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U.S. 360 Tour V – Day 60 from Newport OR to Pacific City OR (Emulating Abe)

Latest update on my purpose-driven cycling journey around the American perimeter.

41 miles – Total so far: 3,137 miles

If I told you today was an enjoyable day, I wouldn’t be honest, no matter how hard I try and spin it. So, I plan to emulate ol’ “Honest Abe” Lincoln in my writings today, which is sort of apropos considering I spent most of the day in Lincoln County Oregon passing through towns aptly named Lincoln Beach and Lincoln City.

Driving rain was a constant for most of the day, pelting my face because of the constant North wind. The precipitation, frigid temperatures, and three really “good” climbs buried my fun meter to new depths. I didn’t come close to reaching my goal of Cape Lookout, which would have been another 16 miles up the road in these miserable conditions. My hands being completely numb, my clothes soaked all the way to the bone, my spirit depleted, I finally surrendered at a nice little cottage in Pacific City OR. Upon my arrival, the lady at the front desk felt so sorry for me that she volunteered to take my drenched clothes and dry them for me, while I tried to restrain my teeth from chattering out of my head by the heater!

I passed through the quaint fishing and whale watching villages of Depoe Bay, Lincoln City and Neskowin today. Depoe Bay was of interest, not only because of it’s strategic whale watching location, but also because the fishing scene in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest was actually filmed there in 1975.  I saw no whales, although I did see the place where you’re supposed to see them; saw no elk, although I saw the ODOT road sign where the big animals apparently hang out.

Today I learned that there are nice little old ladies everywhere that enjoy taking care of me, and I also learned that ODOT construction crews are mighty friendly to this Texas Boy.

It’s All Good.

Surly Pearl watching the rough seas and looking for whales in Depoe Bay OR.
Surly Pearl watching the rough seas and looking for whales in Depoe Bay OR.
Selfie between rainstorms at Depoe Bay OR.
Selfie between rainstorms at Depoe Bay OR.
Me and Pearl overlooking the beautiful fishing village of Lincoln City OR.
Me and Pearl overlooking the beautiful fishing village of Lincoln City OR.
Home for the night at the quaint Pacific City OR.
Home for the night at the quaint Pacific City OR.
Real fish n chips at the Pacific City hotspot aka the Sportsman's Pub-N-Grub.
Real fish n chips at the Pacific City hotspot aka the Sportsman’s Pub-N-Grub.

U.S. 360 Tour V – Day 59 from Florence OR to Newport OR (Best Buck I Ever Spent)

Latest update on my purpose-driven cycling journey around the American perimeter.

57 miles – Total so far: 3,096 miles

Tough day today.  I woke up with left knee pain that got progressively worse all day.  At about the halfway point mileage-wise, I actually considered quitting the ride for the day to regroup and sort things out.  At about the same time, I fortunately happened upon a local drugstore.  Not fully cognizant of what I should do to dull the pain, I simply bought some ibuprofen pain reliever tablets for a buck, cinched a knee brace on my leg, and decided to test out my “poor-man” treatment skills.  Fortunately, the pain reliever kicked in quickly, the extra support from the knee brace further masked the pain, and I felt reasonably well for the remaining 30 miles.

Lots of hills and a relentless North headwind made it slow going all day.  My average speeds were probably the lowest they’ve been on the entire tour, but considering what I’ve been through physically over the last few days, they are probably justifiable.

I saw significant numbers of waterfowl making their way in huge flocks to the North, as well as a sizable sea lion colony.  I also marveled at beautiful Oregon coastline and cute pacific villages all day, but couldn’t totally enjoy it all because of the almost-constant focus on my knee.  Ran into a solo Australian cyclist southbound on his way to San Diego.

I’m camping at the glorious Beverly Beach State Park, right next to three young Englishmen who just graduated from college and are taking a trip down to Mexico. Also camping with Matt from Hawaii, a commercial fisherman who is traveling the entire Pacific Coast looking for commercial fishing work.
I travelled through the following towns today: Yachats, Waldport, Seal Rock, South Beach.

