I have to preface this blog post by admitting that this is a MUCH wordier blog then I am used to writing. I know people like short and sweet and tend to get lost after one paragraph. However I wanted to write this in a way that would help anyone to completely replicate this ride and have an adventure of their own (including campsites, food stops, dinner options, routes, etc). That said, I've bulleted each days details to condense the information a bit, so feel free to skip all the words and just use each days "details" section!:) I won't be crushed I promise...I tend to get lost in wordy blogs myself and almost always just end up looking at the pretty pictures!
Two years ago Olivia and I rode from Fairfax to San Luis Obisbo. This adventure sparked a need for MORE and we have become a bit addicted to the idea of planning and pursuing more and more crazy adventures. Last year we upped it a bit and rode from Eureka back to Fairfax via the lost coast and HWY 1 (Click Here to see that blog post). This year we wanted to take it even further and decided to add Oregon into the mix! Neither of us had ever seen the Oregon coast so we were excited to pursue some unknown territory. This would double our adventures length and add another beautiful state into the mix as well as a city I've always wanted to explore, Portland! Thankfully we have an incredible friend, the wonderful Anna Grace Christiansen, who lives in Portland and agreed to join us on the first leg of our crazy adventure! So on the 10th of January Olivia and I flew with our bikes to Portland, hung out with Anna Grace and explored the city of Portland! We ended a wonderful day at dinner with another kick ass cyclist Brianne Walle and her girlfriend Karey, and then woke up bright and early the next morning to begin Day 1 of our adventure.... #TnOPortland2Fairfax :)
Day 1 - Portland to depoe bay
We woke up bright and early (around 6:30 AM) on the 11th of January to the smell of delicious coffee already brewed and waiting for us. Anna Grace might be the best host ever as she had incredible coffee made, and was cooking up GF pancakes, bacon and eggs, with homemade maple syrup and jam just to add to the already incredible spread! It was the absolute best way to start the trip. Sitting in her living room, sipping coffee, eating delicious food, listening to Bob Dylon and prepping for an epic day on the bike with amazing people...I couldn't have been happier!
And then one of the most important and awesome aspects of our journey arrived, my Dad, Rick Wiles, with his brand new travel trailer in tow! Last year my Dad also joined us on our adventure, meeting us first in Eureka to grab out luggage and then drove ahead each day to our destination to get set up in various hotels. This year we upped our game with his trailer and were able to camp along the way, which not only saves money, but is just a blast! It was a lot of work for him setting up and pulling down the trailer each day but he admittedly enjoyed the process and playing with his new "toy" :) Our adventures would not have been possible without my Pops and his willingness to follow us crazy cyclists around! Yep that definitely deserves a #bestdadever :)
Then we were off! Anna Grace had mapped out a great route for us from Portland to the Coast via some spectacular roads. One of my favorite roads of the entire journey was Nestucca road, it is this incredible climb/descent lined with giant mossy trees running alongside a rushing river. The colors were spectacular, pictures could never do it justice! If you are ever in the area or riding from Portland to the coast it is a MUST ride stretch of road. There is a dirt section but it is hard packed dirt, easily ridable and adds an element of excitement when it is wet, muddy and slippery ;)
Our first refuel spot of the day was in a town called Yamhill, great little small town kooky convenient store/antique shop, what more could you want! Anna Grace, queen of the iron stomach, consumed her first corn dog of the journey (and a ride on the "for free" health rider) while I settled for a snickers and some really bad coffee!
Our second stop of the journey was just as we reached the 101 in the town of Beaver. There was a wonderfully sketchy looking convenient store/gun shop called Fox Grocery and Firearms where there was kettle chips and the first cookies of the trip ready for us to consume after 110+ miles in the saddle. We made this stop fairly quick as we were fighting daylight, then kicked it back in gear as we still had 20 or so miles to go before reaching Depoe Bay, our first campsite!
We rode into Lincoln City as the sun was setting and booked it the final 6 miles (in the pitch black...not recommended...however we had awesome Lezyne Lights to light the way!) and made it to our first camp site which was by far the BEST one of the trip. We stayed at Sea & Sand RV park in Depoe Bay and our campsite was literally on the beach, a stones throw away from being in the ocean, so awesome!
