Tomorrow we are off to Victoria to catch the Black Ball ferry to Port Angeles. We will then drive to Olympia , WA to get on US 5 which will take us to Newport on the coast. The next day we will start our cycling trip down the coast (about 212 miles) to Brookings which is just north of the California border. Lets hope the weather holds.
Day one which was basically the ferry and car ride passed into history with not much to be happy about - large traffic and a long day. We arrived in Lincoln City and went for the $49 special room rate. The two of us decided to eat at the Dionysus Resturant across the street. The architect did an excellent job of designing an inspiring space, but the chef seemed to be overmatched by the quality of the surroundings.
The next day we drove to Newport to start our journey. First stop was a major Oregon Icon in the cycling world -Newport Cycling. Great shop and wonderful people who let us leave our car in their back parking lot. Jan bought a new helmet and we also met Gary who will be our
shuttle driver.Then it was off down the road to the first big challenge - high level bridge which we had to walk and then it was up the first of many hills. We stopped at a few roadside galleries and ended up buying a chainsaw carving (mantelpiece bear) which will be picked up on the way back.
Our journey then took us to Yachalts for a large Halibut lunch as well as groceries for our evening meal and breakfast (no restaurant at Carl G Washburne campground which was our destination for the night) The road got a lot steeper and narrower with some spectacular views of a very rugged coast. The last long downhill took us to the Carl G Washburne state campground which had a nice tent spot for $10 including access to the all important hot shower. After a well earned beer we had our takeout dinner. It was quite cool due to a big breeze off the ocean which is apparently common at night. We retreated to the tent early and were asleep by 9.00.(Total distance about 65 KM)
The next day we had a cold breakfast snack at 7.00 AM and packed our gear
for the next big challenge - Hecate Hill which is just before the town of Florence. The best thing about hills is that they have 2 sides. The down hill side is quite relaxing but can be chilly especially if one works up a sweat on the uphill side. We arrived at Florence (14 miles) where we stopped for a monster breakfast. The next table had a group of extreme seniors discussing a porn book they were all reading....
We have been stopping at various wood carving shops and now know all about Myrtle Wood which is from an Oregon tree species. At one place we had a tour of the best equiped wood shop I have ever seen-three lathes and a commercial flapper sanding machine.
We did another 26 very tough and hilly miles to Reedsport where we stopped at the Harbour Lites Restaurant. Great food and friendly people so we will put a review up for them on trip advisor. It was necessary to get takeout food there as there is no food at the campground up the road. We did another 6 miles for a total of 46 for the day (74 km) to get
to the Lighthouse State Park. There the two of us met some Oregon mosquitos (total pussycats compared to Manitoba variety) and had our first and only campfire. Early to bed and then horror of horrors-one of the air mattresses has developed a leak!
The next day the dreaded day three blahs - struggle to get going but out on road at 8.15. BF hill first and then straight flat run for miles in bad traffic-This is the Red River Valley with trees. I am not sure which is louder when they pass -a swarm of Harleys or Thrush duals on a V8 pickup. Shoulder conditions a bit dodgy - lots of gravel,glass with narrow bike lane (some places as wide as a foot)
Jan's leg is acting up and we are both tired so after a great lunch at Yeongs Place in Coos Bay , we struggled on to Charleston and took a motel room (Captain John's Motel) After organizing our gear and trying to find the air mattress leak , we went for beers and steak etc. Today was 26 miles (42 km) Total to now is 181 km.
Day four and all is well. Happy
Birthday to Jan! On the road again at 8.45 after an underwhelming breakfast at the Sea Biscuit. We have a really tough day ahead with the Seven Devils which is a series of large hills between Charleston and Bandon. It was a long hard slog for about 20 miles then nirvana-a long downhill with lots of curves. We finally rolled into Bandon at noon and went to Tony's Crab Shack - best ever fish tacos and another Trip Advisor opportunity. Most of the morning trip was on a 101 bypass so there was minimal traffic. At 2.30 Bandon was over. The next stage was to ride to Langlois (13 miles) where the plan was to stop at a the Langlois Deli and Market for takeout food etc for the KOA stop further up the road. Back on 101 but traffic wasnt too bad and we stopped at a few wood carving emporiums, looking for a cedar/redwood slab-no luck
Kudus to the proprietors of the aforementioned deli who saw us coming and stayed open so we could get our supplies, including 2 gourmet tuna sandwiches. We left Langlois at 5.30 and rode about 4 more miles to the KOA. Total
for day was 42 miles (67 kms) for a to date total of 248 Km.
At the KOA we went for the Kamping Kabin.Not the best deal in the world-$55 for a one room cabin with no bathroom and rubber bed covers etc...but with WIFI.
The next day we got up to a bit of rain and a headwind-doesnt look good.Luckily we were out on road early and didnt hit the heavy rain until near Port Oroford, but the headwind (35 MPH) was a bit tedious. This meant a change of plans as the weather sounded like it was only going to get worse. (and it did- by the time we left the restuarant the sheets of rain were basically vertical from the south) For some reason bad weather on the coast means a south wind whereas a north wind means good sunny weather. In the summer the prevailing winds are from the north and you can get some great wind boosts. However the traffic in July and August can be very heavy. (maybe September would be the best month)
In any case we rode on in the rain and wind to find a hotel. After about
a mile of solid water in the face, desperation set in and we ended up in the luxury loft suite at Redfish. A major financial hit but worth every cent. We also ate in the Redfish Restaurant which got our 5th Trip Advisor award.
The next day Gary the shuttle guy picked us up in supervan at 9.00 AM sharp. We then headed back to Newport with one stop for Mantlepiece Bear . After loading the car, we set out out for home. The rest of the trip was routine car travel although we did some shopping along the way. It is not easy to get back to Salt Spring.
The Oregon coast bike trip is now off the list. The scenary is superb, the people are very friendly and helpful but the traffic is the main negative. The road is generally good except for some bad pavement and narrow shoulder parts. Next trip will likley be on a bike trail (Paul Bunyon in Minnesota?) but we are also thinking about the Columbia Icefields highway. Our total distance on this trip was about 266 km. I think we did 750 kms this spring.
Tot: 2.44s; Tpl: 0.065s; cc: 14; qc: 31; dbt: 0.0304s; 2; m:saturn w:www (220.127.116.11); sld: 3;
; mem: 1.3mb