When I awoke at about 5:30 am to the birds and sunrise it was overcast and misty. I walked to the campground bathroom wondering what the day's weather would be and during the 5 minutes I was there brushing my teeth it started to rain. Oh no. Nothing else to do but jump back in the tent and do some reading. The rain finally ended about 7:30 am and I climbed out to make breakfast of instant oatmeal with hot chocolate for Catalina and Nescafe for Grandpa and me. By the time we broke camp and were on our way it was 9:30 am and the sun was starting to break through the clouds. Perfect riding weather but so much for our idea of making an early start to reach Newport.
The climb out of Cape Lookout was just brutal. 10% grades the sign said. May not sound like much but that is very steep for biking with a heavy load. Or biking with no load for that matter. We made it almost to the top and then took a break and walked the bikes up to the summit. My bike computer says 2.5 mph walking and 3.5 mph when we are struggling up a steep grade in the lowest gear so not much difference.
After a fast descent off the mountain giving the tandem's disc brakes a good workout we pedaled for an hour or so into the little town of Pacific City where the first restaurant we found was the Pelican Brewhouse and Pub. It looked like a likely place to find clam chowder so we went in. By the way, clam chowder on the Oregon coast is basically the same thing as BBQ in Texas. There are hundreds of little seafood joints serving clam chowder according to their secret recipes. Always New England style, never Manhattan style...shudder. Other seafood is popular. Dungeness crab, oysters, steamer clams, mussels, and assorted fish...mostly rockfish and salmon are what is caught and served locally. If you order shrimp it probably came frozen from Thailand. But clam chowder is what everyone seems to focus on. The place was packed and they had row after row of medals on the wall from various brewing competitions so the beer must be good. But I was too hot and dehydrated and we had too many miles to go to be having beer for lunch. Service was slow for which I was actually thankful for once because there was no hurry getting back on the bikes after the morning's climb.
After lunch we rode for an hour or so along US 101 which is the main coastal highway we have been following until our map brought us to a detour around Pacific Head on the old US highway 101 which added a few extra miles and lots of climbing but it was a welcome change from the traffic. In 10 miles we only met 5 cars on the road. Just at the top of the long climb over Pacific Head we had our first mechanical problem of the trip. Grandpa's rear tire went flat. Looked like an old patch was starting to fail so we put on a new tube and were on our way again. Changing a rear tire on a recumbent is a bit tricky because the brakes are under the bike and hard to reach or see....especially with packs on the bike.
By the time we made it off the mountain after our second long climb of the day and rode into Lincoln City we had 41 miles under our belts and a good 8 hours on the saddle. It was also 6 pm and although we could have probably made it the last 20 miles to Newport before dark we were tired and decided to call Grandma who was waiting in the rental condo in Newport to come get us with the van. Were I riding solo I would have just gone for it but the 10 year old in back was more inclined to have an ice cream sunday at McDonalds and wait for Grandma. Our first McDonalds since leaving Astoria.