Monday, August 27, 2012

Permanent #1614 -- Crookshanks

So I already have a pair of permanents that will get you from Portland to Tillamook and/or Netarts... but what are you going to do once you get there?

Well, snack and drink beer and walk on the beach and go to the lighthouse and check out the octopus tree and have campfires and read books and play board games.

Aside from that, though, I thought it would be nice to have some coast-based riding options. So, voilà, one of two new permanents.
Instead of doing the one of the more obvious coast-based riding options, this one takes you inland for a great stretch of riding on Trask River Road. When you first join the road, there's a warning sign for high truck traffic, but when I did the ride on a late Tuesday morning I saw maybe a half-dozen total commercial trucks in the 20 miles I spent there, plus sparse car traffic from the various park/campground/boat launch options.

Oh, and I also saw a cow giving birth in the field. How cool is that? I stopped to gawk at it for a while from the roadside, but then the sow seemed to get stressed out by my presence lurking a few feet from its newborn, so I rode on.

The turnaround point is at Trask River County Campground. They have drinking water available, but it's highly sulfuric and reeks of rotten eggs.

The rest of the route is pretty straightforward -- starting over Cape Meares (I much prefer approaching it from the south, where you pass the best views on a slow climb rather than a scorching descent), connecting back to Highway 101 via backroads behind the Tillamook air museum/airport, then taking Sandlake Road to Cape Lookout.

Throwing in the two capes puts the elevation up around 4K feet (with the usual disclaimer that my preferred online mapping program tends to wildly exaggerate this number), but it feels like a pretty relaxed ride. I rode with no sense of urgency at all and finished in five and a half hours, or a full ninety minutes ahead of the maximum cutoff.

I can't promise a live cow birth to future riders, though.

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