a bit instead. He had his lap top with him to blog the trip, in addition to a lot of other stuff that, in his opinion, added up to too much gear.
Then there was the group of many young men (10 give or take) who'd ridden the Washington coast line from Seattle and, after Ft Steven's, we're turning inland to go to Portland where some of them were flying back home while others were taking the train. We spent some time talking to them about the route to Portland and about bike shops in Portland where they could get help boxing up their bikes.
One couple that we saw many of our nights on the coast, but didn't get to know too well, as they were a little on the introverted side, had started their trip in Vancouver, WA, and were headed as far south as they could go in the four weeks they had to travel. They were either going to rent a car or fly back to Vancouver when they were done.
One of the more interesting characters we met, though, was at Nehalem Bay on Day 3. We call him "Dog Guy." He showed up to camp in the evening with his bike, panniers, trailer with a dog kennel on it and dog all in the back of a pick up truck. We, at first, assumed he was starting off his adventure there and being dropped off by a friend/girl friend/wife.
However, after getting settled in, he came over to talk to us and we, eventually, got the picture of his travels. Dog Guy started off in Oklahoma, where he lives, some three months prior. We were impressed with this until he further conversation reveled that, in those three months, he'd done "about 300 miles of riding." He told us that it was about life style for him, not actually necessarily riding all the miles. He likes to get to know "locals" and hang out for a while. In fact, it had been a local from Cannon Beach, where he'd made friends and hung out for a while, who'd given him a ride to Nehalem Bay.
Regardless of the oft ringing alarm in his tent, he had not yet risen when we left none too early the following morning and, later reports filled us in on the fact that he was still at that camp for at least another day. Davan commented, "I guess he hasn't met his locals there yet."
Dog Guy's set up:
As for our day of riding on the way to Nehalem Bay? Well, it was a decent day. We were feeling a little tired, but had a good day overall.
Before leaving camp in the morning, while the oatmeal was cooking, Davan discovered an interesting piece of bark and couldn't resist making this:
Plus several other creations, as well.
We took a rest break at Cannon Beach in the morning for food and the view.
We picked up fresh fruit twice. Once was a bag of cherries just before lunch, which we ate at Hug Point, complete with hugs all around, and the other a pint of blueberries just before finishing up for the evening.
The blueberry sellers were older locals who were really impressed with our trip and with our family, telling us as we left that we had a great family, which was no surprise because we were "doing everything right." Anthony and Davan had chatted with them for quite a while waiting for me to finish a climb. It was nice talking with them, but I felt a little like I missed the view somewhat at that view point because I was too busy chatting and buying blueberries and then my family was ready to move on! This would also be a good time to point out that we really wished we'd gotten the camera out more than we did. This would have been a very good spot for a picture, too.
This day was our first tunnel experience, which our guide book had warned us could be scary. This tunnel had a good sized up hill grade and a turn at the end, so we couldn't see all the way through. It was, yes, a little scary. There was no place to go if cars squeezed too much and it's dark. We turned on our lights, made sure we all felt like we had our breath, then pushed the bike in the tunnel light. The bike in the tunnel light lets the cars know that they have to slow down to 30 MPH and they should be careful of bikes. People did slow down some and we made it through. Without worrying about safety, it would have been kind of cool because it was all cut stone and, you know, a tunnel, which is cool, really. Still we were more than a little winded at the end and boy did our thighs burn!
We shopped at a small grocery store just before camp and bought stuff for dinner. We had soup with potatoes, broccoli, carrots, onions and pole beans for dinner, most of which was locally grown. Dinner was yummy and so were the snacks we continued to eat all evening...we did a lot of taking in calories on the trip!
In the evening, after dinner, we got in a nice walk on the beach with some time to dig in the sand for our younger group member. Then it was dark and time for bed. Yup. 8:00 was pretty much time to be getting into the tent, although we did then read together each night for varying times, depending on lateness and tiredness.
Oh, and one more little detail from Day 3. After the tent was set up, while I was making dinner, Davan went off to find the camp playground for a while. As she passed a camp site, she heard them talking about what they'd done with their day. One man was saying that they'd driven up to Astoria and then just kind of moseyed back down the coast. Coming through the tunnel, they'd seen "a really long bike, trying to sprint through the tunnel - wow!" She was pleased as punch to be famous.