Day 15: Champoeg to Cape Lookout

Start the day with an easy ride into Newberg. On the way I pass the fields of mint that Sharon had driven me past the previous evening – such a lovely smell, but I’m not great at identifying smells, so glad she pointed it out last night. I’m heading into Newberg to pick up another spare inner tube after yesterday’s incident. The plan is to end the day trying to fix those two split pinch splits. The bike shop didn’t open ’til 10 so spent the first hour in a cute little local cafe called Coffee Kat doing some route checking and general internet stuff. Fact of the day: “kitty corner” is american slang for “the diagonally opposite corner”.

Anyway, lo and behold, Sharon walks in! Turns out she works in the law firm just across the street – what a coincidence, of all the coffee shops in town for me to have walked into that one? In a fluster, I completely failed to offer to buy her a coffee to thank her for last nights help – sorry Sharon, hope you didn’t think me too rude!

With the route sorted, new inner tubes, and fully inflated tyres – I checked and yesterday’s 80-strokes of the hand pump had given me somewhere between 30 and 40 will need to double the nos of strokes next time – I was off (11.00, maybe?). Next stop at the 65km mark, Willamina, self-proclaimed “Timbertown USA”. It was an easy ride, wide shoulder next to the highway, lots of apace for traffic to overtake, and once I got over my fear that every stone was going to cause a puncture, it was a pretty nice ride. Lots of farms and farm shops about. Bit slow, averaging 15mph, not sure why.

Upon arriving in Timber town (13.15) the only place I could see open was Coyote Joe’s, and the closest they could get to a rice based dish was an omelette with potato in it and bread on the side, not ideal lunch food, but beggars can’t be choosers. And I got to charge the tablet and do more internet things.

Back on road at 15.00. A few mins lost looking for a post office, but quickly gave up and got on with the ride. I wanted to go 15 (west) -> 22 (NW) –> 101 (N), whilst the Garmin wanted me to take the 15 to the 101. I won, in the end, and glad I did, the 22 was a quiet, easy climb, up to the summit of the pacific ridge at 200m, with a couple of 5% sections but nothing that I noticed. Thereafter followed a lovely 30km descent, of 0-2% all the way along the three valleys river. As with Kyla after climbing out of Lake Crescent, it was a great way to spend an hour. Sharon — if you’re reading this and haven’t ridden the 22 westward, add it to your to-do list! There were few trucks, or traffic, even on a Friday afternoon, and the descent is all nice!

After turning onto the 101 the road levelled out but my legs felt good and I continued to fly along, eta of 6.20pm, great cycling on quiet roads in bright sunshine. Here’s something I’ve noticed – dogs, AMD cows, seem to find me unusual. Do they not see many bicycles? Or is mine in particular drawing their attention??

Around 15km out, with 125 km down, I spotted a lovely little farm shop. I dived in, grabbed some bits – including a delicious pesto, and a local smoked cheese – and got back on the road pretty darn happy. What happened next will make Dave happy…

I turned onto Cape Lookout road, and the next 5km were rolling hills; more work than the last few hours, but nothing to write home about. I spotted the turnoff to Pacific City that I’ll take in the morning. Then, at about 35m elevation, a hill started. It was 7–9%, had no let up at all before the summit, some 200m of height or 3km of distance, later.  About 1/5 of the way into it, I climbed into a cloud which was raining away the whole time (and is a still here now!). It was the hardest climb so far, even more so than Novelty, purely because it went on Sooo Long.

Perhaps most disheartening was reaching the summit, and realising that I was not camping there but rather that I was going downhill just as steep, and that tomorrow I was going to climb it again! However. Totally worth it. The descent of the trip so far. Smooth fresh tarmac. No cars, in either direction, at all. 7-9% descent, with near constant turns. Beautiful. No idea how fast I was going, I was far too busy enjoying it and shouting woohooo!

Got into camp. Hiker/biker part is poorly sign posted, but on My God – there are loads of other tourers here! Finally, just want Ro geek about new front lamp. Accidentally forgot my keys, which I only thought of poat-shower. So I had to walk back to get them, and by the time i was ready to cycle back, it was pitch black -around 9.30) and I needs to negotiate 500m of forest trail. NL problem with new light- switches it on,all 550lumwna, and off I went. So bright, that my head torch was completely blanked. Uncle Marl, you inspired this purchse. And I take my hat off to you for riding around in the dark on a mountain bike. Even with an amazingly bright beam, your forward vision is really quite limited, so you’re always reacting late to things,

Can’t believe I’ve written so much tonight. Sorry if I’ve bored you. Night all; I’ll be sleeping to the sound of the sea crashing against long beachy shores.

Today’s stats…
Odometer…1361 km (might need correcting upwards for some missed sections)
Distance…142 km
Time… 6hrs 7mins
Avg speed… 23.3 kph
Climbed… 801m
Avg heart rate… 137 bpm
Avg cadence… n/a (still misreading)
Calories…3109 cal


One thought on “Day 15: Champoeg to Cape Lookout

  1. Hi Oliver, yes I am reading along and did not think you rude for not buying me a coffee. I have been on Hwy 22 to the coast. It is a spectacular ride. I’m glad you had little traffic. That highway can be busy with logging truck traffic during the week. I think the fact that you were on it on a Friday afternoon was perfect — earlier than the Friday after work Portland crowds hit the roads heading to various points on the coast for the weekend. That traffic can be awful.

    I have not been on the Cape Lookout road, but I’ve heard about it from friends. I’ve only been as far as Pacific City and Cape Kiwanda. I hope you were able to watch some Dory Boats launch or beach. If you missed the Dory Boats, you should Google it and learn about them.

    Happy riding and be safe,
    Sharon from Newberg

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