Cycling from Waldport to Florence

05 October 2013 12:00 AM CDT

Today was another awesome day!

I got upgraded last night to a deluxe cabin at the KOA :)  I thought the campground was just super nice (which it was) but as it turns out, the nice lady I talked to on the phone went ahead and gave me an upgrade for free.  The kindness of strangers strikes again!

I stayed up and made a time lapse of the stars.  I slept great.  And I slept in a bit this morning before heading off for a shower.  The other cool perk of the KOA in Waldport was that the showers were all individual.  There were little rooms marked "Restroom / Shower" where you could have private access to your own shower and restroom.  It was a welcome luxury.

It took me awhile to pack my stuff this morning.  I made a time lapse of me hustling through the cabin sorting and stacking and packing and loading all of my gear.  I have a lot of stuff.

I finally pushed off around 11AM.  My first stop for the day was this little coffee joint in Yachats.  It got good reviews in Google and in Yelp so I wanted to check it out.  Coffee is such a priority for me!  The bike ride to Yachats was about 10 miles.  And it was a lot of uphill.  But I felt good.  My muscles were refreshed.  My knee felt stronger.  And the sun was shining.

When I got to the coffee joint I was pretty much delirious.  I needed a cup!  I got a nice 16 ounce cup and a blueberry muffin.  So tasty.  I hung out at The Village Bean for a bit.  Drained my cup, packed my muffin in my handlebar bag, and got back on my bike.  Pretty soon I realized I wasn't actually in Yachats proper yet.  About a mile ahead I entered a totally adorable, tiny little ocean front town.  I hadn't quite decided how far I was going to ride yet today, so stopped at the grocery store to get some bananas and a sandwich.  Just in case I ended up at a campground not near anything.

I loaded my food in one of my front panniers and kept on pedaling.  The ride out of Yachats was beautiful.  I rode over steep cliffs right by the ocean.  I heard sea lions barking.  Saw sea lions swimming in the ocean.  And took in one scenic vista after another.  It was a delightful day to be on a bike.

There were two biking highlights today.  First, the bridge out of Waldport.  Bridges are intense!  There's no bike lane, usually quite a bit of traffic, and you just want to pedal and pedal hard until you're on the other side.  Second, there was this tunnel I had to go through near the Heceta Head Light House.  Tunnels are just like bridges.  There's no bike lane and usually quite a bit of traffic.  And, every tunnel here in Oregon has a little button for bikers to press that turns on a set of flashing lights alerting traffic on both ends of the tunnel that there's a biker inside.  Tunnels are usually a bit loud, damp, and cold.  Quite the experience on a bike.

A few things happen to me every time I'm at a scenic overlook.  First, people always wanna ask me where I'm headed, where I started, and what the deal is with my solar panel.  And, without fail, I always have several people a day who say, "well good for you!"  And today, as I was finishing a ride up a very steep, unrelenting, and long hill, there was this grandmotherly woman at the top who was watching me and started clapping when I got to the top.  It was awesome!  She came over to ask me some questions about my ride and, once again, congratulated me on my adventure.  People are so nice!  And without fail, almost everyone wishes for my safety.  Speaking of which, I've developed this little habit of thanking every car that drives by me and gives me extra space.  Whenever I notice a car giving me extra room I always shout, "thank you!"

I decided to stop for the day in a town called Florence.  As soon as I hit the city limits I hopped on my phone and started investigating food and hotel options.  The best rated place in town (at least according to Google and Yelp) is the Landmark Inn.  So, I called the hotel and secured a room for the night.  I ended up paying more than I would normally pay, but justified the expense on account of a few key items.  First, the hotel has a free continental breakfast.  And upon hearing the description, the breakfast actually sounded quite good.  Second, the hotel has a spa and sauna room that can be reserved in one hour increments.  A private hot tub and sauna that is cleaned between guests.  Intriguing after several days of hard bicycle riding.  Third, I would forgo a fancy dinner and find something at the grocery store.  So, alas, I am here at the Landmark Inn and am loving my stay!  I just got out of the hot tub and am about to sleep like a stone.

Tomorrow I head for the Oregon Dunes KOA.  Good night!