Day 7: ~40 miles from Fort Stevens to Neilhalem Bay, OR via Highway 101
Ugh, the rain. Everything is so wet. Luckily, we slept until then sun came out than quickly moved everything over to a sunny spot to dry out and soak up some much needed rays. We were camped next to Brian, a seasonal fisherman from Alaska. He was pretty chill dude in his 50’s, said he’s been touring since he was 12. He told us a bit about his girlfriend and her child who live a very typical ‘stuff-filled’ American life. He’s always on her about it – seeing as he is 30 years my elder I wonder how that will work out for me. Instagram Instagram, cat photos.
Also, Brian was rocking the Ogre with front panniers, pretty loaded Jones bars, frame bag, and a bullet bag as a tail. He was on 2’+ tires too. It seemed like a rad ride, and considering the speed we’re cruising at…maybe I should have went the Ogre route!
The ride started out pretty normal for this area – Highway 101 with a decent shoulder. Oregon definitely needs to clean up their roads though. The pavement was pretty good but there was so much debris in some spots the shoulder was almost impassable. And in reality a dirty shoulder is usually worse than no shoulder because entitled drivers don’t understand why you’re in the road and respond aggressively.
We skipped through Seaview, as it is a pretty touristy spot where 101 is the main drag. We climbed out and then dropped into Cannon Beach, a much quieter littler town with a ton of people out walking around. We meandered for a while, grabbed crepes for lunch, then walked the beach and napped in the sun. After so much rain it felt good to feel that warmth in our skin! While we relaxed we watched tons of kids and dogs running around. Just next to us a mom and her daughter worked on their site while dad and son badgered them from above with their trick kite. Typical boys, causing trouble 😃
Stopping at Cannon Beach was nice, but I really hate to stop for so long in the middle of the day. After a bunch of sun and ice cream we really were not in the best state to continue riding and climbing. The long climb out of Cannon Beach was gorgeous but treacherous. The combination of tiny shoulder, continuous climb, wind, and decent traffic flow made for a harrowing experience. I am pretty use to this by now and it doesn’t really phase me anymore, but that doesn’t make the conditions any better. We inched up the slopes at a meager 5mph and had to stop a few times to recover. Thankfully, the scenery was worth the struggle. We enjoyed stunning views over the ocean cliffs and could see for miles – a nice change after so many days of gray skies and rain.
After much struggle we finally made it into Manzanita and had a slow, peaceful ride to the campground at Neilhalem Bay. What wonderful facilities – hot showers with no timer or coins and more water pressure than at home! After the long day it felt great to really scrub ourselves clean and relax in the steamy with of a good shower.
Naturally, as we began making dinner it started to rain and then dropped as soon as we scrambled to clean up and hop in the tent. Tonight was a penne pasta pesto bag base with canned chicken and ramen noodles to beef it up. The whole thing probably coat about $6, was filling, and didn’t taste half bad. We’re becoming quite the camp chefs 🙂