We woke up and packed up the tent. The beach was a very comfortable place to sleep, but it did come at a cost; the sand was very sticky from the morning moisture leaving a mess of the tent that was tough to get off.
We rolled down the street to a market in town and bought some milk and cereal. We had to pull teeth to get some plastic spoons and bowls from the guy working there, but his wife came to the rescue and helped us out. We took it next door to a bakery and asked if it would be all right if we ate in there if we bought some pastries or something. The woman working there said, "we don't usually do this but…" Since Subway the day before, I never felt like such a burden on people for asking for so little. It's funny some people will let you stay in the apartment when they've never even met you, and others make you feel like they're bending over backwards giving you a place to sit. We've met all kinds.
After talking to the bakery people for a while, they had us sign their guestbook they had kept at an older store. The woman knew we were bikers leaving a minute later, yet told us to help spread the word, since they were new in town. Yeah, 500 miles away in a week, we'll be clamoring about this bakery that served doughnuts in Winchester Bay! Freaks.
From there we biked about 25 miles to the small town of Charleston. Along the way Paul felt an odd sensation that he was close to home. Not sure why. We encountered some people yelling at us for biking on the road and reducing gas emissions and therefore the price of their gas. Sorry. It was funny too, because as I left them with some choice words, we passed a sign on the road that said "Oregon Coast Bike Route". Ha, as I pointed to the sign with a finger that will go unspecified.
The sun poked through for about 30 seconds in Charleston and lifted our spirits. It was amazing to see it; we missed it dearly.
After we left Charleston we ascended this very steep road called 7 devils rd. It was continually up and down, and I didn't realize until devil number 7 that they were actually referring to the hills on the road. Their was writing on the road for bikers that said something to the effect of "having fun yet?" It was a challenge, but the humor helped. What didn't help was the jokester government worker at devil 1 who told me I was almost there.
Once we made it down the other side of the devils, we ran into some other touring cyclists. After we helped them off the ground (get it?), we talked to them for a bit and found out they were part of a larger group heading into Bandon, where we planned on stopping as well. We cruised ahead and met up with some of the rest of the group and rode with them into Bandon.
When everyone arrived in town, one of the group asked us if we wanted to eat Mexican with them. I wasn't that hungry, but we decided we would be social with them. They told us about how they were from Seattle and were doing the trip to help promote sustainable housing, a going green initiative, which was really cool. They had a pretty relaxed pace, and were doing some volunteering along the way as well. They were finishing up in San Francisco.
After exchanging some stories, we discovered that we actually met the same person throughout our travels. You may remember Evershed, who we met in Montana, who was riding to Oregon to go to a bicycle building school basically. They had met him later on along the Oregon coast where he staked the claim that he had done the tour alone, and insisted that was the only way to do it. When we met him, he was with Evan, the stronger rider who planned on parting ways somewhere in Oregon as Even continued down to Tierra Del Fuego, the southern tip of Argentina. Apparently Evershed was boasting a lot to them, trying to be impressive, and I was glad we could "evershed" some light on the subject. We had a good laugh about it… not the pun, just the dishonesty.
Once we were all done, we went our separate ways as they were staying with some couchsurfers in the area. They were a cool group, but made me realize what a chore more than 1 partner would be. Lots of conflicting ideas.
We rolled to a small town of Langlois, where the owner of a store was closing up shop and came out to ask us if we would like anything before he left. We were okay, but he also informed us that the campground we thought we were going to was 4.5 miles inland. There's no way we were going too add 9 miles to sleep at some campground, so we kept on after that going a greater distance than we had originally planned.
We made it into Port Orford and stopped at a grocer. We got some food, and sat outside for a bit. There we met a guy, and after we got to talking, I asked him where we could camp in the area. He mentioned a spot down the road a mile or so where we could likely fly under the radar and sleep on or near the beach. We figured we'd probably go with that instead of paying to camp. After talking to him for a bit, I looked at his sleeve and noticed the familiar UConn Husky emblem. I brought up the fact that Paul and I both went to UConn, and as Paul would note after the fact, I opened a whole new can of worms. He was a nice guy, but went on for about another 20 minutes about the history of Waterbury, where he was from. He just kept going… this guy might be able to outlast the energizer bunny. It was another small world moment though, so that was cool.
To his credit, the spot that our fellow Connecticutian spoke of was a great place to camp. We were able to again get behind something too block our view from the road, and camped on top of some really comfortable vegetation. This was even better than the beach, and no need to worry about cleanup. It was also a really beautiful place to fall asleep as we listened to the waves crush all night.
Life was good.