PCH Tour: Amazing Coastline to Umpqua Lighthouse

Pacific Coast Highway

Day 26 – I woke up early in Beachside. It was cool, but the tents weren’t as damp as the night before. Russ headed out first, and then Cindy right before me. We all decided to hit a spot for coffee in Yachats. I followed Cindy’s green neon wind breaker up in the distance. It was a nice flat ride through the morning fog into town. We saw Russ’s bike out front of a cafe, his American and New Mexican flags flying off the back.

When I got in, I ordered an oatmeal cranberry scone and a medium coffee. We sat around, sipped our java and chatted about the day to come. It was going to be a solid 60 mile day with a few decent climbs. We relaxed for a bit and then hit the road.

From Yachats, we wound around some mountain roads along the coast. The fog and the cliffs mixed with beams of sunlight to create picturesque viewpoints for the next 10 miles. We stopped a bunch to capture the images. Every time we made a turn, we all said, “wow,” and had to pull over.

We all decided to ride down to a beach just below a lighthouse. It was a small beach with some neat views, but the lighthouse was hidden. Up we went back over the steep road. We were all in our granny gear, huffing and puffing our way to the top. Back on the 101 we crossed a bridge and went through a small tunnel. Around the next bend we stopped at a turnout where we got a great view of the Heceta Lighthouse.

Heceta Lighthouse

Onward we pushed, making great time on our way down to Florence. The first thing on our minds, as we entered town, was food. We stopped at a Fred Meyer and all scattered to get supplies for the night, including sandwiches from the deli. Outside we reconvened where we all sat on the cement and devoured our food. People passed by and asked us where we were headed. Some folks just stepped around us, probably hoping we wouldn’t try grabbing their bags and eating their food. Frank, from camp, caught up with us. He ran in to grab some food and supplies while we watched the bikes.

Once Frank got back we headed south out of Florence. We kept a good pace, with Cindy out front. There were a couple of good climbs, but we just kept pushing along making great time. We stopped at Honeyman to fill up our water bottles and checked out a beautiful lake surrounded by sand dunes. I think I even saw some kids sledding and snowboarding down the sand.

Back to the hills we went. I managed to keep up with the gang but it was a bit of a struggle. We got to the top of our biggest climb where we could see acres of logged forests with purple mountains in the background. Down the mountain we went into the small city of Reedsport. There we crossed a river and eventually ended up in Winchester Bay. We stopped at a bakery and Cindy bought a giant loaf of olive filled bread to share for the night.

We had one more climb up to our camp in Umpqua Lighthouse State Park. Everyone trickled into camp. We all broke out our beers and set up our tents. I had a porter that went well with with my Kellogg’s chocolate cornflakes and almonds. The hammock guys cooked their gourmet dinner of bacon soup. They let us dip some olive bread into the sauce. It was so good. We sat around having some more laughs about the day before tucking into our tents and hammocks for the night.

(Repost of my 2014 Pacific Coast Tour Instagrams)

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