I was a little surprised that it hadn’t rained overnight when I crawled out of our tent this morning. The constant dropping of pine needles sounded like rain drops in the pre-dawn hours—I was sure it was raining, but everything was dry which makes it quicker to put away the tent. While I made pancakes for breakfast, we said so-long to our fellow biker, Gill. He was getting an early start to try to make it to a campground farther south, to hunker down for the night before the forecasted rain arrived. We broke camp and dressed for rain since we were expecting to get drizzled on before the day was over.
We had a long climb first thing this morning, and it included the last tunnel we had to navigate in Oregon. The turnout near the top of the climb had great views to the north, where we could see Heceta Head Lighthouse. We didn’t linger long because it was starting to mist steadily.
Once we got over the top, we could see long views of Oregon Dunes National Recreational Area to the south. This area includes miles of undeveloped dunes and beach, but we couldn’t see much of it, because the highway veers inland a bit, with regular side roads providing beach access. As we descended, it really started to rain in earnest and we took a break for chocolate milk and donuts at a convenience store north of the town of Florence.
Alan wanted to get his pedals greased since they weren’t spinning as freely as he liked, so we stopped at the local bike shop in Florence. They had a new pair of eggbeater pedals for a good price, so he came away with new pedals instead of trying to eke more miles out of the old ones. The rain continued, so we decided to make it a short day and stay at the Lighthouse Inn in town. We checked in after a quick stop at Safeway to replenish our food supplies. We’ll wait out the rain here tonight and hopefully set out for the town of Coos Bay tomorrow under clearer skies.