Here are the Day 1 details for you fellow adventures who'd love to tackle this!
- Route: https://www.strava.com/activities/240021468
- Good refueling points: Yamhill & Beaver
- Campsite: Sea & Sand RV Resort in Depoe Bay (Full RV hookups, laundry, & showers).
- Dinner: Side Door Cafe (Fairly good food but not phenomenal, there are lots of yummy sea food places in the area but they were all closed by the time we got there. Restaurants on our journey were a bit limited because we did this trip in the slow tourist season so many places were closed. But we still found some great eats along the way!)
Day 2 - Depoe Bay to Bandon
Another early wake up for day two, however waking up before the sunrise, listening to the waves crash in just a few feet from where you are camping takes a lot of the sting away from early mornings (and I am not known to be a morning person...not even a little bit). We made breakfast in the camper, said a sad goodbye to our buddy Anna Grace and my Dad (Anna rode with us from Portland and then was riding back on her own, yep she's pretty amazing!) and then Olivia and I headed off towards our Bandon!
These were the first glimpses of the Oregon coast in daylight as we'd arrived in the dark the night before and it was beautiful! Gorgeous sea stacks line the rugged coast of what I named the Oregonian ocean (yes yes I know its the pacific, I am not that daft, I just liked calling it the Oregonian ocean:) Our first stop into this ride came pretty quick just into hour 3. We hadn't eaten much for breakfast so we stopped in a beautiful town called Yachats (apparently pronounced Ya-hawts) at this great little place called the Green Salmon Cafe! I immediately spotted a breakfast wrap with eggs, sweet & yukon potatoes, and roasted Anaheim peppers and I had to have it!;) Along with an americano it hit the spot and kept me going for a good few hours. I also picked up a few giant cookies to pocket for later (they even had gluten free ones for Olivia). Then we headed off again.
Our next stop was in one of the pull outs in the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area. The Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area is this huge stretch of massive (and I mean massive) dunes that line the coast for miles. People go there to cruise around on ATVs, and I hear fat biking there is a blast (definitely on the to do list). We stopped at a "vista point" (I laugh at the vista point signs along the way because when you ride for hundreds of miles along the ocean, everything seems like a vista point to me!) and ate sandwiches we'd packed (PB, honey, and banana!) with a sweet view. Then it was off again towards Bandon.
We knew when we were planning our trip that our routes were pretty ambitious given we were riding in the winter when daylight hours are the shortest. My Dad was only able to be gone a week so we had to pack a lot of miles into just 6 days of riding and most of the days were around 130+ miles. So each day we got up and out on the bikes as early as possible and just rode until it was dark, with only necessary stops to refuel (or stare at the ocean for a second when it got so beautiful you couldn't take it anymore). We made it to North Bend just as the sun was setting and lucky enough my Dad passed us pulling the trailer at the perfect time. We hopping in and rode the last 20 miles to our campsite near the town of Bandon. We camped at the Bullard Beach State Park and it was great!
That night we went to dinner in town, unfortunately since its the off season there was only one restaurant open (The Wheelhouse Restaurant), but it turned out to be a great little place with delicious seafood!
Day 2 details:
- Route: https://www.strava.com/activities/241202080
- Good refueling points: Yachats (The Green Salmon Cafe!)
- Campsite: Bullards Beach State Park (Full RV hookups, showers, great setting)
- Dinner: Wheelhouse Restaurant (if you go during the summer there are a lot more options, there is a great fish shack right on the ocean but it closes at 7 PM so you gotta get there quick!)
- Other details: There was a launder mat in town which for us was clutch!
Day 3 - Bandon to Klamath
We decided to explore the town of Bandon a bit in the morning before heading off towards Klamath, we had heard that it was such a great little town and since we'd arrived in the dark we wanted to check it out. There was a little road from our campsite out to the Bandon lighthouse so we started the day with a family cruise out to the lighthouse, which was such a blast. My Dad went on to explore a bit on his mountain bike while Olivia and I took off down the coast.
We cruised around the Bandon neighborhoods and found these incredible little bike paths along the ocean that had stunning views of sea stacks and the rugged beaches. We kind of lolly gagged that morning because it was such a gorgeous place and hard to leave it but we eventually headed off down the highway.