The most exhilarating part of the day was crossing the Yaquina Bay Bridge into Newport OR. This famous arch bridge is 3,260 feet long and, at 246 feet above the waters below, is not a place for an acrophobic. At the apex of the structure, Surly Pearl was being whipped around by the wind like a rag doll. Luckily, Pearl and me stayed dry throughout the ordeal, which is to say that we weren’t thrown over the safety railing into the churning waters below!

Today I learned that a buck can still go a long way, and if my knee holds out for this entire trip, it will be the best buck I ever spent.

It’s All Good.

Foggy, cool and windy today, overlooking a sea lion colony outside of Florence OR.
Foggy, cool and windy today, overlooking a sea lion colony outside of Florence OR.
Me and Surly Pearl somewhere near Florence OR.
Me and Surly Pearl somewhere near Florence OR.
More Oregon coastline near Seal Rock OR.
More Oregon coastline near Seal Rock OR.
Surly Pearl near Seal Rock OR.
Surly Pearl near Seal Rock OR.
Surly Pearl having just crossed the famous Yaquina Bay Bridge in Newport OR.
Surly Pearl having just crossed the famous Yaquina Bay Bridge in Newport OR.
Camp setup at Oregon's Beverly Beach State Park.
Camp setup at Oregon’s Beverly Beach State Park.
Relaxing at the Beverly Beach State Park campground after a difficult day.
Relaxing at the Beverly Beach State Park campground after a difficult day.
Matt from Hawaii, a commercial fisherman who is traveling the entire Pacific Coast looking for commercial fishing work.
Matt from Hawaii, a commercial fisherman who is traveling the entire Pacific Coast looking for commercial fishing work.

 

 

 

U.S. 360 Tour V – Day 58 from Eugene OR to Florence OR (The Great Oregon Backtrack )

Latest update on my purpose-driven cycling journey around the American perimeter.

63 miles – Total so far: 3,039 miles

Well, I’m finally on the bike after three days in a sick-bed in Eugene, Oregon. I had bend-over cramps so bad I felt a certain kinship with the hunchback of Notre Dame. You haven’t experienced joy until you’re stranded in a strange land, sicker than a dog replete with dry heaves, on your own, with the only mode of transportation available to you a machine which necessitates your own power to move. But, as they say, this too shall pass. Onward.

So, anyone who knows me knows how much I hate backtracking (right, Jim Hinkel) on a bike! Something about doubling back on a bicycle, especially in a challenging area, just irks me. I knew going in this would be one of those backtracking days. In fact, this is the mother of all backtracks since technically it was fully a 143-mile backtrack (80 miles from Florence OR to Eugene from my last tour, and 63 miles back to Florence OR via a shorter route back out to the Pacific Coast Highway this trip).

The good news? Well, I am back in the awesomeness that is Oregon. And how do I know this? How about the fact that salmon are sloshing around in the Siuslaw River, flocks of geese are honking overhead, and cranes are effortlessly gliding over the numerous inland marshes. Today’s 63-mile ride was not overly taxing, but given the punishment my body has been through over the last few days, the lack of energy and almost certain dehydration I’ve experienced made it probably a more difficult ride than it otherwise would have been. My equipment did feel a bit heavy, and I couldn’t push the gears I’m normally accustomed to pushing, especially on the hills. Still, it was a good day and one that I’m pleased to have met my goal.

The most exhilarating part of the day was a tunnel on Oregon SH126. I had to press a button located on the highway’s shoulder so the big sign above the tunnel would notify drivers I was in “the black hole”. The tunnel, almost a mile long, very dark, and with a monster downhill grade, resulted in me rocketing out of the other end like a bullet exiting a Winchester rifle! My tummy, still recovering from the previous week’s illness, was not amused.

A very rural ride for the most part, with only one town of any significance, Mapleton, a quaint little village right on the Suislaw River. I understand the town was settled by pioneers in 1886, who gave it the name Mapleton, why else, because of the abundance of Bigleaf Maple trees in the area.

