Vancouver to San Francisco Tour 2016 – A Cycle Tour by someone who’s never cycle toured before – Day 12 – Beachside State Park, OR to Jessie M Honeyman Memorial State Park, OR

I had a bit of a fright last night.

I got up at maybe 3am for a wee, as I had for most nights. The night was clear, the stars were out and it was just extremely calm. I head to the bathroom and I saw someone else going into the ladies. “Another Camper”, I thought.

I leave the bathroom and she was loitering outside. Holding herself she asked me “Excuse me . . . Do you err . . . live here”

“Err, well, no, not really – I’m just, ah, camping here for the night”

She looks at me disappointingly. “Do you have any blankets I could use?”

Bleary eyed, it took me a while to process “umm, no, not really”. As English as I could get I wish her a good rest of the night.

She was clearly homeless and using the bathrooms as shelter for the night (it was pretty cold). This threw me a little bit. We were in the middle of nowhere, miles from any town. How did she even get here? I found it difficult to get back to sleep after that.

I spoke with Jace in the morning about my experience, and he also met her during the night. We both peed in the bushes after that.

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Now . . . that would be a house I’d want to live in – at Cape Cove

Jace and I set-off at the usual time of around 8:30. Our first stop was at Yachats Lighthouse. We peeled off the main road and head down a steep driveway down to Cape Cove. It was a cosy little beach that had a nice private feel. The Lighthouse was on the edge of the cliff to the right and the Cape Creek Bridge to the left. It was just a perfect spot for a respite. There were some families there with their kids paddling in Cape Creek (the ocean got deep quickly.

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Jace is just being happy

I probably could have stayed here all day. The weather was perfect, the views were incredible  and it felt criminal to leave. I did convince Jace to stay for a bit longer. We skimmed stones and paddled our feet. I did feel a little like we were in The Swallows and Amazons or a Famous 5 book. A familiar feeling that riding down means riding up. This was a steep drive way which required all the strength in those legs of ours, out of the saddle too

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Rock Skimming at Cape Cove
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Not a bad place to be right? Cape Cove

Next stop was Florence. Florence was a little like Newport however with a fresh mind we decided to stop here and head to Old Town. This part was very cute and what I would expect from an old part of a town on the coast. Wood Panel housing, quiet streets and colourful fronts. It was a bit touristy but that’s fine with me. Jace and I finally get to visit Mo’s. We both opted for the clam chowder. Jesus wept – it was big when it came. You’re given a bread bowl (a hollowed out loaf) which is filled to the brim with chowder. It was pretty tasty and very filling indeed. I was unsure that I was going to finish it . . . but I did. If you remember, on day 5 Oz bought me a meal on the way to Lake Quinault. He told me to pass it on when I could. I passed on the good deed to Jace – this one was on me.

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Some great chowder at Mo’s

We go for a little walk along the promenade as there are some market stalls lined up. We take a look but nothing really takes our fancy. We walk our bikes back up to the main road and hit the bridge south of town to continue onto with the trip. At this point, I could have probably slept for a day as my belly was full, and my tight lycra wasn’t doing me any favours.

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Siuslaw River Bridge, taking us out of Florence

We roll into Honeyman at a pretty good time. We get to the Hiker Biker site and there was a tent already up. It was the first Vango tent I’d seen so they must have been Brits. Camp was a bit eerie. The Hiker Biker site was empty of people, despite the tent, and there were a few things sprawled over the place which was just . . .weird.

There was an anger self-help book left on one of the benches, with a bunch of rope which was probably guide ropes, plus an empty vile of drugs on the floor. Now I want to make clear that everyone has their own battles and this person was obviously dealing with it, it was just the presence of the drugs and rope which made me feel uneasy. My imagination was getting the better of me. Later on in the evening, when dark I of course went for an evening pee. Head torch on I head to a tree. This tree was at the edge of camp so behind it were bushes. There were no paths behind. I look down with my headtorch, obviously for aim, and there in the ground was a knife, blade down into the ground. It was obviously put there by someone (it couldn’t have been dropped!). This just finished it for me. The imagination was now WILD.

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View of the lake from the top of the dune at Jessie M Honeyman State Park

Before night Jace and I head to the lakes around camp. It was really strange because there were lakes, forest and miles of sand dunes. Dunes are really hard to climb up by the way. they are great workout for the ass and legs. On the other side of the lake we see a permanent building and a floating platform. We had to go there. We worked out a way to get there, and walked around the lake. I felt like I was reliving my childhood in the form of a character from American TV. Here I was was, swimming in a lake in my undies, surrounded by forest and sand – this is how Americans do camping holidays on TV. It was just great. I felt full of life again – without any worry of what anyone else thought – dive bombing into this lake. Life.

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Arg! A stone at Cape Cove

Back at camp we meet the rest of the crew. The owners of the Vango tent were indeed Brits. Helen and Mark were from Bristol and cycling from Panama to Vancouver. So they were going North Bound but what an incredible trip THAT must have been. There was also 2 friends from San Francisco and Minnesota (teachers) who were cycling from Colorado to Eugene and one last guy – Unfortunately I didn’t get (remember!) their names. Sorry guys. The usual suspects were at camp too (Gen, Scott and Andy) – Full House. We had a great night chatting around a big camp fire. This was one of the best Camp feel evenings that we’d had so far.

Time for Bed

  • Route can be found HERE

Cheers, Scott

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