Day Two: Roseburg, Oregon to "Umpqua's Last Resort" RV Park - Oregon Coast to Kentucky WITH NO FLAT TIRES! - CycleBlaze

June 11, 2019

Day Two: Roseburg, Oregon to "Umpqua's Last Resort" RV Park

I woke up at 5:00 to find that it was already light outside. I should have gotten up earlier and avoided some of the record-breaking heat that was being discussed every five minutes on the Oregon TV stations I watched in my room.

I got everything back on the bike and walked down to the lobby/breakfast area to find that the same cable "news" channel that annoyed me when I checked in yesterday was once again blaring. Ugh.

After quickly eating some scrambled eggs and fried potatoes, I got on the bike, crossed the South Umpqua River and took backstreets to get out of Roseburg. Buckhorn Road was great, with very little traffic. I stopped at a country store after a few miles, and purchased a Diet Pepsi and an apple fritter. I'd noticed the "No Public Restroom!" sign as soon as I walked in the place, but the two women working at the store were friendly, and I felt an urgent need for a bathroom, so I asked "Is there REALLY not a bathroom"? As I'd suspected - based on similar experiences while bike touring - the women confirmed that the sign was actually a ruse to prevent known problem customers from abusing the bathroom. "Some people just can't be nice to a bathroom!" one of the women said. I had some trouble finding the light switch for the bathroom, and instead inadvertently turned off the store lights, and turned on a large, noisy industrial fan in the ceiling of the store, but the women didn't seem bothered by my mistake. 

Best country store of the trip!

I actually don't get this - will you lose your hand and have to replace it with a hook if you don't wash? I may be overthinking it.
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Soon after that, I did the first big climb of the day, which, now that I'd figured out how to read the elevation profiles on the RideWithGps appp, I was expecting.

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Not long after the descent I encountered two sets of actual working sheepdogs and the sheep they were guarding. Each time I passed by, the dog would bark and run up to the fence, then move his sheep away. Pretty cool - I don't think I'd ever encountered a sheepdog at work. They seemed effective, and I was impressed. And also happy that they didn't abandon their charges to run out into the road and chase me. Those dogs were professionals.

Sheepdog at work.
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After a stop in the small town of Glide, where I walked into a store and broke a 50 dollar bill to buy $1.09 of chocolate milk, I got on Oregon-138, where I'd be for a couple of days. The rest of the day was a steady climb. Traffic, mostly recreational, was annoyingly heavy for a while, but then it thinned out. It was very hot by now. I had perhaps been too rash earlier in my scoffing at the TV newscasters' dire warnings, some of which ("Don't exert yourself unless you have to!", "Don't wear tight clothing!") I was obviously ignoring.

The road was a scenic byway that followed the North Umpqua River, and there were lots of places to pull off and hike, or get in the river. I stopped several times to eat snacks, including salted peanuts, something which I'd never tried on a bike ride before, but which my wife had recently suggested. I'm willing to try anything to avoid the painful cramping and bonking that afflicted my rides last year.

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Connie JohnsonLooks like bear country to me.
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1 year ago
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At one of these stops, a man walked up, and, having observed my bike, asked where I was going. We talked a while, and I was stunned to find that he had grown up near where I'm from. This has literally never happened on my many travels by bike. My experience is that the vast majority of people from the Fleming County area never leave, or at least don't leave Kentucky. John Nutter from Sharkey, though, had moved all the way to Oregon, and had been there for twenty years. He'd resisted the pull of My Old Kentucky home, unlike me.

I continued to climb, and it continued to be hot. It had to be over 100 degrees by now. I'd seen on the map yesterday that there was something called the Dry Creek Store, which was the last chance for food and water for many more miles up the mountain, and as I climbed, I became concerned that I'd somehow missed it, which was obviously improbable, since, like on yesterday's giant gravel climb, all there was to see was roaring water to my right, and mountainside on my left. I hadn't had cell service for hours, though, so I couldn't be completely sure how far away the store was.

So I was pretty excited when I rounded a curve and saw the store. I immediately purchased and chugged a chocolate milk, followed by a Gatorade. That accomplished, I hung out at the air-conditioned store for a half hour, pestering the owners, a British guy and his younger American partner, with numerous questions about what was ahead on the road. They confirmed that it was 32 more miles to my original destination of the day, Diamond Lake, and added that Diamond Lake was at 5,000 feet, while the store was at 1,500. And also - it was currently 102 degrees, and wouldn't cool down for hours. They said there was a private campground just up the road, or various water-less primitive campgrounds past that.

At the Dry Creek Store. I'm really digging on the Umpqua Dairy chocolate milk the last couple of days.
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Steele HintonAsk your mom what the temp was here in Fleming County today.
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1 year ago

After a few minutes mulling the situation over, I made what was for me a rare prudent bike touring decision, and decided to stop for the day at only 52 miles, even thought I REALLY wanted to get farther up the road today. Perhaps I was convinced by the memories of three different collapses while pushing myself too hard on bike rides last year when I was woefully out of shape.

In any case, I rode 500 feet to "Umpqua's Last Resort" RV park, and obtained the last "camping" cabin - It didn't have its own water or bathroom, but there was an air conditioner. I asked if anyone would deliver a pizza to the RV park, and, receiving laughter at this notion, ate some snacks instead.

New plan: Ride out super early tomorrow and get to higher elevations, and cooler temperatures, ASAP.

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Today's ride: 52 miles (84 km)
Total: 137 miles (220 km)

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