Pat and Sari's Honeymoon Bike Ride

Saturday, June 14, 2008
Smith River, CA to Gold Beach, OR
37 miles (4787 total miles)

We're in Oregon, our 16th state! We crossed the border just a mile or two into our day and were properly greeted by the road, the state, and the county (although the creativity of Oregon's welcome sign was a little underwhelming). It was a foggy Oregon morning when we left the motel at 7:30 but the fog lifted in a couple of hours. We took the Oceanview Dr. route that Adventure Cycling plotted for us and went through a small fishing community, little houses, many with flower-filled gardens in front. We had breakfast in a restaurant called Smugglers Cove right off a marina and RV park. Pat's still not feeling right and I was starting to feel some of his symptoms too, so we didn't have a real strong start, but we had a short day ahead of us, so we figured we could make it ok. We were on 101 for the rest of the day and it was hilly and tree-lined most of the time, with a few peeks at the ocean and a couple of major drops down to the coast. The Samuel Boardman State Park stretched along the coast for at least 12 miles and there were several access roads and view points along the road going into that park. There were also various scenic rivers and creeks opening into the ocean.

The first stretch along the ocean was at Pistol River. Up until then, the wind had been pretty mild but we soon realized that it must have been because the trees were sheltering us. As soon as we got down to open ocean we were nearly blasted off our bike. Just when I thought the wind couldn't ever be worse than it was in gusty North California - it was! Just phenomenal. I could hardly hang onto the camera when I tried to take pictures. We watched some wind surfers sailing around the waves at a cove at Pistol River, and they were really sailing! Every now and then, the wind would flatten them, but they'd just bounce back up and go at it again. Right after the pounding at Pistol River, we started the day's big climb. Thankfully, it wasn't very windy on the hill, and the climb was only 2 or 3 miles long and not terribly steep most of the time. Still, in our somewhat weakened condition, it was arduous. We were glad for the descent, which was pretty steep and took a lot of braking. We were just about to our destination at Gold Beach when we pulled out of the descent and were at the ocean again. The wind was not quite at hurrican force there, but close enough. We were relieved that it was such a short day - 37 miles in 4-1/2 hours of bike time, arriving at 3 pm. We weren't sure which blew our average more - the wind or the hills!

Late breaking news - we decided to quit fighting and take an extra rest day tomorrow. We like the motel and the town here and it seems a little crazy to keep pushing ahead when we can hardly enjoy it from not feeling all that great. Hopefully, a day off will shake off these germs and restore us to good health.

The road gives us our first welcome to Oregon

Then we get the rather plain state sign

And finally the county welcomes us

The early morning fog on Winchuck River and the ocean

One of the houses along Oceanview Drive near Port of Brookings

Boats in dry dock near the port

The Chetco River, just after we rejoined 101 - fog nearly gone here...

but still lingers over the ocean

Rocky coastline and choppy waters

Craggy, tree-covered rocks near the coast

Cape Ferrelo, one of the scenic areas in the Samuel Boardman Park

Another peek at the ocean from the road

Tree-lined and hilly 101

Houses clustered on the hillside over Whaleshead Creek...

and the rocky coastline there

Trees fill a ravine where another creek flows to the ocean

A sailing vessel, on engine power, bobbing out in the ocean

A longer view of the sailing ship

A couple enjoy a picnic with an ocean view at another outlook along the park

Some other folks, some on bikes, frolic on this grassy plot

The sailing ship, still in sight

This stretch, close to Pistol River, is quite sandy

These yellow flowers were in abundance here

Sign for Pistol River Park over the dunes

Pistol River

A little history at Pistol River

The Pistol River puddles behind a sand bar between it and the ocean

This giant rock on the shore...

looked like a great beached whale

Another huge rock at the Pistol River park area

Two wind surfers enjoying the wind much more than we are

Rocks at Pistol River, clearly shaped by the winds

Another historical marker at nearby Cape San Sebastian