Harris Beach State Park to Prairie Creek State Park

Oregon and Northern California Coast Bike Trip: Day 7

Upon the recommendation of the Vista Pub barkeep, after packing up our campsite, we made our way to the last stoplight in town, where we had breakfast at Mattie’s Pancake House. Johanna had eggs, pancakes, and red potatoes and I had the blueberry pancakes, which were wrapped like crepes. Lots of coffee was consumed as well! After breakfast, we soon passed a major milestone for our trip: the border between Oregon and California.

Heading south yet again, we passed through some coastline before heading inland on less-travelled roads, eventually coming to Crescent City. Apart from the Starbucks, we were mostly unimpressed wiith this town, but at least part of that could be do to the continued fog. After making a second stop in town at Safeway to pick up bread, oatmeal, and other provisions for the next few meals, we headed out and onto the major climb of the day.

The climb outside of Crescent City moved upward into increasingly dense and large growth, eventually gaining just over 1000 feet of elevation. This climb was billed as the second hardest of the trip, but we made short work of it and enjoyed a speedy descent down the other side.

(Descent video coming soon…)
Upon reaching the end of the climb, we found ourselves at an ideal lunch spot, sitting by the sea in half-fog, half-sun. We spent a while looking out and devouring our Safeway-bought sandwiches before continuing on.

Soon, we came to Trees of Mystery, an attraction that had been advertised roadside for several days of riding. We were greeted by an oversize Paul Bunyan and Blue, one of which shocked and amused the children playing below as he seemed to hear and respond to their every noise. After trudging up the half-mile trail, albeit through beautiful redwoods, we came to the gondolas meant to take us to the top of the treeline. This was definitely a highlight of the trip, and as we neared the top of the tramway, the sun broke through the fog for the first time in days.

Having spent over an hour off the bike, we were eager to continue on up the climb to the next city, Klamath. The town was a raucous mix of locals and Yurok tribesmen returning home for the yearly “Salmon Festival” and we felt quite out of place as we stopped to refuel.

Climbing out of the ravine that housed the transient town of Klamath, we came to the turnoff to Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park, only to find that we were still seven miles shy of the actual campground. After an additional mile and a half of climbing, we pulled out the speakers and tuned into some Aerosmith to get us in. Mostly descent from there, we breezed through spectacular redwood groves for a number of miles before entering the campground through a clearing known for its frequent elk sightings.

Setting up camp, we had two concerns: the temperature had topped out at 58 for the day and was plummeting downward and we were instructed to use the bear boxes located next to our site. Matt and several other bicycle tourist pulled into the hiker/biker sites soon after us and it was good to again be around the familiar. With no sign of bear and breakfast link sausages cooking on an active fire, we settled into another night under the stars.

Garmin 500 Data:

Distance: 63.04 miles
Elevation Gain: 3,307 feet
Avg Speed: 10.1 mph
Avg Moving Speed: 12.4 mph
Max Speed: 39.2 mph
Avg Temperature: 63.4F
Min Temperature: 55.4F
Max Temperature: 77F

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