Today I learned that certain backtracking (especially in Oregon) is not always a bad thing, but lower GI issues always are.

It’s All Good.

Yep, I'm back in Oregon and dang happy to be here.  (Actually, sorta happy just to be on my feet again.)
Yep, I’m back in Oregon and dang happy to be here. (Actually, sorta happy just to be on my feet again.)
Me and Pearl somewhere west of Eugene OR
Me and Pearl somewhere west of Eugene OR
Pearl and me taking a break on the majestic Siuslaw River in OR.
Pearl and me taking a break on the majestic Siuslaw River in OR.
The most exhilarating part of the day was a tunnel on Oregon SH126.  I had to press a button on the shoulder so the sign above the tunnel would notify drivers I was in there.  It was long and dark in there, and a monster downhill grade.  I came rocketing out of the other side like a bullet exiting a Winchester.
The most exhilarating part of the day was a tunnel on Oregon SH126. I had to press a button on the shoulder so the sign above the tunnel would notify drivers I was in there. It was long and dark in there, and a monster downhill grade. I came rocketing out of the other side like a bullet exiting a Winchester.
Surly Pearl loving the Suislaw River near Mapleton OR.
Surly Pearl loving the Suislaw River near Mapleton OR.

U.S. 360 Tour V – My Immediate Destination – Pacific Northwest to Canada

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“Dream as if you’ll live forever, live as if you’ll die today.” — James Dean

I’m really excited! Over the next few weeks, I’ll be fulfilling a dream that dates all the way back to some of my earliest memories. I vividly remember the June 1971 issue of my favorite childhood magazine, National Geographic, which had an article titled “Mexico to Canada on the Pacific Crest Trail”. The article was a marvelous entre into an epic Trans-American journey, replete with maps, vivid descriptions and beautiful pictures. As a 9-year old boy, I was completely enamored with the magazine, the article, and the idea of taking such a complete journey, beginning in one country, crossing another, and finishing the journey in yet a third, all throughout the West Coast of the U.S.. Along with my adventurous mother, I read and re-read the pages of that particular issue, many times late into the night, visualizing myself exploring, discovering, and achieving, all under my own power. I would lie awake with excitement and wonder, and I would go to sleep looking forward to my next opportunity to fantasize about such a trip.

But as I grew older, life began to take form, as it should, family and professional responsibilities took center stage, and gently, over time, my dream of an epic, self-powered journey from Mexico to Canada faded. The dream, however, was never completely extinguished. Fast forward to the present. Throughout the next couple of weeks, I intend to complete what I started on the West Coast part of my journey around the American perimeter.

The tour will begin in Eugene OR, and continue up the awesome Oregon Coast along the Pacific Coast Highway. After crossing into Washington state, the route will take me through the Olympic Peninsula and onto Whidbey Island. After crossing back onto the mainland, I’ll island hop all the way to the Canadian border, and ultimately end the tour in Vancouver, British Columbia. So, after all is said and done, over the last three cycling tours I will have replicated that boyhood dream of traversing, under my own power, the entire West Coast from Tijuana Mexico to Vancouver Canada! While I’m very proud of the accomplishment, I’m equally ecstatic about the journey through what is one of my favorite areas of our beautiful country.

I anticipate this 700 mile journey will also be chocked full of challenges. For example, I’m continuing my northward trek up the Pacific coast, which, as I’ve mentioned previously, is a contrarian direction, given the prevailing Northerly winds. Additionally, I’ll be pedaling up the coast in what I understand is the tail-end of the region’s rainy season, with temperatures mostly on the cool side of thermometer. Rain gear and waterproof storage will be the name of the game!

“Dreams are journeys that take one far from familiar shores, strengthening the heart, empowering the soul.”Unknown

I’m ready to fulfill this longstanding dream, and I’m looking forward to an empowered soul.

It’s All Good.

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U.S. 360 Tour IV – Visiting “Pre’s Rock” in Eugene OR (But Not Today)

Latest update on my purpose-driven cycling journey around the American perimeter.

