September 14 - From Bandon to Gold Beach
DESCRIPTION: Mileage: 55 miles. Terrain: Mostly flat to Port Orford, then short 500 - 900 foot climbs last 30 miles into Gold Beach. Highlights: Ride past cranberry bogs in the morning before reaching Port Orford, Oregon's first coastal settlement. Fabulous oceanfront vistas all afternoon before arriving at our hotel overlooking the Rogue River.
OVERNIGHT: Motel 6, Gold Beach (541.247.4533)
The day started with a stiff wind out of the south with predictions of occasional showers. It was the headwinds we were all gearing up for, not the possibility of showers. The showers came about 45 minutes into the day, but they were very light and few people did much to cover up. But they grew into a full-fledged warm rain that caught most of us unprepared. By lunch we were drenched!
Above: When it first started to shower, we stopped to put on windbreakers or jackets, and found ourselves next to this lovely antique John Deere tractor proudly displayed near a farmer's front yard.
Above: We traveled through rolling hillsides covered with brown grass and cattle. It was starting to look a lot like Northern California, including the occasional stand of California poppies.
Above: We had lunch high up in a coastal pine forest at Humbug State Park. It was a beautiful site, but most of the riders just wanted to get warm and have some hot food. Sandy did not disappoint: we had hot bean, cheese, and tomato soup, hot apple cider, the usual build-your-own sandwiches, fruit, and cookies. After lunch, we came out of the hills and cattle country onto the coast once again.
Above: We had to cross one bridge today, over the Rogue River at the entrance to Gold Beach. It was narrow, but there wasn't much traffic and it was fairly short.
Above: Here's the bridge looking back from the motel. The motel was a very unusual and upscale Motel 6! It was built as a resort motel and later sold to the chain. It was set high on the riverbank overlooking the bridge. All the rooms were very large and comfortable.
Above: Warm at last! John grins and exclaims, "I feel like a native Oregonian!"
Above: Bob cleaning his Cannondale touring bike.
Ride Statistics: Today we rode 55 miles. Of course, Gary had to do extra miles to make up for his self-imposed minimum of 100 miles a day. The day was virtually all modest coastal rollers, but there was one long climb of more than two miles after lunch. The total elevation gain over the course of the day was 1710 feet.