Day 3: Rogue River to White City via Table Rocks - Going Rogue 2020 - CycleBlaze

May 30, 2020

Day 3: Rogue River to White City via Table Rocks

I have been checking the hourly weather forecast often to see when the rain is predicted to start. Yesterday it was predicted to start at 5 AM. Now it looks like it will start pouring at 10 AM.

I got up at 6 and on the road at 7:40 after a room service breakfast. Today is supposed to be cold but the temperature was a freakishly warm 68F. Dark gray skies, super humid, brisk southwest wind.

I pedaled east from the town of Rogue River on highway 99. Finally traffic is light because it's farms instead of rural residential. I passed miles of vineyards belonging to Del Rio Winery. Biggest winery I've seen in southern Oregon.

Vineyard at Del Rio Winery east of Rogue River.
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I stopped to look at an old farm house that belongs to Del Rio Winery. The construction is very fascinating. The oldest part of the house was built without nails. Super thick rough cut logs and dado joints. Probably in the 1850's. Other parts of the house look like they were built 20 or 30 years later.

Fascinating old ranch house at Del Rio vineyards. The oldest part is logs held together by dado joints.
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Highway 99 stays close to the river between Rogue River and Gold Hill. There were a few river views. It's fairly quiet and tranquil. I-5 is across the river and far enough away that the noise isn't obnoxious.

Rogue river and highway 99. I-5 is across the river.
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The mythical mini-state of Jefferson is a rural separatist movement in southwest Oregon and northwest California.
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Sign about Jefferson from a previous tour.
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I display the flag of the mythical mini-nation of Cascadia.
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Map of the Cascadia eco-region.
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I stopped for a few minutes to look at the 1919 concrete arch bridge near the Del Rio Winery tasting room. It's about halfway between Rogue River and Gold Hill in an enchanting rural valley.

I scrambled down the rocks to see the side of the 1919 Rock Point bridge. A Conde McCullough design.
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View from the bridge.
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The bridge is a good place to stop and take pictures. It looked like it could rain any minute.

Rogue river looking upstream from the bridge.
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Going Rogue, rain or shine.
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I pedaled through the town of Gold Hill where I originally intended to spend last night and tonight. Gold Hill isn't really known as a historic town but it was settled in the early 1850's and has a few buildings from early frontier times.

I planned to stay 2 nights in Gold Hill but the RV park quit renting rooms.
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I like the pointy dormers on this Victorian house in Gold Hill.
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Gold Hill is a dreary town. It doesn't seem to be thriving. The area has far more RV parks than I saw anywhere else in the Rogue valley. Little or no growth or gentrification here!

Sleepy downtown Gold Hill.
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Gold Hill, Oregon.
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In Gold Hill I turned left onto Sams Valley Road (OR 234) which follows the north bank of the Rogue river upstream. I passed 3 excellent roadside BLM recreation areas. The first is Ti'lomikh falls. Another one has a distant view of a waterfall called Gold Rush falls. There was occasional light rain.

Ti'lomikh falls on the Rogue river. A sacred fishing spot for the Takelma Indians.
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The temperature steadily dropped all morning, from 68F at 8 AM to 55F at 11 AM. A huge contrast from the previous two hot days.

Madrone tree at Upper Gold Rush Falls wayside.
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After 5 miles close to the river, Sams Valley road turns away from the river and towards Upper Table Rock. My original plan for today included an 11 mile loop around Upper Table Rock. The miles are flat and easy but I don't want to do 11 more miles in the rain.

Upper Table Rock straight ahead.
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I turned right on Wheeler road to see the Lower Table Rock trailhead. I already knew it was closed. If the weather was nice I might bandit the trail to the top of the 900 foot cliff. Definitely not when lightning is flashing in 3 directions.

It's not my destiny to do this hike if the trailhead is barricaded and lightning is flashing in 3 directions.
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Heavy rain started soon after I passed the trailhead. Very wet for the last 6 miles. Traffic was kind of heavy but it's flat and most of it has a paved shoulder.

Lower Table Rock near the trailhead.
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I joined the Rogue river at 700 feet elevation and stayed close to the river going upstream to 1200 feet elevation. I stopped to look upstream from the Table Rocks road bridge. This is as far upstream as I see the Rogue during this tour but I pedaled the upper Rogue river on two previous tours.

Rogue river looking upstream from Table Rock road in the rain. This is as far as I go up the Rogue river, only 1200 feet elevation.
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I arrived at the Best Western White City a few minutes after 11 AM. That worked out because they won't even consider letting anybody check into a room before yesterday's checkout time. They had a room ready to go thanks to a no-show last night. The room is $90, much cheaper than last night's Best Western even though this is Saturday night.

Rainy view of dreary suburban sprawl from my 4th floor room in White City.
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It rained all afternoon. Sometimes heavy, sometimes not so heavy. But many hours of rain. About an inch of accumulation which is a lot for this time of year. The temperature stayed at 55F all afternoon.

I took a nap, washed clothes, shaved, wrote the journal. I tried to get a burger at McDonalds but they were only open for drive thru business. Bicyles and pedestrians weren't allowed to use the drive thru. So I went back to the Apple Peddler restaurant for a sit down dinner. Strange that one restaurant has indoor dining and another won't even allow me to do carry out.

Today was short and flat. Somewhat difficult only because of cold and rain. I had a LOT of time to rest and recuperate in the afternoon so I'm well rested for tomorrow which will be more challenging.

Distance: 24.1 mi. (38.6 km)
Ascent/Descent: +637/-488 ft. (+194/-149 m)
Average Speed: 10 mph (16 km/h)

Today's ride: 24 miles (39 km)
Total: 104 miles (167 km)

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