Bicycling the Oregon Coast: South Beach to Sunset Bay -Part IV

By Day 4 we had a pretty good routine going:

  1. Get up at 7am
  2. Move the tent to a sunny spot to dry out
  3. Eat cereal and drink two bottles of water to pre-hydrate
  4. Pack up camp onto bicycles
  5. Refill Camelbaks and water bottles
  6. Examine map and memorize first set of directions
  7. Pick cities where we will buy lunch and dinner
  8. Depart by 9am
  9. Bike 3 hours
  10. Buy sandwiches from a grocery store or find a restaurant
  11. Bike 0-1 hours and find a picnic spot
  12. Bike 1-2 hours and buy dinner from a grocery store
  13. Bike 1 hour to camp usually arriving near 4pm
  14. Pitch tents, hang hammock, lock bikes
  15. Dinner, Campfire, Bedtime by 10pm

Due to Covid, half of the bathrooms and all of the showers were closed at the parks. For some reason I thought I would just dip in the ocean after a day’s ride, but it was cold in the evenings and I didn’t want to mess with salt water and sand. I managed to wash my hair twice when I found a sink with hot water, and we rinsed our clothes out a few times. I brought baby wipes and washed my dirt tan and chain grease off each evening. One evening I couldn’t scrub the dirt off until I realized that those were bruises covering my legs. I had fallen off my bike that morning when I forgot to unclip from my pedals.

Day 4 we rode from South Beach to Jessie Honeyman. It was mostly on the shoulder of 101, but we did find a lovely country road through Depoe valley for ten miles. It came with blackberries.

We left the valley and returned to the coast in time for our lunch picnic.

We went through Florence and saw the lighthouse and the sand dunes. Some of our pictures require a bit of creative staging.

As we finished the day’s ride and pulled into our campground, I got a flat tire. It could not have been better timing to have the misfortune of a flat tire. It was off the highway and on a flat stretch. We were equipped with spares, patches and a pump, so we changed it easily. This was our only bicycle malfunction all trip.

I was sick of sandwiches, so we had a special camp dinner of sushi that night.

Picnic on the coast, Florence Light House, sand dunes, flat tire, laundry, sushi and wine, harmonious hymns

Day 5 we rode to Sunset Bay. It was mostly along 101 again, but we had beautiful scenery of trees, lakes, rivers, and many bridges. Do bridge crossings even count if you don’t take pictures?

We had lunch on the patio in the tiny, rural town of Lakeside.

This was also a day with a couple of lighthouses.

As we approached Coos Bay, I overtook another cyclist who was solo riding from Seattle to San Francisco. We talked for a few minutes and decided to caravan across the next bridge together. Conde McCullough Memorial Bridge is a mile long with no bike lane or shoulder. It does have flashing lights to alert drivers to biker presence, but it is the type of bridge that you cross in a group and ride as hard and as fast as possible.

Sunset Bay was one of our favorite campgrounds. It had a sheltered beach a short walk from camp and a pleasantly melodious fog horn that carries from Cape Arago lighthouse. We had tortilla wraps for dinner with wine, Cheetos and pie. We must have eaten 10 bags of chips on this trip.