Day 13 – May 28, 2015 – Thursday
I wake up warm and comfy in my sleeping bag so I decide to lay back down untill 6:00 am. My hips hurt last night so I take two ibuprofen. I take a picture of the inside of my tent and my sun tan lines. I have sun tan lines on my legs from my shorts and on my fingers from my finger-less gloves. I also have a lines on my wrists where my gloves and jacket gap. I’d forgotten about silly sun tan lines from biking long hours.
We are on the road by 7:20 am. It’s raining, so I don my raincoat. We stop at a mini mart. I wait outside while dad buys some Gatorade for us. My new bike shorts are tight on my thighs, so I pull them up a little so they don’t pull when I pedal, besides I’m hoping I’ll lose more weight so it shouldn’t matter in a week.
We ride out of the parking lot and stop across the road because Dad needs to put his fanny pack into his packs. I shove some more of the granola bar I started in the parking lot in my mouth. We start again and stop again. Dad’s has more adjusting to do. I think he forgot his gloves this time. I take a picture holding up 3 fingers. It’s crazy how much stopping is required on some days with two people and 8 packs, long and short fingered gloves, helmets, hats, etc.
We pass the Riley Ranch sign. The RV park the lady from McDonald’s said her nephew runs. A couple of minutes later we ride over some truck scales. Dad rides over and it flashes 300 and then I ride over and it flashes 250. Dad says, “I think that was our weight, but I didn’t think the scales would work for us.” He turns around and rides back onto the scales and stops. Now it says 350. He rides forward and I ride on and stop and now it says I’m 300! Yikes! Dad says, “Maybe it goes to the closest 50 lbs. I snap a picture of the empty scales as I ride forward. I should probably have taken time to get a picture of us and our weights showing up on the scales but we are just starting out for the day and have stopped a lot already, so regrettably, I skip it.
We pass Charlotte Lane and I stop to take a picture. Dad gets far ahead of me, because it’s flat and easy riding. I try to hurry so he won’t have to stop because he can’t see me as well in his mirror when I’m wearing this rain jacket.
We pass huge sand dunes and I try taking pictures, but there are too many phone or electricity lines messing up the pictures. The battery signal on my camera flashes red. I will need to charge it soon.
After a few minutes we see a long bridge ahead. We pass David Dewett Vetran’s Memorial and a construction sign that says “Bridge Work Ahead.”
We stop on the bridge and I take a bunch of pictures because I’m afraid my camera battery is going to die any minute. McCullough Bridge into North Bend is long and the walking ledge is very narrow. There is barely enough room to walk, and the construction is making the walkable ledge even smaller.
We walk up ½ the bridge, it takes us 13 minutes. We decide to carefully coast down the other side, since walking is slow and it feels to narrow to ride. It takes about 3 minutes to coast off the other side of the bridge. Riding is so much faster than walking, even if we are only coasting!
I took a picture of a North Bend sign on the bridge while we were walking, but the town has a nice “Welcome to North Bend” sign as we enter the town, so I take one of that too. I wish every town had a welcome as pronounced as this one! Then I’d never wonder what town we are in.
Riding through town is pretty straight forward, but they have a road that veers right where we are expecting a right turn, then we see the sign for the road we need and cut through a parking lot to get there. We now have to cross the traffic that took the “vere” right. This could have been avoided with a sign a little earlier telling us the name of the upcoming road.
“Dad, there’s a Subway are you hungry?” He answers “I can always eat.” We stop for a Subway lunch at 9:44 am. Inside there is a booth right beside a plug-in. I plug-in my camera battery and the phone. We eat and look at our route for today. As soon as we get to Waldport its uphill all day until we get to the downhill taking us into Bandon. There is a campground before Bandon then nothing for about 25 miles, so we plan to stop at Bullard’s Beach State Park. We also have the 7 Devils ahead of us.
Once we finish the detail map and are leaving North Bend, it’s only about 4 miles to Charleston. As we cross the bridge I can see the hill in front of us looming. “Dad let’s pull over at that bathroom.” I say. We stop at Davey Jones Locker Grocery and Deli. I go in and ask for a bathroom. They say it’s around the side and someone is in it with the key. I go over and after a minute a young guy comes out. He doesn’t have a key, but he smells like smoke. Nasty, I make quick use of the facilities and leave the door open. Dad decides to go too.