There is a long stretch after you leave Bandon where you are mostly riding through farmland, just beautiful rolling green hills. Our first refuel stop was in a town called Gold Beach. There is a cafe there just as you cross the bridge that we didn't stop at but later wished we had. My Dad stopped there and ate what he said was the best crab melt of his life! We searched for a coffee shop down the rode but never found one and ended up going in a book store that had a small cafe. Got a bagel and some cookies but it wasn't spectacular...I recommend the cafe just over the bridge (I can't remember the name but you'll see it!) Then we booked it on out again with the next stop being Brookings. This is only about 25 miles down the road, but after hundreds of miles in the saddle the hanger monster gets the best of you and when you've scarfed everything in your pockets, stops to prevent future bonking are very necessary. We made a quick stop in Brookings for snickers and some salty goodness and then headed off again. The sun was setting on us so we planned to just ride as far as we could until dark and then my wonderful Dad would come pick us up and drive us the few miles left to the campground in Klamath.
We crossed the California border just before sunset and waved goodbye to Oregon. We nearly made it to Crescent City before my Dad scooped us up and took us to our campground. This was our first someone sketchy campground of the trip, it was called Kamp Klamath. On the website it looked awesome, but in person it was a little seedy. However the people that worked there were lovely, very friendly and welcoming so that was great. We decided to cook at the camp that night because Klamath is literally the middle of nowhere and eats are few and far between. We barbecued up some delicious hamburgers with salad and sweet potatoes and called it a night!
Day 3 details:
- Route: https://www.strava.com/activities/241202207
- Good refueling points: Gold Beach & Brookings
- Campsite: Kamp Klamath (however I unfortunately cannot recommend this location).
- Dinner: BBQ dinner at the campsite!
- Things we would do differently next time: Our plan was to ride 3 days, take one off day and then finish in three more days so this was our last day of riding before an off day. We spent the night and morning in Klamath and then drove down the road 40 miles or so to a town called Trinidad and spent our rest day there. If we had it to do over again we would have skipped the night in Klamath completely and drove straight to Trinidad and spent two nights because it is an awesome town which I'll talk more about below:)
Day 4 - Recovery Day!
Day 4 was our day to relax and try to recover for the second half of the journey. We spent the morning in Klamath and the one saving grace about the campsite was the road out to the beach. Olivia and I walked down to the beach (which was about a mile and a half from camp) to stick our legs in the ocean for a adventurous ice bath of sorts. When we got to the beach it took our breath away, it was massive, gorgeous, and there was not a soul in sight! We stood near the edge of the water and laughed hysterically when the tide rolled in, nearly knocking us over each time as the waves were huge! It did the trick and was way more fun then the average ice bath! We walked back, packed up camp and headed off to Trinidad.
We stopped for breakfast on the way in the town of Orick. By this time I was starving because on normal days I'm ravenous but after that many days of long riding I'm extra ravenous. I'll preface this by saying on a normal occasion I most likely would have passed this place up because at best it looked a bit sketchy. But my hunger mixed with my heightened sense of adventure made me say "what the hell!" It was called the Palm Cafe & Motel and I am SO happy we stopped. We walked in and were immediately stared down by some locals (head to toe in lululemon...all three of us cuz my Dad now also is addicted to the stuff...we kind of stood out) we were greeted by the most friendly waitress I think I've ever had and it just kept getting better. Delicious breakfast, homemade jams and jellies, and a kooky atmosphere that just made me smile. My prudish foodie personality would have normally stopped me from entering that place but I'm so happy the hanger monster took over and made that decision for me because it was lovely!
Then we were off again towards Trinidad. We were set to camp at the Emerald Forest of Trinidad and it was a great campground. After we set up we drove into town to explore and it was AWESOME! I highly recommend checking out the town of Trinidad and spending two days there if possible. It is a small coastal town with gorgeous ocean views and some of the friendliest people I've met. We got coffee at the Beachcomber Cafe (hilarious side note: they don't have to-go cups there but they sell mason jars for $1 which I loved) and we drank our lattes out of mason jars while staring out at the ocean. We did a walk about down to the piers and hung out with a crab fisherman for a bit. Olivia picked his brain about crab fishing and he educated us about dungeons vs. red stone crabs. We watched as he caught and threw back pretty much all of them because they were too tiny to take. I know it sounds simple but this was such a cool experience!
