After a moment of profound reflection (Dang, that’s a big rock) at Chief Kiwanda Rock we set out on our mission to edge frustratingly closer to the end of the TransAm Bike Trail in Astoria, about 95 miles to our north.
We climbed straight up about 800 feet, the down, then up a few hundred more, then down. Unlike a week ago we are now dealing with hundreds rather than thousands so, except for the steepness, the climbing is no big deal, and we get the bonus of views of the Pacific coast from time to time
Along the way we met two southbound riders who warned us of a nasty 15 percent grade downward in which the road was covered in gravel. They had stout tires and rode up the bloody beast but we decided to divert from the main routes and check out the Three Capes Scenic Route. It was plenty scenic and, of course, hilly AF. We endured the roller coaster for about a third of the loop before Mark pointed out that a landslide had knocked out 1 1/2 miles of the route. It was scheduled for repair by 2030.
That was a tad more time than we were willing to wait so we doubled back, re-climbing most of the hills then turned inland to get back on the main TransAm route.
This wee shortcut involved a monster hill that went straight up. A boy on an e-bike sped by me as I ground my knees to dust. Curse you, you little twerp!
A second climb took us to the main road which we used to bypass the gravel hill of doom and ride straight into Tillamook, a cheesy place if ever there was one. A field just outside of town was filled with enormous black and white cows. I presume that milk from these animals is used to make chocolate chip ice cream. I could be wrong.
After lunch of chili and a taco in a bar in Tillamook, we started north but now that hill with the electronic kid had given me a screaming lower back ache.
Oddly once I was in the bike my back felt fine. Our route now coincided with US 101, the Pacific Coast Highway. I don’t mind hills and I can tolerate traffic but the combination of the two makes for unpleasant riding
After 27 more miles we arrived at Manzanita where all the motels were booked. We decided to camp one last time at a state park with hiker/biker sites. We lucked out again. Our tents are nestled among a stand of pine trees. Soft ground and cool ocean breezes should make for a good night’s sleep.
Miles today: 62 Tour miles: 3,285.5