Day 7: Williams loop - Going Rogue 2020 - CycleBlaze

June 3, 2020

Day 7: Williams loop

Today is a short easy rest day. Only 25 miles, with one pannier empty and no big hills. I got up at 9:15 and walked to the store at 10 to order breakfast. Scrambled eggs, sausage, hash browns, toast. Take out only.

I sat around and enjoyed the view from my deck. Finally on the road at 11:30. Today's ride is during peak heat but the high was only 77F. That's close to normal.

Morning sun gives a good view from the bridge looking downstream past the lodge.

Applegate river and Applegate River Lodge from the Applegate bridge in the village of Applegate.
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I pedaled west on OR 238 for 4.5 level miles, then turned left onto Williams highway. Williams highway stays fairly close to Williams creek but has some rolling hills.

View from Williams highway looking towards the Siskiyou range.
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Williams creek is quite small, flowing out of the Siskiyou mountains. Big enough to sustain a small town and farm valley.

Williams creek, a tributary of the Applegate river.
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New barn to replace a disintegrating old barn.
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Williams is a historic pioneer town but only a few historic buildings survive. I looked around the Williams General Store. The refrigerator cases might be from 1940. I bought 4 excellent ripe peaches.

Shopping at Williams General Store is like stepping back in time.
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Williams seems to be thriving considering the remote location. At the end of a long dead end road, 30 miles from the nearest Walmart.

Williams has a small elementary school. Older kids have a long bus ride to Grants Pass.
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North of Williams I turned onto Water Gap road which is the busiest road to Williams. It had more hills than I expected but nothing big.

Water Gap road north of Williams. The main road from Williams to Grants Pass.
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For several decades Williams has thrived as an organic farming town. The character changed in the last 10 years as deep-pockets cannabis growing operations moved in and built giant fences in farm neighborhoods.

Everybody knows what grows in greenhouses behind tall solid fences, with no sign.
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We have bought their plants before.
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My excursion to Williams made a loop to reduce the amount of backtracking. I'm glad I did the loop. Otherwise I would never have seen the 1914 China Arch bridge. I really, really like when pedestrians and cyclists can go onto decomissioned old bridges.

Rare 1914 "China Arch" bridge over Williams creek.
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The old arch bridge was replaced by the present OR 238 bridge in 1996. I appreciate that visitors can still go on the old bridge.
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I didn't buy anything at Provolt Country Store. I just watched it for a while, thinking about all the people who have passed by over the years.

Provolt Country Store has been at the intersection of OR 238 and Williams highway since 1875.
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OR 238 returning to Applegate.
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Just before crossing the Applegate bridge I parked the bike on the left side and followed the path next to the Sacred Spot sign.

I had to stop at the Sacred Spot 1/4 mile from the lodge.
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The Sacred Spot is quite nice, but kind of rocky. Easy wading access into the river. The deepest area is about 2 feet deep with a very strong current. I didn't swim now but did go skinny dipping here a few hours later.

Sacred Spot. Applegate river.
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The final stop was to admire the 1934 Applegate bridge. It's an internal truss bridge design that was common in the 1920's and 1930's. Most have been replaced by newer concrete bridges. Only a few remain. In my county a similar looking bridge across the Umpqua river in Scottsburg is about to be replaced.

1934 truss bridge over the Applegate river. A very conventional design by Conde McCullough. Lodge on the left, store straight ahead.
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Back at the lodge I took a 1.5 hour nap, then went to look for dinner just before 6 PM. I was dreading what I would have to buy in the store since their cafe is only open for breakfast and lunch.  I discovered a food truck in front of the store that is open until 6. Got a pulled pork sandwich, her last customer. She was already closed when I arrived yesterday just after 6 PM.

Applegate country store obviously has problems with certain types of people.
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This is my second night at the Goldmining room at Applegate River Lodge. I only just noticed that my big fancy room has no television. I never turned on a TV during this tour. The room also has no fridge or microwave. Fortunately the lobby has a hot water kettle.

The Goldmining room has no shower but it has a giant bath tub with gold fixtures.
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It felt good to have a lazy day. It wasn't a zero mile rest day but it still qualifies as a rest day. At my age, frequent easy days are a tactic to avoid getting so exhausted that I need zero mile rest days.

Distance: 25 mi. (40 km)
Ascent/Descent: +654/-654 ft. (+199/-199 m)
Average Speed: 9.5 mph (15.2 km/h)

Today's ride: 25 miles (40 km)
Total: 250 miles (402 km)

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