We got some nice detours off Highway 101 today, which was a nice break from the shrieking traffic and dubious shoulders. For the most part 101 has a wide, four foot shoulder, but any time SUVs lugging RV trailers pass you at 60 mph it is slightly alarming.
First off was a big climb right after leaving Cape Lookout. Nothing like an hour of agonizing uphill pedaling to get your heart racing in the morning. My sweat glands still work pretty well too.
The second climb took us on a detour off 101 through a state forest, and I swear I would enjoyed the absence of cars and big old trees if I weren't trying my hardest to keep a good pace uphill. It took at least hour to reach the crest.
Climb number three was very pretty-- by the end of it we were 500 feet up a cliff looking out over the Pacific, and get this: we saw a whole mess of basking harbor seals AND A GREY WHALE! Travis wants to make sure that I realize that there are very few boyfriends who can ride a bike AND spot a whale at the same time, and that is exactly what happened. He saw a big rock out off of this overlook, and when he looked back, the rock wasn't there anymore. So we got to watch a big old whale come up for air then turn flukes up for a while while he munch on some plankton. I got real excited about the fifty or so harbor seals laying out on a big rock looking cute and blubbery, but we couldn't stop and look at them because we were on a dangerous bend.
The evening has landed us at another beach campsite, but this hiker/biker campsite was clearly an afterthought addition to the park. We're set up in an old grassy picnic site that is truly unremarkable. But I will say the Oregon State Park system is THE place to be for family summer vacation. Because the summer outdoor weather is actually tolerable in this state, people go all out with "camping", which sometimes turns out to be an actual encampment. We're talking RVs set up next to a screened picnic shelter, connected to a covered dishwashing area, crisscrossed with laundry lines strung with that day's drying beachwear. Patio lights, multifamily tent camps, dozen-person campfire councils, and enormous gas grills are not surprising to see.
But not for us. We drank big girl beers and ate perfectly executed burritos for dinner, and now it's time to go to bed.