Highway 101 along the southern coast of Oregon is spectacular. The road is cut high in the cliffs and open to expansive views of ocean meeting land in violent beauty. There are many pull-out places scattered along the highway and it is hard to pass by even one.
Last Sunday I rode down 101 from Three Rivers Casino to the Umpqua Lighthouse and took the tour. Richard told me the tour was good and worth a visit. I’m really glad I stopped because it was one of the least expensive and most enjoyable attractions I’ve done in a long time. I can see Richard and Dianna hosting a historical feature like a lighthouse; Richard would be good at giving lighthouse tours.
I have been using obsolete Internet information to find free places to stay as I travel down the coast. It happened last night that the Mill Casino near Coos Bay now has no free parking. I didn’t have another plan and didn’t feel like going on further so I coughed up the cash to stay the night. I did get free showers, dump, and use of the laundry room, so it kind of evened out.
I have noticed that there are many people who bike and backpack along the narrow shoulder of Highway 101. There is a lot of fast traffic on that road and in many places only about two feet separates my right mirror from the head of the cyclist. I try to pull over if I can but sometimes there is oncoming traffic. You couldn’t pay me to bike or hike along that busy road. On the whole AT there are only a very few miles that are along a road, and when I had to walk on one it was always a relief to get back into the woods.
Tonight I’m in California parked on a forest road along the Smith River. I’m only a few miles from Redwood National Park and will enjoy the big trees for a couple of days. No matter how many times I visit this area it always amazes me how big these trees grow. It is almost as if they should be called something different than a tree. It’s like comparing a lizard to a dinosaur.