Since we last posted, we have made our way to the Oregon coast and down into California. Our progress was marked by many tall, tall trees, a lot of traffic, and an amazing remote road through the coastal mountains in Oregon.
Instead of taking Hwy 199 from Grants Pass, OR to the California coast, we decided to take a forest road known locally as Bear Camp Road. We followed the Rogue River, and then split off to climb the coastal mountain range. The (mostly paved) road took us up, up, up along a tiny creek and then popped us out on top of the hills. We had a commanding view of nearby valleys, and it was reminiscent of Top of the World Highway back in the Yukon.
Eventually we descended back down to the Rogue and followed it out to the ocean. Not without a few more hills to climb, though! We met the ocean at Gold Beach, OR, a small beach town full of motels and not much else. We found a nice RV park that had tent sites in the back, separated from the noise of generators and the hustle and bustle of the big rigs. It also had a cafe where we got a great breakfast.
The next day was our 101st from leaving State College, and it was our first day on the coastal Hwy 101! We enjoyed seeing the rocky beaches and meeting a few other cyclists. We actually had our first celebrity sighting – that is, some other cyclists recognized us and asked if we were The Philtrons!
Every day the mist is heavy, but it usually it burns off by early afternoon. We stayed in a hiker/biker campsite in the famous Jedidiah Smith Redwoods State Park. Smith was the first European to lead an overland expedition to the coast. The park protected some old growth redwood forest. We later learned from a ranger talk that 96% of the redwoods were logged, so only 4% of the old growth remains! The next day we set out on a gravel road that led towards Crescent City from the park. It took us past Stout Grove and many more very tall trees.
Last night we had the pleasure of rolling into the Arcata area and staying with some longtime friends of Daisy’s family. Today we are taking a rest day in Arcata and Daisy just sent off a complete dissertation draft to her advisor. So exciting! Tomorrow we head to the Lost Coast and are looking forward to getting away from the traffic for a little while.