Day 11: May 19th; Astoria – Rockaway Beach, 51 miles

Today started with another bang! This time I successfully made it down any flight of stairs I encountered undeterred, but had trouble negotiating a bike path. Not even a mile into the ride, I was looking at a sign showing a stick figure of a guy on a bike flying off said bike due to getting his tire stuck in a railroad tie. Obviously serving as a warning, I took special care to avoid the ties. But all the care in the world sometimes isn’t enough for my clumsiness, and I felt myself become the stick figure man as my wheels got caught in a tie and I went flying over my handlebars. As violent as that sounds, I got up alright. I think after years of dealing with falls, I’ve learned how to do it the right way. And besides, what’re a few more bumps and bruises at this point?

We made our way out of Astoria and through some really cute towns on our way towards the coast. We stopped 17 miles into the ride in Seaside for coffee. Our coffee stops in the morning are pivotal. Sets the mood for the whole day. Neither of us weened ourselves off coffee prior to this trip like we did the Transam, so let’s just say we’re less than jovial in the morning. The only reason we ride those first 10-20 miles in the morning so quickly is because we’re itching for a cup o’ joe to perk us up. Today we sought refuge in a McDonalds. We both agree they have great coffee.

Not long after our caffeine fix, we finally made it to highway 101 and the Oregon coast! Anyone we encounter tells us about how beautiful the Oregon coast is and how it’s arguably the most spectacular portion of the ride. We can’t wait to see if that’s an accurate description.

We had a pit stop at Cannon Beach to see Haystack Rock. After the Transam, my friends met me on Portland and we took a day trip to Cannon Beach. We drove a small portion of 101 to the beach, and I remember thinking “one of these days I’ll be riding my bike on this road”, and here I am! Didn’t think it would be this soon, but when opportunity knocks, right?

After Cannon Beach, we knew we had a few hills coming our way because we FINALLY have an elevation map! Granted at this point we’re used to being surprised with hills, but it’s still nice to know anyway. Unfortunately, though these hills were totally manageable, it started to rain and fog up as we ascended. This made us both a little nervous because we knew there was limited visibility and the roads were busy, being a Saturday. But nonetheless we trudged on. We encountered a tunnel which at first was a little scary, but we saw a button for cyclists to push that lit up the tunnel warning vehicles to be aware of cyclists. Awesome!

As we continued to ascend, we encountered more rain and fog. We could barely even see down to the water, which was only a couple hundred feet below us. Again, this unnerved us a bit.

What comes up must come down. Which made for a terrifying descending journey. The rain was pelting us in the face, making it hard to keep our eyes open as we sped down the hill. I think you can come up with a thousand reasons why riding 35 mph down a wet road with cars wizzing by with your eyes half shut is a dangerous situation, so I won’t bore you with details.

But alas, we made it down fine and just as we did, the rain ended. Like our ride out of Washington, we were pretty close to hypothermia range (or at least I was shivering enough to think that), so we warmed up and took lunch.

We rode an easy 15 miles through some more cute coastal towns to our destination, Rockaway Beach. We’re camping in Barview Jetty Park and though we had some trouble finding it, we’re all set up and ready for bed. Hopefully the weather is less temperamental so we can actually see this gorgeous Oregon coast everyone has been hyping up!

Addie is never going to want to come home… living the life of luxury with her best friend!

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