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From Pacific City to Monmouth, OR

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5/30/12 –  62 miles from Pacific City to Monmouth, OR

The first 20 miles to Otis continued along the Oregon Coast route. Views of the ocean interspersed with forests and a long climb up, up, up to the top of a forested mountain next to the ocean. A lot of the ride reminded me of the Blue Ridge mountains near home with the streams and creeks meandering alongside the road. The climb was not as hard as the day before – I didn’t have to get off the bike and push, just took frequent breaks for water. The ride down the hill was fabulous – several miles winding around with no traffic to speak of. Felt like I had the whole mountain to myself.

Stopped at Otis Cafe for breakfast. This place is famous and had been recommended by several friends of mine. Small intimate old style cafe with no more than 5-6 tables and a counter you could sit at. The waitress saw my water bottles and brought a whole pitcher of water without my asking. I suspect bikers frequent this place often. The food was fabulous – I do love breakfast food – and the coffee was very good. Fresh homemade breads of several varieties. I bought a couple of slices of pumpkin bread to have with dinner and next day breakfast.

At Otis, the ride turns inland. More forestland with several moderate inclines for 20 miles or so. I then headed for Monmouth – another 20 miles. Along the way, I passed another woman with a fully loaded bike who was stopped and obviously looking at her Adventure Cycling map. Again, her bike (like the guy I spoke with previously) was loaded far more than mine. I can’t imagine carrying that additional weight. So far, I have to say that I think I packed just right for what I need. In Austin, I packed and re-packed to eliminate all but the necessities, plus 1 or 2 light weight items I wanted.

The last 20 miles were tough. Many long sustained inclines at the end of the day.  Still, I will say that my body held up pretty well – better than I expected after the hard ride on Tuesday. The really, really good news is that I had no knee pain whatsoever. Tuesday, I had experienced near constant right knee pain. I feel tired, but relatively strong, and plan shorter rides the next couple of days to give my body a chance to rest in preparation for the upcoming mountains. I have the privilege of staying with friends of friends the next couple of nights, which I think will be fun…

One interesting thing that happened during the ride was that I came upon fields and fields of small white flowers at one point. They completely blanketed the fields on either side of the highway, and the smell of the flowers was almost overwhelming – just like a flower shop. I don’ know what kind of flowers they were. The effect was somewhat like Dorothy and her friends when they passed through she poppy fields on the way to Oz. Except these were small white flowers that blanketed.

Dinner tonight was a spinach and chicken salad at Subway (thanks, Sis) with pumpkin bread and a cappuccino from Dutch Bros coffee place.

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