Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Day 8: Pacific City, OR to Newport, OR

49 miles

Another day of perfect cycling weather. A bit cool to start--high 30's--but warming to the mid-70's by late morning. Blue sky all day, which the locals say is highly unusual this time of year, and the most spectacular scenery of the trip thus far.

The expected elevation gain for the day was 2800' with a more gradual ascent up the largest hill. That more circuitous route was closed necessitating a climb up "Annapurna", saving five miles on the day.

This part of the Oregon coastline was decimated by the Great Tsunami of 1700. Native American villages occupied mouths of most streams along the coast in the 18th century such as here at Siletz Bay. The settlement was hit by a 50' wave within 15 minutes of a major earthquake offshore.

Siletz Bay
The area around Depoe Bay is particularly attractive. A pod of grey whales navigates the waters off the coast here. Several riders saw whales spouting and breeching as they passed through. Devil's Lake Road and the Otter Crest Loop were a wonderful change of pace from The 101, part of Oregon's designated bike trail.

I got a glimpse of the historic part of Newport while heading to the hotel. It's on my exploration list for the rest day tomorrow. The hotel is right on the beach with a view to the Yaquina Head Lighthouse in the distance.

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