On July 10th, six COGS riders (Wayne, Gus, Mike, Alan, Liam and Pam) met for breakfast at the Hotel Oregon in McMinnville and then headed north on the West Side Road for eight miles, where we began climbing 1,700 feet up Turner Creek Road. The climb was challenging with all of us carrying our camping gear and grinding uphill on gravel, but what a descent to Trask River awaited us on the other side! This may have been when I broke a spoke on my rear wheel, which I didn’t discover until the next day. Wayne had a tire puncture on the road to Trask River C.G as well. These were the only mechanical mishaps any of us had for the rest of the tour. After setting up camp we all waded into the Trask River for a cold bath. Wayne’s brother Larry brought us some beer, a perfect end to a really great day of cycling. Total for day 1: 42 miles and 3,270 feet.On the second day we rode through Tillamook, stopping for groceries on the way and then rounding Cape Meares to Cape Lookout State Park, where the hiker biker camp was equipped with lockers with USB ports to charge up our electronics, a bike stand with tools and a tire pump, a hot shower, and an ocean beach- all for $8/night! Total for the day: 35 miles and 1750 feet.Day 3 was the longest day, and the route up the Nestucca River Road from Beaver was spectacular, with little traffic and the wind at our backs we climbed 1800 feet alongside the Nestucca River for about 30 miles to the summit at McGuire Resevior (McMinnville's watershed), and descended on Panther Creek and NW Meadow Lake Roads. One rider (this reporter) opted out of returning via busy West Side Road and instead chose to climb some more hills and grind some more gravel on Hill Road North back to McMinnville, where we spent the night at the Hotel Oregon before heading home the next day. Total for the day (including Hill Road North): 66 miles and 4600 feet.
All agreed this was one of the best three day tours we'd ever done, if not the best. Wayne Johnson planned and led us on a spectacular loop from McMinnville out to Cape Lookout and back, mostly on roads with little or no traffic and incredible scenery all the way.