Looking for the same experience as the last ride is perhaps the wrong attitude to have taken this time around but it proved to be no less magical a second time around.
I did manage to ride with a fellow from Canada for a few days starting from Humbug mountain on through the redwood forests. Patrick was a guy who in many ways seemed to be mirroring my first ride down with constant bike problems and not having the right gear for the time of year. Luckily for him I had a spare set of long johns and other warm clothes to help him get through the colder nights. According to rangers I spoke to on the way through Oregon the number of cyclists had certainly started to dwindle in the week before I got there, which I wasn’t very surprised at.
Much of Oregon is as I remembered it, except the hills got a lot easier a second time through. It is just as beautiful as I thought, which is a good thing since I encourage just about everyone I meet that they should do the Pacific Coast on a bike and especially Oregon. I thought I might have been more prepared for the attack of raccoons this time around always securing my bags at night before going to sleep. This didn’t deter them very much getting a few of my bagels one night and some of my granola bars. I hate raccoons. Another night they put some small holes into my panniers, which was probably one of my worst fears. Which means that one of my waterproof panniers is no longer water proof. I can see people laughing at me on this one, and on the whole I can see why. I just wish that Oregon put in bear boxes on their campgrounds like California does, it would make life so much easier and less frustrating.
I have to thank Mr. Ed from Oregon for dinner and all the smoked salmon he shared. I met Mr. Ed as he was cycling into the park and we got to talking about travels and he invited me to dinner which was really great. He had just landed a 48lbs salmon a few days previously and had been busy smoking it. He talked a lot about Spain as he’d had 14 trips there so far and I got to share a lot about other countries. He loaded me up with some salmon steaks and a heap of smoked salmon which I shared with some other campers when I got back to camp.
Getting to the Drury Parkway in Northern California is probably the best stretch to cycle down, for those that have gone down this particular stretch they probably remember it well. It’s one of the first tastes of the redwood forests and probably the most magical. There is very little traffic on this road and you coast downhill for almost 10 minutes in the quiet hush of the redwoods. I don’t think I would ever get tired of this road as the magic there is only interrupted occasionally by a passing car. I almost get annoyed by being intruded upon but their sight and sound is quickly swallowed by the forest and again your alone in the forest of Endor.
One more update for the rest of the way down the coast and some pictures.