Total so far: 2,976 miles

I awoke this morning with only one objective, to finish this cycling adventure as I had set out, at “Pre’s Rock” in Eugene Oregon. Pre’s Rock is on the aptly named Skyline Drive, where the curvy and hilly road overlook the City of Eugene below. Pre’s Rock is a shrine to Steve Prefontaine at the precise location of his fatal car crash on May 30, 1975. Pre died at the too-young age of 24.

Over the years, the site has become a sort of pilgrimage for people to pay their respects to the legend, and many have chosen to leave something of themselves behind at the memorial.

As I cycled up the steep grades leading up to Skyline Drive, I experienced firsthand how dangerous this area could be. In the midst of a light rain, with wet roads and fog, I only imagined it was probably in conditions like these the night Prefontaine died. As I caught my first glimpse of Pre’s Rock and the understated marble plaque that marks this site, I was struck by the serenity of the place, but also mindful of how many others have made similar treks before me. There were handwritten letters, trophies, medals, running shoes, race bibs, and even an old shoe spike tightener left at the memorial. Although it’s been nearly 40 years since the fateful day, the memorial, coupled with the left items, made for a powerful moment.

I left two of my own items at the memorial. The first was my bandana, which I have worn nearly every day on this cycling adventure since leaving Austin Texas. Those that know me know of my penchant for bandanas, so this was truly reflective of my spirit. The second, and more important thing I left with Pre were the following simple words: “Thank you for inspiring the young Brian Rawson, and now the older Brian Rawson. You were not afraid to live life, nor am I. I look forward to the day when you’ll take me on a training run through the hills of Coos Bay. But not today.”

It’s All Good.

Surly Pearl and University of Oregon's Hayward Field, home of the annual Prefontaine Classic
Surly Pearl and University of Oregon’s Hayward Field, home of the annual Prefontaine Classic
Surly Pearl and Pre's Rock, Eugene OR
Surly Pearl and Pre’s Rock, Eugene OR
Pre's Rock in Eugene OR
Pre’s Rock in Eugene OR
Selfie with Pre's Rock, Eugene OR
Selfie with Pre’s Rock, Eugene OR
Skyline Blvd, Eugene OR
Skyline Blvd, Eugene OR

U.S. 360 Tour IV – Day 57 from Florence OR to Eugene OR (A Takedown and The Never-Ending River)

Latest update on my purpose-driven cycling journey around the American perimeter.

80 miles – Total so far: 2,976 miles

Everything had to fall in line perfectly today. I had planned the inland route between Florence and Eugene OR, knowing it would be long, but made longer due to the safer, but higher mileage route via Highway 36.

I left Florence at 5am sharp, roughly two-hours before sunrise. I had fully charged every illuminating device in my arsenal, and probably looked more like a Christmas tree than a cyclist as I departed Florence heading East. About an hour into the ride, a motorcyclist passed me going Westbound, and as he passed, he slowed down dramatically, probably trying to figure out who I was and what I was doing at such an ungodly hour. At that very moment, as I looked back to see what he was doing, Surly Pearl drifted right, and when I turned back around, I was headed straight for the guard rail. Being too late to correct, and traveling 8-10 mph, I ran headlong into the guard rail. I must admit that I am fairly adept at laying a bike down, which I promptly and involuntarily did. Sprawled out on the shoulder’s pavement, I was reminded that this was all for adventure and for fun. I popped up, no worse for the wear, with the exception of a little road rash on the contact points (elbow, hip, knee). I will not ride in the dark again unless I am forced to do so.

The unique aspect of today’s ride was that it was completely unique from all the other rides on this particular tour. I estimate that 50 of the 80 miles were ridden in parallel with the Siuslaw River and the beautiful valley it has formed. Apparently, this valley is one of the most productive timber regions in Oregon. I was surrounded by mountains of timber (literally) through the vast majority of the ride, going in an out of breathtaking canyons. The river is also a spawning ground for Chinook and Coho Salmon, but unfortunately I didn’t spot any. Interestingly, today is World Rivers Day, so it was quite àpropos that I spent most of the day on one!

