On one of those days, when we weren't pulling weeds in the yard or cleaning out the garage, we went to the coast and took our mountain bikes along. With temperatures in the valley forecast to top 95˚F (35˚C), the coast was the place to be with a high of only 71˚F (21.6˚C). We took Highway 34 southwest to Waldport, then Highway 101 south to Yachats. We stopped at the Green Salmon in Yachats for lunch. They used to be a great place to eat and are one of the only places in the land of seafood to get a vegan meal. Unfortunately the tempeh rueben sandwich we ordered was incredibly salty. When will restaurants learn that salt doesn't equate flavor?
From Yachats we drove south on Highway 101 and stopped at the Cape Perpetua Visitor's Center in the Siuslaw National Forest. I was pretty sure they sold the one-year Northwest Forest Recreation Pass. Most places along the coast require a pass or a daily fee for use. It is way cheaper to pay the $30 for the pass than to pay a daily use fee every time you park somewhere. We were in luck, they sold the necessary pass.
While there we started chatting with the Forestry workers about local mountain bike trails. Our original plan was to ride at the horse trail/recreation area just North of Florence. We've had friends that have ridden up there, but the forestry workers seemed to think bikes were banned.
Not wanting to chance it, we opted for the Cummins Creek trailhead. Just a short 6 mile (9.65km) out and back lollipop trail and the only one in the recreation area where bikes are specifically allowed.
|(Cummins Creek Trail - Cape Perpetua, Oregon)|
|(Cummins Creek Trailhead)|
The trail started off relatively easy. An uphill grade with a nice wide, fairly even trail. Easy peasy. And then it gradually got narrower and narrower. We stopped a few places along the way for pictures, and for me to huff and puff and get my heart rate back down to a dull roar.
|(Troubadour on a Trek on the trail)|
|(Narrower and narrower)|
We were still on an uphill grade after 3 miles. I had a copy of the above map with me and from what we could see we were on the upper portion of the trail. At one point we thought we'd come to the lookout turn off but it was so steep and had so many tree roots that it would have been hard to push the bikes up it.
We eventually came upon the below sign. It really confused us. We had no idea where we were. We couldn't think of anywhere we'd missed a turn and there was only the one way to keep going, more uphill and more overgrown trail. We didn't want to end up at the Visitor's Center or the forestry road since it would be a long way back to the car so we erred on the side of caution and reversed direction.
|(Which way do we go?)|
|(Trobairitz on a Cannondale - photo by Troubadour)|
Sure didn't take us long to get back down the hill. Back through the fallen log and dry creek bed and then zoom, it was a great descent. Troubadour stopped a couple of times along the way, since he is a faster rider, and snapped a few pictures of me. The above picture was one of those.
Back at the car, we were still confuzzled as to what went wrong. From the map it did not appear we could have taken a wrong turn.
Ah well, load up the bikes and head north on Highway 101. We stopped at the Cape Perpetua viewpoint just above Devil's Churn for a look see at the Pacific Ocean.
But first a picture of the trusty Subaru with the bikes.
|(Subaru Forester at the Cape Perpetua Viewpoint)|
|(A view to the southwest - the tide was out)|
|(Interesting tidbit regarding early travel in the area)|
|(Standing at the viewpoint looking up to the parking lot)|
|(Wild purple flowers, I have no idea what they are)|
|(And these clumps of succulents were growing on craggy overhangs. To me they looked like Celtic knots)|
We got home early in the evening where we found Basil asleep on the sofa. He appeared to be enjoying the 'cool' setting on the ductless system we'd installed last fall.
|(Are you comfy Basil?)|
Troubadour checked his Strava tracks/map on the laptop once we got home and it turns out that while we thought we were on the upper part of the loop the whole time, we were actually on the longer lower part of the loop. Our best guess is that if we had of pressed on we'd have been walking our bikes down that really steep section we thought was the trail to the lookout. I think this time we chose wisely to turn around.
Our temperatures over the weekend broke record highs, and also broke the record for warm nighttime temperatures. Luckily the high pressure system has moved on and our high is only supposed to be 70˚F (21˚C) today. Good thing too, since we have a moto-blogging compadre coming tomorrow to visit, hang out, and attend the Vegan Beer and Food Festival this Saturday in Portland (No, we won't be riding, I'll be the designated driver).
- Au Revoir
"Get a bicycle. You will not regret it if you live." - Mark Twain , "Taming the Bicycle"