Cycling the Yaquina River

Everyone knows how much I love cycling along the Oregon coast. The majority of my miles this year have been between my house in Lincoln City, and Newport. Its a 25 miles stretch of road, much of it with views like this! Oh and yes there is a whale spouting!

I tell people all the time that I ride this route every chance I get, and I never get tired of it. There is ALWAYS something that makes the ride worthwhile.

There are times I want something different. Like today, since I was watching the Seahawks in the morning, I wasn’t able to ride until the afternoon. I try too avoid HWY 101 on Friday’s after work and Sunday afternoons. There are just to many people driving big ole Winnebagoes they aren’t used to.

So today I decided to ride the Yaquina River.

I had no idea when I moved here that the busiest area tourist wise, the Historic Bayfront road of Newport, continues along the Yaquina river all the way to the town of Toledo Oregon. In town proper, there are working fish processing plants taking first from fishing boats on the south side of the street.

On the North side are places to eat, tshirt shops and Ripely’s Believe it or not. (Now closed for renovations.

Further inland is the fishing fleet of Newport. There are over 100 boats.

Its a bustling 3/4 mile stretch of people walking the sidewalks, and cars looking for parking. It is NOT the piece and quiet of the Oregon Coast.

However, a mile farther, and you are east of town on a flat road with NO traffic and nice shoulders riding along a slow moving river!

This was today’s destination! I am SO glad I did!

I loaded the bike on the car for the drive south is about 25 miles away.

I did stop at Depoe on the way. The last few days the water has been incredibly calm.

Today, the waves made up for it!

LOVE days like this! Almost ditched the ride to sit and watch, but I was looking forward to getting in some miles.

I mentioned above how parking is on the Bayfront itself.  I HATE looking for parking. So instead, I park up the hill at the Yaquina Bay Lighthouse starte park.

There is always parking and it lets you check out the jetty.

Fair warning, this does add 2 miles to the ride and a pretty decent climb back up to the lighthouse parking lot. I see those as positives, not all would….

As I was getting there, though, I was going through Nye Beach and saw two bike campers doing the Oregon Coast. One had the bike upside down to change a tire. Nye beach is also busy, and there was no place to park. So I went the mile to the state park, got ready to ride, and then went back to Nye Beach.

These two were less than half a mile from our one bike shop, but it is closed Sundays. And while most bike trekkers have what they need, I make a point to make sure of this on the coast. Its easier for me to get a new tube or CO2 cartridges than someone living out of a bike pannier.

By the time I got there, they were saddling up! They thanked me for the concern, and asked a few questions about the route coming up. They were stopping for the night 25 miles south in Yachats. I taught them its pronounced ya-HOTS not
YEAH-chits.  I left them with a wave and made my way to the Bayfront.

I passed the traffic and got out of the bustle of the tourist area, and I was suddenly where the bay turns into the river.

Then I heard a bird I knew from when I was a kid.

Its a killdeer. Named because their call sounds like a bird saying “kill DEER, kill DEER”  No lie.

When I was a kid I heard these in the field where I would walk our dogs. AND I saw one do the broken wing thing drying to lure us from her nest. I remember (preGoogle) going to the library and looking through quite a few books before I found it. Could be this was the start of my bird nerdness!

I had thought I had heard them before, but this proved it!

I saddle up and continued on.

DAMN!! Wait!!  I forgot to warn you about this route!!

There be pirates!!!!

And they ride eBikes!

Be fair warned!!

As I said this route is flat and quiet. But if you like birds or scenery or boats. you will LOVE this ride.

There are ponds and streams

There are mudflats and grassy areas with egrets and herons

Pilings with birds on them like this blue heron

I also saw Kingfishers, harbor seals, cormorants, flckers and I was busted when this osprey caught me checking her out.

Not too mention a couple of fishing boats.

OK OK you twisted my arm, one more Blue Heron.

I hear-by swear each and every photo taken (and MANY more I am not putting in) were taken on today’s 27 mile round trip ride. (its normally 25, but I was on a potential rescue mission to Nye Beach first. )

I turn around at the hill climb into Toledo and come back. Now a true warning.

Coming back the headwinds can SUCK!!  You are riding back to the ocean along a river. Ocean winds LOVE rivers! Have a windbreaker and bring your strong legs. You will need them. But the views can take your mind off it!

OH and there is history! There are signs along the way of homesteads and places to used to be there. In fact one of Daniel Boones great grandkids settled on the river and lived there for years!

I like to stop in town to see the sealions that have their own dock,

and get some shots of the Yaquina Bay Bridge.

After this its a mile and a short to the car!

My birdnerdness was fulfilled today, as was my need for the ride today,

Yes you could do this in a car, but you would miss a lot. Some people run it as its part of the Newport Marathon route, but that isn’t fun (to me anyway)

On a bike you can see and hear the birds, smells the water and trees,  and just BE with nature. It was an excellent ride!

6 thoughts on “Cycling the Yaquina River

  1. But oh, your typos and misspellings…. In the second paragraph it should be, “I try to avoid the highway…because there are too many big vehicles…” You seem to have a lot of trouble with homophones like rain-rein-reign and there-their-they’re as well as to-too-two.

  2. Tony has never had perfect spelling… but he is my Bro for many years, and I can overlook these things because he and Michelle are people that I love. Even if he digs candy corn and hates those little tiny cabbages. Sometimes spell-correct just sucks. Let’s get past that and on to life at the beach!

  3. Thanks again for a lovely read. Such a lot in one ride, and such a difference from here in Scotland. I enjoy folk getting het up about spelling, language for me is a fluid thing, full of constant change. As long as I can understand what I feel is the intention of what’s written that’s fine and I’m grateful for folk who communicate their love for things.

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