As the long ride began to come to a close, and as I approached the outskirts of Eugene, I jumped on Eugene’s Fern Ridge Bike Path, a wonderful urban dedicated bikeway, and it deposited me downtown where I am staying for the night. I’ll end the tour tomorrow morning by riding a short distance to Pre’s Rock, to pay my respects to one of the truly great athletes of our time.

It’s All Good.

Riding next to the Siuslaw River between Florence and Eugene OR
Riding next to the Siuslaw River between Florence and Eugene OR
A rare open view in the Siuslaw River valley
A rare open view in the Siuslaw River valley
Highest elevation in the Siuslaw River Valley
Highest elevation in the Siuslaw River Valley
Surly Pearl and me in Eugene OR after a long day
Surly Pearl and me in Eugene OR after a long day

U.S. 360 Tour IV – Day 56 from Coos Bay OR to Florence OR (Bridges and German Gummy Bears)

Latest update on my purpose-driven cycling journey around the American perimeter.

48 miles – Total so far: 2,896 miles

Today was a marvelously easy and enjoyable ride from Coos Bay OR to Florence OR. The hills were manageable, the headwinds were moderate, the terrain was inland and beautiful, and the distance was low-moderate.

The landscape was primarily thick pine forest ridges with an occasional mountain lake for good measure. Beyond the trees in Oregon, I am enthralled by the heavy underbrush in these forests. It is almost tropical in appearance, with ferns and plants that look life elephant ears, and a spectrum of green that extends well beyond what I knew existed.

One other aspect of this part of Oregon worth noting are the bridges. Many of the towns on the coastline are built on bays or inlets, upon which beautiful, old, and sturdy truss bridges have been erected. These bridges are significant structures, and the trusses reach high into the sky. The bridge over Coos Bay today had to have been over a half mile in length, rising well over the bay below. None of these bridges, however, give cyclists much room, but many are equipped with handy push-buttons that, when activated, warn motorists that a cyclist is ahead on the bridge. Very nice.

About ten miles out of Florence, I ran into a southbound adventure cyclist and we spent a half-hour chatting and comparing notes. Daniel, a German, commenced his cycling adventure in Prudhoe Bay Alaska (in the Arctic, that is) and will end his trip in Argentina. He has ridden the Dalton Highway in the North of Alaska (definitely a bucket list item for me), so Daniel shared some amazing stories with me. As we prepared to go our separate ways, Daniel pulled out a bag of what he called German Gummy Bears and offered me a handful. I happily obliged and used my subsequent sugar high to push Surly Pearl the rest of the way to Florence OR.

I passed through the cool towns of North Bend, Hauser, Winchester Bay, Reedsport, Gardiner, Dunes City, and Florence today. I’m turning inland tomorrow to Eugene OR with big mileage in store, so it will be sleepy time here shortly.

It’s All Good.

Morning fog concealing the massive truss bridge across Coos Bay
Morning fog concealing the massive truss bridge across Coos Bay
Sunrise peeking through the fog near North Bend OR
Sunrise peeking through the fog near North Bend OR
Foggy selfie near Hauser OR
Foggy selfie near Hauser OR
Beautiful lake near Winchester Bay OR
Beautiful lake near Winchester Bay OR
Truss Bridge in Reedsport OR
Truss Bridge in Reedsport OR
Surly Pearl posing with the old post office in Gardiner OR
Surly Pearl posing with the old post office in Gardiner OR
My new friend Daniel, a German pedaling from Prudhoe Bay AK to Argentina
My new friend Daniel, a German pedaling from Prudhoe Bay AK to Argentina

 

Selfie near a beautiful lake near Dunes City OR
Selfie near a beautiful lake near Dunes City OR
Harbor at Old Town Florence OR
Harbor at Old Town Florence OR
Harbor at Old Town Florence OR
Harbor at Old Town Florence OR
Surly Pearl at Harbor at Old Town Florence OR
Surly Pearl at Harbor at Old Town Florence OR
Enjoying a nice cream at Harbor at Old Town Florence OR
Enjoying a nice cream at Harbor at Old Town Florence OR
Surly Pearl at Harbor at Old Town Florence OR
Surly Pearl at Harbor at Old Town Florence OR
Harbor at Old Town Florence OR
Harbor at Old Town Florence OR

U.S. 360 Tour IV – Day 55 from Port Orford OR to Coos Bay OR (Seven Devils and the Birthplace of a Champion)

Latest update on my purpose-driven cycling journey around the American perimeter.

