With a lingering hangover, I ride through downtown Portland and then head southwest to the coast. Everyoneís been telling me how beautiful the Oregon coast is, and I have to go see it. Iím so tired from last night that I could easily just have taken the interstate to Eugene and been there in a couple of hours. But the coast is calling me.
Hours later I reach the ocean at Lincoln City and Iím instantly disappointed. Sure the beaches look nice, but the coastal road here is like a strip mall, fast food and motels for miles. This is miserable. What were all those people talking about?
Oh, they were talking about this. When I reach Yachats (pronounced yah-HOTS) things start to change. I enter the Cape Perpetua Scenic Area and the Burger Kings give way to pounding surf crashing against the rocky shore. Cape Perpetua Overlook, the highest point on the Oregon coast, provides a breathtaking view of the ocean sweeping up towards the Coast Range. Down the road a bit, the picturesque Heceta Head Lighthouse sits on a bluff overlooking the Pacific. Fog sifts out of the trees and rolls into the water. The sun strains through the low cloud cover.
Further along the coast are the magnificent Oregon Dunes, but itís getting late and I have to turn east at Florence. But the route towards Eugene is a pleasant surprise. Highway 126 winds up the Siuslaw River, climbing over the Coastal Range and into a deeply wooded valley. Iím racing the light as I swing back and forth, sweeping through turns. Itís the time of day filmmakers call "magic hour" and everything is glowing: the road, the trees, the sky, the bike. Everything is so beautiful I feel like I'm in a film. Or at least a commercial.
My stop for the evening, and the next day and night, is the home of Monica Shovlin and Chris Baxley. I went to college with Monica at NYU and I havenít seen her since she and Chris got married a couple of summers ago. Monica moved out here years ago for graduate school at the University of Oregon and then a great job fell right in her lap. Iíve been really lame about staying in touch but true friendships remain strong. When I pull down Monicaís driveway itís just like we saw each other last week. Iím looking forward to spending some quality time with an old friend.
| DREAM | JOURNEY
| IMAGES | STATS
| PARKS | MAPS
| GEAR | LINKS
| CREDIT | HOME |