We left the Bunkhouse Motel this morning under cool, cloudy skies. We traveled south and inland a bit around Nehalem Bay, where a few boats were out fishing. I think the salmon are running, because there sure have been a lot of boats on every river, bay and tributary that we’ve seen along the coast. We also saw a cool ‘life size bonsai’ in the river. An old tree trunk beached in the river has become its own little ecosystem. We had second breakfast in the tiny town of Wheeler and then pushed on south towards Tillamook.
We rolled pretty easily through more small towns and stopped to have lunch on Tillamook Bay. In the town of Tillamook, we stopped at the Tillamook Creamery. Oregoners are quite proud of their local cheese and the Tillamook Creamery definitely caters to tourists wanting to taste the local dairy delicacies. We opted for ice cream cones, and skipped the tour.
After Tillamook, the bike route uses a road called the Three Capes Scenic Route, but we discovered that part of that route was closed due to a landslide that washed out some of the road about six miles south . We took a shortcut that linked up with the Three Capes Route on the other side of the closure. It turned out to be a little shorter, but it had a narrow shoulder and was highly trafficked with impatient drivers—probably the most taxing part of our ride today.
Once on the the Three Capes Scenic Route, we enjoyed the scenery very much, even spotting a few harbor seals floating in Netarts Bay, close to the road. We decided to stop at Point Lookout State Park to camp for the night. This was our first stay camping in the ubiquitous hiker-biker sites along the coast. It only cost us $12 to camp quite close to the beach. I enjoyed listening to the waves crashing on the beach all evening. We met four other bike tourists in camp: a couple, and two guys traveling solo. All are heading south. With the threatening rain, we exchanged phone numbers in case anyone wants to share a hotel room down the road. We had dinner on the beach and watched the sunset. We’re planning to get a very early start tomorrow, since rain could start in the early afternoon. We’d liked to be camped or holed up somewhere before it even starts.