Day 49: Lovely back roads all day long

We had a few options to ride to this morning and after a bit of thought we figured we could do a decent sized day and head to a private campground instead of hanging about in the middle.

As we started from the campsite, we spotted a few elk on the road and one of the big bulls decided to cross the road pretty close to me. I was video’ing the guy and was probably too close for comfort I reckon. He eventually crossed the road and we went on our way. The route initially went on to the 101 which was a bit of a bummer, a large 4 lane expressway. The route veered off into a state park after that for a bit though.

I stopped at a cafe in a small town called Orick, which was not really much of a town. But they had Wifi and that’s all I needed. We met one of the bikers, Andrew, an Aussie, at the cafe and we decided to sync up at the camp site later in the evening. We also met an american guy who had a cat in his trailer, but he wasn’t going far.

We rode along the state park which led to another small town called Trinidad which was fancier. I got some veggies for dinner and then we headed up the backroads again up and down a hill along the beach. It was pretty and we even spotted some seals barking off in the rocks.

I was hungry and finished up some of the leftover bread I had and we headed on. We came up a pretty bare bones county campsite, and decided to push on to the private one. There was a nice bit of bike path that bypassed the big town and we ended up at a small university town. This was nice too, but we already were pushing 3 pm and decided to got to camp before 4 ish. The route lead to a bit of highway and turned off into the pretty fancy KOA campground.

It was a pricey one, compared to the state parks, but it was pretty fully equipped with some kind of disc-golf course and a hot-tub which I thoroughly enjoyed. It was nice to soak on hot water after the longish ride and I think one every evening would be fantastic. Ah well. We had a bunch of other cyclists arriving after a bit and I suppose this must be a pretty popular one along the route.

Route: Elk Praire Campground to Eureka KOA Campground
Distance: 76.5 Km
Ascent: 2100 ft
Descent: 1950 ft
Expenses: 32.5 $
Comment: The fabled tailwinds are nowhere to be seen…

Day 48: More riding along the Gorgeous redwoods

It was a lovely, secluded campsite yesterday and when I woke up a few times in the night, I was looking right up to the stars. Stunning.

We were up in the morning and started riding around 8:30 and it was a bit of a sun to warm the body up as we headed into the highway. Once on the 101, the road climbed up at 8% for a long while and we climbed may be 100 ft before getting to the crest. Te redwood grove was dense and not much sun was coming in and I rode hard to keep the body warm. The descent was really nice and sweeping down to the ocean for the next 5-7 km. It was lovely indeed with great roads.

I waited up for the others to catch up and we decided to stop off at the town of Klamath to get a hit of additional b’fast. Along the way we spotted a tourist trap of winching thro the redwoods, I wasn’t going to stop there, the redwoods are pretty from where I see them, on the ground.

Klamath was a really tiny town and it was sprawled over a large track and eventually we found the only cafe in town which served some huge b’fast, but no wifi. duh. Across the road was a Drive thro tree, which was essentially a hole carved into a redwood tree. I suppose these were big attraction in the 1930’s or so and I can’t imagine why anyone in the right frame of mind would tunnel thro a beautiful old tree like that. Ah well, that was America then.

We paid the obligatory 1$ and saw the sad sight and took a couple of pictures and pushed on.

A few k’s down the road, we entered the scenic alternate which again climbed up a bit but was a beautiful road and descended all the way into the campground. Stunning place to ride a bike.

We fond a nice spot to pitch tent and decided to take a walk thro the forest. The Redwoods forest are really something beautiful. They are quiet and majestic and stunning when streams of sun pass thro. We walked for a while and decided to turn back so we could make dinner while it was still bright and got back to the campground. In the evening, the campsite was visited be some resident Elk which were grazing in the pasture right across the road.

Its been a lovely day overall, I reckon.

Route: Nickel Creek Campground to Elk Praire Campground
Distance: 57 Km
Ascent: 2650
Descent: 2750
Expenses: 24.38 $
Comment: The redwood forests are amazing indeed…

Day 47: The Hike Bike routine restarts

Our plan today was to seek some hikes in the redwood forests and so we planned our route around it. The morning started with the campsite having some sort of function to recognise the donors who helped preserve the forest. We hung out for a bit and eventually decided to keep moving.

The ride to the first hiking spot, Stout Grove was short and along the way I picked up some cinnamon roll as a snack. The grove was stunning with some amazingly tall redwoods. These are probably the tallest trees I have ever seen. Dang the forest is awesome. The walk was short and we spent a while taking pictures and admiring them.

We rode out and followed along a hard packed gravel/mud road that led us to the next trailhead. The road was pretty quiet except for a few cars who were driving about slow and checking out the forest too. When we got t the trailhead, it said it would be a 4 hr out and back route and I ate my cinnamon roll and headed in. The walk was mostly gentle with a few grades, but overall was a nice walk on well graded track. We walked about chatting along the way and eventually reached the big highlight which was the Boy Scout Tree. This was a really large specimen and pretty imposing too. I decided to take an obligatory tourist shot and we walked up a little to the end of the trail which was a pretty low flowing waterfall. The walk back was pretty straightforward and got back to the trail head within an hour.