We ride about ¼ mile up the hill and stop. Cape Arago Hwy keeps going straight, but a small sign on a steep road to the left says Seven Devils. We examine the map and decide we need to take that road. It’s so steep and the road doesn’t get better. It’s curvy, uphill and sometimes with no edge to ride. I don’t mind the hills because I want to become more athletic, but I am definitely working for it. I’m in my lowest gear but I’m not spinning, I’m pushing every pedal.
Someone has written on the road “Devil #1” then later “Devil #2” and so on. Which is good because there is so much up and down that I have no idea what Devil we are on.
The downhill is just long enough to let my muscles get use to not moving, but then the uphill is too steep to coast or build any momentum on, so when I hit the steep hill my muscles are instantly back to work. It takes me a few minutes and then I’m back in the “grind it out” groove, at which time, we hit another down-hill.
A couple of times I wave my hands to tell an oncoming car we are here and to slow down. We are going very slowly and these back roads are being used by some people who want to drive fast.
We finally do see “Devil #7 and You Made It” painted on the road, but I’m suspicious. I don’t want to get my hopes up and then encounter another huge hill, so I just assume we are nearing the end. I know the uphill can’t last forever. Turns out it was true, we’ve conqured all 7 Devils.
After 11.5 miles of this we turn onto Whiskey Run Lane. It’s downhill and SO much fun! It’s curvy and we fly down it! The curves are so fun, like a roller coaster. I’m literally saying “wee!” The only thing that would make it better is smoother roads. We always have to be careful going downhill, between trees. The sun is on the road then it’s gone, so if there is a pothole in the gray road and I don’t see it, I could be shortly dead, however, sometimes the thrill is stronger than the danger. This is so Scary Fun!
We pull into Bullard’s Beach State Park. There is a line of motor homes to get into the park. We talk with another bicyclist. He is nice, but has a filthy mouth. He says the park is nice, he and his wife always camp here.
We get a hiker/biker spot for $5 per person. They have lockers and charger boxes for our phones and iPods in the camping area too. We get to the hiker/biker area and can’t decide if we want the first spots (closes to the charging boxes) or further back. We settle for further back because the tent spots are flatter. I keep an eye on my various charging gadgets, because I don’t have a lock, but there is no one else here, so I’m not too worried.
As always Dad showers first. When he gets back, I go. The showers are push button and very hot! When I get back Dad says he had to go outside the camp to get cell service. I take the phone and ride out of the camp. I get Marc on the line, then I start slowly riding back into the camp. The service seems fine. I sit on a building right next to the hiker/biker area and chat with Marc. He says he will be picking us up the Tuesday after next. That sounds like a long time to me, because the days move slower when you are riding, but we are having a lot of fun, so I’m in no hurry.
We need some lube for our bike chains so Dad calls South Coast Bicycles in Bandon to ask what his hours are. It’s around 5:00 and he closes at 6:00 pm. It’s only a few miles to town, but we tell him we can’t make it in today. He doesn’t open till 10 am tomorrow, but we will be gone by then. Dad asks if he can’t take a credit card or leave a bottle of lube somewhere we can get it and leave cash. He says he will bring it to us after work! He delivers the lube and a rag of alcohol to help clean the chain. Dad meets him outside the park. It was so nice of him to do that! If I’m ever there again he has a customer for life!
We eat our emergency noodles for dinner and are in our tents around 6:45 pm.
We are going through areas with less stores, so I am packing more food. I will need to buy more emergency noodles tomorrow. I walk to the bathroom several times because I’m trying to drink more water, so I don’t get dehydrated. The bathrooms are not very close to us.
Bike Stats: Time: 4:20:01 Dist: 42.93 Ave: 9.9 Max: 34.2 Odo: 463
Day 14 – May 29, 2015 – Friday
Heading out at 6:59 am, Dad shows me a closer bathroom than the one I was using.
We enter Bandon at 7:08 am. We stop by Bandon’s local grocery and buy breakfast, snacks and more emergency noodles. In the checkout line the clerk asks me where we are going. I say “South to Disneyland” and she said “South is good, at least it’s all down-hill.” I replied “Well, we rode the 7 Devils yesterday and that was definitely not down-hill.” We talk a bit more and she seems familiar with the area. This is actually the third or fourth time I’ve heard people say “It’s all down-hill”. Let me tell you right now, it is not all down-hill, so don’t be surprised if you say this to a bicyclist and they look at you like your clueless. She says “Have a good trip.” I thank her and go to my bike. I start organizing, but then have to go back inside to use the store’s bathroom.
