Saturday, July 2, 2011

Newport to Florence - 50 miles

There is a hospitality center at South Beach where the best tool for cycling the Oregon Coast is available free. The volunteers in there give me this map of the coast that has everything the cycling tourist will want: names of campgrounds with hiker/biker sites; elevation profiles, distances, and alternate bike routes. Whoever put this together did an outstanding job as this is easily the most useful map I have ever had.

The nice ladies also told me of a breakfast spot in Waldport called Dan O's that some people on Yelp have given terrible reviews. It is true the waitress smokes outside and everything they said, but, the breakfasts here are huge and coffee cup is bottomless. There are two signs outside - one says Dan O's and one says Carols. Apparently it is in some kind of transition right now. I liked the food and also got into a discussion with a trucker at the next table. We talked about cyclists and how he is deathly afraid of hitting someone and tries his best. He does not understand cyclists who ride two and three abreast and thinks they have some kind of death wish - me either, by the way.

Today I really got to see the Oregon Coast and it is spectacular. With the tailwind I could have easily knocked out some bigger mileage but decided to try and be mellow and just enjoy the scenery. That sounds easy but when your bike is loaded, the weather is nice, and there is a tailwind at your back it is hard to fight the impulse to crank out big miles. 

 At the Jessie Honeyman State Park hiker/biker site I met Kevin with his vintage Schwinn Paramount. Kevin has fallen on hard times losing his job as an Iron Worker in Chicago 4 years ago and then losing his house there to foreclosure. He now lives with his Dad around Florence and pedals down to the hiker/biker campsite now and then to get out of the house. He had some cooking contraption he was using to make "pies" out of cherry filling and pieces of bread cooking it in the campfire. He picked this piece of hardware called a hobo pie maker up at a garage sale for 50 cents. The results looked weird but he liked it.
Also, at the campground were a couple guys from Vancouver, one from MN and then late that evening about the time I am going to bed an older French Canadian guy and his son showed up. More about them later.

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