Micro Climates on the Central Coast

Day 26: Cape Lookout to Beverly Beach State Park, 57 miles

I wake to the sound the the gentle surf, which lulled me all night. The hiker biker campsite at Cape Lookout is one of the best on the whole of the Pacific Coast. Tall shore pines, blooming salal, right above a remote beach, miles from the busy Highway 101.

The morning’s ride begins with the long climb over the cape. The fog is chilly, reminding me I’m back in the rain forest of Oregon. New the top of the climb I encounter tall “rain trees”, which condense the fog and dripping rain onto the ground below.

I reach the crest and begin an exciting descent the sky changes to blue, and the road opens to sand dunes and warm air. This is the first of many micro climate changes on the ride to day, where the coastal fog seems to pile up to the north of headlands, yielding clear sky and sun to the south.

Pacific City is glorious on this breezy sunny day in early June. Coffee and sweet roll stop, then onward. I rejoin 101 and ride inland a few miles, enjoying the summer like weather. Approaching Neskowin, the cold fog returns, and the long climb up Cascade Head. The reward of such a climb is another rapid descent, again into the sunny southern side.

Soon I’m cruising through Lincoln City, where 101 is a crowded four lane street. I’ve got a 20+ mph tailwind helping my ride, faster than traffic at some points. Several headlands here, same fog and sun pattern as they pass. The winds also change around a headland, reversing on the north due to turbulence, then blasting at the crest, and extra boost to a weary climbing cyclist.

On to Depot Bay, I was straight through. I’m eager for the last climb, Cape Foulweather and the beautiful Otter Crest Loop, a bypass from the busy 101. The loop is a one-way road, vacant of cars, winding around the cape. I see crashing surf far below, and hear thrushes and shore birds calling. At the top, the blue skies greet me and I descend all the way to the camp. An arduous, thrilling ride.

I set up camp, head down to watch a glorious sunset. What a day. Tomorrow: Newport and Yachats!

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4 thoughts on “Micro Climates on the Central Coast

  1. You have such glorious pictures and your posts are thoughtful and interesting. I’m so excited to have discovered your blog because I will be cycling the PCH with a friend from here (Cincinnati area) and two other women friends from Wisconsin. After 29 years of touring we are excited to add this tour to our list. You are such a great resource for us. Safe journey.

    1. Thanks for your kind words. And let me know when you are coming through, I live in Corvallis, a day’s ride from Newport, and maybe I could ride out to meet you all 🙂 Safe travels!

  2. Ocean, Many many many thanks! The pictures were wonderful. My heart is singing with praise for our beautiful Oregon coast. I have totally enjoyed reading your posts. Enjoy! Jenny

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