To transport ourselves, our bikes and our gear, we took an overnight Amtrak train up to Portland. The sun came up as we crossed into Oregon, and the smoke from the California wildfires started to disappear. The scenery changed to trees in every direction with dozens of sparkling lakes and rivers adding color to the forests.
I packed us snacks and sandwiches, but when I went to retrieve the food, I couldn’t find them anywhere. The sandwich bag was gone and I was hungry and sad and frustrated. I couldn’t believe that another passenger had stolen our six sandwiches. There was no way they could eat all of those, and all that food would go to waste. We eyed everyone suspiciously for two hours, and then I decided to go searching through my bags to look for other snacks. I found the sandwiches. Sometime in the night in a sleep-deprived state, I must have repacked my luggage and placed the sandwiches inside for safekeeping. Oops.
We made it to Portland and had a family gathering with my grandma, aunt and uncle. I hadn’t seen any of them since Christmas.
Saturday morning my aunt and uncle drove us two hours out to the Oregon Coast to begin our bike trip. We planned 40 miles for Day 1 so that we could have time to make adjustments to the bikes and get into camp with plenty of daylight to spare. We departed Fort Stevens State Park and made our way down Highway 101 to Nehalem Bay.
For lunch we stopped at a park and ate the rest of our train sandwiches from the day before.
We pulled off through a couple of cute, touristy beach towns, but we were mostly on the highway that day. The highway shoulders are wide, and this stretch had gorgeous coastal views and one terrifying tunnel.
We got to camp early and watched the kite surfers on the beach before riding into town to get takeout burgers to eat at another little park. Our campsite neighbors were some very drunk fishermen on one side and loud music people on the other. We didn’t sleep well that first night, but our neighbors for the next week were all much better.
Day 2 we rode 47 miles to Cape Lookout State Park. It only would have been a 40 mile day, but we wanted to add another lighthouse (Cape Meares) before getting to camp. We got half way to the lighthouse when we decided the ridiculous hills made the side trip unworthy of our intense efforts. We turned around, and I don’t regret it. We saw plenty of lighthouses. We did visit the Tilamook Creamery (Closed) and a fish hatchery, but the fish didn’t want our fish food.
My cousins had independently planned a Cape Lookout camping trip for that week, so they came a day early to camp with us. We had a blast catching up and playing with the kids. I still don’t understand the rules of any of the games we played, but the kids were so cute about putting on their life jackets before playing tackle soccer dodge ball. They were also great helpers as we packed up camp the following morning, however I failed to satisfactorily answer all of the “why” questions about why surface tension keeps water from falling through mesh.