From the Rogue River to Port Orford
There’s a man out there, fishing. I rouse myself. “J, did that guy have to walk down the trail by us while we were sleeping?”
J, laying beside me, answers, “I think so.”
I’m creeped out after all.
Pacman is already packed up. We get up and get our stuff and our heads together. The guy finishes fishing and walks past, obviously uncomfortable. “Don’t worry!” I want to tell him. “We’re all respectable, lovely people! Tax-paying good citizens!” I don’t say anything besides good morning. It’s strange to be suspicious. I’m not generally considered to have any dangerous potential.
Even with a stop at a diner for some biscuits and gravy, we’re on the road by 8:30. That’s the time we got up yesterday, so I feel good about that. It’s not windy yet, and we cruise easy out of town, over some hills, through forest, across a long stretch just above the sea – then I catch myself. “Gizmo!” I think. “Are you enjoying yourself??”
I’ll be durned. I am.
We take a break at an ocean overlook. It’s spectacular, like the rest of the coast. “Pacman,” I tell him. “I was thinking about what you said yesterday, about bicycling with a headwind being better than hiking through snow. I haven’t tried that, so I can’t say. But I was thinking about other scenarios.”
“Yeah. Like, would you rather bicycle with a headwind, or ride big mountain passes?” I pause.
“Passes,” we both chorus in unison.
I laugh. “Exactly! How about headwinds, or twisty roads with no shoulder?”
“Headwinds!” we say together. So things could be worse. So far, Oregon has had lovely shoulders, and a lot less traffic. It’s nice to not be terrified all the time. We pass lots of south-bound bicyclists, and one pair on roller-blades. The woman looks absolutely petrified with fear. I hope she’s not planning on taking the 101 south of crescent city. She’ll get killed for sure.
We’re almost to Port Orford when the wind starts picking up. Noon, just like yesterday. It looks like we’re going to have to do all our riding in the morning. Riding into a headwind is a waste of time. It’s only 27 miles from the Rogue River to Port Orford, but it’s our stop for the day. Pacman has some mail to pick up in Bandon, another 27 miles from here, but it’s Saturday. We can’t leave Bandon until the post office opens, so we might as well take our time.
We get seafood, hang out at the dock, hang out at the library. I’m still dreadfully behind on blog posts.
We go up to the Port Orford Headlands, a day-use area with a totally unnecessary hill to get up to it.. The Oregon coast is probably as incredible as the backcountry of Kings Canyon, with the cliffs dropping down to the sea. We cook dinner – a huge pot of spaghetti. “Cheers to the best travel companions,” says Pacman.
Four hours of pedaling, we’re all exhausted. We lay down our sleeping pads for a an illegal camp and fabulous views. We’ll have to clear out early tomorrow.
Picking blackberries by the sea