Day 21: Bad Omens (Sunset Bay SP to Humbug Mountain SP)


Oregon Coast

When I was looking at our route for today the night before, I couldn’t help but noticed the coincidental naming of some of the roads and cities that we were going to be travel on or traveling through. Perhaps it was just my imagination, but we could not run away from something negative happening. See what I mean if you continue reading.

Seven Devils Road

Riding on Seven Devils Road

Riding on Seven Devils Road

Coming down the coast the last few days, we couldn’t help but noticed names like “Devil’s Lake” or “Devil’s Punchbowl”. I really didn’t take notice of that until I started piecing it all together while going through our route for today. We had to get on the main path which was called Seven Devils Road. It was a solid 3 miles to get back on this road from our camp and the introduction was unforgiving as this road immediately loosened our bodies as we kept climbing higher and higher. What made things interesting was that we were riding through really dense fog. I had my rear blinky light on to make sure cars can see us as we rolled through miles of dense forest. Sang Hyun thought it was very eerie, and I had to admit some sections where it was cleared off for logging seemed a bit depressing, especially with the hazy mist of the fog engulfing the scenery.

The paved road eventually curved left and led us onto Beaver Hill Road while the Seven Devils Road continued unpaved. Beaver Hill Road also had some up and down rollers until we got to what I call the pay-off road, Whiskey Run Lane. Perhaps this was fortunately named for a past-time people use to do? Either way, this gave use an exhilarating downhill back onto, you guessed it, Seven Devils Road. We were brought back onto the 101 highway.

Gusty Bandon

Gusty wind in Bandon

Gusty wind in Bandon

We were only about 5 miles away from the town of Bandon where we planned to lunch. Before that, Sang Hyun noticed a noise coming from my rear tire. We pulled into the Bullards Beach State Park for a bathroom break and a quick examination. We found that my rear tire had a staple sticking out of it. I cringed when I yanked it out. Luckily this had no impact to the rear wheel. In fact, I was able to ride another 40 miles into camp afterwards. We continued on into Bandon.

Bandon was a neat little town. In the purple book, the author had mentioned the town’s featured places, like a fudge factory, and having eateries along the boardwalk to attract bicycle tourists. This was definitely something I didn’t mind at all. Please continue to spoil us. We had several options for food and settled at the Bandon Bait Shop which served delicious food. Sang Hyun ordered fish tacos and I grabbed the fish and chips. The both of us also indulged in some clam chowder, while I took the iPad out to post up some blog posts using a free WiFi connection. Not sure if it was theirs, but it was open and it worked marvelously.

After lunch, we checked out the boardwalk, which included several immaculate wood carvings. There were carved and laquered sea animals, chairs, and other cool intricate things. We spent about 10 minutes watching people and seagulls battle the fierce onshore wind on the water. It was futile as you can see the wind thrashing the water as hard as possible. We navigated through the suburbs of Bandon. The clouds in the sky were moving very quickly as the result of the blustery wind.  It created an interesting phenomenon where shadows passed through the floors much like how the waves were being blown on the water. We stopped at a wayside called Face Rock. It was so windy there. We saw sand being blown across the beach. It was an amazing site. We even saw people horseback riding on the beach, but had to stop and reconsider whether or not to continue because the wind was so fierce.

One Gear Up & Down the Coast

While we toured through Bandon, a kid named Josh rolled up and chatted us up. He had been traveling north in Washington, but recently decided to come south through the coast. He was riding a Bianchi single speed on this trip pulling 70lbs of stuff with him. I jokingly told him my knees are hurting for him, but he seems to be very content with his gearing and was very fast as he overtook us on the 101 highway, making it into camp a few hours before we did. His ultimate destination was back to Chico State in California. It just goes to show that you can bike tour any way you like or are comfortable with. For Josh, his youth and enthusiasm certainly keeps his motor going a lot better than it would for me.

First Mishap

 

1st Flat

1st Flat

The rest of the way into camp between Bandon to Port Orford was rather dull except that Sang Hyun got his first flat from this trip. This happened right before we entered a town named Denmark (yes, Denmark). He pulled out a thorn from his tired and replaced his tube rather quickly. Another gentleman traveling north against strong headwind stopped by to see if we were okay. He was definitely not from the states. We praised him for his diligence in battling the wind, as he wished us good luck.

We practically flew by Denmark, Sixies (fascinating coincidences in the naming of the town?), and Port Orford. Port Orford offered us a beautiful lookout to all the rocks that were jutting out into the ocean. We had a few opportunities to gaze and photograph them before attempting to find our campsite. We initially thought the site was just off the coast, but as it turns out, we needed to ride inland a bit more until we saw the entrance to Humbug Mountain State Park.

No Scrooge Here

Ride to camp

Humbug Mountain SP’s hiker / biker site was also $5 per person and included a hot shower. There are 7 sites which are located in a staggered formation on inclines. We attained one of the top ones, away from the main path. Like I mentioned before, Josh was already here. 30 minutes after our arrival, Portlan rolls into camp and picks the spot across from us. We were surprised because this was his 3rd day and he completed 60 miles of riding which was incredible. There was another tent in one of the site, which turned out to be the French couple that we had met at Fort Stevens. Talk about a small world. There are 2 other bike tourists who we’ve seen for the first time. I didn’t talk to one but the other person was from Scotland, who had started his trip in Columbia and made his way to Vancouver. He’s been riding for a few months north. Finally, Nick and Jennifer from last night’s camp site also rolled in to join us and fill up the entire hiker / biker sites.

I believe Portlan, Nick, and Jennifer are planning to follow us for the next few days at the campsites we picked out. It is pretty awesome to have a moving community. Probably one of the coolest things of bike touring.

Sang Hyun noticed the rear tire he changed out earlier was getting softer. He pulled everything out and found a wire jutting out from the inside which caused a puncture to his new tube. He patched that up and it seems to be working okay.


About Johnny Lam

Johnny is an avid cyclist who enjoys bicycle touring as well as anything bicycle related. Johnny has traveled the entire Pacific Coast by bike from Vancouver to the border of California and Mexico. He's also toured through-out locations in Southern California. Johnny is also a League of American Bicyclists League Certified Instructor (LCI) and also completed the Adventure Cycling Association's Leadership Training Course (LTC). He is an active member in Los Angeles bicycling community being involved in organizations like the Los Angeles County Bicycling Coalition (LACBC), C.I.C.L.E. (Cyclists Inciting Change through Live Exchange), and Bike San Gabriel Valley (Bike SGV) by taking part in ride marshaling, pedestrian & bike counts, and other volunteering opportunities.