The Pacific Coast Highway- Oregon Style

From Chris’ place in Beaverton, I dropped south for a bit before picking up US-101, Oregon’s Pacific Coast Scenic Byway, again, at Newport.  I started craving seafood as soon as I smelled the salt air, so I stopped in at South Beach Fish Market for fresh boiled Dungeness crab.

US-101 runs the full 338 mile stretch of Oregon coastline from Astoria, on its northern border with Washington, to Brookings, on its southern border with California.
A request for a seafood recommendation during a gas stop in Newport yielded several responses of “South Beach Fish Market.  Right on the side of US-101, this combination restaurant, convenience store, and seafood market in Newport is “the” place for locally sourced seafood.
A woman in line behind me seemed surprised when I commented that I was excited about having hot boiled crabs.  A local, she said she’d never had them hot, they always put them on ice before eating them.  I laughed and told her we do that for left-overs!  As I was sitting outside, peeling and eating my HOT Dungeness crab at a picnic table, another woman passed by and commented that she had never actually seen someone peel and eat the crab body.  Apparently most people only buy the legs and claws to peel, and purchase the body meat already peeled.  Not this Cajun!!
Dungeness crabs are so much easier to peel than our southern versions, but I prefer the sweet taste of blue claw crabs over these titans, even if you have to work a bit harder for the meat.

The meeting of the chilly Pacific Ocean waters with the summertime warm air created clouds of sea mist that I rode in and out of throughout my southward jaunt down the Oregon coast.  At times, the water was a fabulous shade of blue with seastacks poking out here and there along the shore.  At other times, the foggy mist was so thick, I had to strain to see whether the next curve in the road would hug the rocky land to my left, or swing my path to the right, closer to the ocean.  The constant change in temperature and precipitation along the 300+ mile coastline had me either adding on, or stripping off, a layer of clothing at just about every stop.

Just a girl and her bike, with some beautiful seastacks along the coast…and a sea gull waiting for a handout 🙂
Cape Perpetua, named by Captain Cook when he sighted this area on St. Perpetua’s Day in 1778, is a scenic area just south of Yachats.  It includes tide pools, sprouting horns, churns, and seawater fountains with names like Devil’s Churn and Thor’s Well.  Oregon Discovery
Fed by the pounding ocean waves, the tidepools were teeming with plants and sealife.
Oregon coast near Winchester Bay.  You can see the Umpqua River Lighthouse on the land outcropping at the top left of the photo.
During my running phase in my 30s, I read books and watched movies about different runners, and Steve Prefontaine was definitely one of them.  The legendary Olympic runner from Coos Bay, OR who held American records at every distance from 2K-10K before his untimely death at the age of 24 in 1975, is still honored by his hometown, and state, with various monuments and events.
This island, called Battle Rock, was the site of a battle between Native Americans who lived here, and settlers who came to claim the land as theirs under the Oregon Donation Land Act in 1850.  Even though no Indian Nation had signed a treaty agreeing to give up their land, they eventually lost it to the growing numbers of well-armed settlers. 
Some of the last stretches of Oregon coastline before crossing over into California.

The scenery, food, accommodations, and even road conditions, along Oregon’s coast were stellar!  I love riding along water, but I was excited to get to the next stop on this journey:  the Redwood Trees!   

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