Sunday, October 7, 2012

Day 12: Bandon to Gold Beach, OR

We rolled out of the Best Western in Bandon, OR around 8 am. The morning was cold, but clear and the first 22 miles were rolling hills through farmlands and the occasional small hamlet.  Along the way I came across the roadside studio of local artist, Angela Haseltine Pozzi. Angela is the inspiration behind the Washed Ashore Project. Using discarded and recycled materials gathered from local beaches, she has created amazing works of art that draw attention to the problem of pollution and non-biodegradable materials littering our beaches. Unfortunately, her studio was closed but she did have an example of her art outside on Highway 101. The photo doesn't do it justice but Avery, the Giant Bird is made entirely of plastic bottles, old shoes, bottle caps, plastic bags, etc.  It was both beautiful and sobering knowing that it was composed entirely of waste carelessly cast into the ocean. 

About 24 miles into our ride, as we made our descent into Port Orford, the temperature dropped to the low 40s as everything became shrouded in fog. After stopping for a small bowl of chili hoping to get warmed up, we pressed on through the fog. On our right we could hear the waves breaking the shore, but with visibility less than 15 feet, we weren't able to see much beyond the guardrail. I wore my "great pumpkin" biking jersey so that I was visible to traffic. I'm glad I did since I was barely able to see the other riders in my group. Safety is always a concern, so while day-glow orange isn't my color of choice, I'm glad to have had the jersey. Sadly, the fog created few photo opportunities and the only other shots I have from today was of this dinosaur guarding the entrance to the Prehistoric Gardens

It was a tough day of riding.  In addition to the cold and fog, there was a headwind that meant a lot of time in low gear peddling at a faster cadence, but with less force. In most cases, low gears are reserved for cycling uphill (high gear when cycling downhill and a medium gear when cycling on a flat road), but the headwind gave us little choice and our pace was slowed considerably. By the time we rolled into Gold Beach, Oregon we had been cycling nearly 6 hours and all I wanted to do was to get into a hot shower.

Below is the map of today's route from Bandon to Gold Beach, Oregon. 

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