The way out was a bit of a still hill to ride up and it was a workout after the walk. The descent was pretty steep into Crescent city and it was almost 2+ when we got to the visitors centre. We enquired and figured out that the Nickel Campground 5 miles out of town would be a good spot to stay at and given it was free, we didn’t have to think twice.

We rode up to a safeway for resupply and the local starbucks for internet and by the time we got to the campground it was nearly 5 pm. The route to the campsite was pretty and after hitting an overlook we had to ride down a dirt trail to get to the site. The place was secluded and almost hidden from view but with an easy access to a stunning beach. We did a quick dinner and given that the day had clear skies, we decided to head into the beach fox a nice sunset.

The sunset was gorgeous indeed with no clouds and I could see the sun go down into the horizon as a ball disappearing into the ocean, I recall spending many evenings with Dad & mum in Bali trying to get one good bit of sunset, but we weren’t lucky. I guess the slow sunset video will be specially for my folks…

Route: Jedediah Smith Campground to Nickel Creek Campground
Distance: 45 Km (Bike + Hike)
Ascent: 1800
Descent: 2250
Expenses: 30$
Comment: The redwood forests are amazing indeed…

Day 46: Goodbye Oregon, Hello California!

The morning started well with some sunshine and blue skies. It was nice to see sun after a few days. Yesterday, Krissi’s Bike was working badly and Joe diagnosed it as a workout bottom bracket. My bike had a bit of a ticking noise too and seems like the bottom bracket is getting to the end of its life. So we decided to spend a bit of time at a bike shop and see if they could fix both the bikes.

We rode into town, got some supplies for food and headed to the bike shop. They would open only at 10 and so we spent a while at a coffee shop and I did my internet stuff. Once the bike shop opened, they figured that Krissi’s bike was in a bad shape indeed and the bottom braced needed to be changed. The mechanic was nice and offered to drive up to the next town to get the spares as they didn’t have any. My bottom bracket was tightened up and it seems fine at the moment. I guess it will be fine for the next 1000 or so Km, but will get it checked in at the next big town anyway.

We had to wait for a couple of hours and I sat at the cafe reading a book and getting some lunch. The bike was ready at 1 pm and we decided to head on south as the next camp ground was just 40 or so km away.

It was a very flat ride and we had a few back roads to take instead of the 101, which was nice. Along the way, we crossed the last of Oregon bridges and ended up at the state border. Well, Hello California.

We rode in the back roads a while ad finally got on to the highway 197 which was a road thro a nice redwood forest. These were secondary forests, but the trees were still impressive. I love big trees and it was awesome to ride thro the, We reached the campsite at the Jedediah state park around 4 pm and the biker campground was in a nice grove with super huge redwood trees. Awesome. Just that it was a bit difficult to get the hammock setup around these monsters. I managed to find a spot to sneak it in and spent the evening walking around the river and the trees.

I was informed that the Californian state parks had a bit of a funding issue compared to the Oregon ones. It became obvious when they charged for showers and after I paid for it with a few quarters, all I got was freezing cold spray. Brrr. Pretty much took the shortest shower I could and ran out to stay warm. Looks like the next few days among these giant forests is going to be a lot of fun.

Route: Harry’s Beach Campground to Jedediah Smith Campground
Distance: 45.5 Km
Ascent: 850
Descent: 850
Expenses: 38.44
Comment: The First sight of Redwoods was awesome

Day 45: Riding the tourist belt on the Oregon Coast

We had a rest day yesterday expecting rain, but that never showed up after the lashing we got in the night the day before. Yesterday night was calm and at one point I even saw stars.. So much for the forecast.

As I woke up there was a bit of a shower and I took my own time to pack up and leave. Anyhow, we had a real short day ahead and we even headed into a b’fast joint to grab a meal and coffee before getting on the road.

We hit the road proper at about 10 and gently made the way up the hills. There were a couple of girls from Portland who were riding the coast too and we rode along for a bit. Mostly bumping into each other over the multitude of view points along the way.

The day was a bit weird with the weather coming in and out and the sun would peek out at one moment and the next there would be a bit of a shower. After a couple of hours the rain started and poured down in buckets for about half an hour. It was bit of a mess, but not too difficult riding really. There were numerous view points along the way to stop off and relax the lags. Eventually we ended up at the campground in Brookings at 2 pm or so and I found a decent spot to hang the hammock and had a nice long hot shower to warm the body up.

I ate the 4 day old bread I have been carrying for a while and relaxed the rest of the evening. There were number of cyclists in the campground tonight, almost like every cyclist here is following the book and staying at the prescribed campspots. It’s nice to meet a bunch of cyclists along the way and find out the routes and journeys they are on. Its such a far cry from rising in SE Asia where we rarely meet other cyclists. I guess the coast is popular for a reason.

Route: Gold Beach to Harry’s Beach Campground
Distance: 48 Km
Ascent: 1900
Descent: 1850
Expenses: $ 21.25
Comment: A mixed bag of a day, but a nice ride though