We went to dinner that night at a place called the Trinidad Eatery and I HIGHLY recommend it! It doesn't look like much from the outside, kinda looks like a diner of sorts but their chef is incredible! We ordered a pile of food because again we were starving (common trend of mine), my Dad got clam chowder in a bread bowl, Olivia and I got salads, this amazing asparagus appetizer with a poached egg on it (if I see an egg on anything on a menu, I feel a moral obligation to order it), mussels, curried prawns...yeah we went nuts and it was all incredible! We also had the nicest server, she was a Trinidad girl born and raised so it was fun chatting with her about the town. I love visiting all of these small coastal towns during the down season because they aren't crawling with tourist and everything just seems quiet, simple, easy, and everyone is so incredibly friendly. We left there full and pretty dang happy! Ocean ice bath, middle of nowhere diner breakfast, lattes from mason jars, crab fishing education, dinner to die for...now that is my ideal recovery day.
Day 4 details:
- Route: We drove the 40 miles from Klamath to Trinidad on the 101.
- Campsite: Emerald Forest of Trinidad (Full hookups, showers, laundry, great spot!)
- Dinner: Trinidad Eatery (Highly recommend, it was SO good!)
- Coffee: Beachcomber cafe (Great little place! Make sure to bring your mug or enjoy a $1 mason jar latte!)
Day 5 - Trinidad to Myers Flat (Via the lost coast)
Another bright and early wake-up call to see the sunrise over Trinidad while we got a quick breakie at the beachcomber cafe (I had a delicious "basic breakie" which was homemade bread, toasted with butter, add avocado, smoked ham, and a perfectly poached egg...YUM!!). We planned to have my Dad drive us from Trinidad just past Eureka because there is some kinda crappy highway/trafficy bits along that route (I believe there are a few bike route options that get you off the really bad parts though if you aren't able to get a lift past it).
We started in Loleta and headed towards Ferndale. If you are ever planning to ride in this area, going the Lost Coast route is a MUST, it is one of my all time favorite rides EVER, no question. You go off the 101 and head towards Ferndale (which is an adorable town so make sure to do a few laps around the neighborhoods to see the cool architecture, etc). At the end of the main street in Ferndale you take a right, then you'll see a big sign for Petrolia (and a sign telling you that you are about to climb over King Range), you take a left, look up at a pretty brutally steep climb and smile because there is so much goodness to come! You climb up and over, through beautiful forest, and once you start to get glimpses of ocean it only gets better from there. You drop down into this gorgeous valley via a extremely pot hole riddled road and then prepare for a steep son of a gun climb to get back out of the valley. Its short but painful (especially if you only have a 26 in the back, I was really wanting that 28).
Then from there its just incredible, you descend down to the lost coast, which is breathtaking stretch of road. It was all I could do to keep pedaling because I just wanted to stop, walk out onto the black sandy beach and stare at the ocean for the remainder of the day. Enjoy that 5 or so miles on the beach before you climb back up towards Petrolia. In Petrolia there is convenient store/post office/grocery store where you can stop and refuel. Next stop after that is 15 miles up the road in the town Honeydew. Both places are cash only so be sure to have some with you (we made that mistake last year and suffered for it!)
After Honeydew you cross this beautiful bridge and start a 7+ mile climb back up and over King Range, its a bit pitchy at the bottom but after the first few switchbacks its a perfect grade to get into a rhythm. Once you reach the top the descent down is awesome! The road is a bit rough so be careful but its a long descent and you ride right into the Humboldt Redwoods State Park which is incredible. The road becomes much more narrow and is lined with MASSIVE redwoods, its the beginning of the Avenue of the Giants. Once you hit the intersection of 101, don't get on the highway follow the signs to the 254 which is the HWY that runs through the avenue of the Giants. We rolled into Myers Flat a little after 4 PM, showered up and headed to dinner at the Riverwood Inn. It was descent Mexican, I had a yummy burrito! There were pool tables there so Olivia challenged my Dad to a game...best two out of three and Olivia came out on top! If you don't fancy Mexican food there is also a great place called Avenue Cafe in Miranda that has awesome breakfast and pretty good lunch/dinner.
