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DAY 5
Bandon to Gold Beach
Just another "AWE" day!
 

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ROUTE: Gold Beach DISTANCE: 57 Miles WINDS: Westerly at 5-10
WEATHER: Patchy fog and mild, high 75 TERRAIN: Rolling TOTAL CLIMBING: 2385 Feet

DAILY REPORT: 

It's hard to describe how beautiful it is here...I'll try to let some of the photos show what we saw early today.  I guess it just don't get much better than this.  I can see why this is one of the most popular biking avenues around the country. 

Short day today so we had a leisurely breakfast and loaded at 8:00.  Today's route took us mostly on hwy 101 which had a nice shoulder most of the way with only a couple short narrower areas to negotiate...no problem.  The first 4 miles were along the shoreline in Bandon...how do these people stand living around here with such scenery to endure everyday.  It took everyone about 45 minutes to cover the first 2 miles as they had to stop numerous times just to look.  The jagged shoreline in Oregon is much different than marshy bogs along the east coast.  Here we climb up and down the cliffs that overlook the pounding surf below and some of the sights below are simply unbelievable. 

The weather Gods smiled on us big time today.  Today was probably the nicest weather and visibility we've had so far and we were anticipating a great day of shore watching...cool and clear when we departed and the sun was shining brightly...it couldn't have been better.  When we went to breakfast it didn't appear that we would be able to see anything as a "sinister fog" lurked in the harbor and obscured everything in town.  But by the time we ate and loaded, most of the fog had broken and the shoreline was clear.  When we looked down the shoreline with the sun to our back, the water was a dark royal blue with what appeared to be large lava rocks protruding through the surface.  Although it is just scrumptious scenery, I don't know why people build houses along the shoreline.  There are Tsunami warning signs all along the low places along our route and there are houses everywhere.  I'd hate to wake up one morning staring at a wave 20 feet higher than my roof...but I guess they all accept that risk.

Three or four miles out of town we popped out on 101 which was pretty much highway surrounded by trees until the first SAG in the town of Port Orford where after that the road broke out to the shoreline and some of our best scenery to date.  When I rolled into Port Orford, I could see a fog bank just before our SAG and with that the temperature dropped at least 10 degrees.  It was amazing as it only took about 2 minutes for me to ride from there to the SAG in which time the fog was quickly disapating and the sun was starting to shine through everywhere.  From the SAG to Gold Beach we had beautiful weather, scenery, and roads...couldn't ask for much more.  Another plus for the day was we didn't have nearly as much climbing which made the day a bit easier.  The winds were a bit fickle around the slopes, but nothing obscene.

I left the SAG ahead of everyone so I could get out and get some photos of people as they rode by the rock formations so I spent the greater part of the afternoon just standing on hillsides until someone would ride by and then I'd go down the road a couple more miles to find another spot...I didn't usually have to look to hard to find a good scene...they were just everywhere.  When Jim, our mechanic, came by I asked him what he thought of the ride so far and he said, "It's the best ride we have.  Oh sometimes we just ride on a road that you want to get through but then that road brings you to this!"  The "This" he was referring to was the ocean crashing on jagged rocks below the roadway and a view for miles down the shoreline.  I'm afraid I had to agree with him...it just don't get much better than this.

When everyone got in, we offered a drive train maintenance clinic where I cover how to keep the chain, cogs, derailleurs, and shifters running smoothly.  Just like other times when I've given this talk, I got several requests to check the wear on their chains.

After the clinic we all trekked down to a neat little hole in the wall Mexican restaurant for dinner...and then rest for tomorrow...our last riding day before our first day off.  I think everyone is looking forward to a little time to just look around and to get off the bike.  The weather forecast is for good weather again...partly cloudy...no rain.  Hopefully, the sun will bless us again as we pass through the last miles of the beautiful Oregon coast.  As the sun sets on another day...see you tomorrow.

HAPPENINGS ON THE ROAD

I was really excited when I discovered today's activities included whale watching!

Denise and Sue decided to scope out a local lighthouse.  Luckily it wasn't obscured by fog...I guess that's why the light's not important on this one.

Just to get out of the motel required climbing a hill.

I think if my neighbor had a pet like this, I'd move.

 

What's up?  Is it a bird?  A plane?  Karen was taking photos and kept wondering why everyone was looking up...

The town chiropractors love this photo spot.

She finally figured out what everyone was doing...and got this photo...Now we know where they got the model for face rock.

Neat scene at departure.

Just didn't want to stop riding today.

I don't know what David was up to here, but it appeared that Barbara may have put him in time out.

Sunset behind our motel tonight.

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