65 miles – Total so far: 2,848 miles

So after seeing red berries for miles all over the shoulder of US101 outside of Bandon OR, I began to wonder what I was seeing, and why. It all became clear a few minutes later when I witnessed an open bed truck, loaded to the hilt with ……. cranberries, flying through the hills and curves, spilling some of his cargo at every turn! Given the number of cranberries on the road, it appears his many colleagues share the same driving techniques. As I hit the edge of Bandon, I came upon an Ocean Spray plant where assumably all of the Cran-(fill in the blank) juice is made. You can’t make this stuff up!

Today’s ride was a long, hilly one, with a stiff headwind from the North. Mind you, it wasn’t miserable, but it was a challenge. Of particular note was the locally famous Seven Devils Road outside of Coos Bay, where cyclists test their metal on, you guessed it, seven mini-summits, each one marked so you know how many hills (aka devils) are left. The Seven Devils came toward the end of my 65 mile, wind-laden ride, so they held a particular place in my psyche today.

Most notable about today’s ride, however, was that I made it to the birthplace of my boyhood hero, Steve “Pre” Prefontaine. As I neared Coos Bay from the South, I could just visualize the young Pre running training runs out in the hills and along the coastline. Given the terrain and the omnipresent wind, I can see why he could run his competition into the ground. Race day was probably easy after conquering the geography around Coos Bay.

Passed through the towns of Port Orford, Sixes (I love it!), Langlois, Bandon, Charleston, and Coos Bay. I checked in to a local motel (The Itty Bitty Inn), a rarity given my penchant for camping, to watch my beloved Texas Longhorns attempt to play football. I bleed burnt orange, what can I say.  Hook’em Horns.

It’s All Good.

Cranberries all over the road near Bandon OR
Cranberries all over the road near Bandon OR
Evidence that I am indeed Superman, near Bandon OR
Evidence that I am indeed Superman, near Bandon OR
A typical Oregon view near Bandon OR
A typical Oregon view near Bandon OR
Surly Pearl posing at the birthplace of Steve "Pre" Prefontaine
Surly Pearl posing at the birthplace of Steve “Pre” Prefontaine

U.S. 360 Tour IV – Day 54 from Brookings OR to Port Orford OR (The Oregon Coast – Just Wow! )

Latest update on my purpose-driven cycling journey around the American perimeter.

53 miles – Total so far: 2,783 miles

Undoubtedly, Oregon has some of the most spectacular coastlines and sweeping Pacific panoramas I have ever seen, and I’ve only been here a day-and-a-half! The mountains that seem to simply disappear into the Pacific, the jagged cliffs, and the churning surf all make this a sight to see. But what is most impressive are the massive sea stacks that jut out from the ocean, sometimes big enough to look like small islands. At every vista today I was forced to pull out my camera to capture “just one more” beautiful snapshot.

The only thing that interrupted my picture-taking were the hills. In this country, if you are not climbing, you’re whistling down the side of a mountain and seemingly hanging on for dear life. None of the hills today were as long and steep as I experienced in Northern California, but what they lacked in height they more than made up for in frequency!

I had an interesting wildlife day today. In addition to deer and flocks of geese, I saw salmon swimming upstream in the Rogue River and it’s tributaries, near Gold Beach OR. I passed through the nice southern Oregon towns of Harbor, Brookings, Gold Beach, and Ophir today. But I must give special recognition to a town called “Pistol River”. That sounds like a township better suited for West Texas than Oregon, but it was the coolest town name I’ve ran across in a while.  Wouldn’t it be cool to say you were born in Pistol River?