Day 5 details:
- Route: https://www.strava.com/activities/241639146
- Good refueling spots: Petrolia and Honeydew
- Campsite: Giant Redwoods RV & Camp (Full hookups, brand new clean and heated bathrooms with showers, fairly good setting)
- Dinner: Riverwood Inn, Avenue Cafe also a good option.
Day 6 - Myers Flat to Mendicino
Day 6 started with a gorgeous ride through the Avenue of the Giants. Once you reach the end of the 254, you get on the 101 for a bit but there is a fairly big shoulder and you aren't on it for too long. Follow signs to Redway to get you off the 101 for a bit, then you'll get back on after passing through Garberville. Hop off the 101 again when you see Benbow drive, this is a great little side road that parallels the highway and is beautiful. Then its back on the 101 until you see signs for Piercy and the 271. The 271 will keep you off the highway for a good stretch and then again its back to the 101 all the way to the town of Leggett.
In Leggett you'll see signs for Highway 1 and the ride just gets better and better from there! You go up a steady climb through some beautiful forest, and then descend down one of our all time favorite descents. The corners are sweeping, banked, and perfectly paved so you can rip down it! You bottom out in a valley and cruise along flat roads for a bit before going up a short climb that then descends down to beautiful views of the ocean! Once you hit this part of highway 1 (the most Northerly coastal point of HWY 1), it is full on ocean views for the final two days. 10 miles down the road from there is the town of Westport where there is a great little general store with goodies to get you through to Mendocino. Then its all ocean, great views, and rollers till you reach Fort Braggs which is then just a short kick past Caspar to Mendocino.
Its safe to say the Mendocino is one of my all time favorite places in California! It is such a cute little town, spotted with water towers, New England style architecture, and of course stunning views of the ocean. We rolled in and found my Dad hanging out on was of the cliff edges, drinking coffee and just enjoying the view. We grabbed a latte from Moody's (great little coffee shop on the main street) and joined him to watch the sunset.
Soooo our campground in Mendocino ended up being a bit of a fail...my Dad went there ahead of us to get set up and soon found out that it had been taken over by a full on hippie commune. I of course have nothing against hippie communes, but there were no hookups and the hill to get up there was a bit sketchy with the trailer! So we ended up staying the night in the same hotel we stayed in last year (Hill House Inn of Mendocino), which is surprisingly affordable in the off season, just $89 a night!
We had to repeat our dinner date from the year before and go to the local Irish pub Pattersons! Definitely my favorite dinner spot of the trip, its a great little pub (feels much like the true Irish pubs IN Ireland...super cozy, live music, great food). There was a live band, the Gnarly Pints, playing that night and they were pretty awesome! I got a pear salad, bison burger, and sweet potato fries, life was so dang good!
Day 6 details:
- Route: https://www.strava.com/activities/243242155
- Good Refueling Spots: Westport (this is a good ways down the road from the start though so make sure to have plenty with you when you start)
- Campsite: Mendocino RV & Camp was a bit of a fail, but the Hill House Inn of Mendocino was great and super affordable!)
- Dinner: Pattersons (Best, Place, Ever! Go there, no question!)
- Coffee: Moody's or Goodlife Cafe & Bakery
Day 7 - Mendocino to Bodega Bay
The route for our last day is one of my favorite rides of all time! We would have loved to have been able to make it all the way back home to Fairfax but we knew that was a bit ambitious from the start. We would have had to start at 7 or earlier to make it in the daylight with very little stopping, and to be honest leaving Mendocino is a hard thing to do! So we made an pretty easy compromise, enjoy the morning in beautiful Mendocino, enjoy our 3 favorite stops along the route, and make it to Bodega Bay before the sun sets. Once you hit Bodega Bay HWY 1 goes inland, so the very best bits of the day are between Mendocino and Bodega Bay which made it an easy compromise (not that the roads from Bodega Bay to Fairfax aren't incredible, they are and the countryside is beautiful...thats our normal stomping grounds!) We headed off down the coast and enjoyed amazing views, sweeping HWY 1 style turns up and down/in and out of the many inlets. We made our first coffee/snack stop at a great little market (Arena Market & Cafe) in Point Arena. I grabbed a quick latte and delicious breakfast sandwich, then it was off again.
