Lighthouses and Blue Herons

Can you believe we have been at the ocean for over a month?!?! We moved down here March 23rd and here it is May! We still love it. I try to get to the beach at least twice a week, and it has not gotten old yet.

May, of course, is Bike Everywhere month. For the last 4 years, I was the team captain at the Mighty P. We were a sometimes small but always mighty team! This year, though, I abdicated the throne for my friend Sandy! It just seemed to me the captain should be in the office! I was happy to join her team and just be a participant….

That is until I got an email telling me we had too many riders for one team! Hell yeah! I always like to hear that! I was happy to start a second team to help out!

I also wanted to get the ball rolling with miles as well! I just want to go on record right now and say that the 119.2 miles I cranked out this week were some of the toughest since we moved here!

May 1st, work was done and I was in the saddle. I decided to make a run south to the Yaquina Lighthouse and back. It was a gorgeous afternoon!

 The whole time I was riding south, I was racing this ocean-going Tug boat way out on the horizon. He was towing a HUGE barge.

I am happy to say, with a bit of a tail wind, I was able to stay ahead of him! OK OK the big barge did slow him down some

I stayed ahead of him all the way to the Yaquina Bay light house!

Which was my turnaround point. He happily moseyed further south.

Now what you CAN see here is the sun is still shining, it a gorgeous day. What you can’t see is the wind! To get to this lighthouse you climb a bit, then angle north and go down hill. The wind was blowing hard enough from the north I had to pedal going down hill. A bit later, the bike, while on the kickstand, almost got blown over.

This whole time I had been riding south. I hadn’t really noticed the winds picking up and pushing me along. To get home, though, it would be directly into the wind…. UGH!

And UGH it was! There was one gust that was a brick wall and slowed me to 9 MPH….  I had to travel 22 miles home! (Yes I know this is like a story problem from back in math class! Tony is traveling 9 MPH and has to go 22 miles, how long….)

Let me tell you, that was one HARD ride. I made it back, but the legs were talking to me!

Thursday was foggy, but time for a new ride! I decided to start at the Yaquina Bay lighthouse and ride the flat river route for an easy 25 miles.

It is a mostly flat out and back along the Yaquina River. It rained off an on, but on the whole it was a great ride, with me spotting sand pipers, a king fisher and 7 blue herons

I also spotted this and had to snap a photo.

It was just so ugly it was beautiful! I just wish I could hear the stories she could tell and seen her when she was new…

Then there was today! I REALLY wanted a 100 mile ride, but I have been itching to ride to the Cape Meares lighthouse as well. Which is only 50. I decided to do the easy 50…  Yeah right! Easy….

Got up early today, did the Starbucks run, and drove to Pacific City for the start of the ride. Really Can’t go wrong starting here.

This is an out and back ride along the 3 capes scenic route.

Now for those of you that don’t speak the Oregon Coast language. Scenic route means sometimes very rough roads. Cape means hills BIG hills. (Ex, this is Cape Foulweather, one of the ‘easier’ capes…)

By the time I hit 7 miles. I was starting the long HARD slog over Cape Lookout! This was made harder because of how close it was! My legs normally need a good 10 miles to warm up. A hard climb like this before warm was kicking my rear!!

I considered for a second turning around once I hit the top, but we all know that did NOT happen!

I bombed down the other side (in my head dreading the return trip) and suddenly found myself on a flat road, by the water, no winds, heading for Netarts. Plus there were a dozen blue herons! These are just a few.

The flat was short-lived though.

I had to climb again over a small but steep hill to once again come down to sea level at Oceanside, and then climb 2.5 miles to the State park entrance. Then, again the light house was DOWN hill!! (Which means up hill to leave)

OK I LOVE this lighthouse! I discoverer it on my first Oregon coast bike ride 10 years ago. Honest folks, it is only 38 feet tall!

But it is so high up on the hill it doesn’t need to be higher. Its maybe 15 steps from the bottom to the top.

While I was there I talked to an older gentleman at the restroom. He asked me about the bike, the ride and how much I rode. He told me he and his wife had a couple of Cannondale touring bikes that they had ridden over 10,000 miles “back in the day” “We don’t ride much at all now” he said a bit wistfully.

It made me think a bit that someday that could be me. Talking to some younger guy on a bike and realizing my riding days were over. I am hoping that is FAR in the future!

The ride back was amazing! A bit of a tailwind and warm legs! I met a couple from Germany when I stopped for this photo halfway back up Cape Lookout

He told me I deserved a good bakery for the ride! He and his wife were heading for Crater Lake next. What are the chances of us meeting on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere??

I made the climbs no problem! But, as you know, I have to stop for cool stuff!

First was a shellfish farm (just past the Upick Oyster farm). As an inlander I had NO idea these existed!

Then there was this sign at a Pig Farm! It made me giggle!

I cruised in at the end, hungry, a bit tired but smiling! 50.5 miles and 4300 ft of climbing! Plus, I was able to shuck the coat and heavy gloves for the first real spring time ride! It was one of the harder rides I’ve been on, but I truly loved it and will be doing it again!

I really like being a coast kid!

5 thoughts on “Lighthouses and Blue Herons

  1. This was fun to read! 🙂 I grew up in a town overlooking the sea, which was maybe a mile as the crow flies from the top of low mountains my town was on, set at the southern slopes of a mountain range. There is little to compare to the beauty of a coast (or the leg-work of uphill and down). Enjoy!

    1. We can’t see the ocean from our house, but when I walk for the mail I continue uphill to see the waves about s mile away!

      You are correct, the climbs along the coast will keep me in shape. I am glad you enjoyed it!

  2. You are a SPOILED coast kid, cuz the riding is amazing where you are! So incredibly jealous!

    “It was just so ugly it was beautiful! I just wish I could hear the stories she could tell…” Ha, those are exactly the same words I would have used to describe that sailboat. I tell ya, Tony, I think we might be brother and sister! 🙂

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