Monday, June 17, 2019

Day 16 - Winchester to Bullards Beach

Heat, and hills, and wind - oh my!
Distance: 47 miles

This morning we depart our campsite up a hill yet again, except for some reason it doesn't feel as bad as it did yesterday. We are thankful for that!
We roll up and down a few hills in similar terrain as yesterday, surrounded by pine trees and lakes.
A short 18 miles in we hit a beautiful bridge over Coos Bay into North Bend. It's another one with beautiful scenery where the cross winds try hard to push you into traffic as you desperately try not to overcorrect and smash into the side wall. But it's soooo pretty! But don't look up!

Almost every side street as we go through North Bend has a cross wind strong enough to make Chris yelp a warning. I look up to see him swerve as I launch in and wobble myself. Weeeheheheee!

We stop at another local cafe called Top Dog Coffee Co and get amazing breakfast bagels. We did not go back and order another one..... I swear! ;)

We finally turn south and hope to have the wind at our back as we wind our way up
Seven Devil's Road. This is a detour from Charleston to Brandon, as bikes are encouraged to stay off hwy 101. Unsure quite what to expect, we launch up a hill that has us in our granny gears right off the start. It's a narrow winding road with no shoulders.  The uphills are cruel and our quads burn, but this is the biking we live for and both of us are a bit too jolly as we make the ascent. At the top  (of the first devil) we are treated to rolling hills much like we're used to on the gulf islands, some of which are made even better by a tailwind pushing us along. When we get views they're created by clear cutting, but we can see mountains for days! The low clouds are blowing so fast overhead it feels like we're chasing them.

Halfway-ish through the seven devil's (we forgot to count) we lost our marbles. We think we're on the final descent but another uphill smacks us in the face. Chris takes the uphill while singing a raucus rendition of the Devil Went Down to Georgia. It's like he doesn't even notice it's an uphill! I'm 200m behind him, losing ground quickly as I pant up the hill. I don't even think he stops to breathe. He gets to the chorus and shouts HIT IT! In my defense, I tried. I got a few words out that morphed into I can't sing on this uphill I'm breathing too hard.... How did you even do that?!

The descent is a super flowy fun winding joyous one. Chris takes off so fast I nearly lost him.

We arrive at Bullards Beach, set up camp, then discover the wonderful danger of push button showers! Just one more push... ten pushes later. These Oregon campgrounds spoil us!

Before dinner we walked the 3/4 mile to the beach along the board walk, while swatting at the first real mosquitoes we've encountered this trip. Despite what the guide book said, there was no scenic Oregon sunset to be had. Instead we were greeted by mist and a cold wind.

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