Day 121: A Rare Sunny Day

38.74 miles

Bridge across Yaquina River, Newport, OR

Bridge across Yaquina River, Newport, OR

One problem with staying in motels is that sometimes you have noisy neighbors.  Last night we had a guy next door yelling at his kid to “lie down and go to sleep!” because the kid was bawling his head off.  This father of the year actually told the kid that if he didn’t stop crying they’d all leave and he’d be left there alone.  I can’t imagine why that threat didn’t lull the kid to sleep.  Anyway, the weather was nice this morning as we left Newport.  We were riding on busy highway 101 most of the day, but I didn’t notice the traffic too much.  I guess the shoulder was wide enough to give me some peace of mind.

Beach at Seal Rock, OR

Beach at Seal Rock, OR

Devil's Churn

Devil’s Churn

Most of Oregon’s coast so far has consisted of curving shoreline with a mix of rocks and beaches.  Today, however, it seemed like we saw several beaches that were much longer and more straight than the beaches further north.  We stopped near the town of Seal Rock, which had some cool rocks just offshore of the beach.  Those rocks probably make for lousy swimming, but the waves crashing into them were cool to watch.  Another interesting shoreline feature we passed today was Devil’s Churn.  It’s a long, narrow channel that the surf has carved inland along a fissure in the rocks.  The waves weren’t too big today, but it was still cool to watch the water rush through the channel and turn into a white froth of spray.  We also stopped further along at another scenic spot when two bike tourists came up behind us.  We didn’t talk long, but they were a younger couple headed south to L.A.  It’s cool to see lots of other bike tourists along the coast, especially since we hardly saw any on the east coast.

Tonight we stopped at the Carl G. Washburne Memorial State Park.  We almost rode further towards Florence, but my butt was ready to get off the saddle for the day.  As we pulled into the hiker/biker section of the campground we noticed another bike leaning against a picnic table.  It belonged to a guy named Gill who was doing a short trip from Eugene to Newport and back.  He’s done a bunch of bike touring in the past though and so we talked with him a bit about biking.  He was making dinner at the same time as us, and he suggested we have a potluck to diversify our dinner options.  We shared our pesto pasta and he gave us some of his rice, beans and re-hydrated veggies.  It was all pretty good.  This is a nice campground and you can hear the ocean waves crashing on the shore.  The only problem is that there are some small biting flies here so we retreated to our tent after dinner.  We watched a couple of episodes of Downton Abbey on my laptop before going to bed.

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