April 19 Cannon Beach to Nehalem Bay S.P.

20110419-060231.jpgView from Neahkanie Mountain looking south

Writing this from our camp (another yurt) at Nehalem Bay State Park. As I mentioned while writing yesterdays entry this morning, today was going to be short on the mileage but with a good climb around Neahkanie Mountain. It was both of those things.

Don and I left the cabin about noon as planned. I rode out on Hemlock St. through Tolovanna Park before rejoining US 101. The highway had a pretty good shoulder but there was also a lot of gravel and other debris in it so I was forced to ride pretty close to the line. There were also more cars and trucks out than I remembered yesterday.

The first real challenge was going through the Arch Cape tunel. This is well marked on the maps I am using and they all advise caution when going through it. They also mention that there is a button that activates flashing lights that let cars and trucks know a cyclist is in the tunnel and that they are supposed to slow down to 30 mph.

Well when I got to the tunnel I pushed the button but decided I’d rather walk the bike through on the narrow sidewalk than ride. It was a good thing too because about every car, and especially the trucks, barreled on through at 50 or 60 mph. I was glad to get through to the other side because the noise was deafening.

Not long after the tunnel the road started climbing at a steady 7% grade (according to the signs). Once again I shifted to my lowest gear and just ground it out. This is not the most enjoyable part of bike touring, at least for me, but it is satisfying when you reach the top and have a killer view (picture above). The descent is also a lot of fun.

After coming down the hill we were in Manzanita and close to Nehalem Bay State Park. The mileage for the day only totaled about 17.5 and took about 2 hours. Tomorrow will be around 40 to Cape Lookout State Park.

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About rlewis5757

After retiring March 18, 2011 from my career of 25 years with the Lower Colorado River Authority, I plan to bicycle from Astoria Oregon to San Francisco in April and May to enjoy an incredible landscape and environment before I take on new challenges. Many thanks to my wife Kathy for indulging me in this adventure.
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