Coastal Contemplations

Coastal Contemplations day 5

Seastack on the Oregon Coast
Seastack on the Oregon Coast

watching the downpour
under a temple


sometimes it pours
I lingered in Astoria having breakfast out, relishing supplies, finishing my coffee. The skids were cloudy, but streaked with blue and it was warm when the sun worked its way through the cracks.  I made my way out of town the same way I came in, following the waterfront trail.  At the Astoria Bridge the route makes a nice gentle climb into the hills above the downtown. The hills behind Astoria is the classic Astoria, old houses perched on the edge of the hill, trees, winding roads. Great route through here.

Old pair below the Astoria Bridge

Away from Astoria now the route cut a diagonal across farmland then into forested hills. Once again a great bit of riding, though plenty of reminders that Oregon too has its share of clearcuts.  It began to sprinkle and sensing this would last I pulled off under a tree and put on rain gear. It became pretty steady showers for a time but then faded away and the sun was out again. There was plenty of ups and downs in this route but it followed a creek most of the way and was in the woods and I enjoyed the break for the traffic. All too soon with a long cold descent I was back on 101 at Seaside.

blue cracks in the clouds
a sudden shower —
late spring

Now it was mostly 101 along the coast for the rest of the day. There was a brief jaunt down to Cannon Beach where I, along with the throngs of tourists, got my first solid sighting of the Oregon Coast. Even on this grey day plenty of people were frolicking on the sandy beaches.  The weather was odd though – wind out of the southwest which is very unusual and the clouds further away looked much darker. I sensed a storm coming on. So I soon returned to road.

driving winds, stinging rains
head down, keep on moving

This section of the coast is particularly scenic as the road is right on the edge and it ascends on big rocky outcropping a so you can really look out into the distance. Seastacks stud the coastline adding their mysterious facade to the beaches and waters.  The winds though picked up and then the rains began. It would go from sprinkles to a heavy downpour sometimes with driving headwinds. Nothing I could do but press on. There is a good long climb before Manzanita and then a long descent which is particularly soaking and at last I reached the turnoff for Nehalem Bay State Park.

water dripping off
the thin stand of trees
sparkles in the setting sun

In thin drizzle now, I set up my tent and cooked dinner. Never was I so happy for Oregon State Parks free showers.  As I cleaned up after dinner the clouds broke up and the sun shone through. The setting sun painted the scattered clouds brilliant pinks and purples.

beyond the grey clouds
white clouds
looming in the distance
black clouds

Photos on Flickr: todayall days

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