Cycling the West Coast: The Little Big Sur! [Day 11-13]

Luke Guilford | CycleCycle
At the sea lion caves looking south to Florence. Photo Credit: Luke Guilford
At the sea lion caves, looking south to Florence. Photo Credit: Luke Guilford

Day 11 & 12

The Memorial Day weekend was well spent with family. Despite the rain dumping buckets the entire weekend, we were able to hit the beach, fly kites, explore tide pools, and check out some sea lions. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t itching to get back on the road. I feel like, I’ve had my fair share of rest the last 5 days so I’m so ready to explore the southern coast of Oregon.

Little big sur
Aeriel view from strawberry hill wayside. Photo Credit: Luke Guilford

Day 13

I parted ways with my family and took off south. The sun was out, and I was big cheesin’ the whole way out of town. Living on the road has become engraved in my daily life and it’s something I look forward to every morning. Most times it feels like it’s the only thing I want to do!

My excitement for the road ahead kept my pace cruising right along. I made one stop at Seal Rock to check out the beach and see what it was all about, but other than that, I pinned it to Yachats, OR. I was due for a refill on water, so I whipped into a little market in town, filled my Nalgene bottles a grabbed a sandwich. I also ran into a local who was so kind and told me all about her town. For one, I learned how to pronounce it properly (YAH-hots). I also learned about the indigenous people that first inhabited the area, and how the coastline south of town is often referred as “little big sur”.

Oregon Coast
Hwy 101 wrapping itself along the coastline. Photo Credit: Luke Guilford

I had no idea the beauty this area possessed. That lady wasn’t kidding, this coastline is by far the most stunning of the trip. Hwy 101 wraps around the jagged coastline, opening up views of the incredible Pacific Ocean. I spent much of the day making pit stops at random overlooks and beaches that caught my interest.

The color of the ocean was a light, almost turquoise blue that was much different than what I had been seeing previously. Strawberry hill wayside was probably my favorite beach stop of the day, I could’ve just napped there all day. Closer to Florence was Heceta Head Lighthouse, and the views from up there were unmatched.

Looking out toward Heceta Head Lighthouse. Photo Credit: Luke Guilford
Looking out toward Heceta Head Lighthouse. Photo Credit: Luke Guilford

Little Big Sur is a must see when traveling between Florence, OR and Yachats, OR. By far my favorite section of coastline so far, and the downhill after the sea lion caves was insane, I was absolutely flying. I don’t have an onboard computer system to monitor mileage or speed, but it was fast enough to get the adrenaline going.

I made it into Florence in time to pick up my bike pump I had shipped to a Rite-Aid. I’m so lucky I haven’t had a flat yet, my unprepared, inexperienced self would’ve been in big trouble.

Oregon Coast
Sticking the drone out over the waves. Photo Credit: Luke Guilford

I didn’t spend a whole lot of time in Florence since I wanted to setup my campsite at Jessie M. Honeyman Memorial State ParkThe hiker/biker spot was tucked away in dense trees which provided excellent privacy. I made dinner, a delicious combo of lentils, homemade jerky from back home, and a banana.

So a thing about these hiker/biker spots in these state parks, you’re not supposed to stay more than 3 days in a 7 day period. This rule isn’t enforced, and tonight was the first time I had run into someone with a permanent tent setup, made from a giant mess of tarps and trash. It’s unfortunate because it takes a spot away from someone who is passing through responsibly and it litters the area. I’ve hear reports from California that park rangers are discouraging people from using the hiker/biker spots because this issue has gotten so bad. Hopefully, I don’t run into this much more, but we’ll see.

I dipped into bed before the sun went down because I couldn’t stand the mosquitos. Early to bed, means early to rise so I’m going to bed stoked to see what tomorrow throws my way.

Also, a little side note for those wondering why I wear a singular leg sleeve. I recently suffered a 3rd degree burn, so I try to keep the sun off the scar as much as possible. Oh, and yes, it has left a funny tan, my right leg is significantly darker than my left.

Stats from today:

  • 53 miles biked
  • 1,700 vertical feet climbed
  • 2 naps on the beach
  • 1 new bike pump
Day 13
Finally getting back to some higher mileage.

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