The first day in Oregon was relaxed. Went to McDonalds :) It's pretty much the same like in Germany.
I had only a short ride to the next campground in Fort Stevens State Part around 15 km from Astoria. Met two cyclists there who I had seen some days before in Washington (heading to San Diego as well), and two other individual cyclists. The campsite price have significantly improved the further I get south. 12 $ in Washington and 5-6 $ (around 4 Euro) in all Oregon State Parks for the hiker/biker sites.
The next day I left earlier than the other cyclist, but knew that they were all planning to ride to the same campground that day and there we would meet again. We also met along the way in Seaside. In the afternoon, on top of the last mountain for today, I met Brian, another southbound cyclist on his way to San Diego. We talked a little and found out that we had met pretty much the same people on the way. I told him about who he would meet tonight at the campground, and he knew two of them. We rode together the last kilometers downhill and met the other four right before the entrance of Nehalem Bay State Park. When the 6 of us arrived at the campground, we thought we were many, but what we saw then was incredible. Probably the biggest assembly of cyclists on the forested hiker/biker site. But there was enough space for everybody. Where do they all come from so suddenly? It seems that everyone took different routes through Washington or wherever they came from, but the Oregon coast is a place where everyone takes more or less the same route, as it is supposed to be the most beautiful part of the Pacific Coast.
We lit a fire as it was really cold. Cycled 74 km.
I decided to join the patchwork group of the four cyclists from yesterday, for the ride to Cape Lookout State Park today. We had some free coffee at the campground information before leaving. The whole day was more hazy than sunny. The speed of this group was perfect, not too fast and not too slow. We stopped a few times when the scenery made us stop to take some pictures. At Tillamook we visited a cheese factory where the famous Tillamook cheese is produced. Visitors could look inside the factory and try some free samples. Of course we also had to try the Tillamook ice cream. One scoop is as big as a tennis ball, which is normal for american ice cream.
A very scenic route led us across long hills and beautiful views, two small side trips to a lighthouse and an 800 year old spruce tree, which was extremely high and large and big. We passed a closed road that had partly vanished due to a landslide in July. For bikes it was possible to pass on the remaining lane, though.
The Cape Lookout State Park hiker/biker camp was kind of full when we arrived. First, we decided to camp on the nearby day-use area, and when I had just pitched my tent, a park ranger told us that we couldn't camp here. But we were sent to the close-by group camp area, which was even much better than the hiker/biker sites between the trees. Another 5-6 cyclists arriving late were sent here, even more than yesterday. The site was so close to the ocean like none of the other sites before. Cycled 80 km.
The patchwork group partly split up the next day, some of them went to Newport (90 km), I only wanted to reach Devil's Lake State Park this day (60 km). In terms of climate and landscape, this day was unique. Right after the Capground I had a steep misty uphill ride, some sunbeams made it through the fog and trees from time to time, that was very impressive. Met another touring cyclist on the way to the top. I should stop mentioning every single cyclist I meet. Gets a bit confusing.
Right after the top of the mountain it was suddenly clear, blue sky and sunny. I stopped at a beach at Cape Kiwanda and climbed the sand dunes.
Another hill just before the end of the day and I reached the Campground near Lincoln City. There were 'only' four other cyclists this time, and later the cyclist from the hill this morning arrived, too.
Now I'm in Newport (only a 33 km ride from Devil's Lake), taking a day off on a campsite north of the city. Unfortunately it's sunday, so I can't check out the famous bike shop that everyone is talking about. I seems to be specialized to the needs of touring cyclists, with laundry facilities, internet and so on. I'll try to get there tomorrow.