We drove our bikes out to Tillamook (yes, drove our bikes - remember this was meant to be a very little taste test), had a take-out lunch with fantastic beer at de Garde Brewing, and then pedaled to Cape Lookout. It was a bit of an adjustment to ride with a full pack on my back - a pack with a sleeping bag, sleeping pad, clothes for the night, a little stove, coffee press, mugs, food, book, camera... you get the picture - but it wasn't as hard as I thought it would be. Once I figured out how the pack would move as I pedaled and once I settled into a good pace, the ride was great. The hike/bike-in only sites at Cape Lookout are sweet, and being on the beach with the salty ocean air was such a nice change of scenery for us. We strolled on the sand, saw a molting seal (I never knew!), reminisced about time in our childhoods spent in Nags Head, and watched the sun set over the Pacific.
The following day, after a long leisurely morning on the beach spent drinking cup after cup of coffee, comparing patterns on broken bits of sand dollars, and reading The Old Man and the Sea, we rode up the coast to Cape Meares then back to Tillamook for lunch at Pelican Brewing before heading home. The verdict is still out on whether or not I want to bike all the way from Portland to the coast, but I'm definitely up for more bike packing trips.