I have to digress here for a moment. We have been sort of reliving the bicycle journey from Portland we did eleven years ago. Today we crossed a spot that brought back some vivid memories. When we planned the trip, it was my brilliant idea to “just hop over” to Ashland on our way south. How ridiculous an idea that was, I would discover later. Today reminded me of it. We were (fairly) happily (despite lots of saddle issues for me) going along at a nice clip down the coast until we hit Gold Beach. From there, we turned inland to a town called “Agness”. Our plan was to go from Agness to Galice in one day and that would get us over the coastal range and lined up with Ashland. That day, we honestly thought we might die. There are so few inhabited spots in the Oregon mountains around that area, and most of the “roads” are unmarked logging routes. On paper, you can see all kinds of little lines that appear to get you from one point to another. What you have to remember on a bicycle is that those miles can be unpaved, partly paved, and go up and down relentlessly until you are too exhausted to backtrack. Getting lost out there is no joke and we were being stupid. We got to Agness ok (Except I spent probably five of the last 35 miles yelling at Richard because it was only supposed to be 30 miles and we’d already put in 60. He wisely kept just ahead of me so I had to keep peddling in order to properly yell at him. Fun times.) We got terrible information from the woman running the only lodging joint in town. “All new and paved,” she said. “After the first climb, it’s all downhill,” she said. Spoiler alert: it was not. And we thought we were lost for easily half the day. There were NO people out there, no GPS, no marked roads, darkness falling….. We ended up finally on the steepest gravel road you can imagine, with a sheer deathy plummet of God knows how many feet to the raging Rogue River below. I estimate a million feet. Fun note: later we discovered the brakes on my rear wheel were not closed. FINALLY, with darkness falling, and as I was death gripping my brakes down the curvy descent, a woman in a pickup truck drove past. I flagged her down, asked if we were close to Galice, she said yes, and I began alternately sobbing and apologizing for sobbing. It was close to 9pm I remember and we’d run out of food and water a while back. The happy ending is that we got to the only food place in Galice close enough to 9 that they made us the best damn cheeseburgers in the history of food, plus pie. Another fun fact: a couple of years later, a family got stuck on that road in the winter and the dad died going for help. Anyway, the whole point to this story is that we passed the sign saying “Agness 35 miles” today, and we are both experiencing post traumatic flashbacks.
Back to the present, today was lovely! We dawdled getting out of Jedediah Smith because we didn’t want to leave. It is so beautiful there. But, leave we did, and Richard biked the stretch of 199 from the park to 101. We met up at the Crescent City KOA, which looked fairly nice, by the way. From there, we meandered our way up the coast. Every bit of road between Arcata and Gold Beach was new to us, since we had decided on our previous trip that, rather than enjoy the stunning, highly populated Oregon coast, we would risk death in order to see a show I do not remember. Sorry…
Once we hit Bandon, we remembered that we really liked a certain kind of aged cheddar cheese that was made there. As it turns out, the place that made it was bought out by Tillamook a few years ago, and closed down and destroyed in 2002. Everyone in Bandon apparently was pissed about that and opened the Face Rock Creamery and hired back one of the original workers, Brad Sinko. After we set up camp, we went back to town to get some cheese, and some ice cream. Yum.
Bullard’s Beach campground is pretty nice for a state park. The sites are very private, due to strategically groomed vegetation and decent site size. They have a lot of big rig sites, but you can’t really tell because they’re all sort of tucked away and hidden. There is a nice three mile walk to the Bandon Lighthouse and beach. We were tired and it was windy, so we drove out there after dinner. We were thinking of biking it, but decided to turn in early-ish and watch “Game of Thrones”. Yes, we’re doing this. We’re on episode 2. I think I already know a bunch of the spoilers, so I’m not worried about knowing that they all die. Lissa and family are right next to us and they enjoyed a beautiful walk on the beach at sunset.
Tomorrow is rally day! Richard is planning to bike in the morning, so I will be hitching solo.
Total miles: 112.6, 14.7mpg, 3 hours 3 minutes.
Site 42, 2 bars of LTE for both of us. All the sites seem nicely private, just a matter of whether you want full hookups, partial hookups, or none. Huge park, but it doesn’t feel that way.