Bicycle Adventures Oregon Coast Tour, 2006

August 21, 2006, Monday

Seaside to Tillamook, OR,

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After a waffle at the Comfort Inn complimentary breakfast, we rode toward the beach on Broadway. At the turnaround we stopped to take a photo of the Lewis and Clark statue. Unfortunately it had detritus on it from the night before, so we took a photo of the Seaside town sign behind it instead. This location was said to be the turnaround point for the explorers before they returned to St. Louis, hence the Broadway turnaround, a circle at the end of the road at the beach. We then rode south along the promenade to its end, where we headed inland toward Route 101.

Preparing to leave the Comfort Inn.Seaside sign in front of Lewis and Clark statue.Riding the Seaside promenade.

During the day there were several long stretches of the route along Route 101, some without shoulders, and several people were upset by what they thought were dangerous conditions. The traffic was moving fast and many of the motorists did not give us much room as they passed.

After a few miles we left 101 to head toward Cannon Beach. Kerie and I rode part of the optional route toward Indian beach in Ecola State Park. There was a very steep climb before the road dropped down to the beach. We turned around at the top of the climb before the road dropped to the beach. Justin was the only one to ride all the way to the beach, and of course the view from there was spectacular. It's a given that if you're the only one to do an optional ride, it's always the best ride of the day with the best view or best scenery.

Cannon Beach, named for a cannon that washed up on shore from a shipwreck, contains many art galleries and gift shops. The art in most of the galleries seemed to be of questionable quality. We didn't spend a lot of time checking them out since it was early in the ride and we didn't want to get too far behind the others. The town is much smaller than I envisioned, having heard from others that it was one of the better locations along the beach. We walked around town for a while then headed south again, taking in views of Haystack Rock along the way.

There were several state parks along the route today and we stopped at most of them. At Oswald West State Park we took the short walk down to the beach to watch the surfers in heavy wetsuits catching waves and the dogs playing in the water. They were the only ones who could stand the frigid waters.

Haystack Rock outside Cannon Beach.Oswald West State Park.Short walk to the beach at Oswald West. Just missed taking a photo of the classic surfer pose, a surfer checking out the waves and surfers before heading down to the water.
Trees along the path to Oswald West beach.Atop one of the many overlooks.Kim, Kate, Sandy, and Janet.

As we passed one of the beach communities we saw several people on the beach riding beach trikes. There was a trikes rental outfit nearby and kids and adults were having a blast racing the them in the sand. It looked like the next big thing in beach toys, at least for hard-packed beaches like these. Lunch consisted of veggie burritos at Oswald West State Park. As usual we were the last ones there, and there were not many burrito fixings when we arrived. I can distinctly remember Kerie saying “Where's the rest of lunch?” when she saw the tortillas, lettuce, and beans on the table. Despite her misgivings, it turned out to be a good meal. After lunch we walked under 101 down to the beach to check out the surfers.

Just before lunch Dan the guide followed Kerie and I through a moderately long tunnel. Before entering the tunnel we pushed a button to warn motorists that there were cylists in the tunnel. Even so it was good to have the van blocking oncoming traffic. We climbed up to some great views of the cliffs below along the way.

Later we stopped at Nehalem Bay Winery where we sampled some so-so Pinot Noir that sold for $30 a bottle. We then finished the ride, coming around Tillamook Bay, passing by the town of Garibaldi, announcing itself with a large white G on the hillside behind the town. We ended the day with ice cream and a tour of the Tillamook Cheese factory. From a viewing stand overlooking the cheese production line, we watched huge blocks of cheese being cut, cleaned of excess cheese scraps, wrapped, tested, and sometimes re-wrapped. The whole process was somehow very fascinating.

View toward Tillamook Bay.Beach trikes.Tillamook cheese contributor.
Route 101 bike lane.Tillamook Cheese Factory.Tillamook cheese production line.

Dinner was at a good seafood restaurant back north about a 15 minute drive away. I had a plate of good, large local oysters, so many that I couldn't finish them. Unfortunately it was another 2+ hour ordeal.

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