Cycling the West Coast: Pasta, Wine, a Big Rock! [Day 6]

Luke Guilford | CycleCycle
Cannon Beach
Cannon Beach, OR. Photo Credit: Luke Guilford

Day 6

Today was my first true day biking along the coast. The north coastline of Oregon is a great vibe. Before reaching Seaside, I scooped a scone and strolled along a beach at Sunset State Park. I opted to bike through the neighborhoods parallel to hwy 101 since it was a little too busy for my liking.

I didn’t spend too much time in Seaside, so I kept heading south toward Cannon Beach. I finally got around to getting some fish tacos 🙂 I stopped at Tom’s Fish & Chips in Cannon Beach. I chatted with the owner for a while after he saw my bike out the window. We exchanged life stories, and I left, radiating with excitement for life. I ended up running into Flurin again and convinced him to kick it at Nehalem Bay State Park tonight.

To the beach I go! Photo Credit: Luke Guilford

Feeling fat and happy, I decided to digest my meal by napping on the beach. The sun even came out to shine a warm blanket on me as I rested my head on some driftwood I found. I explored Haystack Rock, an iconic rock off the shoreline in Cannon Beach that is on almost every travel Oregon post you see on Instagram (and this SnowBrains post, lol it’s so dope).

Haystack Rock. Photo Credit: Luke Guilford
More Haystack Rock
More Haystack Rock. Photo Credit: Luke Guilford

I woke up to a father yelling at his son, “I hate the U.S. I am never coming back to this stupid country.” I could feel the pure rage pouring out of this man, and I wish I knew what had happened. From what I could gather, the son was maybe in his late 20s and had moved to the U.S. fairly recently, and his parents were out to visit him. I felt bad for the family, as I imagine this could be the beginning of the end for them. Apart, thousands of miles away, with animosity towards not only each other but also their homes. I do hope they resolve their issue before the parents fly home.

Deciding I better hit the road, I took off south for Nehalem Bay State Park. Today my route was around 40 miles, and by the time I left Cannon Beach, I had around 15 miles left. I cannot get over the beauty of the ferns along the roadside. I love them! The dark green that sprawls all over is beautiful.

This 15-mile stretch had the most spectacular views of the deep blue Pacific Ocean. One hill after another provided incredible overlooks that I couldn’t help but stop and stare at. I ran into another bike tourist who was from Quebec, CAN, and he was also planning on crashing at Nehalem Bay State Park!

I powered up one last big climb before reaching the campsite. I couldn’t believe my eyes. The view overlooked the Manzanita coastline down below. I think I spent about an hour just looking out into the ocean and talking to travelers who made the decision to pull over and see the view for themselves.

Manzanita Overlook
My favorite view of the day. Hi Manzanita! Photo Credit: Luke Guilford

This was a great way to end my cycling for the day. I jumped back on the bike and launched myself down the hillside into the town of Manzanita, where I explored the town and beach for a bit. I can’t get too excited about Manzanita because I promised a couple of locals I wouldn’t talk about this town, but dudeeeee, it was the best vibe.

Time to find the rest of the gang at the Nehalem Bay State Park. I whipped into the hiker/biker campsite to find four other cyclists. Flurin, Tanner (the guy I met last night at Fort Stevens), the Canadian I met just a bit ago, and a new guy cycling the coast as well. Turns out Tanner’s knee injury flared up on his ride, so he might be taking some time off before continuing his trip. That was tough news, an injury on the first day had to be demoralizing.

While I’m getting to know everyone, Flurin starts whipping up a pasta dinner for everyone, wine included! I had so much fun that night, trading stories and learning about the others. I really hope we can continue crossing paths down the road. I even managed to convince everyone to stop and get Tillamook ice cream tomorrow since we all are planning on getting through the town of Tillamook. It’s geeky, but I am legitimately excited about Tillamook ice cream.

Campsite for the night
Campsite at Nehalem Bay State Park. Photo Credit: Luke Guilford

After dinner, I enjoyed the wonders of Oregon State Parks and charged my phone, and took a hot shower. A full day of living has left me ready for a good night’s sleep. I think today has marked the day when I fell in love with this adventure and have fully embraced the everyday life of it. My body feels great, and I remain excited to hit the road tomorrow!

Stats from today:

  • Roughly 4o miles biked
  • 1,700 vertical feet climbed
  • Four new friends!
  • Four fish tacos consumed
  • 60 minutes of napping enjoyed
day 6
Route for the day!

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