Florence to Cresecent City
Just south of Florence, Oregon is arguably one of the best freshwater swimming lakes along the entire Pacific Coast route. As we made our way up and over the capes of the central Oregon coast, the landscape changed from cliffs to massive sand dunes. Just on the outskirts of Florence, Jessie Honeyman State Park combines ocean, sand dune, freshwater lake, and forest all within its boundaries--and offers everyone, especially hot touring cyclists, the opportunity to take a dip. We swam with newts, and dried ourselves on the warm sand (dune) beaches.
South of Florence, the coastline is sprinkled with signs for "Great Sand Dune Adventures with ATV, Buggies, and Dirt Bikes" things of the like. As we pedaled our bikes south along the with 40c tires, we agreed we'd have to return to the area with fat bikes next time. The number of opportunities for mountain bikes, or fat bikes have mounted since we've made our way south. Notes for another adventure...
As we continued towards the California border, the developed parts of the coast started to spread out, the population thinned, and the rugged natural beauty started to move in as the dominant feature. The combination of expansive curving views of the coast, sea stacks, and misty green slopes descending into dark blue ocean warranted a comparison to the Big Sur coast of central California. The route drifts inland a bit along this section, leaving us riding through pastoral land dotted with the occasional market and separated us from the ocean. Along these parts, you sometimes have to remind yourself you're riding along the ocean, you could be anywhere. A night at Humbug Mountain State Park gave us a big clear sky and a gurgling Brush Creek flowing with little resistance into the ankle high waves at the beach. After the hustle and bustle of campgrounds further north, the quietude of Humbug gave us and our fellow bikepackers the respite we all, in some form, search for on the road.
We pushed south into Crescent City where Kate left to visit family down in California for a few days and I stayed with a Warmshowers from our tour down the coast last year. One of the benefits of riding along a similar route as last year is we get to know places more intimately, explore places we passed by last time, and in this case revisit folks from last year and keep cultivating relationship with people along the Pacific Coast Bicycle Route.
- Pacific Coast Milestones -
- FROM: Bonny Doon, CA
- DOB: 1999-11-30
- OCCUPATION: Adventurers
Genesis Moment and Inspiration for your Trip?
We have biked the entire Pacific Coast already, and it may seem odd that we are doing it again. Along the last journey we met a screen printer and fellow bike tourist named Justin who had ridden the Pacific Coast route over five times. When we first heard this we thought he was crazy – there is so much out there to explore! But he went on to explain, and ultimately convince us – that not only is the ride experience different every time due to weather, new companions, older selves, etc; but traveling known roads you can come back to the places that really impacted you, and try the alternate routes you had to pass over last time. The ride just gets better and better because your relationship to the trail is what frees you to explore more deeply. When you know that there is a taqueria and clean water only ten miles away you are more likely to actually stop and jump in the roadside lake that otherwise remains unexplored….
Have you Traveled by bike in the past?
Matt and I live in a Tiny Home deep in the mountains above the town where we work and our daily commute requires a year round touring set up. At every moment we have to have everything we need for the day – heavy bags full of produce, a down jacket, bike shoes and sandals, water for the day and a lunch, the list goes on. We have a daily relationship with loaded bike travel!
Matt has been bike touring since he was 17, and set off on a very aggressive pedal across the country on ACA’s Sierra Cascade Route and Northern Tier Route attempting 5,000 miles in two months. After making it all the way to the ACA headquarters in Missoula, Montana and earning his ice cream he was hit by an SUV just east of Missoula and heli-evacuated to the nearest hospital. That accident, which snapped his leg in half and exploded his bicycle is what “saved his life,” as he says. Through the long recovery process he learned to slow down and his relationship to bicycle touring, which had formerly been focused on mileage and destination, is now more focused on the slow and simple pleasures of the road.
Kate has been biking to different ice cream parlors all over California her whole life but didn’t start her first multi-day bike travel until she met Matt. They have been on two bike tours together, one big, one small. On the first one, she had a small heart failure in the mountains of Big Sur and had to bike eight miles of steep uphill to get to cell service. She learned that she has a mild heart condition, and biking is good for it. That “adventure” has been a similar inspiration in her relationship to biking and using her body as a means of excursion – a long journey in patience and thankfulness for the incredible feats that a body can perform!
What is your goal for the route?
Sunshine, lakes, ice cream, back country, rain forest, hot springs, tacos, aged cheeses, and so much laughter.
What do you hope to get out of this journey?
A more intimate understanding of and connection to the Pacific Coast. An opportunity to reconnect to the folks we have met along the way – a real rarity of this type of travel! A relationship to the brands that we use and care about – knowing the people who are making what we are using. We want to live each day 100% fully.
What’s in my bag? List four things that you could not live without (take a photo of each on a neutral background)
Little journals Kate made, Book of poems by Mary Oliver,Our friend’s homemade Organic sunscreen, Rechargeable boom box for pumping James Brown on the climbs
- Pacific Coast Milestones -