The end of town has a huge sign across the road that reads “Welcome to Old Town Bandon.” We stop and look at the map then decide to take a right and ride along the edge of the water. We head straight onto another road, but Dad doesn’t think this is right. We ask a walking couple. The man, in a thick accent, tells us to go back and take a right up the hill then another right on 4th which has other names but it is all really Ocean Drive. We say thanks and turn around. The hill to 4th seems very steep this early in the morning, good thing it’s short.
Ocean Drive which turns into Beach Loop Road is very beautiful. There are views of the ocean and lots of houses turned hotel. Basically it looks like every property owner converted whatever property he had into a hotel or inn or some sort.
Riding along and we pass this runner. I say “Hello” as we pass. He responds. We ride a little further and there is a pullout. We stop and take in the view and take photos. We get back on the road and ride and see the runner again. I say “Hello again” and he responds nicer this time. We ride on and see another pull over. We stop and look around taking pictures. We get back on the road and I look ahead and the jogger is there again. I take a picture of him from behind so I’ll remember this funny story, but I get my camera ready because I’d like to get a picture of me passing him for the third time. I say “Hello again” and snap a picture. He responds and the picture actually turns out! He and I are both smiling.
A little further down the road Dad and I stop to take a selfie and Big Foot photo bombs us. Who knew Big Foot has a sense of humor?
We ride for about 15 minutes and I see this sign ahead for Woods at the West gift shop. It has a car with MnM’s painted all over it parked right under the sign. Dad says, “I should get your mom something from Oregon to let her know I’m thinking about her.” “Okay,” I say. We pull over and dad goes into the shop. I had a green shake for breakfast so I figure now is a good time to eat a fiber bar snack. Dad comes out of the store. “Did you find something?” I ask. “Yep.”
We ride on past Something Awesome Antiques and Collectibles which has huge painted sculptures of dragons, bugs and Bigfoot. He is real, people.
We take a break further down at the “Welcome to the Famous Langlois” sign. The town has a few buildings and one with a sign that reads “Greasy Spoon Café.” The roads are flat and the wind is pushes us all the way to Port Orford. We flew past Sixes, in fact, I don’t even remember passing Denmark, but our map says we did.
We pull into a store parking lot in Port Orford ready for lunch. At one point we hit 26 mph. We’ve been riding so fast this morning we might run out of steam before the hills come up.
We buy lunch and ask about a bench to sit on. Someone tells us the Port Orford Library has a bench and its right across the street. We ride over and sit down to eat. I’ve been sweating all morning, so now the breeze is freezing me! Dad goes into the library and comes out with a book and a magazine. They have a rack inside where people can donate and get books. I go inside to use the bathroom and am shocked their library is beautiful! Port Orford has only 1100 people, but their library is completely new and amazing, including the bathrooms. I use the water fountain to fill up my camelbak. We pack up. “I’m going to take it easy to start off, I overdid myself this morning. I’m not sure what I was thinking!” Dad says. I’m okay with this, it’s hard to enjoy the view when you’re riding fast.
We stop about ½ a mile down the road and I put on my pants and long-fingered gloves because of the cold wind. I’m standing in the middle of town and this big truck passes by while I’m putting on pants right in the street. It’s over my bike shorts, but it still feels a little weird. We ride another mile or so, but it’s uphill so we stop again so I can take off my pants. Goodness!
We get more beautiful coastal riding today, but the roads are rough. My right shoulder above my shoulder-blade is beginning to burn. I try to stretch out, but it’s killing me! Sort of like a burning cramp.
We are still making pretty good time, Dad said he was going to take it easy, but it doesn’t seem like he is. We still have the wind at our back. Up ahead I see a motor home with an old man and old woman on the beach. I can see from their clothes, they are clearly old. The woman is wearing a moo-moo. The road begins to curve left and inland. My shoulder is killing me! We are riding down-hill and picking up speed. Traffic is light, but a vehicle passes us. “Hey Dad, My shoulder is killing me and I need to use the next bathroom.” He says “Okay, we’ll stop up here at the rest stop.”
