Thursday, 28 September 2017

Day 35, 36, 37 & 38 Jessie M Honeyman, Sunset Bay, Bandon

28, 29, 30 June & 1st July.

Another nice easy day...I did enjoy the slow trip down the Oregon coast so far and taking time to look at the view, but I was ready to do a nice long day of riding. But that wasn't today. I did have the second and last tunnel on the coastal route. I found the tunnels slightly shoulder and very noisy. Luckily this time the tunnel was only a couple of kms from last nights camp and when I got there Christophe was waiting. I think he may have waited for me as I had said I was slightly nervous of the tunnel, so thankyou Christophe! Much better riding through with someone else.

Also passed the Sea Lion Caves in the morning. There is a place you can pay to go down to the beach and see them up close but I was happy just checking them out at the viewpoints. We have a lot of sea lions here in NZ. In fact one time we were at the beach going for a walk and I nearly walked into a big old male sea lion asleep on the beach...I thought he was a big log of wood from far away!

It really was a lovely stretch of coastline today and a lot more deserted with not too many houses and towns, also a nice wide shoulder in most parts which makes me have a happy day.

I stopped off at the Darlingtonia Botanical Wayside on my way today. It had been on my list of places to visit before I left home...a small marsh where the rare carnivorous California Pitcher Plant lives.

I stopped in Florence to stock up on groceries and have a donut sugar hit. Christophe was there too and it was great...we could look after each others bike as the other went shopping. So much easy to shop when you are 100% sure your bike and gear are safe. Opposite the supermarket I saw this shop. The photo is a bit blurry but the perfect shop for Mark and I!

Jessie M Honeyman was a nice campsite, quite a few bikers there too so nice having some company. 

I had a good early night as I wanted to do a big days riding tomorrow to Sunset Bay State Park...a 90km day.

Not a bad days riding but also not that interesting. The first part has some nice scenery but after that it was flat which isn't a bad thing, sand dunes and pines.

One exciting part of the day was crossing the Coos Bay Bridge. Some cylists have said its scarier than the Astoria Bridge but luckily when I got to the bridge Christophe and an english couple, Bob and Helen were there so we rode over in convoy which worked really well. I was last in the convoy and I was peddling so fast to keep up with all the others on their road bikes but I managed to.

I found Coos Bay a very confusing place and would have gotten thoroughly lost (again) if I hadn't been able to follow Christophe through town.
Got to Sunset Bay Campground and the hiker biker site was closed, so all the bikers were squashed into 2 normal sites surrounded by huge RV's. We ended up taking over another site as more bikers arrived. Made me realise how much nicer the hiker biker sites are, away from the noise of all the RV campers.

Woke up to more rain and a very wet tent and I also had the infamous Seven Devils Road to tackle this morning. I had heard about this road...bikers struggling and having to get off and push, and also the famous graffiti on the road to encourage bikers.
But I didn't find it a problem at all, it was so similiar to the hills and roads I ride around at home. Even all the scenery and forestry felt very familiar, but I could have done without the constant light drizzle.

I get to the town of Bandon and am feeling very wet and cold and it is still raining. I run into Christophe who is also feeling fed up with the weather and being wet so we go and eat pizza and warm up.
Today was not a good day. I realised I won't have enough time to get to San Francisco, get the train to Paso Robles then bike to the coast to meet my best friend Alan unless I really push myself and do some big days. I wanted to spend a few days camping in the Redwoods once I reached California so I knew I needed to revise my plans and for some reason I just felt stressed, cold, tired and fed up.

Given the time difference its hard when I felt like this to talk to Mark, but I am lucky I have both Alan and Tinker to boost me up, and Alan copped it this time! I couldn't ask for a better friend, he found me a hotel, booked me in for 2 nights which would let me sort out travel arrangements to get to Paso Robles. Christophe also decided he was going to have a night in a hotel to dry out. There is nothing worse than putting up a wet tent on a wet afternoon!

The next day after endless phone calls I had finally made a plan. I was going to Amtrak from Eureka in California to San Francisco, then spend a couple of nights with my friend Tiff, then Amtrak to Paso Robles. The only downside was I couldn't get Birdy on the train, so after much more phone calling and with Alan's help we found a bike shop in Eureka to box her up and then I would send her to another bike shop in Paso Robles. Best laid plans and all that stuff...but that is a story for later on. 

So now I was feeling much better, and spent the afternoon exploring Bandon. Its a very pretty town and has a shop that sells 30 or so different flavours of popcorn, and you can try them all! It also has some wonderful seafood and I ate a fabulous crab sandwich. 

There are so many sculptures down by the waterfront but this one took my eye.

This sculpture was made from rubbish found in the sea and on the shoreline. There was a whole exhibition of these and its astounding what gets washed up on the beach. So much rubbish!

Woke up the next day feeling very perky and ready to hit the road to Humbug Mountain State Park. I passed these cyclists on my way out of town.

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