Hello from the Pacific Coast again! Hope you enjoyed part I. of our Oregon Coast adventures and now you’re ready for the rest.
From The Whales Kingdom to Beachside
We woke up early as when you’re not very well hidden that’s the key. The highlight of the day was Otter Creek Loop Road, one way road where there’s very few cars, no RVs and whales in the ocean again. We passed Newport, did some re-supplying there and carried on via pretty much flat road to Beachside campgrounds. The beach there is very very windy, Phoebe had tough time catching the frisbee and we had the sand everywhere. Also had a very grumpy neighbour in the hammock at the campground. One of the reasons we prefer wild camping, you don’t have to deal with people you don’t want to deal with.
From Beachside to Jessie M. Honeyman Memorial State Park
In the morning we skipped breakfast because we knew we were going through Yachats, where Bread and Roses Bakery serves best patisserie and coffee. Today was a hiking day. First we took several short hikes in Cape Perpetua Area, to the Devil’s Churn ad tide pools – incredible garden of sea creatures which you can visit only at low tide, otherwise non accessible.
Then we cycled further and past Carl G Washburne Memorial State Park we took the Hobbit Trail down to the beach. Here you can find narrow tunnels in the vegetation that only a hobbit can pass through :). We cycled uphill past Heceta Lighthouse and then when we turned the corner, there they were – sand dunes. Completely different Pacific Coast.
From Jessie M Honeyman to Umpqua Lighthouse
Tough morning! None of us could move and get out of the tent until 9.30. We let the tiredness won and after we packed everything, we went to the dunes close to the campground where we enjoyed the “morning” coffee. We noticed the smoke during the morning already and then the evil red sunset partially covered by clouds of smoke.
From Umpqua Lighthouse to the Sunset Bay
The day started with pretty boring cycling part until we got to the John Dellenback Trailhead. We decided to go for a little play in the dunes as when will be the next time we’ll have such an opportunity. It was amazing. The dogs let loose and were chasing each other, such a great playground for them and us :). It was mid afternoon when we left. For the past day we were talking to fellow cyclists about the fire next to Brookings and how to overcome it as apparently the smoke was thick and really unhealthy. For us the problem with public transport (if you’re lucky and find any in US) is that they won’t take bikes and dogs at the same time unless in a crate. The lady in North Bend Tourist Office was lovely but not of much help so we sat at Taco Bell for an hour trying to figure out what to do. We had enough smoke in Montana and BC and really didn’t want to go through it again. It became quite late so the darkness caught us on the way to Sunset Bay and it wasn’t pleasant at all. Humid thick fog, forming droplets, inpatient drivers who honked as probably one rear and one front light is not enough for them to see us while they’re driving like idiots. Sunset Bay welcomed us with a hiker/biker site drowned in water, thankfully there was only one other person so we were able to find almost dry spot.
From Sunset Bay to Bandon
There’s this road called Seven Devils road leading from Sunset Bay. There are no photos from this day because they would show only angry Luba’s face. The reason why this is called Seven Devils is that there are literally devil hills and definitely more than seven. Up and down, up and down. And up is so steep that it completely stops your fully loaded bicycle. We then stopped at Bandon to do laundry and slept at the Bullards Beach State Park.
From Bandon to Port Orford
The road from Bandon went pretty well, no major hills, so we reached Port Orford quite early. On the second picture below you can see the smoke behind Humbug mountain coming from the Brookings fire. We camped at the beach close to the town as we knew already that most probably we will take the bus the next day from Port Orford to overcome Brookings fire. It was going to Smith River, the first settlement in California. They were able to take the dogs as well which was a relief. The initial plan was to take the first morning bus. This didn’t happen as we realised later that evening we left rain cover for the Croozer in the previous campground.
So the next morning Tom had to take the bus opposite direction while Luba took shelter in Mr Ed’s cafe with lovely waitress Randall who allowed the dogs in the space adjacent to the cafe for them not to be outside in the smoke that came overnight. In the afternoon we took a bus to Smith River, California and then another one to Crescent City where Katie from Warmshowers awaited us. We were very happy we decided to take the bus, as the smoke was so thick, you couldn’t see anything, cars couldn’t see you and it wouldn’t be pleasant at all.