Thursday, June 30, 2011

day twenty

June 29th
Gold Beach to Crescent City, CA
62 miles

Woke up at 6:00AM, had some coffee and packed my stuff.  Said goodbye and headed to the store for breakfast and supplies - 2 cinnamon twists.  Big climb right outside of town.  Weather not too bad, nice and dry.  Wind back to normal, out of the north.

Arrived at the California border around 11:00AM.  Border checker waived me right through.  I wasn't as excited as I thought I would be to enter California.  I'm just ready to be done.  Miss Carlon, family, friends and everything back home.  Hoping to really start cranking out some miles now that the first half of the trip is just about done.

Arrived in Crescent City around 1:00PM.  Weather cloudy but dry.  Nowhere really to camp here or close by so I was kicking around the idea of getting a cheap hotel.  Rode around town trying to find a coffee shop or something with wifi so I could look up hotel prices.  Couldn't find anything so I just went into the first cheap hotel I saw which wasn't too bad. 

Checked in and showered, walked to Safeway for groceries.  Updated internet stuff, sat on the bed and watched tv, which felt really good.  Planning on making it to Patrick's Point State Park, which I just couldn't pass up.  BIG climbs tomorrow, biggest so far.  Redwoods also!  Hoping a good nights sleep will do me good.

leaving Gold Beach, Cape Sebastian in the far distance


climbing some more

from the "tallest bridge in Oregon"

looking North

looking south, towards Brookings and California

made it!

first view of Pacific from California

lighthouse outside Crescent City, looking south

day nineteen

June 28th
Gold Beach, OR
0 miles

Josh woke me up at 3:45AM after what felt like 5 minutes of sleep, and we headed out.  About an hour drive to the hills east of Brookings.  Tired but got an energy drink.  Checked out his job site while it was pouring down rain.  Josh let me play with one of the loaders which was fun. 

Drove back into town, got in around 8:30AM.  Took a nice nap until around 12:00.  Hung out around the house, went to the river, lunch downtown.  Had a huge milkshake.  Hung out around town and had a few beers.  Went to tuesday taco night at the local dive bar.  Hell of a good time.  Got back to the house, hit the sack around 10:30PM.

*kicking myself for forgetting my camera the rest of the day, hence no afternoon pictures*

this would have been sunrise

fucking around in the loader

I wasn't very good at it, but still fun

dreary morning

day eighteen

June 27th
Bullards Beach State Park to Gold Beach
65 miles

Woke up at 6:00, made coffee, breakfast, broke camp.  On the road at 7:30, fastest I've broke camp so far.  Another clear morning so far.  No huge climbs today, according to maps.

Noticed light headwind, 10 miles or so south of Bandon.  Wind appears to have switched from the South.  Not a good sign for the weather.  Pedaled on hoping it was just a fluke but headwind kept getting stronger.

Arrived in Port Orford around 10:30AM.  Very windy now, weather has definitely taken a turn.  Stopped and made some lunch.  Weather deteriorating quickly.  30 or so miles to go still. 

Headed out.  Fog is rolling in, had to turn on lights.  Very hard to make good forward progress.  Making 7-8 MPH on flats instead of 12-15 MPH, very frustrating.

Met a biker a little outside Port Orford, Alex, heading the same direction.  Ended up riding together, taking turns in front breaking up the wind.  First time riding with someone.  Fun to talk, nice guy.  19 year old, going to Western, decided to take a break from college to find out what he wants to do.  Wish I was doing stuff like this when I was 19.  He said he hasn't paid for camping once since he left Seattle, just camping on the side of the road somewhere.  Road for around 20 miles, met up with a different Swedish couple who were heading for South America.  They had so much stuff on their bikes, it was ridiculous - they're doing 20 or so miles a day. 

Chatted for a while and we ended up riding together.  We got off 101 and where able to take some back roads through the trees, which cut down on the wind significantly.  We all stayed together for awhile, but I headed off since they were going painfully slow, probably because they had so much stuff.  I just wanted to get to Gold Beach and get the day over with. 

Arrived in Gold Beach around 2:30 and waited for them to be polite, and at least say later to Alex.  MAJOR wind gusts in Gold Beach, hard to balance bike.  Said bye to the others and found a Subway while I waited to meet Josh.  He showed up around 3:00 and we went to his house and unpacked my stuff.  Started to rain.  Couldn't have timed getting to Gold Beach any better if I tried.  Hung out around town and had a few beers at his dad's house.  Fun to see these guys again, since I haven't been here in 3 years or so.

