Day 16: Randomness (Idaville to Pacific City)

Cape Lookout

Cape Lookout

This day was a bit of randomness as we break our riding squad of 4 in half.  1 group taking on an 85 mile stretch through 1500 feet of climbing to the city of Portland, OR, while the other group continues south towards Pacific Beach.  We were the latter group who are choosing to continue south without the girls.

Deserving Breakfast

Breakfast at Dennys

After a challenging night of food fiascoes and cold weather, we all were ready to move on and refuel our body with good food from Dennys.  Thank goodness no one fell ill from the night before.  We were all glad to be back on the road and out of the RV park.  Our first destination was the Dennys that was promised on a billboard a mile away.  We arrived at the restaurant and sought out the entrees with the most calories to consume.  We all ordered something different and enjoyed our meals thoroughly.

We shared our final laughs and photos before we left the restaurant to go grocery shopping at Fred Meyers, which is a huge store like Target or Walmart, but included camping equipment.  We were treated to aisles upon aisles of things that would make our journey more comfortable, but would add more weight, so we picked out essentials.  It’s funny how the weight of items is a consideration when you shop for things on a bike tour.  I found some hydro-cortisone creme to ease the itchy mosquito bites.  We also bought more toothpaste and food for the road and later on tonight.

Traveling By Two

Sang climb to Cape Lookout

We got out of the store to load up our panniers and bid farewell to our traveling buddies.  They rode away and disappeared in the distance, as we finished repacking our bags.  We both rode into Tillamook and quickly out towards the Cape Maeres Loop Road in hopes to catch more fantastic views.  Unfortunately, the road was closed 6 miles in, so we had to take the Netarts Highway Alternate.  This cut out 7 miles for us.  We continued to follow the coast line on the Three Capes Scenic Route which was beautiful.

Challenge Up

Sand dunes in the forest?

Sand dunes in the forest?

In the midst of being preoccupied with getting the girls out of town to Portland, we didn’t notice that our route today was going to include the highest elevation climb in Oregon.  Starting from the entrance of Cape Lookout State Park, which we should have stayed at tonight if we did not travel the extra mile. We started our upwards ascent pass the 800+ feet mark.  This put the other 2 climbs from the previous day to shame.  It felt like we just kept going higher and higher.  We finally crested the top and was treated to a thrilling descent, which required bicyclists to take the full lane as the roads were marginally good and the speeds were screamingly fast.  When we reached the bottom, we saw some sand dunes to the right, so we pulled over to check it out.  Interestingly enough, there was a sand dune in the middle of the forest.  Crazy!  That’s probably why they named the area Sandlake.

The remainder of the ride was not so bad as we were given rolling hills into Pacific City.  Initially, we thought we would camp at Bob Straub State Park, but when we got there, the signs read no camping.  We consulted the ACA maps again and found a close option in the Woods Campground.  This is a county campground which cost more to camp at than the state campgrounds and did not include a shower.  We were the only ones there as we spent the day basking in the sun and drying out our tent and clothes from the previous night.

We decided to eat early, get up early in the morning and ride 70 miles out towards a state park with hiker / biker and shower availability.  We heard Beachside State Park should be our destination tomorrow!  Can’t wait to see what this next day will present to us!

Our campsite in Pacific City, Oregon

Our campsite in Pacific City, Oregon

About Johnny Lam

Johnny is an avid cyclist who enjoys bicycle touring as well as anything bicycle related. Johnny has traveled the entire Pacific Coast by bike from Vancouver to the border of California and Mexico. He's also toured through-out locations in Southern California. Johnny is also a League of American Bicyclists League Certified Instructor (LCI) and also completed the Adventure Cycling Association's Leadership Training Course (LTC). He is an active member in Los Angeles bicycling community being involved in organizations like the Los Angeles County Bicycling Coalition (LACBC), C.I.C.L.E. (Cyclists Inciting Change through Live Exchange), and Bike San Gabriel Valley (Bike SGV) by taking part in ride marshaling, pedestrian & bike counts, and other volunteering opportunities.