To Sunset Beach State Park 100km
To Humbug Mt State Park 98km
To Harris Beach State Park 87km
To Cresent City California 50km
It seems that this Oregon Coastline has a few similarities to New Zealand's West Coast. In particular, we are meeting several "characters".
At our first Biker/Hiker site we met a local guy, cycling the coast for the tenth or twelve time. He had all the answers, even though we hadn't asked any questions. But he didn't want to "ruin the movie" for us, so didn't tell us much any way. He told us stories of sitting out storms of several days, in some of the campsites, of leaving early in the morning, then hiding a few kms from the campsite, and watching the young European cyclists racing to try and catch and pass him, and of accompanying pretty young female cyclists from Japan, France and Australia. We heard his stories for two nights, as he "raced" us to the second Hiker/Biker site.
Then there was Jess, a young teacher from Vancouver Island. She was surfing the coast over her summer holiday, sleeping in her car at the side of the road, following steep trails down to isolated beaches to surf mean breaks, and struggling in and out of her 6ml wetsuit to keep warm in the freezing water. She was having a ball.
What about the Santa/Gandalf/JC look alike at Hiker/Biker campsite three? He scurried over to Ju as we arrived, and led her through the trees to show her a secluded, beach front camping spot, which we rejected, then he kept his distance... for a while. Next he started bringing firewood on to our site, but when we tried to engage him in conversation, he slunk away. He sat and watched us from a distance, occasionally waving if we looked his way. Later still, he came and tried to light our fire, but still no conversation. At dusk, he invited me to warm myself by his fire. Turns out he's an author, and poet. His first question to me was..."So how is it in NZ, living with those jade carving, rugby mad Maori?" We had a very interesting conversation, perhaps bordering on Christian indoctrination, but certainly very knowlegible about USA politics, foreign policies, and very opposed to the gun laws. In the morning, as we were leaving, my new friend ran after us, in his very short, calf length bell bottom trousers, and handed me a list, written on a brown paper bag, of the resturants and campsites we would see over the next few days. Before I could thank him, he was heading back to his hidey hole..... conversation over.
The laundromat lady. I walked in on her conversation with Ju, when Ju was explaining that NZ was having winter right now. "Wow, that's weird. Sort of like on the east coast of the USA. You know, they never see the sun set into the ocean." She couldn't grasp that in NZ it was warm in the north, and cold in the south. "Can you drive off you island?" We chatted about weights and measures."You guys must be mathematical geniuses, working out all those litres and stuff." "Do you have dollars? What about hours, minutes and seconds?" I'm pretty sure she was voting for Mr Trump.
And then the weather has "character" of its own. It's high summer, and we are wearing four layers of clothes. Yesterday we had a fierce tail wind, great for pushing us along, but stop and it's freezing. And the sea fog? I reckon we've only been able to see 50% of the coast, the rest has been lost in the fog. It's so nice heading inland and finding the sunshine.
And what about the animals? Lots of whales out and about, when we can see the ocean, and the raccoons and skunks prowl through the campsites at night. One guy caught a raccoon hauling his pack away. Hehehe. And then there's the kiwi couple. He is all starry-eyed, and smiling like the Cheshire Cat. How could he not be? He's loving having his wife cycling with him. So lucky.....