We woke up to find the wind howling and the forecast for it to stay coming from the south at 20+mph all day. We only had about 55 miles to go, but with a constant headwind it would be draining. Sandy told me that we could feel free to stay until the wind turned, be that a few hours or a few days, but with winter looming and 9000ft passes to climb I’d rather make progress by throwing our bikes in the back of a pick up truck than wait out winds and lose days. Riding into such a strong headwind really isn’t fun and does drain you, but with winter looming it’s probably preferable to the alternative of snowy passes.
We said our goodbyes to Sandy and headed down the beautiful Bandon coastline. It was a little further to not head directly to the 101, but it would put us on the scenic coastal road. My plan for the day was to take a lot of stops and hope that the wind would die down later. Typically the wind is strongest in the morning, but I was hoping that wouldn’t be the case. That or because of how there are so many microclimates heading down the coast, that we would pass in to one with a slower wind.
We got to the first town for the day, Langlois, where we stopped at the post office so C could mail her camera away. As I’ve mentioned previously, it’s been causing her problems for the last couple of months and she’s been having issues with Panasonic customer service. After much persevering, she finally got told she could send it to the US customer service people and they would maybe repair or fix it.
When I came out the post office, a guy pulled in to the car park and angrily told me that I was eligible for a $500 fine so I should move my bicycle. Apparently being leant against the fence in front of a disabled parking spot is classed as blocking it. I thought he was wrong but moved my bike. I hasten to add that he wasn’t disabled and it felt like he was just interfering. There were plenty of spots available and the town of Langlois probably has a few hundred people at most. It confused me when after I moved my bike he asked me where I Was going. He seemed surprised and even offended when I gave him the answer of “south”. C was riding out of the car park when he was complaining to me about where I’d parked my bike and I had no desire to speak to him.
A few miles further down the road a car heading north flashed it’s lights at us and asked us to pull over. With the wind still blowing, we were happy to. A guy came over and introduced himself. He and his wife had just finished a trip and were saying hello to riders they saw going down the road. He had a notebook and asked us some basic questions about our trip and promised to contact us and send us a DVD with information about everyone they met. He offered us white gas as they had spare, but our fuel bottle was full so we declined.
Riding up the next hill, we passed a man stopped by the side. I pulled over to check if everything was OK. He was apparently just stopping for a short time to have a rest and a snack because the wind was exhausting him. His name was Paul and we spoke for a while before I rode off to catch up with C. I told him we were going to stop in the next town so we’d probably see him there.
Sure enough, we rolled in to Port Orford and stopped where there was a sign that promised free wifi and 5-10 minutes later Paul rolled up. We spent the next while talking while C caught up on things using her iPhone. He was from Florida but had spent the summer up in Alaska working. He was riding down the Pacific although had originally planned to do a cross-country trip but plans had come up which meant he only had to late October to finish the ride meaning there wasn’t enough time to do the full cross-country trip. He had also started in Bandon that morning, but rather than pushing on to Gold Beach he was going to find a motel in Port Orford and stop.
As the forecast didn’t seem to suggest the wind would slow down at all, I was eager to get going. Waiting longer in Port Orford wouldn’t do much beyond make us later to get to Gold Beach. I said our goodbyes and wished Paul a wonderful trip and we rolled out.
The rest of the ride to Gold Beach had some stunningly beautiful parts, but the wind made it harder to fully appreciate them. We stopped a couple of times, including once for blackberries, and slowly but surely made progress to Gold Beach.
When we got in to town I was looking round for a place to stay. We didn’t have anything arranged so I had plotted a route round all the churches in town. Heading towards the first one, I saw a lady walking across a car park in what looked like a police womans uniform. I slowed down and pulled up next to her. I introduced myself to Terry and explained that I was cycling with my sister, who was just about coming in to view, and that we were hoping that she knew somewhere free to put up our tents. While she was thinking C pulled up and introduced herself. We spent the next few minutes talking and by the end of it all Terry was calling her husband to check if it was OK if we stayed with them. After telling him that she wasn’t going to do criminal background checks on us we were invited over to stay in their studio apartment.
Terry drove ahead while C & I rode after her wowed again by the generosity of people. When we got to her place we met her husband Kim and introduced ourselves a bit better. They showed us to the Girl Cave, the female equivalent of a tool shed, which was the studio apartment we would be sleeping in. After a bit of rearranging, Terry & Kim went off to the main house to make dinner while we cleaned up.
The evening passed with us eating a delicious curry and talking away. We learnt about Terry’s job which saw her helping rehabilitate youth. It seemed a very rewarding, but difficult job. It sounded like she had a real passion for it, but was also aware that in 63 weeks she would be retiring. Kim was an attorney and told us about his work as well. He explained about some interesting cases including one of someone who had been murdered camping on the beach before I headed to bed, glad to be safe in their house.
Face Rock – Kinda windy and shaky