Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Day 7: Cannon Beach, OR to Pacific City, OR

66 miles

This was, by far, the most difficult ride of the trip thus far, with beautiful scenery to offset the pain. There were two two-mile climbs, almost back to back, before getting much of a chance to warm up. It has been uniformly quite chilly at ride's start--high 30's to high 40's--warming to low to high 70's by afternoon, and sunny to boot. Locals have expressed delight at the weather this fall and sun is in the forecast for the next few days. It's hard to imagine navigating these ascents and descents in rainy conditions, so I feel very fortunate.

Shoulder of Neahkahnie Mt.

This beach was the road along Oregon's Coast during the late 1800's. Horses and wagons traveled for miles along the firm, wet sand until they reached Neahkahnie Mountain. With no room to pass around its base, travelers traversed an Indian trail. It wasn't until well into the 20th century that the Pacific Coast Highway was constructed.

Tillamook Bay is populated with salmon fisherman at this time of year.

I stopped for lunch at the Pacific Oyster Company in Bay City, one of the largest oyster processing companies in the country. I hope this isn't what the politicians are referring to when they talk about putting Americans back to work--grueling.

The coup de grace began after mile 50 along the Three Capes Scenic Route. I coined it Mt. Everest. Three miles of steep climbing after two difficult earlier climbs, and at a time of the day when thoughts are gravitating more toward pre-prandial libation and some real food for dinner rather than PB & J refreshments along the ride. The total elevation gain today was 3800'.

I started riding at 8:15 this morning and didn't arrive at the hotel until 5 pm (I had many breaks, including lunch), and I wasn't the last one in. Dinner was served at 5:30 but it's difficult to eat much without any time to decompress after today's experience. It's 8:30 and I'm going to sleep.

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