Field Guide Bike Tour-Day 14/Humbug Mountain to Harris Beach

June 23rd, 2010 by

Humbug Mountain campsite

Humbug Mountain campsite

The morning sunshine glinted through the ferns alongside the streams of Humbug Mountain and did nothing to ease my early morning grump. Nick woke up singing and whistling and generally creeping me out. He seemed excited to be camping and thrilled to be making cowboy coffee in this damp and bug-filled dawn. Turns out, Humbug Mountain is aptly named. There were swarms of the blighters everywhere and we were eager to get going to escape them. A hearty oatmeal breakfast and away we went.

Captain Cheerful eats his oatmeal

The day started out with a 600 or so foot climb, which I was entirely too sleepy for. I realized I had better get adjusted to sleeping on the ground as soon as possible if I was going to make our required daily mileage. Climbing up the mountain, we ended up in the midst of a prehistoric dinosaur stampede. I was afraid at first but Nick broke out his raptor claws, did a bit of a fey dance, let out a few screeching calls and we were in with pack. They gave us their blessing and we finished our mountain climb in relative ease.

Coming down the other side, we were treated to our first real views of the majesty of the Southern Oregon coast. There were wonderful stretches of sandy beach picturesquely scattered with large rocks. As we cycled along, the weather alternated between sun and fog and both were equally pleasing to look at.

Nick on the bridge

We stopped in Gold Beach to get a some lunch and hit up a bike shop to put some air in our tires from their floor stand. The bike shop owner seemed annoyed that we were there and he sort of tossed a floor pump in our direction and went back to his duties. Something was not quite right with the pump he lent us and it tore the valve off of Nick’s tube. Not realizing the pump had caused the damage, Nick tried mine and it tore as well. We changed the flats with our extra tubes we had packed and got out of there as quickly as possible.

The day passed quickly as the views were so distracting and, once again, we were racing the sunset to camp. Despite the failing light, we couldn’t resist a quick hike or two to some of the secret coves which are so abundant on that part of the coast.

When we reached the campground, we found it pleasantly spacious and situated in a tree-covered forest area, away from the hustle and bustle of the RV sites. We fixed dinner and heard many of the other campers whispering about the next day which included two very tall climbs, one from sea level to 1,300 feet, the other somewhere near 1,000 feet. But it had been a long day and we were too tired to stress and so, in the shadows of giants, we tumbled off to sleep.

….which may or not have been filled with all the dangers one risks when visiting the coast. Think about it people!



Lots of things to worry about at the beach

I'm not even sure what the warning is here