I’m resting easy tonight after a string of big saddle days. My “front yard” is an unobstructed view of the towering Humbug Mountain (apparently one of the highest mountains in Oregon to rise directly from the ocean), covered in beautiful Douglas fir trees, the only movement being two hawks overhead looking for small game.

It’s All Good.

Selfie near Brookings OR
Selfie near Brookings OR
Surly Pearl near Brookings OR
Surly Pearl near Brookings OR
Sea Stacks near Brookings OR
Sea Stacks near Brookings OR
Selfie near Cape Ferrelo OR
Selfie near Cape Ferrelo OR
Surly Pearl near Cape Ferrelo OR
Surly Pearl near Cape Ferrelo OR
Surly Pearl and massive sea stacks near Pistol River OR
Surly Pearl and massive sea stacks near Pistol River OR
Selfie with massive sea stacks near Pistol River OR
Selfie with massive sea stacks near Pistol River OR
Surly Pearl with Humbug Mountain in the background.  Camp for tonight was on the other side of that mountain!
Surly Pearl with Humbug Mountain in the background. Camp for tonight was on the other side of that mountain!
Beautiful campsite at Humbug State Park in Oregon
Beautiful campsite at Humbug State Park in Oregon

U.S. 360 Tour IV – Day 53 from Klamath CA to Brookings OR (Rambling Into Beaver Country)

Latest update on my purpose-driven cycling journey around the American perimeter.

54 miles – Total so far: 2,730 miles

Left the beautiful country around Klamath CA before sunrise to get a head start on the rainy afternoon forecast. I must say that Klamath is so far one of my favorite places on this tour. Beautiful mountains, huge pine trees, salmon-filled streams. Pretty dang awesome. On my way out of Klamath, I saw an enormous statue of Paul Bunyan and his trusty Blue Ox Babe. While a cool and fairly random sight, I thought Paul Bunyan was from Minnesota, at least that’s what my Minnesotan mother always told me. Maybe he migrated West!

Anyway, the first 20 miles was a climb, including about a 10 mile serious climb into Crescent City CA. That particular climb elevated 1800 ft above the shoreline, and was quite a parting shot in leaving California. Unfortunately, on many parts of the climb, there were road construction crews out and about. I must say, however, that the CalTrans folks have been very accommodating and gracious to me, so I have absolutely no complaints.

I hit the California – Oregon state line early in the afternoon without much fanfare, other than feeling satisfied knowing I’ve now cycled in 5 states since the start of my US360 Tour. Interestingly, it felt 10 degrees colder as soon as I crossed into Oregon.

Passed through the towns of Klamath CA, Crescent City CA, and Brookings OR today, all beautiful, and saw a stunning hawk eyeing me from the safety of his nest. A very, very good day today, with NO RAIN. Camping in a great Oregon State Park tonight, Harris Beach State Park, and eating dinner with fellow cyclists from L.A., Thailand, and the Netherlands. The only noise this evening is coming from the massive Pacific ocean waves below crashing in to the many Oregon sea stacks that seem ubiquitous in this part of the world.

It’s All Good.

 

Brian and his friends Paul and Babe in Klamath CA
Brian and his friends Paul and Babe in Klamath CA
Ocean frontage near Klamath CA
Ocean frontage near Klamath CA
At the summit of the Crescent City CA hill
At the summit of the Crescent City CA hill
Surly Pearl overlooking the Pacific near Crescent Cit CA
Surly Pearl overlooking the Pacific near Crescent Cit CA
Surly Pearl crossing into Oregon
Surly Pearl crossing into Oregon
Selfie crossing into Oregon
Selfie crossing into Oregon
Surly Pearl at Harris Beach State Park
Surly Pearl at Harris Beach State Park
Selfie at Harris Beach State Park
Selfie at Harris Beach State Park
Campsite at Harris Beach State Park
Campsite at Harris Beach State Park