Day 38: Spinreel State Park to Carl G Washburn State Park

A non-eventful and overcast day took us 80 km farther up the Oregon Coast. We still had the remainder of a tailwind in the morning, so with our early departure we rode along until we found a good location for breakfast. In Reedsport we found a good looking place and made our first stop of the day.

Jesse had some work to do so we decided to find the Starbucks in the next town, Florence. Though many places offer wifi, Starbucks tends to be the only place we really feel like we can loiter all afternoon. So we rode another 35km to the Starbucks in Florence. We rode around the old town area first, which was a nice little area, then continued on to find that Starbucks was located inside Safeway. This worked out alright since there was still a seating area and we could get some groceries as well.

Hours later, we decided to ride on to Carl G Washburn State Park. The headwinds had now arrived so it was a bit more of a push, but we made it without having to stress over the time. Upon arrival the friendliest camp host ran out to greet us. He’s also the only host who’s ever even said hi. We chatted with him for a while before heading to our site. Another cyclist was already in the hiker/biker camp and he is from North Vancouver so Jesse chatted with him for a bit while I finished my book.

Day 37: Bandon to Spinreel Campground

Another day with the wind on our side, so we felt no need to get going early to beat the wind. We left the motel a bit late, and then went to a bakery in the old town. The old town of Bandon was surprisingly nice, and the bakery was great. While there, two other tourers arrived. They were two men from Calgary who were southbound and had started in Victoria. They were asking if we had seen many other tourers because they hadn’t. Another advantage of northbound travel I suppose – we cross paths with most of the southbound tourers.

After an extended breakfast/lunch, we decided finally we should get going. The wind helped us along as we rode through backroads through the trees. The roads were likely in place for loggers originally. We saw logging in action as we passed by, as well as the recent consequences of it. California must have been better at hiding the clear-cutting.

We came into the small town of Charleston and stopped at the visitors center. I picked up a cycling map of Oregon and the very helpful woman who worked there seemed to be a bit disappointed we weren’t staying in the area longer.

In the final hours of our ride we saw two tourers taking a break in a rest area across the road, so we rode across the street to meet them. I’ve spent a lot of time reading really awesome blogs about people who have done some amazing tours; who have been going for over a year, travelled through many countries and all the areas that tend not to be the easiest travelling. Well, these were those people. They had recently arrived in Vancouver from India and were now travelling south to San Francisco, before turning inland to continue their trip. We chatted with them for quite a while before we all had to continue to find where we would spend the night. They were seasoned pros by now so likely it was just us who felt the need to find somewhere before dark, but still, I’m sure they had somewhere to go. They will be in Montreal in September so we’re hoping we’ll be able to meet up again. To read (en français) about their experiences or just to see their amazing photos you can click here.

We were able to quickly ride the last 20km with the wind at our backs and found a campsite in the Oregon Dunes at Spinreel. We were disappointed that it didn’t have the famous free hot showers we’ve heard so much about in Oregon, but that’s perhaps because it wasn’t a State Park.e

Day 36: Gold Beach to Bandon

Our motel gave us a $10 discount for breakfast at the restaurant next door, so we decided to go there. We had a great breakfast and lots of individual attention from the server as we were again the only patrons there.

We were hoping for a 100km day today and our lazy morning wasn’t good way to accomplish that, but we maintained that goal and started the day. Before we even left town we saw a new and used book store. I was almost finished my book so we peeked in there to find a huge store. I found my next book and after stocking up on some cookies from the cafe inside we got going. Starting on small backroads, the ride was nice with a minor tailwind. The drivers were very friendly, most waving as they slowly passed us. We briefly stopped at a rest area near Humbolt mountain, but without any snacks, it was a very brief stop.

At this point I thought our 100km goal was too ambitious and that we should consider other options. We took a look at the map and saw a campground just past Port Orford in Sixes and made that an option.

On the way to the grocery store we passed a small Mexican restaurant so we pulled in there. Apparently the restaurant had new owners, and they seemed very eager to please. We had to unfortunately let them know we were just passing through and would not be repeat customers.

After lunch, we went to the grocery store to get some camp food and snacks before heading off. We decided we could still push on farther than Sixes, so we returned to our initial goal. The majority of the hills were finished for the day, so for the rest of the ride we had very small rolling hills to get to Bandon.

We arrived in town and took another night in a cheap (but wonderfully maintained and cared for) motel La Kriss Inn.

Day 35: Crescent City to Gold Beach, Oregon

With the wind blowing the tent, we woke up early and hoped the wind was indeed a south wind. Gerry and Trudy had breakfast ready and waiting for us, so we filled up on a hearty oatmeal breakfast before starting the day.

We enjoyed rolling hills and tailwinds most of the morning and saw many tourers coming towards us – and they weren’t too impressed with the wind. We were unable to hide our pleasure with tailwinds and gave little sympathy to the southbound tourers who hadn’t yet experienced such winds. One tourer we met, Donald, was on a trip from Montana to San Diego, and seemed a bit sad to think that he ‘might just have to stop then’ – he seems to continuously be riding different tours.

We made it into Oregon fairly early in the day. We were warned by Donald about the hill we had ahead, but when we reached the peak at 800ft it didn’t seem to have been too big of a challenge to climb. On the other side of the hill was Gold Beach. I found Jesse in town waiting for me – I felt like it was a game of Where’s Waldo, trying to see where he would be waiting. In town we found a cheap motel and took our laundry to a nearby laundromat. Jesse was still looking for a good clam chowder so we went to the restaurant affiliated with the motel next door, which surprised us with the quality of the food, and being the only patrons, we had their undivided attention.