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Gold Beach OR to Crescent City CA

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ROUTE: Crescent City CA DISTANCE: 57 Miles without the side trips WINDS: Light all day
WEATHER: Foggy start, clearing around noon and 65 for a high TERRAIN: Rolling, flat at finish TOTAL CLIMBING: 2566 Feet

DAILY REPORT:  It was 8 years ago today.  We were on the Mississippi Ride when we saw the news that the towers had been attacked.  Lot's of time has passed since, but our lives will never be the same since that day.  Our thoughts go out to those who are still suffering from that day and our prayers are with those who are on the front lines who are making it possible for us to continue to enjoy the freedom of our great country.  God Bless America.

 Today we finished our Oregon portion of the ride.  At mile 34 we entered our second and last state, California.  Last year a rider said when we got to California we would be warm, the sun would be shining, and we'd be greeted by bathing beauties in bikinis.  Well, as we found last year, we were cold and the bathing beauties got tired of waiting or got cold themselves.  By the time we got to California, everyone in the area was dressed in coats and long pants.  I'm sure we'll get in some warm weather soon...California is like that.  Sorry we missed the bikinis though.

First let me say that there are not enough synonyms for the word spectacular to describe the Oregon Coast.  Today was another absolutely (insert your own synonym here because I've run out) day on the bike...but bummer, it was overcast and foggy at the beginning, but still (synonym) none-the-less.  It was pretty foggy when we left the motel so the first few miles, until we got a little inland, was grey and obscured.  The fog didn't start burning off until around 11:00 so we missed most of the highly scenic areas.  It wasn't a total bust though, we saw enough to make it interesting.  And a couple of the riders even hung around until the fog started to dissipate...they weren't disappointed.

Our morning started out with a sudden jolt...right out of the motel we started up.  The first punch was about a 4 mile ascent to the top of the cliffs overlooking the ocean...but we couldn't see most of it.  In spite of the haze and fog, as soon as the views opened up it was hard to ride because of all the distractions of the beautiful views.  For days now we've been witnessing the spectacular handiwork of some supreme being...this area and all it's beauty just couldn't have just happened.  All along the coastline rugged mountains stand majestically over the Pacific Coastline overlooking frothy waves as they splash against large rock formations that thrust themselves out of the the water.  Piles of weather hardened driftwood have been deposited all along quiet sandy beaches which made me wonder how far they had come before finding this final resting place.  Of all the portraits I've seen of scenes in America, I don't think I've ever seen many more beautiful than what we witnessed this morning...Norman Rockwell like when we could see it.  Plus, all along this region there are historical towns like Port Orford, Klamath, Gold Beach, Brookings, and Crescent City.  But the coastline also has smaller more artsy and agricultural communities like Langlois, Aophir, Anesika Beach, Smith River, and Pistol River where the pace is much slower than what most of us are accustomed to and it's nice to see towns without McDonalds arches and all their rivals in fast food dotting the landscape.  Here, there's an abundance of crab shacks, small family owned cafes, and small markets where the owner knows everyone within 10 miles of their business.  Hey, I don't even know my next door neighbor in Prattville.

Now that I've had a little time to stop blithering about how beautiful the scenery is here, I'll describe the rest of the day.  We experienced stark differences throughout the day in spite of the shortish mileage.  The morning climb on 101 was completely tree lined with the focus being on getting to the top.  If you wanted to see any of the sights, you had to take short side trips toward the coast to see them.  It wasn't long before 101 skirted the shoreline which normally gives us breathtaking views of the surf and the rugged coast, but today some of the sights were obscured.  By the afternoon, we left the coast for a trip a bit more inland through rich agricultural areas that definitely broke up the day.  We even rode through the Easter Lilly capital of the world...or at least they claim they are.  Finally, the last 3 miles were back on the coast line again with spectacular views of Castle Rock Game Preserve just off shore as we approached Crescent City.  This preserve is 14 acres of gagged rock and sloping meadows which serves as home for many species of migratory sea and shore birds along with sea lions and elephant seals.  It's the largest seabird colonies on the west coast.  Last year as I was standing gazing through my binoculars, I could hear the loud calls of the sea lions as they lounged along the shore...something you just don't see or hear in Alabama.  I think this has been one of the most enjoyable rides I've been associated with...basically nice weather, great people, and eye candy everywhere.

It's been a great week of riding and the group is getting along well...but tonight we say good bye to Keith who was only scheduled to ride to here.  So we lose one but we gain 3 new riders tomorrow.  Check out the "Meet the Riders" section to meet them on Sunday. 

The last thing on the agenda today was our famous T-shirt swap.  Barb leads the rousing exchange of T-shirts and does her best to keep order...and with this group it was a chore.  I think everyone had a good time and let off a little steam before the down day tomorrow. 

Tomorrow we take a day off.  I think most of the riders are ready for a time off the bike, but I may go ride up the road a might be tempting if the weather is clear...just can't let the beauty go to waste.  What ever we do, it won't start early.  Tomorrow there won't be a journal entry...see you on Sunday when we leave for Eureka.  Have a nice weekend. 


The staff is always on the alert to keep the guests happy in spite of adverse conditions.  With the obscured views of Arch Rock, Karen and I tried to simulate the view.  Sue and Denise commented that our efforts were as good as the real thing and really enhanced their viewing experience.  It's the little things that make our rides special...and in this case, it didn't take much to impress these two.

There's a beautiful view out there somewhere.

Oregon is so nice it even thanked us for visiting...

On the other hand, the only indication that we were entering California was one of the poles that used to hold up the "Welcome to California" sign.  Maybe Oregon was just thanking us for not stealing their sign.

I must have made a wrong turn somewhere.

"That was the best ride I never saw."

"Oh!  There's a rock!"
"Oops, it's gone."

"Trees, water, surf, rocks...what's the big deal?"

"I'm disappointed, I haven't seen a wheat field all week."

"What's the weather today?"
"Can you see anything?"
"It's everyone wearing jackets?"
"It's probably cool out."
"Wow, how do you do that?"

"We're patiently waiting for the fog to lift."
"We're patiently waiting for the fog to lift."
"We're patiently waiting for the fog to lift!!!!"

"How was your meatloaf?"
"Mmm, Safe."

Sign at a dairy:  "You'll love our dairy air."

No Karen, you can't take it with you.

The T-shirt swap turned into a T-shirt steal before it was done.  I really thought we'd been making progress at calming our type A personalities...guess not.  At least everyone had something to wear when we were all done.

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