My lovely wife and sometimes riding companion, Becky, had organized a hike along the Oregon Coast Trail (OCT). She knows I like biking more than hiking, so she suggested I plan a ride while she and a group of friends hiked the OCT. She had even gone so far as to plan 2 consecutive day hikes that would end and begin from the Airbnb that we were renting in Cannon Beach. I had been acting as the shuttle driver so that they had transportation between our place and the trailheads. Her planning gave me 2 free days where my services were not required. I searched around for some warm showers hosts that were within a day’s ride. I chose a marvelous couple that lived in Forest Grove, OR as my target. They agreed to host me for the evening of June 19, 2022 and I planned a route.
As the date drew closer, the forecast turned wetter. I gave my hosts the heads up that I might want to push things back one day to hope for drier weather. They let me know that they were flexible. Saturday afternoon, I let my hosts know that I would push the ride back a day. On Sunday, the day of my original start, the morning was misty, the roads were wet, and there were scattered showers. The hikers had to trudge through miles of mud and I spent the day scoping out fishing possibilities for the rest of the week.
On Monday, June 20, I strapped a 15 liter waterproof sack to Hidalgo’s rack, pulled out of Cannon Beach on Highway 101 north to US 26 to take me 63 miles to Forest Grove.
I quickly warmed up as I had to climb 350 feet in the first 1.5 miles. The skies were overcast, the temperatures still in the high 50s, and the road was damp to wet. Fortunately, the only water in the air was some occasional road spray from passing traffic. It had been a good decision to wait a day.
The shoulder along eastbound US 26 was comfortably wide between Cannon Beach and the OR 53 junction. I had driven this stretch the day before while exploring spots along the Necanicum River for fishing possibilities. It had been a muddy exploration at times, which made me wish I had come across this road debris yesterday.
Further down the road, there were other signs.
Besides the rude start, I had 3 major climbs to reach Forest Grove. The details are here.
At 25 miles in, I was about to take on my second long climb. I was ready for a break and for some reason a place called the Baker’s General Store caught my attention. It was an opportunity to fill Hidalgo’s water bottles, empty mine, and get what could only be called a second breakfast because it was too big to be called an ordinary doughnut!
I had some more climbing before I hit the next major rest stop near Timber.
When I finally got to the junction near Timber, I found a food truck and a convenience store. The store was open, but I had arrived on a Monday, so ….
Not sure if this was wheat, barley or some other grain. They do have a lot of craft breweries in Oregon, so maybe barley?
I got to town rather early, so I did a “Welcome To” picture and one final stop before reaching my Warm Showers hosts.
I knew dinner was not to far away, but I had to reward myself with a beer and some warm pretzels. It was good to be back in the saddle. My hosts, Dean and Carol were waiting with a shower, dinner, great conversation and a comfortable bed. All of which prepared me for the return trip.
Once again, I was The Lone Rider.