Our next stop was going to be Jenner but I have a hard time not stopping at the little general store in Stewarts Point. The first time I rode to Stewarts Point it was after my first Skaggs ride with Olivia (which if you are familiar with it, is a beautiful but brutal climb which then descends down to HWY 1 and runs you right into this little general store). Its such a great little stop. I grabbed two cookies and a yerba matte iced tea and then we were off again!
The 10 mile stretch before you ride into Jenner is just incredible, and after such a wet December it is SO incredibly green! You climb up and descend down bright green hills, spotted with cows, and the ocean a straight shot down to the right (the cliff edge is pretty abrupt and with no guardrail for much of it, it keeps you on your toes!) There is an incredible coffee shop just on the edge of town in Jenner called Cafe Aquatica! They have delicious coffee (beans roasted right there in tiny Jenner) and yummy food options too, not to mention its perfect location right on the water with a 180 degree view of the water from the back patio. It is a MUST stop spot along this route. Bodega Bay is only ten miles down the road from there but it was my moral obligation to stop and enjoy some really good coffee and an egg cup! (some kind of delicious egg based muffin type thing).
Then we rolled out and down the coast and enjoyed our last 10 miles of the journey together. The light was incredible as the sun was setting, making the hills look almost purple. We spotted my Dad parked to the side of the road just as the sun was setting. We hopped off the bikes for the last time and all sat on the cliff edge to watch the sunset over Bodega Bay. I was exhausted, a little sad that the adventure had come to an end, but also so incredibly happy and so grateful for life and the wonderful people I have to share it with.
This trip would not have been possible if it wasn't for my amazing Dad. Growing up my Dad was always my buddy, we always went on adventures, skiing, fishing, camping, and I think a lot of my adventurous spark comes from all of the incredible memories I have of us together. I am so happy that I have a Dad who is not only willing to follow and support me and all my crazy dreams, but who taught me to live adventurously and continues to make it all possible! I love you Dad!
Day 7 details:
- Route: https://www.strava.com/activities/243242335
- Campsite: The treehouse (that's what I call our house;) We parked the camper down the road at Samuel P. Taylor State Park which has a great campground.
- Good Refuel spots: Arena Market (Point Arena), Stewarts Point General Store, Cafe Aquatica (Jenner).
- Dinner: We got delivery at the treehouse from Sol Food! Pollo sandwich on tostones (plantain instead of bread) ohhhh so dang good!
I have to give a huge shout out and THANK YOU to my incredible sponsors and partners who made this trip possible and infinitely more enjoyable! :)
- Velocio Apparel: There is nothing like 700 miles in the saddle to truly put to test your clothing's comfort, warmth/cooling ability, chamois, etc and Velocio pretty much nailed it in every area! Seriously, if you haven't already checked out Velocio Apparel do it, it will blow your mind.
- K-Edge: I was able to get some incredible shots and videos using the K-Edge Garmin & Action Camera combo mount as well as the GO BIG Saddle rail mount! The combo mount is pretty dang cool as it acts as both a mount for your garmin and GoPRO all in one simple, clean, and sweet looking mount!
- Osmo Nutrition: I can't say enough good things about Osmo and all of the people behind that incredible company. The active hydration single serving packs were a quick and easy way to keep us going and hydrated each day. Making recovery shakes with the acute recovery each day within 30 minutes of getting off the bike made it possible for us to ride 6+ hour everyday for a week, and feel strong each and every day.
- Blendtec: I don't go a day without using my Blendtec and on our trip it was a staple each day in the RV, whipping up recovery shakes after each and every ride!
Thank you everyone for reading, keep on living life and making it adventurous!! If you have any questions hit me up on my "contact me" page! :) And follow me on instagram (@taylerwiles) to see my day to day adventures, smoothie recipes, and behind the scenes goodies with my team Velocio-SRAM!