Oregon Tour 1997
Part 1 – June 27-July 4, 1997
Day 1: Friday, June 27
Well, we all piled in the van (all 10 of us; David, Ernie, Neil, Fabian, Sue, Ellen, Richard, John, Carmello and Janet). We were only 10 km out of the city and we already lost Carmello. There he was, playing Lotto 649. We all piled in the van and continued on our adventure. The first day wasn’t too exciting. We only drove to Jasper and stayed at the hostel.
Day 2: Saturday, June 28
We had an early start on the second day as we headed off to spend Saturday night in Mission B.C. We made lots of touristy kind of stops today. We stopped and walked through part of the Kettle Valley just outside of Hope B.C. We had a great time in the van playing “Taboo” and telling jokes as well. The caves are quite a site to see. We all got pretty friendly being in such close quarters to one another and by the end of the day, it was getting pretty ripe in the van. Oh well, we only had 1 more day of this.
Day 3, Sunday, June 29
OK, who didn’t shower! We opened the windows to air out the van and continued on our way. Today was the day that we got to Oregon.
After we got off the ferry, the majority of us got on our bikes and started riding towards Astoria, where we were to officially start the ride. The rest of the people drove to Portland to pick up Diana at the airport and meet our visitor from Vancouver, Brian (an old/new EBTC member). Carol and Frank drove from Edmonton. Frank went to Portland with the rest of the gang and Carol came riding with us. The weather was beautiful and it was a beautiful ride. After a long day of riding, we finally got to the first night’s camping spot. The cyclists got there long before the van pulled up. We were hungry and cold but we couldn’t do anything because the van had all of our gear. When the van finally arrived, dinner was prepared and we set up camp, but the most important part was the shower. Carmello didn’t bring his therma-rest so he got to sleep in the van every night.
Day 4, Monday, June 30
Well, today’s the day we all start riding as a group. Ernie handed out the maps to everyone, we had our pow-wow and then we all started on the first day of our adventure. Oh, did I mention that it was raining. Our fearless leader, Diana, who always started riding before the rest of us, began her journey with the logic that if she started ahead of us and ran into problems, we would catch up to her to help her. The day was an on-off day (put the jacket on, take it off, put it on, take it off). What we could see of the scenery, because it was an overcast day, was beautiful. Most of our rest stops and lunch stops were at beaches or viewpoints. We went through one tunnel today. We pressed the button to indicate to drivers that cyclists were ahead, but the van drove behind us very slowly to keep us alive. The cars behind the van must have been quite PO’d. The long descent into the town of Manzanita was great except for the rain. Carmello was walking down the hill because he had a flat. By the end of the day, the rain was pelting down so hard that Richard, Ellen and Carol decided to spend the night in a motel in Manzanita. When we got to the hotel, we were all trapped in our room because we didn’t have anything to wear except our wet cycling clothes. We had to wait for hours for the van to bring our gear to us so we could go out for dinner. It was nice to be able to dry out our clothes and sleep in a warm bed. Between Ellen breaking a nail, Janet breaking her helmet after a wipe-out, and the hotel we stayed in, I’d say the best part of the day was the hotel.
Day 5, Tuesday, July 1
We awoke to beautiful warm weather. We didn’t want the rest of the group to give us too hard of a time, so we decided not to wait for the van to pick us up from the hotel and decided to ride to the campsite which was about 2 miles away. We must have been quite a sight with all of our gear on our bike (including my burgundy patent purse strapped to the seat post of my bike). TOURISTS!!! Richard had Carol’s carrying bag strapped onto his back like a backpack. We had a lot of fun though.
When we got to the campsite, the rest of the group was surprised to see us wimps. They thought for sure that after a night in a luxury suite at the Hilton (NOT) that for sure we would wait for the van to pick us up. It was going to be a cold day in hell before we would let them get the best of us. We saw lots of great scenery and historic landmarks. Our rest stop was at the Tillamook Cheese Factory. Shopping and a tour of how cheese is made kept our afternoon full for a few hours. We (especially me) were in seventh heaven with all the ice cream flavors we could image at the factory. Carol and I had to be different and have a hot-off-the-iron waffle cone. It was sooo good. The ice cream melted in the cone.