Weather report says a storm system moving in, leaving tomorrow night.  We both decided I shouldn't ride tomorrow and just hang out - Josh is a logger so he would be rained out too.  Very thankful for a roof over my head tonight!  He had to run some stuff up to the job site in the morning, so I told him I'd go with him - at 3:45 in the morning. 

Went to town and had some more beers, dinner - steak and potatoes.  Went back to the house and hung out, went to bed around 1:00AM.  Getting up so early is going to suck, but it was fun to hang out and not think about riding for once.

cool Salmon wood carving in Bandon marina

Looking South, riding through Bandon still

leaving Bandon, lots of amazing views

in Port Orford, weather moving in

fog coming in

about a mile out of Gold Beach

day seventeen

June 26th
W.M. Tugman State Park to Bullards Bay State Park
43 miles

Woke up at 6:00AM, not much sleep for some reason.  Made coffee, breakfast, and starting breaking camp.  Turned out the 2 Boston guys, Mark and Chip, had made it into camp after I went to sleep.  They had some extra breakfast so they invited me over.  Fun to talk with them about their trip so far, since we have followed the exact same route.  Funny guys.  Stuffed with food.

Hit the road around 9:30.  Looking forward to another shorter day but plenty of climbing to do in this section.  Had some bagels and peanut butter for lunch in Charleston.  Stopped in North Bend and stocked up on goods at Safeway.  Found a Schucks and was able to find more stove fuel.  Definitely feeling the extra weight today, have a lot of food on me now.  Guess I need to find a happy medium with the food supply.

Arrived at Bullard Beach S.P., no bikers in yet.  Set up camp, ate some oatmeal.  Canadian couple in camp next, they are just doing the Oregon Coast.  Kinda jealous they're almost done.  Rode to the beach and soaked in the sun.  Perfect weather, yet again.

Fixed dinner, instant pad thai stuff, edible.  Read maps, looking forward to California but will miss Oregon.  Parks are SO nice here, definitely will be back.

Lots of other bikers in later, none I recognize.  Boston guys must have kept going.  Want to be first one out of here tomorrow, 60 plus mile day to Gold Beach.  Actually looking forward to cranking out some big mileage days again.

just north of North Bend

new war memorial

looking east from the bridge into North Bend

into the hills on Seven Devils Rd

the beach near camp

another great day

Coquille River lighthouse, part of the state park

day sixteen

June 25th
Honeyman State Park to W. M. Tugman State Park
30 miles

Woke up around 8:00AM, nice not to have to rush in the morning knowing its going to be a short day. 

Hit the road around 10:30AM, getting hot already.  Yet another nice day, really lucking out with this weather.

Not much scenery on this stretch.  Met a guy on the road who is headed to Long Beach.  Did the same trip in 1961, so he's calling it his "half-century ride".  Really impressive.  He didn't look much older than 65, so he must have been really young when he went the first time.

Stopped in Reedsport for lunch, Subway.  Groceries at Safeway, learned my lesson from yesterday.

Arrived at Tugman S.P. around 1:30PM.  Set up camp, showered, took a nap.  Fixed dinner, teriyaki noodle stuff and some oatmeal since I was still hungry.  Planning on a 40 or so mile day tomorrow to Bullards Beach State Park.  Lot's of climbing tomorrow, another reason I split up this 70 mile stretch into two days.  Excited to get to Gold Beach in a couple days to see my buddy Josh.  Talked to him on the phone today and it looks like he might have some room for me at his house, awesome.  Alarm set for 6:00AM.

*not much to take pictures of today*

one of the only times I saw the Pacific today

in camp at Tugman S.P.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

day fifteen

June 24th
South Beach State Park to J. M. Honeyman State Park
52 miles

Raccoon attempted to break into my stuff in the middle of the night.  My panniers where right under the rain fly in the front of then tent.  He actually managed to unbuckle the straps somehow before I woke up and kicked him away.  Put panniers inside tent, hopefully they can't undo zippers.  Didn't have any problems after that.

Slept in to around 8:00AM. This campground features a "hospitality tent" with free coffee, so I walked over to check it out.  Free hot coffee, newspaper and more maps than I had time to look at.  Nice to not have to make coffee in the morning, plus theirs tasted much better than mine.  Definitely the best campground so far.

