Day 7: Home to Oakland, Oregon - South Oregon Coast and Coast Range 2008 - CycleBlaze

July 11, 2008

Day 7: Home to Oakland, Oregon

On the exposed bluff it was sunny early in the morning but it took a while for things to warm up. I'm still amazed at how few insects are around.

Barn near the town of Riddle. In the background is Nickel Mountain, site of the last nickel mine in the U.S. It closed in 1998.
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My campsite is only 8 level miles from the town of Riddle. It was kind of a shock to be back in ranching country after two days in the forest. I passed three huge lumber mills. Riddle is one of Oregon's last remaining mill towns.

South Umpqua river near the town of Riddle.
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After riding across town I crossed I-5 and the South Umpqua river and started heading north, downstream on Old Pacific highway. I stopped to look at a covered bridge in Myrtle Creek. It's right next to the highway connecting to a very nice park. Not an especially beautiful specimen of bridge, though. It was built in 1930, dismantled in 1987, and rebuilt in 1990 in this location as a foot bridge.

Horse Creek covered bridge in the town of Myrtle Creek. 105 feet long, built in 1930.
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While there a local person told me about another bridge just out of town on the Days Creek bypass. So I rode a mile off the route to see that bridge. It's the back entrance to Myrtle Creek Country Club. 42 feet long, the shortest covered bridge in Oregon. Built in 1939 for only $1000.

Neal Lane covered bridge near the town of Myrtle Creek.
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Then I continued north to downtown Myrtle Creek where I turned right to continue north on Dole road. Dole Road and the O&C Railroad on one side of the river, I-5 mostly out of sight and earshot on the other side of the river.

South Umpqua river.
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Dole road, Oregon and California railroad, and the South Umpqua river.
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I took a rest stop on this shady driveway.
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South of Roseburg I turned east onto Clarks Branch road just to see an area I haven't seen before. The road promptly climbs 550 feet through pastures and oak savanna, then descends to Roberts Creek road where I turned right (east) to Dixonville.

Clarks Branch road southeast of Roseburg.
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In Dixonville I headed west towards Roseburg. I came into Roseburg on Douglas Street to avoid the traffic on highway 138.

Douglas County courthouse in downtown Roseburg.
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In downtown Roseburg I stopped at Bagel Tree for a sandwich and smoothie, then continued north on old highway 99. I took a short break at Amacher Park on the North Umpqua river. I saw several people put into the river in various cheap rafts. The park has an impressive view of the newly widened old bridge.

Winchester bridge across the North Umpqua river. Built in 1923 with an 18-foot wide roadway.This year a project was completed to widen the roadway and add a pedestrian walkway. This was my first time to bike across the "new" old bridge.
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Then another 11 miles to get home to Oakland (population 940). The temperature was 90F and there's no shade on highway 99. A few miles are in a no-man's-land between I-5 and the railroad. And I have a headwind. But finally I made it through Sutherlin and into Oakland.

Historic downtown Oakland. Most of the buildings were built in the 1890's.
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I asked my wife Karolyn to take a picture of me in front of the house because I don't have any self-portraits from this tour.

Home again after 7 days and 6 nights on the road. The house was built in 1883.
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Distance: 62.4 miles (99.8 km)
Climbing: 2587 feet (784 m)
Average Speed: 9.5 mph (15.2 km)
Maximum Speed: 33 mph (53 km/h)

That's it. 407 miles (651 km), averaging 58 miles (93 km) per day. 7 days and 6 nights on the road, camping every night. 3 nights I camped for free. The other 3 nights cost a total of $19. 3 of the 7 days had no restaurant on the route, so I only ate 4 lunches at restaurants. Daily expenses were MUCH lower than last year's tour in Canada.

The bike performed fairly well for me. On the first day I noticed that the loaded bike was less stable than it should be. Later that day I noticed that the underseat panniers swayed noticeably. The reason was that I hadn't installed the underseat rack correctly. I didn't bolt the bottom of the rack to the lower crossbar. Instead I made that connection with nylon zip ties. Only on the road did I realize that the bolts are essential to add rigidity to the underseat rack, to reduce the swaying. On day 3 I spent 38 cents at a hardware store in Coos Bay to buy two bolts, nuts, and washers. Bolting the lower crossbar made the underseat rack much more stable. The bike handled fine after that. There were no other problems to work out during the tour. I had no flat tires. I never even pumped the tires or lubed the chain during this tour. So the new bike, racks, and tires seem up to the task of loaded touring.

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On August 28 I plan to start a much longer tour in Boise, Idaho. I will bike a big loop in central Idaho, then bike across the desert of southeastern Oregon back to home. I think the new bike is ready...

Today's ride: 62 miles (100 km)
Total: 407 miles (655 km)

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