Today the views were epic, the weather was great and Highway 101 seemed like it was finally living up to its reputation... as long as we ignored the absent shoulder and the close-passing RVs.
We spent the whole morning in busy, noisy, droning traffic again, enjoying our four foot shoulder but not much else. After lunch at the local seafood diner, our waitress approached and said, "I assume someone's warned you about what you're about to drive through, right?"
We admitted that we had heard biking conditions weren't ideal between Yachats and Florence, but the waitress had a more compelling story: Cape Perpetua is the the highest point on the Oregon Coast, so to reach it there's a slow, blind climb with little or no shoulder. Cars pile up behind not being able to pass, though some RVs blaze on through and have been known to clip cyclists with their mirrors.
She doesn't even like to DRIVE on that part of 101.
I braced myself for the worst and took a sip of whiskey for courage, and then we plodded on.
You know, it really wasn't that bad. After skirting along guardrails, watching shoulders disappear and cutting out into pullover areas for cars to pass all through Washington, Cape Perpetua was really nothing new. There were plenty of areas for us to pull aside for cars to pass, and Travis rode defensively in the lane so nobody would get any ideas about passing too close with oncoming traffic.
It was our most scenic day of riding 101 so far, and we passed through diverse landscapes like rocky tide pools, wind-smoothed sandstone rock formations, picturesque lighthouses sitting atop threatening cliffs. We even saw a sea lion body surfing! No kidding, it was playing around and rode a couple of waves into the shore!
The day came to a great conclusion with a hot dog and baked bean supper, which I have been looking forward to and was totally stoked on. Tomorrow is our last day of Oregon Coast before we diverge from 101 and head up into the mountains on our three day journey to Crater Lake.