Seaside to Coos Bay. Mileage 3,875

 

Stopped at a bike shop to browse. Bought tube of grease and some derailleur jockey wheels. "Why not try the hostel two blocks away", they said. As we hadn't stayed in a hostel since 5000ft up on the Jasper road we thought we'd treat ourselves. On the way, we passed a motel at 35USD with TV. The hostel charged 48USD a room or 18USD each for dorms. We moved on to a private campsite at 10USD. Had shower, and used site laundry to wash and dry our clothes. The evening was cool, misty and damp. The wet grass was long and the site next to a river. In the morning the condensation was the worst we had seen. Our tent showed its problems as the dip in the fly at the top allowed condensation to drip onto the inner. A plastic bag laid on top of the inner helped. E-mails to Mac-pac resulted in sympathy but no solutions. They used the phrase we'd had before when we had the Velcro damage to the insect mesh. "Nobody else has complained". Unfortunately, they have no service points in the Americas.

The next campsite was a state park and for 14USD we had a basic site in the forest. No showers. It seems that private sites are much better value than state sites and we have generally found this to be the case in most areas.

However, we thought we'd try a hiker/biker site at the next state park as it was by the beach. At 8USD it was excellent. The only complaint if anything was that it was a long way to the showers. In the evening we played host to a group of American cyclists around our campfire. Decided to rest the next day and stay another night at the same site. The evening saw us again with a crowded campfire as cyclists from Canada, USA, Japan and Switzerland were our hosts.

Eureka! We have managed to buy an old fashioned tin-opener with corkscrew from a Thrift shop (Charity shop) for 25 cents. These are not available new anywhere. The stores only sell the heavy large tin openers without a corkscrew which is separate.

We don't worry about bears anymore, we have Raccoons instead. These lovely, large-eyed, furry nocturnal animals not only steal food but carry off whole bags and chew into them at their leisure.

A Japanese cyclist we met at a campground near Lincoln City left his cycle bag containing food by his tent while he sat around our campfire. The raccoons stole his complete bag weighing about 20lbs and he eventually found it about 20yds away in the bushes. They had chewed a hole in the bag and eaten his food. The only solution is to keep food in our tents at night and to keep food bags securely tied down to prevent raccoon theft. We have teamed up with Andy from Switzerland to share campsites in the evening. Our Japanese friend lasted only 2 nights before we lost him. We think he camps wild to save money. He says that if a motorist in Japan kills a cyclist he is banned for life.

The Oregon Hwy.101 up the halfway point seems over rated as far as scenery is concerned. The roads are boring most of the time and when we do see the ocean it is no different to anywhere else. Some of the seaside towns remind us of Jaywick and Walton in Essex. Other areas are totally overdeveloped with unimpressive looking hotels and resorts. However, the next day from Waldport down to Reedport was a pretty ride with coastal cliffs and dunes. But as the day went on, the sea mist descended such that all we could see at any viewpoint was a wall of white mist. A word about traffic and driving. Ever since we started in Anchorage the high standard of driving and courtesy shown to other road users, pedestrians and cyclists have amazed us. Cars give way to others at junctions and drive very cautiously in towns although the speed can be high on major roads. Logging trucks give us a wide berth unless something is coming the other way when they will give us a warning blast. On logging roads, they warn others of our presence using CB radio. It is a pleasure and occasionally an embarrassment to find that traffic stops for us to cross the road even if we never intended to. British drivers have a lot to learn! Wherever we have cycled in the world we have found the overall standard of driving better than in England. It is nothing to do with speed or skill, but all to do with courtesy to others.

The hard shoulders vary in width from a narrow two feet to a whopping 20ft sometimes. At the entrance to some tunnels, there is a sign which says "When lights flash, beware of cyclists in tunnel". Large orange flashing lights warn of our presence. We need to press a button before we enter to activate the system.

The weather is now cool and autumnal with misty mornings and evenings. When the sun comes out it can be 65f.