After a marvelous sunrise with a last view of Mt. St. Helens I cross the Washington-Oregon border, the Columbia river - by ferry from Cathlamet to Westport. Next major town is Astoria, where a big arch bridge spans over the Columbia delta. Port Stevens was a good campground I get the advice in a friendly bicycle shop. In an Oregon Tourist Information I receive a free great Cycling map for the entire Coastal train, including height profile and a listing of the cheap hiker/biker camps. Misty grey day that is, however I'd roll on until I reach Seaside. No hiker/biker campground here, but I get a discount. And a funny belly after two cold beers at diner.
A few misty days on the sometimes rocky, sometimes sandy shore. Uphill, downhill, day by day. The Haystack at the lovely Cannon Beach town, great bridges crossing the rivers and marshlands. Route 101 is a famous cycling spot, everyday I meet American and European cyclists with tents and panniers on their bikes. The Hiker/biker campgrounds are an inexpensive opportunity to get a warm shower on a regular state park campground. Since everyone roughly moves at a similar daily mileage, there's a good likelihood to catch up again. So I meet Reed with his Ukulele from Santa Cruz three times, as well as Markus from Austria, who's been cycling from Fairbanks, Alaska already. A storm coming in with strong headwind, perfect time to take a day off at South Beach State Park in Newport. The strong winds pretty much blew me from the long high brigde anyway. South Beach with its dunes and small conifer trees in the back was created by the seas current leaving sand on the jetty over more than a 100 years. Jamming with Reed on the campfire, enjoying a dry and wind protected spot with a free coffee in the hospitality center of the campground.
The Oregon Cycling Trail follows not only Route 101 but take a number of really nice detours on less crowded country roads. One more day of big head wind and big waves on the shore, and a rainy night that made my tent float in a pond - then the storm is over. Blue skies and sunshine on the way down along the great dunes south of Florence. Watch pretty close Sea Lions on Cape Arago, and enjoy a marvelous sunset on the nearby Sunset Bay. Cruising down the shore, taking pictures and not rushing at all anymore. Spotting whales at the jetty of Gold Beach on the last day on the Oregon coast. Last station: Brookings. What a ride! Big thanks to all the people who established this fantastic route!