After Tillamook, we continued our ride along country roads to Cape Mears State Park. This park has an old lighthouse that has been out of service for quite a few years. The Octopus Tree was quite a sight. The wind has blown so hard along the coast for so many years that the tree has developed thick limbs, which look like additional trunks, growing horizontally out of the main trunk. It is 50 feet around at the base of the trunk.
Our final destination for the day was Cape Lookout State Park. When we got there, we all set up camp. This is where my bike fell on top of my helmet and split it in half. Oh well, I always wanted a new helmet.
Day 6, Wednesday July 2
What a way to start out a day; with a 4.3 mile climb. The downhill was great though. Richard’s knees started to give way so he got in the van to become the designated driver. Finally, David had a chance to ride. Everybody was very concerned about me and my broken nail (how could I survive such an ordeal). I assured everyone that I was OK and would live. We eventually came to our lunch stop. The first thing I did was go into the store for an ice cream cone. After lunch, we climbed for about 2 hours. It was a beautiful ride. It was like riding through a rain forest. I kept saying to myself “if I can do this, I can do anything”. We got to the tourist town of Lincoln City. A lot of us stopped at a bike shop to get necessary gear. I bought a helmet and Carmello bought a new tire and tire levers for his bike. We assured him that he wouldn’t get much mileage out of the one he had. I bought a new helmet. Next stop, Depoe Bay. We stopped at a beautiful rest stop just before our descent into Depoe Bay. We all did our own thing. Depoe Bay has the world’s smallest navigable harbor. When we all gathered before we started riding again, we saw a whale. That was a great sight. Well, off to the next destination; Beverly Beach State Park.
Day 7, Thursday, July 3
Today was a day for cycling along the coast for the entire day. The weather was great so far except for that first day. By this time, we figured out that the mileage chart and map that Ernie gave us each day was out by a few (or a lot of) miles. There is nothing worse than finding out that when you think you are only a few miles away from the destination of the day, there is 20 more miles to go.
I took the day off to give the legs a rest. I could barely walk by this time. 100 kilometre days for several days in a row is a little bit much for us novices. I was designated to be the driver today. Richard got back on his bike and David rode as well. I got lost within 15 minutes. Whoever gives a map of directions and indicates points of interest, but doesn’t included this in the ride is crazy. I finally caught up with everybody. Just as I turned the corner, I started studying the map, and low and behold when I looked up to start driving again, there they were (my cycling buddies) waving furiously at me to get my attention only 100 feet in front of me. I decided then and there that I didn’t like driving that van. Thank God Richard’s knees gave way again so he could drive the van. We had a great day. It was relaxing and we shopped at various places along the way. At the last rest stop, I decided to ride for the last 20 kilometres. It was a good ride but I was glad that we were going to have the next day off. It was glorious to be able to leave the tent up for 2 nights.
When we got to the campsite, we all set up camp and showered and then went into Florence (I wish it was Italy) for dinner. We all piled into the van (all 13 of us, excluding Carmello). We were just crossing the bridge and we all said “Where’s Carmello, he’s always disappearing”? Just as we said that, we saw him on the other side of the road walking his bike towards the campsite. He had a flat again. We turned around to pick him up to bring him to dinner. It took a lot of convincing, but he finally came with us.
Day 8, Friday, July 4
We took this day off and did our own thing. The group split up into 2 groups. One group went shopping in town and the other group went Dune Buggying on the Dunes. It was a very relaxing day. We went back to the campground for supper and then went back at about 9:00 for the Independence Day fireworks on the bridge.
For those of you who think that you can’t eat well on a camping trip, I just thought that I would let you know that we ate great. We had everything from barbequed chicken and baby potatoes to Tiramisu for dessert. I thought this might be a trip for losing weight, but no such luck.