Lookout For Bandits

24th – 25th Aug 2018

Cape Lookout State Park

The Bandits hit our camp overnight. Many Americans and other cyclists, had told us about Raccoons. They are smart, shifty, and have little fingers that can undo zips and clips. We kind of thought they were all exaggerating, but we now know better. I got up to pee, and there were a gang of little buggers, scratching at our tent, and sniffing about the bikes. I asked them what they thought they were doing, and they scampered off into the shadows. They continued to keep us awake for a while, but finally we went to sleep. In the morning, we discovered they’d managed to loosen the straps and unroll one of Will’s front panniers, and steal 3 of our 4 fresh rolls, and take a big bite out of the last one. You little shits! I asked around, and Carsten said they ate his butter, and Bill lost his Snickers bar from inside a zipped bag on his bike, and when he’d caught them at it, they ran off and growled at him. Huh, arrogance plus. 

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It was really peaceful in the forest by ourselves.
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Bills fat bike. That black triangle bag was where his chocolate bar was.

On top of the disturbance in the night, I had really sore knees, it drizzled and we both felt tired. We stayed put and just relaxed. Time to enjoy the sound of waves instead of big V8 trucks, and watch the big fat squirrels try and sneak off with our other snacks. Don’t turn your back here, something will be waiting to nick you’re food.

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Check this guy out. I reckon he’s a re-con squirrel for the Racoons. Scouting out the sites and the goodies.

We had a very nice day, in the rainforest on the beach. In the afternoon, some new bikers and hikers came in, including Warren. It was good to see him again. Tomorrow, we’ll take off early, we have a long climb straight up, and about 60kms to the next good campground. We need to do washing, and would like to get there earlier. Not to mention, get at least halfway before the traffic gets too bad.

 

A bit of beach watching, and time for a bit of mindful Mandala creating.

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We sat and watched the sunset on the Pacific Ocean. It was a bit special.

Cape Lookout State Park to Lincoln City (Devils Lake State Park). 66kms

It was supposed to be a drizzly night, and fog again in the morning, but it didn’t happen. We woke up later than intended, to a beautiful morning. We were packed and ready pretty quickly, but got stuck in a few conversations. We weren’t the first to leave today, but we weren’t the last either. We said good bye to Warren again, and rode off towards the first of our two big hills today. Ugh, not really nice, but I’m better at them in the morning, and there are less cars.

 

It doesn’t look all that uphill, but the view looking back says otherwise.

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Long and slow, but manageable. Nice forest, and only a few cars.

It wasn’t so bad, just a few stops for a breather, and then a nice, cool and fast run down. From the beautiful forested area, we came down into the farming region. We passed a couple of cyclists, who had been at our campground, they’d stopped for a short break. We waved and carried on. When we took a short toilet break we saw them pass us right back. By lunch time, we’d done a fair few up and downs, and rolled into Pacific City, which is actually a little beach holiday town. We decided to just grab something at The Pelican Brewery, and wouldn’t you know it, the other cyclists were there too. Alex and Gary are a couple of mates on a short tour down the coast. They’d done the coast ride before, and new all the right places to stop. They told us that the last time they did it, it rained so much that they’d stopped in this pub, until the rain stopped. Eight hours and eight beers later, they realised they had better get a hotel. Ha ha ha…just what I’d probably do.

 

Another haystack rock, Chief Kiawanda Rock, at Pacific City. Nice beach filled with cars and people.

After leaving Pacific City, we had a flatter ride for a while, which was pretty nice. Somehow, I found my way to the lead, with Will drafting behind me. There was some wind, it wasn’t really a headwind, but with the twisting road it got there sometimes. “Another cyclist coming up fast Jen.” Will yells. No worries, it just means don’t make any radical manoeuvres. As he went zipping past on his super light road bike, he was snapping pics of us, then yelled out “Do you want me to send you a copy?” “Sure, thanks.” I yelled, then we all stopped. Mark was riding with a friend down the coast to San Fransisco at super speed. They were as light as light, and aiming for around 140 miles (yes, that is correct, about 225kms) each day. That is bloody crazy. 

 

Some nice lakes and rivers, and a few pit stops. Wind was behind us, yay.

 

Marks picture of us, a rare motion shot of the two Straya Animals in the wild. I think Mark may have been a greyhound in a previous life. He just loves to ride.

Just before we reached Neskowin, we saw Mark and his friend, and Alex and Gary, all having a chat at a lookout as we began a nice roll down to town. I had a hankerin’ for a real toilet, so we didn’t stop. Leaving this town, there was one last mega climb, or there was an alternative route that took us to the same altitude with a kinder gradient. I told Will, “3 kays, then turn left!” Just then, Gary and Alex rode by us. As I look up, Will starts to speed up, and leaves me behind. He’s got that man thing happening, he doesn’t even realise it. Off he goes into the distance catching up to the other two. Before you know it, we’ve done the three kilometres and the guys have started up the big mother of a climb, and I just stop at the turn off. I’m sure Will will look in his mirror, and see me stopped, then he’ll stop. Right? He’s not stopping. I give him the old sheep dog whistle. Nothing! Another huge blast of my country bumpkin whistle, which is pretty bloody loud, and nothing. He’s almost out of sight. Bloody hell! I ring him, I messenger call him, nothing is stopping him, he’s on a mission. Now I’m pissed. What are my choices? Really, I am only left with one. Ride this bitch of a hill! Fuck you Will! All the way up this steep bastard, I’m swearing, yep, spitting, yep, and trying to think of a word for Angry Exhaustion! Cursing men and their stupid testosterone, while I’m counting my rotations and wheezing like an asthmatic in a pollen storm. Fuck you Will! I’ve had to stop four times to rest, and at the last one, I look up and see Will sitting against the railing, waiting for me. I should be happy, but now I’m even more angry exhausted. Exhangered? Angryhausted? I don’t know, I can’t bloody breathe. I stop, Will tries to help, takes one look at my face, red and covered in spittle, and steps back. After I’m off the bike, he takes Betty and leans her against the rails. Sits me down, and says “I know, I missed the turn, I’m sorry! Are you okay?” Nope, I’m knackered, angry and still have to get to the top of this thing. He knows he’s in deep doggy do, but we just have to keep going. Do you know what fixes angry exhausted? Five kilometres of 60kms/hr downhill, Will doing the shopping, and not having to cook dinner. Wine also helps.

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Cool old Kombi set up as an ice cream shop. WIll said no, he’ll regret that!
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Aaaarrrgghhh! Ouch, ouch, ouch! 
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Don’t, just Don’t! Anything! Ggrrrrrrr!

We arrived at the campground, and the lovely lady ranger gave us all the info, warned about racoons, telling us that they’d had one family of campers in an RV, who’d left food out, the raccoons  had swiped it, and they’d expected the rangers to replace it. Ha ha ha, so funny. She directed us to the hiker/biker area, just up that hill……a 15% gradient. Ugh! Noooooo! But it was a good spot, with charging stations, tables and lockers for the food. Bummer that the toilets are down that steep hill. We had fried chicken and salad for dinner, and got all cleaned up, thinking we had the place to ourselves, when another couple arrived. Mark and Lyn, from Colorado. Very nice couple on day one of their short tour. Very soon after, it started raining, so we had to scurry into our tents. Another day survived, but it really was a good day.

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What are you so happy about fella? Lucky to be alive.
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Lyn and Mark, they had a hard day too, and were just as happy as me to stop.

 

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