hard day’s night

Starting location: Somewhere on Meadowlake Road between Beaver and Portland
Ending location: Pelican Shores Inn, Lincoln City, OR
End of day cumulative mileage: 339.3

I had prepared myself for the possibility of some rough nights on this trip. I brought both my tent and my hammock in case I couldn’t make it to a motel or established campsite. But I never imagined I would be spending the night surrounded by bullet casings. That sorta freaked me out, because there were so many on the ground. What were they shooting at? Would it come back?

They were all just 22 caliber, so I figured that whatever was being shot at must be pretty small. Actually, after looking around a bit, I figured that this was just some guy’s plinking spot. So the only real worry I had was that the bullet casings would puncture my sleeping pad. Surprisingly I slept pretty well. I guess I was so exhausted that nothing could’ve stopped me from getting a good night’s sleep.

In the morning I was woken up by the sound of logging trucks going up and down the mountain. It looked like it had rained pretty hard last night, and it was still drizzling. I decided to sleep a little more and wait for the rain to let up. After an hour or so the rain stopped, so I packed up and left.

The riding was pretty tough. It was all climbing for the rest of the morning, and to make matters worse, it started raining again. When I finally made it to the top and started descending, it started to pour. My eyes were stinging pretty badly and I struggled to see, so I braked a lot. At the bottom of the hills the road suddenly turned into a gravel road. I wondered if I had missed a turn while I was struggling to see. I had no map and no cellphone reception, so I decided to just continue on the gravel road, hoping it would return to pavement soon.

It was here that I got my first flat. Since I was already all wet and dirty anyways, I sat on the wet dirt and got to work fixing my flat. I fixed my flat and walked on the gravel road for a bit, trying to avoid another flat. The road soon turned back into a paved road. It turns out that the road was unpaved in the area because of flash floods, there were numerous signs warning about the dangers of flash floods. Needless to say I was glad to be out of that area, it had rained pretty hard, and the creeks were probably already swelling from the melting snow pack, the perfect condition for a flash flood.

After the road returned to a paved road, I rode about 10 miles to Beaver, my connection to the Oregon Coast Bicycle Route (which is basically just highway 101). I stood at the intersection for a while trying to figure out which way to go. The highway sign was not marked North/South but instead had the names of a bunch of unfamiliar cities. I must have looked really lost because the attendant from the nearby gas station walked over and asked me if I need help. I told her I needed to go south toward Lincoln City, and she pointed me in the right direction. I asked her if she knew how far it was. She said it was about 30 to 40 minutes by car, but there was a pretty long hill that I’d need to climb before I arrived there. I thanked her and continued on down the road.

By now it was about 2 in the afternoon and I was pretty hungry, having ridden the entire morning without a real meal. Unfortunately the town of Beaver was so small there wasn’t even a single restaurant. So I continued down the road a few miles to a town called Hebo, where I found a bar that served food. It was a pretty divey bar, filled with a few tough looking customers drinking hard liquor early in the afternoon, but at least they had soup. It wasn’t great soup, but it really hit the spot after the cold, rainy morning.

After my late lunch I continued down the road toward Lincoln City. Boy that lady wasn’t kidding. The climb up the hill was gruelingly long. I had to stop three times. I was getting pretty exhausted. I decided that as long as I could find a room under $100 I would spend the night in a motel to recuperate from the tough day. When I finally arrived on the outskirts of town, I turned on my phone and searched for motels in Google maps. I called a few places but they were all above $100. I called one final place, who said they’d give me a special deal at $99, their ordinary rate would’ve been $149. “What the heck?! How come rooms are so expensive in this small town?!” I wondered.

I checked in, still pissed off that the room was so expensive. When I got to my room and opened the door, my jaw dropped. Now I understood. Not only was this one of the nicer furnished rooms I had ever stayed at, my room had an amazing view of the ocean, with almost an entire wall of windows. So here I am, sitting in my room, writing about my day’s adventure while watching the sun go down over the Pacific Ocean. An awesome end to a hard day of riding.

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