Had a few cups and made breakfast.  Nothing but blue sky, going to be another nice day.  Rode into town to Bike Newport, got there right when they opened the doors at 10:00AM.  Started my laundry, had them check out my bike, and hung out in the biker's lounge for a while.  Coolest bike shop I have ever seen, one of the best in America, I'm sure.  Met a few other bikers later on, 2 older guys from Boston and one guy from Montreal.  Nice guys, all headed for the border as well.  They were planning on staying at Washbourne State Park too, so it looked like I'd have some company.

Bike mechanic showed me my chain and recommended I replace it before I go any further.  He threw on another cassette that he had laying around as well that had slightly lower gears - better for climbing.  More money than I originally wanted to spend, but at least he caught it before it broke.

Got out of the shop around 1:00PM.  Rode back to camp, bike is much quieter now and feels better.  Excited to see if the lower gears make a difference.

Broke down camp.  Had an interesting conversation with some guys who were walking down 101 to the Mexican border.  They were looking to buy some used bikes since they were tired of walking, I would be too, surprised they made it this far.  Pointed them towards Bike Newport, hopefully they can help them out.

Hit the road around 2:00PM, way too late.  Traffic actually not that bad.  Experienced first strong tailwind that everyone talks about, really makes a difference.  Makes riding on flats almost effortless, I feel like fucking Superman!

Planned to stop in Searose Beach, a small town right before Washbourne S.P. to get groceries.  According to my map there was a grocery store there.  I don't know what happened but I never saw it.  The store must have been demolished or I blew right by it.  Either way, I arrived at Washbourne S.P. with no food.  ig mistake on my part.  Getting late for riding, around 5:30.  No stores until Florence, almost 20 miles away.  Didn't have much of a choice, so I headed for Florence.

Finally got in around 6:30.  Found a Fred Meyer and stocked up on food.  Went to Moe's for dinner, fish tacos.  Pulled into Honeyman S.P. around 7:30, a few bikers there.  Showered, cleaned up, then was offered a beer from one of the guys so I talked with them around the fire for a bit.  One guy from Sweden, doing 60-100 miles a day.  Crazy.

Hit the sack around 11:00, dead tired.  Tomorrow will be a short day.

looking back towards bridge into Walport

the bay in Waldport, forget the name

south of Yachats

if you zoom in far enough, you can see a kite surfer.  blowing pretty good

looking south

Heceta Head Lighthouse

near the Seal Caves, looking south toward Florence

in camp at Honeyman

Friday, June 24, 2011

day fourteen

June 23rd
Cape Lookout State Park to South Beach State Park
72 miles

Woke up around 6:00AM.  Rained on/off all night.  Misty rain though.  Skipped coffee this morning, feeling lazy.  Mistake.

Took off around 7:15AM, huge climb literally right out of camp.  Passed a guy walking his bike up.  Made me feel better but I felt sorry for the guy.  It turned out he only had a ten speed, so no low gears.  Ouch.

Hit wall around 10 miles outside Neskowin.  ZERO energy.  Felt like stopping and just taking a nap.  Shouldn't have skipped coffee this morning.  Chugged it out to Neskowin and found a coffee shop.  Nothing like some black coffee to get you moving again.  Felt much better.

Awesome ride on an old section of 101 to Otis.  Had lunch at the highly recommended Otis Cafe.  Had their "world famous" german potatoes.  Damn good. 

Decided to truck it out to Newport - weather getting nicer by the hour.  Gorgeous stop in Depoe Bay, lots of people.  I saw gray whales here a few years back, hoping to see some on this trip.

Arrived in Newport.  Found the bike shop everyone told me I have to stop at, Bike Newport.  Laundry, Wifi, showers, lounge, all for free if you buy something.  Closing in an hour.  Decided to come back tomorrow when they open at 10:00AM and have an easy day tomorrow, maybe 30 miles.  Newport is really cool, would like to hang out here tonight as much as possible.

Rode a mile or so past Newport to South Beach State Park.  Another awesome campground.  Set up camp, showered, and rode back into town.  Found an irish pub, Nana's, and decided to have a few beers since I wouldn't be riding much tomorrow.  Had a Reuben and 3 PBR's.  Love this town.

Rode back to camp and hit the sack around 9:30PM.  Lot's of bikers in camp now.  One dude playing guitar into the night, slept with ear plugs.

view during climb

old 101, headed towards Otis

Depoe Bay

Depoe Bay

Looking South, Yaquina Head lighthouse in the distance

still climbing

entering Newport, looking back toward Yaquina head

Newport bridge

marina, taken from the bridge