Shayne Khajehnoori
Pacific Coast
Florence, OR to Crescent City, CA The Hoh rainforest is one of the most magical temperate forests that I have had the pleasure of visiting.  Giant spruces and hemlocks tower nearly 300 feet overhead, while delicate mosses and lichens cling to their limbs.  

Cycling south of Forks, WA, I followed the Hoh River east nearly twenty miles to the Hoh Campground.  Riding the gentle rolling hills through the old growth forest gave me plenty of views of the Hoh River, a mild class II river.  The water level drops considerably in the summer, but a recent heat wave had melted the Hoh glacier and others atop Mount Olympus and had pushed just enough extra water into the river to make it runnable. The low water levels had exposed a few extra hazards along the way, and I noticed a lot more large boulders than I remember seeing last year when I paddled this same river.  Nevertheless, I had lugged the packraft and gear this far, and I was determined to at least attempt a run.

Returning from the Hoh Campground, I spotted a put-in about 9 miles from the river’s intersection with Highway 101, where I would take out.  I unpacked the bike, and loaded up the packraft. Once again, utilizing the Blackburn Barrier panniers as dry bags, I secured my gear and the bike to the raft and set off.  Roadblock.  As I came to the first blind turn, not even 500 yards down river, I was greeted by an enormous log jam, completely blocking the river.  Cursing my luck, I managed to drag my loaded raft back up river and to the road.  Packing, unpacking, packing again, I tried my luck at another put-in.  This time I chose wisely.  It was a clear run from here.

Every time I set off on a paddling trip, a sense of calm sets in.  The feeling of floating on the water, allowing the current to guide you, is incredibly peaceful.  It brings me to the same feeling that coasting down a giant hill offers.  Relaxed intensity. Reading a river is like reading a trail.  Scanning ahead for avoidable obstacles, directing the boat into the perfect line through a rapid, it all is reminiscent of mountain biking. Instincts kick in, heightened awareness develops. The mind enters the now, unable to be distracted by anything other than the rapid’s foaming smiles greeting you ahead.

As I approached the take-out, I prepared myself for the upcoming Class II section of the river.  I had paddled this portion last year, and I tried my best to remember the approach.  The roar of the river cascading around giant boulders grew louder as I made the final turn.  With the river level so low, more rock was exposed than I remembered, making the rapids much more mild, but the path through a little more tricky.  A smile smeared across my face.  Adrenaline kicked in, and with no problem, I negotiated the series of fun rapids and eddied out, landing the packraft at the beautiful Oxbow environmental camp at the river’s junction with 101.

- IMAGES OF THE ROAD -

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Shayne Khajehnoori

Gear List

- My Blackburn Gear -

- MY BIKE SPECS -

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Shayne Khajehnoori
  • The inspiration for my upcoming cycling and paddling adventure is rooted in my desire for exploration, both internally and externally. I am able to better fully understand myself and learn from others as well as my environment when I launch myself into the unknown. The excitement lies in every rotation of the cranks, every untraveled road, and every unexplored river and coast. Adventure is the currency that I barter in, and my bike, my trading post.

    Over the last four years, I have embarked on several multi-day bicycle and bike-rafting tours throughout the west coast including the Humboldt Redwoods, the Northern California coast, and the Olympic Peninsula. My personal highlight was bike-rafting from Seattle to Portland via the Olympic Peninsula. With my packraft carefully nestled atop my rear rack, restlessly waiting for inflation, I was able to mix adventure cycling with some hair-raising whitewater paddling on several rivers on my way through the Washington. This upcoming trip, I am excited to revisit these same waterways and explore more as I head south through Oregon and California.

    I have several goals for my trip, all challenging in their own way. As I disconnect from the habitual daily rituals that dictate my current life schedule, I gladly welcome the ability to set aside time and energy to focus on self-exploration and development through writing, photography, videography, breathing and meditation. My goal is not to log a hundred miles a day or climb 5000 feet a day, but to allow myself to stay open and seek out new experiences, people, thrills, and uncertainties.

    This coastal journey from Canada to Mexico will undoubtedly be a life altering event. Through my communion with my bike, packraft and the environment around me, I hope to learn something new every step of the way. My focus does not solely rest on what I can get out of this journey, but also on what I can give. A poem, a picture, a prayer, a smile, a hug, an inspirational glimpse at adventure. I hope to open myself up in a way where I am in a position to give as well as receive, to equitably exchange knowledge, joy and energy with people and my surroundings.
  • What’s in my bag? Packraft - This is the best way for me to get off the road and explore more remote areas.

    Cameras (Canon 60D & GoPro Hero 4 Black) - These are absolutely essential tools for documenting the adventure ahead.

    Fishing pole - I’m hoping to snag some surfperch and rockfish.

    Homemade, homegrown, organic healing salve - A combination of calendula, yarrow, comfrey, and plantain from my garden, infused in coconut oil with a bit of arnica oil and lavender essential oils. Great for cuts, abrasions, sun burn, sore muscles, or giving a massage.

    Recorder - A simple musical instrument. Nothing like busting out a Disney show-tune around the campfire.

- MUST HAVES -

- Pacific Coast Milestones -