RideEatCamp

PCH – Day 4

Pacific Coast

Since riding from Corvallis, no, since reading about riding this route, I’d been anticipating viewing Oregon’s ruggedly beautiful coastline. Yet since we’d hopped on the Scenic Highway in Florence, we’d had only little glimpses of what Oregon had to offer. Occasionally through a clearing in the dense forests that surround both sides of the highway, we’d see some dark blue water in the distance. Through towns like Coos Bay, we crossed a bridge where river and ocean met, but we had no real views of the famous coast. I was beginning to think that all of the splendid views were north of Florence, that we’d be stuck with only a taste of the coast: fog and sand dunes.

As we were passing through the town of Port Orford, two big white words were painted on a steep street ahead of us. The words read: OCEAN VIEW. I suggested to Peter that we diverge from our route to see if these words were in fact the gospel. I was skeptical at this point, but I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to see the danged Oregon coast if this was the only chance we’d get.

The words are encouraging, but I will we really have an ocean view?
The words are encouraging, but I will we really have an ocean view?

So we climbed the steep street, passed the OCEAN VIEW, and then as soon as we crested the hill, wham! There it was. Mammoth rocks jutted from the nearby shore like large eggs being dipped dark blue for Easter, while the jagged edges of Oregon met the wild surf of the Pacific Ocean until a sliver of fog obscured the view along the horizon. Webster could paste a picture of this view to replace the definition for magnificent and everyone would understand.

Our first view of Oregon's coastline after climbing past OCEAN VIEW.
Our first view of Oregon’s coastline after climbing past OCEAN VIEW.
A kite surfer shreds some waves, taking advantage of some ripping norwesters.
A kite surfer shreds some waves, taking advantage of some ripping norwesters.

For the next 50 miles we were treated to more gorgeous coastline. Even better was that traffic died off significantly once we passed the town of Gold Beach. Even betterer was that we had a kick-ass tailwind the whole ride. If the rest of our trip turns out to be more busy roads enclosed in forest, I think the ride today would make the effort worth it.