About a mile up the road we pull into Humbug Mountain State Park. There are two vehicles there. We stop in the parking lot. I have to cross a wooden bridge and ride up to the bathrooms. When I get there, I lean my bike up and take a picture of dad across the park waiting for me in the parking lot. When I come back the people’s dog is on the wooden bridge. The dog seems really old so I walk my bike by it. The people don’t even call it, even though it’s clearly in my way. We start to ride off and I say “Oh, I forgot to take pills for my shoulder. Well, it’s better now.” Dad says, “Well you better take them.” I say “Yeah, your right.” My shoulder doesn’t hurt at all anymore, it actually stopped hurting when we pulled into the parking lot, but I take two ibuprofen anyway.
We ride inland for a mile or so, ride over Bush Creek then veer back to the coast. At Ophir the bicycle map tells us to turn left onto Cedar Valley Road, but I decide to go off map and stay on 101. I always pick the coastal route if I can.
We see a little sea otter walking down the beach and I can’t help but think how wonderful seeing the ocean every day must be.
Dad stops at the Old Coastal Route sign and says “That’s the Old Coastal Route, do you want to take it?” I say “No.” I can see the road from where we are riding on 101 and it is up and down, steep hills and has no better view of the coast than here on 101 which is flat and has a wide edge. I figure it’s basically a 2 mile detour of road with twice the difficulty. As we keep riding, we find I’m right. We are glad we didn’t take it.
After a bit we round a corner and see a bridge between Wedderburn and Gold Beach. We get to it and stop. I say “Are you going to take it?” Dad starts riding on the road. I say “Oh, I meant take the sidewalk.” Dad stops and we put our bikes on the sidewalk edge. We start to ride but Dad decides it’s too narrow. So we stop and put our bikes back down on the road and ride over the bridge. “Nothing like indecision!” Dad says.
We ride up a hill and into Gold Beach. We pass a couple walking on the sidewalk and stop at the Liquor store. It’s the first store on our side of the road that seems open. We walk in and the first thing I see is a lockable case on the counter that she is filling with tiny bottles of alcohol. I look around and it looks more like a drug store. I see cards and cigarettes, but it has a lot less liquor than I expected. Anyway, we ask her about a local place to camp, a Subway and if there is a bike shop.
My shifter is out of alignment just a little, causing my front largest sprocket not to catch, which is especially bad because the terrain resulted in switching between the large and middle front sprocket all day. However, I did figure out that if I pull my right foot in towards the frame of my bike when I shift, it helps the chain to catch where it wouldn’t otherwise.
Outside the Liquor store I dial the local bike shop. It says “mobile locations” on the map which we have found usually means they are out of business. They never answer. I’ll have to get my bike adjusted in 28 miles down the road in Brookings.
We head to Subway to eat. Dad takes a left turn into Subway and cuts off a driver. The driver is irritated and slows down, but gives me a look while waving his hands. I pull into the space he backed off from and turn into the Subway parking lot, while telling Dad he cut a guy off and needs to pay better attention. We get our table and I call the Curry County Fair Grounds and see how late they are open. They are open till 5 pm, and it’s about 3:30 now, so we have time. I charge my phone and camera battery while we eat.
The lady who takes our money at the Curry County Fair Grounds is really laughy. She has a worker show us where we can camp and be out of the wind. It’s between two buildings and definitely looks like fair grounds. I have to move some dog poo where we put our tents up. The lawn is dead and it’s pretty ugly, but we have the place all to ourselves and we get hot showers! Dad and I both use the men’s bathroom, so they don’t have to open up the women’s bathroom. It works out fine since there aren’t any other campers.
Dad showers while I call Marc. Then I shower and Dad calls Mom. Dad lubes our bike chains by himself and ends up lubing my bike with two kinds of lube because I moved my bike and he thought it was his. Hah!
Dad throws his wet bike shorts over a pipe hanging on the side of the building and the hill-billy scene is complete.
Marc asked me if I missed him at all. I said that I am pretty busy navigating and pedaling, but I do look forward to holding him again.
Bike Stats: Time: 5:46:28 Dist: 61.99 Ave: 10.7 Max: 33.1 Odo: 525