It’s Memorial Day weekend! For most people, in the USA, even though the calendar says differently, this 3-day weekend is the true start of summer.
Here in the Pacific Northwest, historically, this weekend doesn’t always ooze summer. Quite often, it can be a VERY wet weekend indeed. Especially at the ocean.
Therefore, when I woke up today, fully intending to crank out some miles on the bike, I was VERY pleasantly surprised to see blue sky and sun! With this kind of weather, how could it NOT be a great ride…
The plan today was to ride the Kernville loop (well thats what I call it)
You ride south from Lincoln City along the coast to Newport, then head inland all the way to Toledo (Oregon, NOT Ohio) then cut north though the little town of Siletz, rejoining hwy 101 at Kernville, and then home. Right about 80 miles!
As bright as it was, it was still a bit chilly this morning. So I took off about 7 with the lightest coat I had, and slightly heavier gloves. With the sun being low in the sky, there were a lot of shadows and an onshore breeze. No coat at all woulda been COLD!
Last night, at the Red Roof wine bar, Michelle and I were talking to one of the owners on her beer break. (Yep, between 4 and 5, when the red roof switches from a bakery to a wine bar they get to relax and have a beer before making food. Last night was PIZZA night! But I digress)
I was talking to the owner who lives along the Siletz river. She was telling me that the winds in the afternoon suck (I have met said winds, and yes they do!) and she recommended I go south along this road in the morning and home along 101 north. Glad I decided not to! )
Traffic was very light as I headed south, and I soon found myself in Depoe Bay. Out in the bay, were two whales traveling north and spouting away. I love seeing whales when I cycle.
I also saw something different this time through town.
The lady sitting down and the guy had a big antenna set up. Turns out they were listening for seabirds that had been tagged with transmitters. Actual science going on RIGHT in front of me! I wanted to ask more questions: What kind of birds, how many, why are we tracking them, what school are y’all from… But they were busy and I had miles to go… I left them to the sciencing.
As I climbed Otter Crest loop, I had to stop for this shot.
Had I listened to the lady last night, I would have missed this. I don’t get this view going north. That alone is enough to make me happy I did it my way.
But wait, there is more…
At the top of Cape Foulweather, I stopped to look around, and lucky I did!
Do you see the whale at the bottom of the picture? Let me help some…
I decided that with the morning light behind me, I wanted to get up close to the lighthouse for some pictures . It was just long enough to snap some photos and use the restroom. But very much worth it!
I had had the left over pizza for breakfast, but I was still hungry! I was REALLY craving a maple bar or apple fritter, but I sufficed with the PB&J I packed instead.
About this time, I shucked the coat and put on fingerless gloves. It was warming up.
My route takes me south to the Yaquina Bay Lighthouse
And the Yaquina Bay bridge.
At this point, I drop down to the Bayfront road to head inland. Being Memorial Day weekend, I decided it would be a good stop snap this photo at the Coast Guard Station.
This is the Motor life boat Yaquina Bay. It was built in 1946 and retired in 1970. It is on permanent display as you head down to the Bayfront. Being a coast kid, I have a soft spot for Coasties. They are always there ready to help people in trouble or who were just stupid….
The bay road is mostly flat, and it was just plain pretty.
There were others out enjoying this fantastic day as well!
I was very happy Michelle made me put on sunblock, and I was full on into the sun. It’s really just not something I need to worry about too often here. Of course, 2 years ago, on a day I forgot to SPF up, this happened… We didn’t need a repeat…
Once you hit Toledo, the route takes you north again through farm pastures and forests. The VAST majority of people who head north take 101 to see the ocean. This makes this an excellent bike route. The shoulder is big enough, and the traffic sparse.
Plus, on a day like today, the work sparkled…
Sure enough though, as I got closer to the ocean and the end of the ride, the headwinds started to pick up…
But, either the legs are getting stronger, or the weather gods held back a bit, It honestly wasn’t that bad. Since I wasn’t fighting the winds, I had time to look around and spotted this giant osprey nest.
I turned north, and took the back way to the house, startling a couple of deer in the process. 80 miles of sun, fun, sparkles, and whales. In Short an EXCELLENT day to ride the coast!