Cycling the West Coast: The Wet Coast Strikes Back! [Day 10]

Luke Guilford | CycleCycle
A bridge along the Otter Crest Loop.
A bridge along the Otter Crest Loop. Photo Credit: Luke Guilford

Day 10

I have been fairly good at timing the weather so far, but this storm was impossible to avoid… well kinda. I turned down my friend’s offer to give me a ride to Newport, OR and I paid for it. It was a downpour as soon as I left Lincoln City, with only a couple of short breaks of dry skies. Luckily, I only had 30 miles to my destination of South Beach State Park.

I was hoping to do a little whale watching in Depoe Bay, but the weather forced me to keep pedaling. However, I did stop to see the self-proclaimed world’s smallest river and harbor. The D River is 120 feet in length and begins at Devil’s Lake before quickly pouring into the ocean at Wecoma Beach. And for the world’s smallest harbor, Depoe Bay is just 50 feet wide and 100 feet long.

The D River
The D River in all its glory. Photo Credit: Luke Guilford

Last summer I spent some time in Depoe Bay eating clam chowder and watching a pair of whales swim parallel to the coast, spraying water as they moved along. I highly recommend grabbing a pair of binoculars and scouring the horizon for whales breaching the surface. Oh, and clam chowder at almost any restaurant along the coast there is worth stopping for a cup.

Chugging along, I made it to an alternate route recommended by the Adventure Cycling Association, that swung me down the Otter Crest State Scenic Viewpoint. The view truly encompassed the jagged, dark coast of Oregon. I spent a brief moment here, appreciating the view while the rain held up.

Otter Rock
The view from Otter Crest State Scenic Viewpoint. Photo Credit: Luke Guilford

Annoyed by the constant rain, I was ready to find a place to dry off. Leaving the viewpoint, I was only 10 miles from Newport. As I got closer to the city, the traffic started to pick up and this was when I had my first “close call” of the trip. A school bus didn’t get super close to me, but close enough for the wide mirrors to nearly miss my head by a few inches. Of course, this happened, just after my mother told me about a bike tourist who was hit and killed in San Fransico just this week. It was definitely a wake-up call.

I rolled into Newport soaked and covered in road grime and dirt. I figured I could swing by a self-service car wash to clean the bike and my legs that looked like I had just run in the mud. I rolled up to a car wash that was just opening, the guys there were super nice and let me use a hose to spray everything down.

Post-bike wash meant I needed to geek out on some Mcdonald’s breakfast. I went and got a couple of breakfast sandwiches and hunkered down while the rain passed. Fortunately, the rain cleared, and I made my way to the campsite at South Beach State Park, on the other side of town, and the other side of Yaquina Bay.

Yaquina Bay
Yaquina Bay from the Yaquina Bay Bridge in Newport, OR. Photo Credit: Luke Guilford

I was expecting to meet my cousins at the campground around noon, but I got a phone call, saying they lost a tire on their camper while driving this morning. This was definitely a time I wish I had my truck. I couldn’t really do much, but eventually, they figured it out and got back on the road.

This gave me enough time to get a proper shower and a change of dry clothes. I also used the time to explore the park and area a bit. I’m a people person, so being away from friends and family has led to a lot of Facetime calls, catching up, and updating people on the trip. A couple hours later, my cousins rolled in and we had a great time running around on the beach and roasting smores around the fire.

I will be kicking it around Newport for the weekend, a mega storm is supposed to be blowing in so it could be a very rainy weekend. Once I get back on the road, I will be hammering it the rest of the way down Oregon. But for now, I have some family time to catch up on.

Stats from today:

  • 30 miles biked
  • 900 vertical feet climbed
  • 1 refreshing car wash
  • 2 world’s smallest geological features
Day 10
Day 10



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