1.8.12

Oregon Coast Bike Route


Coasting: A Dubious Bike Ride from Washington to California Kindle Edition


These are photos of a bike tour from Astoria to Brookings along the Oregon Coast Bike Route.  My trip began in Seattle, Washington and followed the Seattle to Portland Bicycle Classic Route (aka the STP Route). In Portland, I took a mini-tour along the Columbia River Gorge Scenic Route. I am currently in Arcata, California and headed south later today.

Leaving Portland during rush hour on Tuesday. They are riding to work and I am headed to the Greyhound station.
I took the bus to Astoria so that I would not have to ride Highway 30 again (I came in on 30 from Washington). The bridge across the Columbia River shown in this photo is a big deal.


After a quick stop at the Goon Docks, I checked Yelp on my celly and was directed to Fort George Brewery. At this fine house of brew, I hoisted 1811 Lagers with river sailors from Portland and made jokes about bilge pumps. One of my goals on this trip is to try every possible brewery along the way. To make it interesting, I am drinking left handed. 

Cannon Beach was the next stop. The tide was low and the beach was long, so I took to the sand. Riding south, I covered almost six miles of shoreline including a precarious portage around Hug Point.

Hug Point is an interesting spot where old timey cars and horse-buggies used to pass at low-tide. Thanks to google maps, I was able to see that there is a big beach on the other side. So, I went for it.

Carrying the bike and my crocs, I waded through waist deep surf. A rogue wave could have ended the trip here. Overall, I rode approximately 2.5% of the Oregon Coast Bike Route along the shoreline. Don't worry, I avoided riding through surf and rinsed the bike in fresh water after each beach encounter.


I encountered fried eggs, hashbrowns and friendly people each time I stopped for breakfast. I This particular spot, Muddy Waters (Tillamook) used amazing wheat bread and gobs of Tillamook cheddar.  I didn't stop at the cheese factory in Tillamook, but I saw people who did.

To combat the soggy nights, I employed my ultralight tarp, sleeping quilt, 2 mm ground sheet and small blue foam pad. Here, it is pitched between two trees at Barview Jetty Campground. So that squirrels don't eat the bike, I like to sleep with it under the tarp next to me.
South of Tillamook, the bike route takes a scenic detour.


Along the Three Capes Scenic Loop, cars are minimal and sweet views are abundant.

Cape Lookout is a five mile hike that is worth parking your bike for. Right after this, I met a nice prisioner who was sentenced to work duty along the Oregon Coast. We talked about hang gliding.

The bike route remains interesting as it wraps around rocky headlands and back into the forest. I camped at Cape Perpetua State Park and found it wet and wonderful. It reminded me of the Rocky Point area of Big Sur, but wilder.

The Rogue Ales Public House in Newport, Oregon is a fine place to rehydrate. I did not really feel up to having a beer at this point in the morning, but I love Rogue Ales and I have a duty as a touring cyclist.
 South of Florence, a short hike leads you through the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area. Even during a sunny, summer day this place was virtually unrecreated upon.

I had carried this Pliny the Elder since Pacific City (about 100 miles) and figured this empty stretch of beach along the dunes was a great place to open it. The weather was perfect. I love this place.

Buffords Beach State Park, where a cyclist can pitch a tarp, take a shower and charge a phone for five dollars.

Oregonians can fry the heck out of some fish and I respect that. These are the fish and chips at Shark Bites in Coos Bay. Sportsman's in Pacific City also deserves an honorable mention.


A short ride off of Highway 101 will take you to Arizona Beach. The sand is black and hot, like coffee.


The last stretch of Oregon is bordered by big rocks and small waves (at least during the summer). At 105 miles each, my final two days in Oregon were the longest rides of my existence so far.


This is the view from Oregon's tallest bridge, three hundred and something something feet high. The Oregon coast has many bridges, but the coolest bridge that I crossed was the Bridge of the Gods between Cascade Locks and Stevenson, Washington. You can find it east of Portland on the Columbia River Gorge Historical Highway.



Back in The Golden State! I left Fort George Brewery in Astoria at 3PM on Tuesday and crossed the  border into California at 10PM on Saturday. I would have made it sooner but there was a pirate festival in Brookings..arrrrggghhhh.