Coastal Contemplations

Coastal Contemplations day 9

Rock off of Cape Kiwanda
Rock off of Cape Kiwanda

today too, today too
living in mist…
little house


a long day’s journey into…evening
I awoke to the sound of drizzle pitter pattering on my tent.  Now the sound of rain on the tent is an experience not to be missed, but I did intend to pack up and leave Cape Lookout today.  It fell off after a spell and I jumped out and put everything I way.  Then I moved to the campgrounds covered pavilion where I made breakfast as the rain really came down. But it didn’t last and my weather app said it would be mostly just overcast the rest of the day.

looking through rain
at white tipped waves

Heading south now on the Three Capes Route I found that just past the State Park was the most devastating clearcut I’ve seen on this tour.  What was once a beautiful corridor of trees is now cut short on one side and just a barren, brutalized hill.  Recent enough too that wildflowers or undergrowth had yet to move in.  As always when I’m shocked by clearcuts I have to ask myself, “what am I doing to reduce my consumption of wood products?” If there was no demand there’d be no clearcuts.

now with homeless eyes
I see it…
blossoming spring


and following after Issa:

empty hills
empty mind
look! look!

Just past the clearcut is the longest climb of the Oregon Coast. While never very steep it climbs over 800′; almost twice that as the climb to Cape Mears I did yesterday. Of course compared to virtually any mountain pass it is just a bump, but for the coast it is a climb.  The drizzle returned as I mde my ascent and I donned rain gear before the descent.  But by the time I’d wound my way back to the coast at the long sandy beaches at Cape Kiwanda (the third Cape!) it had cleared up and off went the rain gear.

On Old Scenic 101
On Old Scenic 101

I followed the beaches for a while, stopping for lunch in Pacific City.  The route then turned inland and left 101 on one of my favorite bits of riding: Old Scenic 101.  A ten mile strench, it actually adds miles from the more direct 101, but it is in old trees, along a stream and mostly forestland.  Not much traffic and only at the northern end are there houses, which mostly seem to be old school hippies.

following the lively stream
into mossy trees —
easy to forget myself

But back on the main roads I find the character of 101 had really changed.  A lot more traffic and two lanes as I came into Lincoln City. The route take you on the east side of Devils Lake to avoid Lincoln City, but the road was closed for construction. So I continued on 101 through town. You can see why it avoids it – busy, the shoulder goes away and there is a solid mile or two of edge city followed by a tourist trap section of cotton candy, bead shops and other tat.  Just past this was the turnoff to Devils Lake Campground where I was making for this day. It turned out to be a scant block from 101 and the hiker/biker section was literally on a residential street fully open to houses next door. Though it was getting on I decided to press on to the next campground.

Storm rolling in at Boiler Bay
Storm rolling in at Boiler Bay

Once fully outside of Lincoln City environs there is one of the absolute best sections of the coast.  From Boiler Bay to Newport the coast is all wave carved rocks and weather eaten bluffs.  The biking route is as good as it gets too as while 101 climbs a steep bluff, the OR Coast Bicycle Route takes Otter Crest Loop, a narrow road with only one way traffic and a bicycle lane.  This hugs the edge of the bluff and the views into Depoe Bay, Cape Foulweather and Yaquina Head are just stunning.  There was clearly rain coming in but I only felt a few sprinkles on this bit.  Soon enough the road descended back to open sandy beaches where Beaverly Beach State Park is and I would camp this evening. Within a couple hours of my arrival the rain put in an appearance.

lost in the sound
of passing cars —
calm ocean swells

Photos on Flickr: todayall days

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