We were thankful of a dry night in the delightful Itty Bitty Inn at Coos Bay. It was a cheap, cycle friendly, revamped retro 60’s hotel. Clay the manager, even did our laundry free of charge.
It was moist but not raining as we left Coos Bay the next morning. Avoiding the highway, we took the costal route to the beautiful tuna and crab fishing port of Charleston. At Davy Jones Locker and Deli we were once again confronted with unknown menu items. Sensing our apprehension, the proprietor asked “Why don’t I make you folk some fresh breakfast Burritos?” Mine was refried beans and cheese, Therese opted for the piping hot jalapeño version without the offer of a side order of deep fried chicken gizzards: “Do you know what a gizzard is?” Mercy!
The ride up Seven Devils Road was full of pain and suffering, befitting it’s name. Each devil is named after a particularly sharp and steep climb, accompanied sometimes by cryptic messages written on the roadway: “Don’t you love it!?” I counted at least eight but who gets to quibble with the devil?
The sun came out to dry the roadway creating a curling ghostly mist. We rode the crest then had a flying downhill run into Bandon. Bandon is two towns in one. The new town of strip shops along the highway and the old town of seaside curio shops selling salted taffy.
The afternoon showers stopped as we left the coast and traveled inland through rolling farm and forest country, the roadside verge came and went just like the logging trucks that use them. Cycling past the myrtle wood carving shops, we called in briefly at Misty Meadows Homemade Jams. I couldn’t resist a small jar of the homemade wild huckleberry jam.
Just outside Langlois, we pulled in at the KOA (USA version of Big 4 Caravan Park) where we had a great hiker biker campsite for only $8.00. Our hosts, Karrie and Matt were warm friendly and hospitable. Feeling blessed.
Under clear skies we cycled the coast with a building tailwind. The road is carved into a steep hillside around Humbug Mountain. Breathtaking views and exhilarating descents. Rock falls are common along this stretch of Highway 101 signs warn of slide areas and the surface is rough in parts.
We meet Adela and Chris, two cycling tourists from Poland heading north. They have been on the road for 5 years! Traveling through Europe, Africa, South America and many other places in between. As is the custom, we exchange details of the road ahead. Later in the morning, outside the Prehistoric Gardens, a roadside attraction complete with Dinosaur, we meet up again with Colin who we had previously camped with at a couple of hiker biker sites. Colin was hoping to make Harris Beach State Park and there catch up with another pair of young English cyclists Jonny and Rhian. It felt good to be part of this traveling cycling community as we leapfrog one another down the Pacific Coast.
The wind picked up and grew colder as we made great time riding the winding costal road. Each rise providing a scenic vista as beautiful as the last. Rolling into Gold Beach, we took advice from the volunteer women at the information center “You can camp at the Fairground for $7.00, I will call Ron.” A half an hour latter we are setting up camp in a sheltered area out of the biting wind.