The Great Pacific Coast Escape

Day 11: Sputter, misfire, detour...
and a new direction (Bandon to Brookings)

date: Thursday August 15, 2002
daily miles: 101 miles (163 km)
total miles: 887 miles (1,427 km)

I'll be on the that beach in a few minutes!

I will admit now that when I started this Great Escape down the Pacific Coast of the United States, I desired to make two essential detours on my trip. One was to Crater Lake in Central Oregon. The second was to ride the "FLUME" at Lake Tahoe near on the California and Nevada border.

So did something change you ask? The forest fire here in Southern Oregon has prevented me from detouring into Central Oregon from my southern coast access point currently – the town of Gold Beach. I’m partly guilty myself -- I haven't been watching the local news or reading the local papers. Today I found out if I would have detoured a day ago, I could have headed inland. But given that I refuse to backtrack North up the coast at this point in time of my ride. So south I go...

Since Crater Lake is gone from the detour list, I'm pulling Lake Tahoe at the same time also. Partly because of the above, but also due to prioritizing what I want to accomplish on his particular trip. First is to have fun. Second is to enjoy myself. Third is to ride the Pacific Coast. Everything else is a bonus and isn't required to make this a success. Although I am a bit disappointed by the decision – I harbor no grudges because there is nothing I truly can do at this point to change things. Just enjoy and keep riding!!
Smoke from the Brookings forest fire

this ship isn't going anywhere fast
Today for myself started on a sputter heading out of the campground. I could barely turn the pedals for the first three hours. No energy in the gas tank again. Finally I got enough food into myself so I could get some energy and start moving like I normally do...

Three hours into the ride and I still had my leggings on and trying to keep warm – where is the sunshine??? Plus my legs took almost four hours to warm-up today before they were spinning effectively.

Considering I was at one point going to park the bicycle and stop today at 28 miles due to the lack of energy, once I got to the town of Gold Beach and saw the giant smoke clouds from the forest fire (wait for the pics!), I figured I had better just hunker down and hammer hard through to Brookings just in case the fire flashed back to the coast highway and possibly closed it. I missed one detour today – I’m not going to cancel my ride!!

Somehow as I headed out of Gold Beach and up the hill, I for the first time today felt incredible. I caught up with Todd (he had been at my campground the last two nights but is quiet -- he is just completing the Trans-Am cross county route from New York) and a father/son touring pair from Norway. Unfortunately they were all just crawling up the hill out of town -- I ended up putting it in the big chainring and promptly spent the next two hours just blasting away (with time of course for viewpoints and pictures) as if I was Superman unleaded on my bicycle. I amazed myself I was actually feeling this good considering how the day had started. Yes – I was in the “zone” again…
riding along the cliff edge again

Stopped to enjoy the view

My comments in regard to Brookings, OR?? Considering all the hype about this place when I lived in Ashland / Medford / Corvallis many years ago, I would have expected so much more. Sorry to say the scenery is great but the town leaves a lot to be desired... Tomorrow I enter California on bicycle. It will be interesting to see how the next several days play out. I'll guess we will have to wait and see.

Now I have the song from the Mama & the Papa’s going through my head “California Dream’n”…

Sweet dreams!


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The Great Pacific Coast Escape
Introduction time
Two weeks before - Welcome to "BOB"
One week before - Panic time!
The trip begins! (Bellevue, WA to Sequim)
Awesome sights to be seen (Sequim to Sapho)
The longest day (Sapho to Ocean Shores)
Casual cruise to pavement pain (Ocean Shores to Raymond)
I survived the bridge!! (Raymond to Ft. Stevens, Oregon)
I talked with a real bicycle tourist! (Ft. Stevens to Cape Lookout)
Hills, hills and more hills (Cape Overlook to Newport)
It was slow going today (Newport to Florence)
Kickback, relax and just surf (at Honeyman Camp in Florence)
Time to escape the convention (Florence to Bandon)
Sputter, misfire, detour... and a new direction (Bandon to Brookings)
Please turn off the fog machine!! (Brookings to Prairie Creek Redwoods, California)
Keeping it simple (Prairie Creek Redwoods to KOA in Arcata)
Enter the 'Avenue of the Giants' (KOA in Arcata to Weott)
Running on empty (Weott to Leggett)
Back to the Pacific Ocean (Leggett to Van Damme SP at Mendocino)
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (Van Damme SP to Stillwater SP)
Just another simple day (Stillwater SP to Samuel Taylor SP in Bodega Bay)
What were you expecting -- Baywatch??? (Samuel Taylor SP to Half Moon Bay SP)
There actually is sunshine in California (Half Moon Bay to Sunset Beach in Watsonville)
Sleeping in late means a late start huh? (Sunset Beach SP to Pfeiffer-Big Sur SP)
Riding above the clouds (Pfeiffer-Big Sur SP to San Simeon SP
The ranger told me that I probably wouldn't want to camp here (San Simeon SP to Oceana SP)
I see cracks!! (Oceana SP to El Capitan SP near Goleta)
Are we there yet? (El Capitan SP to Leo Carillo SP near Malibu)
The “City of Angels” in one day (Leo Carillo SP to Doheny SP at Dana Point)
The end has arrived (Dana Point to San Diego)
Equipment Reflections
Personal Gear Review
Review -- Planning and Maps
Would I do it all again?