Mesa to Pitt 2015

Mesa to Pitt 2015

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Coos Bay, Oregon to Port Orford, Oregon October 14

Monday, October 14......68.76 in 5:33.....There were two potential routes for today's ride, and I really couldn't make up my mind. I could stay on US101, but many sources were saying to avoid it because of the truck traffic, or I could take the scenic route recommended by the Oregon Coast Bike Route, which was almost ten miles longer, more hilly, but safer as far as traffic. In hindsight, Pam said 101 had good shoulders and traffic wasn't bad, but....I chose Seven Devils Road. I went out towards the coastline and the fishing village of Charleston, where Pam and I drove yesterday to see the state parks in the area. Because of that, I was familiar with the first eight miles or so. Then I came to my left hand turn onto Seven Devils Road. The road got its name from the seven devils that try to tear the muscles out of your legs when you go up the initial climb. (Maybe not) the climb took me from sea level in Charleston to about 575 ft above sea level. Part of the climb was probably 10-12% grade! and my legs were still sore from two days ago for some reason. Once I got to the summit, the road rolled for about  seventeen miles through pine forests of cedar and spruce, in various stages of growth, due to logging in the area. There were some residents, but there was pretty much nothing out there. It was eerily quiet, not even any wind blowing in my ears, no birds, very little traffic....just me and the road.
I turned off the Seven Devils Rd somewhere up there, because it may turn to gravel, from what I read about it. I was on Beaver Hill Rd, and Whiskey Run Rd, which was mostly a screaming downhill. As I was rolling down it, at above 25 mph, it was very difficult to see the road, because it went from glaring sun, to dark forest cover, and back, many times. It was twisty, with some potholes, but I negotiated everything until I came back to meet up with Seven Devils Rd, for the short distance to hook up with US101.
101 was beautiful in that area as far as shoulder, but it continued to roll, up and down pretty steadily.  I was only on it for about four miles, before the Oregon Coast Bike Trail signs took me off for a scenic loop through the town of Bandon.  Even though I had very little scenery for the first half of my ride, Bandon was beautiful. I went 5-6 miles out of my way to see a lighthouse on the Coquille River, and when I turned around to come back, I realized I had a pretty significant ( and cold!) tailwind, which I hadn't noticed until it was in my face. There was a stretch in the park which could have been on the Outer Banks, with actual sand dunes about the size of what you see there. After leaving that state park area, I crossed a drawbridge and entered Bandon itself, and the road took me right to a historical downtown area on the Coquille River, near its mouth to the Pacific. There was really no place to grab a snack, so I did something I have not done on this trip. I went into a little restaurant and sat down and had a club sandwich. The tailwind was rocking, as I left, and it continued to pick up as the day carried on, even though the sunny skies were beautiful. The temps never got above 65, usually in the high 50's, but it all felt pretty good to me.  The road ( the Beachloop Rd) followed the coast, and the sea stacks were numerous and beautiful. The most prominent was called Face Rock, and there were quite a few pocket parks to pull into, so I did, and admired the scenery. 
I pulled back onto 101 for the last 20-25 miles into Port Orford. The scenery was bland, with pine forests mixed with a few farms, and the non stop rolling continued, even though there was nothing crazy. I was making pretty good time because of the tailwind, so I decided just to pound the last stretch. I'm not real happy with the condition of my legs since my kidney stone break, so I thought this would be a good place to get up out of my seat and work the uphill grades. I did that countless times, and really gave myself a pretty good workout. We will see how that works out tomorrow morning when I wake up. 
Pam and I took the Jeep and checked out the Cape Blanco Lighthouse, which was just outside of town. The wind was blowing so hard by then that Pam was going to get blown into the ocean , so we didn't stay long. And....it was getting cold, fast. Areas have a frost warning tonight.

Coos Bay - this is a huge pile of mulch being loaded onto a ship!

Coos Bay - huge pile of oyster shells!

Charleston Harbor



Coquille Lighthouse

Doesn't this look like the OBX

Octopus wood carving in Bandon

Bandon Harbor

Panoramic shot

The Pacific coast is way different from the Atlantic coast



Coming off of Seven Devils Road, there were cool carvings.


Recycled sculpture

Sign at the art studio that made the above eagle

Cranberry bog!  Southern Oregon grows cranberries!

Bushes are still blooming



Cape Blanco Lighthouse

Up at Cape Blanco looking down


Leaving the Cape Blanco Lighthouse we drove through this "tunnel" created by the trees 

Fortunately, this wasn't flashing!!

Mike trying to catch the almost full moon!

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