It rained hard overnight, so I was very glad we shared the yurt with Allison and Kameron. They left early, but we waited out the lingering showers this morning while we had pancakes for breakfast. Our ride was not too difficult today, and at one point turned off of US101 onto the old highway. I enjoyed the ride up a big hill with a dedicated bike lane and road traffic paralleling us only in the southbound direction for about two miles to the top. We stopped at the Otter Crest Wayside at the top to take in the view and enjoy a dark chocolate bar reward. In the distance we could just see Yaquina Head Light through the mist.
The light at Yaquina Head is just north of the town of Newport, our final goal for the day. We decided to do the short side trip to the lighthouse, since it was signed as an “outstanding scenic area,” and it really is beautiful there. Yaquina Head Light is a Bureau of Land Management Fee Area, but access is free to people arriving by non-motorized transport. Lucky us! The lighthouse stands out on a point in the Pacific Ocean and is the tallest light house in Oregon. It’s pretty small compared to lighthouses I’ve visited on the east coast, especially in the Outer Banks; apparently there is a delicate balance between being seen far enough out at sea and keeping the light below the fog and being seen at all. The rocks off of Yaquina Head are nesting sites for several species of sea bird, but it’s not the season to see them there. The afternoon got cloudier and we worried about the rain starting, so we hightailed it out of Yaquina Head to the Comfort Inn in Newport. With the rain forecasted for tonight and tomorrow, we’ve booked two nights. I’m looking forward to a rest day tomorrow: my legs are feeling a bit tired from the big climbs we’ve been doing over the last few days.