Saturday, August 9, 2014

Port Orford to Gold Beach. People: Sue.

I had a nice stopover at the B&B - let my back get some rest, washed some clothes in the sink, and let my camping gear dry out a bit.  It was in a quiet area with a nearby beach full of neat pebbles/rocks.  There was also a wicked shorebreak at the beach as well.  I might be lucky that my back was hurting, otherwise I probably would've have had a go at the shorebreak and then ended up injured in some other way.   Bodysurfing shorebreak is one of those things that I know isn't good for you but is somewhat hard to resist (a barrel is a barrel, even if it is a closeout barrel).

After staying at the B&B, I set off on my bike on a cold, overcast morning.  I was headed for my friend's mom's place (see Sue's profile below), as she had kindly offered to let me stay there.  I passed by some of the surf spots I had really wanted to surf (and I'm pretty sure they had good conditions the day before based on the swell size).  It was glassy but really small so I decided not to go in.  Again, probably a blessing in disguise as my back wasn't feeling 100%).

The rain then started to come down mid-morning.  It was a steady, cold rain.  The ride was made much more challenging by the fact that this stretch of 101 was fairly wide open and the cars and trucks were taking advantage of that to speed down the road.  The vehicle and water combination made for a sound explosion plus a big gust of wind each time a truck would pass.  It was so loud and powerful that I a few times I let out a whoop at the comedy/craziness/exhiliration of having me and my bike suddenly shoved to the side by the blast of wind and water spray.  The hairiest moments were when oncoming cars would pass.  I would then see two sets of headlights baring down on me at 60+ miles per hour.  There was a thin sheet of water on the road, so I am so lucky that none of the passing cars ended up hydroplaning.  It made for an exhausting and nerve-wracking ride.

At about 3pm I checked my phone and  Sue had sent a message letting me know that she could get off work early and asking if I wanted to get a ride.  Boy was I happy to see that message.  I was fortunately in an area with mobile phone service and called Sue and she offered to drive out to pick me up - I was about 10 miles from her house.  Aside from getting me out of the rain, it was incredibly fortunate that Sue offered to pick me up as she lives in a small community and her address is listed for the larger town further south.  I hadn't checked things carefully so I would have rode quite far past her house and then been stuck with backtracking if I had ridden there myself.


Sue (pictured with the amazing casserole) and Sunny (on the lower right hand side of the photo, you can just see Sunny's head and front shoulder).

Sue is super awesome.  She's Cyndi's mom (Cyndi is a friend from Santa Cruz who is an environmental scientist, surfer, world adventurer, etc.) and let Cyndi know I could stay at her place after hearing about the trip.  Sue runs the Gold's Beach visitor's centers - I can't think of a better person to do that as she is so warm, fun, and knowledgeable.  She's made the Gold's Beach visitor's center completely people- and bicycle-friendly.  I stayed with Sue and her dog, Sunny, who is a really sweet lab (we went for two nice walks on the beach).  Sue made a fantastic vegetarian casserole and had lots of other food (blueberries, cranberry bread, etc.) - so the warm food and wonderful company made me forget the hard day of cycling.

The next morning, Sue took me to the outdoor store where I was finally able to purchase a monocular (pictured below - yay!), to the visitor center, gave me hiking/surf maps and a bumper sticker and a really nice agate rock, and then drove me over the big hill that was south of town.  Pretty amazing, huh?    It was such a nice visit with Sue and Sunny that I was sad to leave, but I was feeling grateful to be well-fed and well-rested.

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