Photo by Jason DeVarennes

Friday, February 13, 2015

Oregon - Coast to Eugene

After taking advantage of the pleasantly cool coastal temperatures for a few days, it was now time to say farewell to the breezy seaside and head back over the coast range for a couple of nights in Eugene. Sadly, the temperature all along the Willamette Valley had been spiking into the 90s everyday, and the forecast did not show any relief on the horizon. (Although as I write this, it is almost 90 degrees colder than that here, so I'm having a little difficulty remembering why we weren't looking forward to riding in these conditions.)

Since we had winched ourselves up Ten Mile Creek the day before, we decided to avoid riding the same road in the same direction and instead chose to climb out of Yachats on Cummins Peak Road. It had nothing to do with which climb might be easier! Really! Well maybe, since we were back to hauling our gear, we decided to aim for the slightly easier option, where easier is a relative term. 

When I plotted the route on the computer, it looked like we'd get 80% of the climbing for the day in the first 15 miles, but that climbing was not insubstantial and we'd have a fair amount of gravel to boot. At least we'd get the big climb on the cooler coastal side, before descending into a furnace on the far side. 

We had a big day planned. I'd made a reservation at Velo B&B in Eugene, about 95 miles away.  I teased John that he could have, at most, 10 photo stops, since there would be no magic shortcut option.

With the long day ahead, we tried to get out early... well early for folks on holiday. After another great breakfast at the Green Salmon, we proceeded to quickly burn through all those calories and then some with a mere 3000 feet of cumulative ascent in 15 miles. At the first false summit, we broke out from the trees, which had provided a nice bit a shade while climbing, to catch our last view of the Pacific Ocean. 

Dave photo-bombing!
Next up was a fabulous long and sinuous descent to Indian Creek. The gravel roads were exquisite and the marionberries were plentiful. Fortunately John selected a spot with loads of ripe berries as one of his 10 allotted photo stops. David did some modeling while I picked berries. 

After miles of quiet, mostly shaded forest roads, with not a car to be seen, we popped out into the open onto Rt 36 and pointed the bike east, aiming for Deadwood. When mapping out the route, I noted a post office in Deadwood, and hoped there would also be a store - even though nothing was shown on the map. We had stocked up with supplies just in case, but were a little worried we might have issues with water, especially given the heat. Fortunately Deadwood had both a store and a diner.

At this stage, we had definitively left the cool breezes of the coast behind, and the temperature was sizzling. We enjoyed nice sandwiches at the diner, but the icy cold drinks and popsicles were a real treat. In fact, we ended up stopping for frozen treats at every store we encountered along the remainder of the route. Luckily ?? those stores were few and far between, so John didn't give me a max allotment of popsicle stops to go with his photo stop quota!

As we were climbing up to Triangle Lake, I spotted a chance to dangle feet in a stream at Lake Creek Park. We hiked down to a nice swimming hole, where we waded around a bit. This cooled us down some, but the popsicles at the store in Triangle Lake helped even more. 

We reached the level crossing at Noti just as a train was approaching, so we took advantage of the delay to get more popsicles at the store conveniently situated on our side of the crossing. Just as we came out, another train came, but we decided if we went back for more cold drinks, this could become an endless cycle, so after waiting for the train to pass, we pressed on. 

The scenery here was very different from the last few days, lots of open fields and big sky. We were making reasonable time, so John decided to use up his allotment of photo stops. 

But then a few miles from our destination, John noticed a distinct thumping coming from the front wheel. We stopped in time to find a mighty bulge in the tire, where the casing was starting to fail. Luckily we always carry a spare. One more photo and then we put on a new tire.

We arrived at Velo B&B just before dark, and met our gracious hosts, Misha and Rob English. For now I will say that this was the best B&B ever and merits its own post, so stay tuned!

1 comment:

  1. My old stomping grounds! :)
    Rob & Misha's place looks amazing. Too bad we're voracious carnivores!