Day 24 – Ophir to Brookings

72.2km out of 1594km so far

I woke up and left the campground as soon as my tent dried from the overnight condensation. Even thought there it was sunny this morning, it didn’t take long for the overcast the cover the sky. I headed south right by the coast with the typical view to the ocean.

Tree bent by the ocean winds

Tree bent by the ocean winds

First stop was at Gold Beach for a little snack to get some energy for the coming hill I had to go over. At the river banks right by the sea, there were a couple of dozen fishermen boats slowly going up and down. Interesting choreography worth taking a photo.

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Fishermen show

Fishermen show

Crossing Rogue river

Crossing Rogue river

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Rock in the water

Rock in the water

As I was approaching the hill, I met with the group of cyclists I left behind the day before. Even if they stayed their day from the city further up north, they left much earlier and caught up with me. Garry was already much further ahead and they were planning to go all the way to Crescent, the first city in California. I wasn’t going to make it there, as I needed a day off at Brookings to rest my left knee that started aching a little bit.

Part of the forest at the top of the hill

Part of the forest at the top of the hill

After a pleasant and fast descent, I saw the ocean again and the familiar scenery of the coast. All along the coast there are hundreds of massive rocks sitting in the water. They are a nice contrast with the sandy beaches, creating spectacular views. On the way I met two surfers riding a Tandem bike. They were friends of the other surfer I met a few days ago. They said they were surfing all the way down the coast and took part of the surfing contest I saw in Pacific City last weekend.

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I was planning to have lunch right after the hill at Pistol River. I got there but fount no restaurants or grocery stores to buy something. I asked an old man who was birdwatching with his dog in case he knew anything in the area. He confirmed there is nothing around and I would have to reach Brookings to eat. We chatted for a little while, giving me advices for my route further south. During that time, a FedEx van pulls over. The driver had recognized the man and handed him a parcel. As he overheard me asking for somewhere to eat, he kindly offered me some jerky sticks for a snack. Even though I never buy these myself, it was a good treat and together with a spare tomato I had, along with a banana, it made a good lunch for the circumstances.

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I started cycling south again to cover the last 20km of the day. I went by some equally amazing beaches and rock formations. It’s hard to grasp the scale and vastness of this coast and the features it carries. Despite the number of bays and beaches of this kind I’ve seen already, they never stop to amaze me. Unfortunately they are not good for swimming, due to the temperature, sharks and jelly fishes. Or that’s what they say…

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Natural Bridge Trail

Natural Bridge Trail

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I arrived at Harris Beach state park in Brookings by 5pm, put my tent up and had a shower. Since I still had time before the sunset, I spent some time to swap the tires on the bike. The rear tire always tends to wear faster than the front one, due to the extra weight it carries, so I thought it would be a good idea to do so now that I am almost half way through the trip.

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Typical north American campground

Typical north American campground

I then took my bike and headed downtown for dinner  via a cycle path running parallel to the coast. On the way back, it was pitch black on the trail and my headlight caught a couple of deers, making their eyes shine in the darkness. They got surprised and they run away behind the bushes.

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