Netarts, OR to Lincoln City, OR

42.6 mi / 10.4 mph / 2467 ft. climbing
Home: Devil’s Lake State Park hiker/biker campsite

Sunrise at our campsite.
The ocean, steps from our campsite.

The biggest climb of the trip so far woke us, 800 ft. with sections at 9% grade. It was a beast, but easier first thing in the day than last thing. There is a hiking trail that extends west into the ocean atop the pointed finger of Cape Lookout (which we had just climbed to the top of), and we had the great idea of hiking out onto the trail, finding an unparalleled view down to the ocean, and making up some coffee along with second-breakfast to enjoy the place with.

View south from the Cape Lookout Trail.

Well, maybe it wasn’t such a great idea. Or at least it sounded a lot better on paper than in practice. It was a major chore re-packing all the necessary cooking gear into a bag we could take hiking with us. Then an impassable section of mud forced us to turn around before we’d even found a good viewpoint with some space. Still, we managed to squeeze our stove and our butts onto some trailside rocks, and make a few other hikers passing by jealous, so maybe it was worth it? It was at least worth it as a learning experience about how to better plan such treats in the future.

Coffee on the Cape Lookout Trail.

Later in the day we had a second 800-footer, again luckily off of US-101, on quiet, less-steep Slab Creek Road, a route that had been closed when I did this route with Joel nine years ago.

Riding Slab Creek Road.
Riding Slab Creek Road.
Riding Slab Creek Road.

But just like nine years ago, we camped at the weird state park right in the heart of Lincoln City, and walked to Kyllo’s Seafood for our first fancy dinner in a while, though it sure seemed like prices had gone up in the interim!

At the hiker/biker sites, we met a guy from Vancouver, BC heading to San Diego (much faster than us), and a couple from Hong Kong on a tandem showed up going “the wrong way” to Seattle. But we were surprised that we didn’t see our new companion Scott there, since we talked to him at a couple points through the day and he’d decided to make Lincoln City his endpoint too.

Our surprise turned to shock when he messaged us, saying that he had been hit by a car (right in front of Kyllo’s) and was in the hospital with a broken femur or hip. Later on we were somewhat relieved to learn the x-rays were negative, but it was still a heavy night for all of us in camp, as it’s something that we’re all obviously concerned about, but generally force the possibility out of our minds in order to even allow us the ride on the roads. So having our illusions shattered by reality is scary, and angering, but hopefully it also inspires us to redouble our efforts to be as safe as we can.

Scott riding off through the rising steam earlier in the day atop Cape Lookout. After days of rain, he was having such a good day!

The guy from Vancouver had done this ride 30 years ago, and he said the traffic today is one of the biggest differences. We (along with Scott) always say that traveling this way restores our faith in the goodness of humanity, but at times like this, it makes us wonder: how is it so easy for some drivers out there to not even recognize us as humans at all?



, ,


Last Updated:


6 responses to “Netarts, OR to Lincoln City, OR”

  1. Kelly B. Avatar
    Kelly B.

    Y’all this blog reminds me of the early days of blogging in all the BEST possible ways. Keep up the great work, Neil!
    Really enjoying following along. Just caught up on the last few days while having my morning tea. The term bike/house made me snort. It’s like a houseboat, but it’s a housebike. ?‍♀️?
    Wishing you tailwinds (and perhaps a stretch of dry weather ?),

    1. neil Avatar

      Glad you’re following along the old-school blog, too bad I can’t get it in your Google Reader! I was excited to include the link to the website for the Hong Kong couple, I was like “yeah, you’re old-school like us, with a fuckin’ WEBSITE!”

      “Housebike” is a thousand times better than “bike/house”!! I’ll give you a 5% cut of this blog’s income as a royalty, since we’re “totally stealing that”!

  2. Kenneth Gregie Avatar
    Kenneth Gregie

    To answer your last question: They simply don’t care; cellphone usage is a big one; the I’m-more-important-than-you attitude, along with “bikes don’t belong on the road” so I’m going to teach you a lesson; dare I even mention the darker side of video games that de-humanize life and affect some individuals thinking to the point of blurring the line between reality and fantasy?
    Unfortunately, the number of drivers these days who are in their own little world, with seemingly little or no regard for who else might be on the same road, is astounding. Even a routine drive locally of 5 miles or less will have at least one (and sometimes more) driver(s) who appear to believe that they are the only ones on the entire roadway! Sorry to be ranting so much, but driver’s these days are one of my pet peeves. Stay safe.

    1. neil Avatar

      Rant very much appreciated! I’m not much for rage, but it’s infuriating when the RV drivers don’t move over an inch even when there is a whole other lane next to them, so any commiseration is very welcomed, to know that we’re not the crazy ones.

  3. Swati Saxena Avatar
    Swati Saxena

    I’m sorry for Scott, and I hope he recovers quickly. That’s rough, and every non-motorist’s worst nightmare. Grateful to be able to follow you along on this journey. <3

  4. Joel Gregie Avatar
    Joel Gregie

    Glad you got to check out Slab Creek Road – I guess I had that all mixed up in my memory. I did go back and validate the ‘Road closed – no really – it’s closed!’ picture from the 2012 trip after you mentioned in this post that this in fact was the part of the route with the closed road (and then saw your correction to my comment – appreciate the completeness!). Maybe the memories of beating you up hills are all a fabrication too. I certainly don’t remember that you were carying 20 lbs. more of gear 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *