Thursday, June 25, 1981

4. The Pacific Ocean

Day 4:  Thursday, June 25, 1981

Lincoln City to Dallas:  45 miles

It was a short day today.  I had wanted to start the ride from the coast at Neskowin, but Dick said that Highway 101 was much too hilly, and we'd have our work cut out for us if we just started at Lincoln City instead.

Of course we had to go out onto the beach for the traditional wheel-dipping and picture-taking session.  Coastal skies were mostly overcast, but the blue-green water and white breakers were beautiful just the same.  Jack settled for a fresh-water baptism (he found a spring flowing into the sea), but I opted for a full-fledged salt-water ceremony, tempered by a quick rinse at a nearby gas station.

Wheel dipping
We dip our wheels in the Pacific Ocean

Soon after we left the coast, our blue skies returned, and we enjoyed weather as untypical for a western Oregon June as is snow in Seattle.  Route 22 rises to about 800' as it crosses the coastal range, but tailwinds of 10-15 mph pushed us the 45 miles back to Dallas in five hours, which included a leisurely lunch, many photo stops, and several detours from our intended route.  Although the road was only two lanes wide, traffic was heavy, with many log trucks and campers.

Coastal range
The rolling hills of the coastal range

Yellow poppies
Yellow poppies beside the road

One of the highlights of the day was a stop at the western terminus of the Willamina & Grand Ronde Railroad, one of the shortest short lines in the country.  It has one engine (which we didn't spot) and some of the lightest rail I've ever seen.

Grand Ronde
The railroad station at Grand Ronde
Name these flowers!
Name these flowers!

On the way into Dallas, we picked up a couple six-packs of beer, some of which soon disappeared in the usual way.  (The rest stays with Dick and Karen - we didn't have room to pack it with us.)  Another of Karen's delicious meals and a relaxing evening topped off our last day of luxury.

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