Sunday, July 29, 2012

Shivering cold in Waldport, Oregon

It was late after I rode the Aufderheide National Scenic Byway and I ended up much farther south than I expected. My plan was to ride half way down to the Box Canyon sign, but I must have missed it and passed the point of no return. It was my intention to turn around but then I had travelled so far that it was more expedient to just continue to the end where I was rewarded with my first Covered Bridge at Westfir. I am happy to report that I am no longer a Covered Bridge Virgin


This bridge looks like it was recently restored with new timber. It goes nowhere except to a small parking lot and park with flush toilets. Perfect ! Just what I needed. You are not able to see how long it us until you ride pass, so when I noticed it in my rear view mirror, I turned around for this photo


I was lucky to find one where you could still drive across. I finally reached Hwy 58 and headed West to Eugene, Oregon for the night. I was tired and homeless and I made use of the WiFi at McD's to find my temporary home.

The next day I made my way to Florence, Oregon and wrote about it HERE

As mentioned before it was a cool night in the tent. I was set up for the warmer temperatures of Eastern Oregon. I had no cold weather gear and I wasn't prepared for temps in the mid 60's °F. Being in a campground you go to sleep and rise by the light of the sun. Marine mist was rolling in but I felt cozy and warm in my meagre sleeping bag which is rated down to 45°F, but it wasn't enough. At 3:19am I couldn't take it any more. My teeth were chattering. I needed to find a washroom and put on everything I had. Lucky I brought along a nylon convertible pants, the ones where the legs can be unzipped to reveal a pair of short pants, and I layered with two T-shirts and a silk thermolayer

I managed a few more winks but then I awoke naturally and it was now 7:30am. I had survived the night, but still chilly. I made my way to the washroom/showers and warmed myself up in the shower. I let the water drizzle everywhere until I felt normal again.


It is rare to see me without shorts and a tank/T-shirt but here I am wearing my bundle of clothes. I have really never camped before so luckily I bought that green microfibre drying towel and had soap along as they don't supply anything other than provide the facilities

Richard recently made a comment about using my MSR Whisperlite Internationle stove so here I am getting it ready to make morning coffee

MSR Whisperlite being primed for use

This is the 2nd time I have used it on this trip. The first time was in Baker City at the Mountain View RV campsite where I stayed on my first night and was lucky to have a photogenic neighbour who is much wiser in the camping ways

V-Star Lady

With body temperatures nearly back to normal I change back into my trademark shorts as I savour a hot cup of coffee to start the day and start packing up


I don't really have a system and I fumble trying to figure out where to put everything. The tent is wet from the Marine Fog but


soon enough I manage and I am nearly ready to leave without a trace that I was even here


I leave my side case to the last and drink the last drops of my now cold beverage and go in search of a hearty breakfast to start the day


I leave my campsite and ride over the Alsea bridge into Waldport and there is nowhere to have a meal, except for the Subway, so I head East on Hwy 34


hoping to find a meal and at the next corner what do I see ?


but Carol's place. The place is packed and when I enter all eyes focus on me. I felt humbled by all these locals. This seems to be the only place in town and I order a hearty breakfast to start the day, unlike previous days where I just starved until my stomach started to hurt


I am a creature of habit. I seem to always order the same thing where ever I roam. This is a ham and cheese omlette with a small stack of pancakes. I should have deleted the coffee as my Vietnamese brand which I had earlier makes most other coffees seem bland and tasteless.

so with a FULL bulging belly (want to see it ? don't dare me or your wish may come true) I head eastbound on Hwy 34, which in spots is very challenging. As I ride alone I tend to travel at "scenic" speed which is at or under the posted speed. Today I was much slower as I was just enjoying the day and the new sights along the way. Not too many photos as I didn't stop. The road was melodic with gentle curves and I was in the groove. I noticed many cows and pastures along the way and soon I got guilty for not stopping for a photo for You Know Who . I mumbled to myself in my helmet to stop at the next opportunity


I don't think we have any oreo cows here. They are all dark and the one on the left started to walk away so I MOOED as loud as I could many times. MOO, MOO, MOO until he turned his head in my direction. If there were any people around they would have thought that I was nuts

This morning I didn't have the desire to explore the chilly Oregon coast anymore preferring the warmth of the valley. I noticed the sign for Newport 14 miles, gave it a 2 second consideration and decided to go the other direction

I did a quick drive through downtown Corvallis and I like it. It is a compact small town. I needed a snack as it was now past noon. I thought it was getting a bit warm, especially having to wear full riding gear so I thought about going to a park and just vegetate. I know that once I relax it is hard to get motivated again and the thought of having to put on my riding gear again made me rethink my options. So I decided to just go to my destination for the night and set up camp. I also checked my oil, lubed my chain and dressed down to my usual summer outfit and relaxed under the shade of the trees. I felt very relaxed and the neighbours didn't blink any eye


It felt good to feel the sun and relax in my new Monarch Chair Contented in Paradise, food & friends, what else is there ?


  1. I've been out of the scene for a while and missed all your posts as they happened, so I've spent the morning catching up. Great way to do this reading them all at once has made a story of it and I didnt have to wait to see the next day :)

    Looks like you are really enjoying being on your own Bob. Your photos are all so interesting (even the feet), thanks for sharing!

    So does this mean you will trying the camping thing again?

    1. Brenda:

      I'm behind in my reading too. I had no or weak internet while I was away and it is too bad as I had lots of time most evenings. As you say it is easier to read everything after everyone had posted.

      This was sort of a self discovery trip so I could sample riding alone. I find that I ride less, savour more and there is more time to relax. There is no rush if you have no where to rush to. The hardest thing is to find a home for the night

      I actually like camping. It makes you more independant and self sufficient. My sleeping bag was only sufficient for the hotter temperatures of Eastern and Central Oregon. It was not my intention of riding to the Oregon Coast. It was a last minute, spur of the moment decision as I was so close. A higher rated sleeping bag would have solved the problem but you can't spend lots of money until you know if you like it or not

  2. Bob, this covered bridge is a real gem, thanks for stopping there. Beautiful.

    Sorry to hear you got cold, maybe you should have taken Brad's stuffed tiger after all. Not that it would have kept you warm but you would have had somebody to cuddle.

    It seemed that your pace has eased up a bit while camping. First a cuppa java, then packing, and then hit the road in quest for good breakfast. Way to go.

    1. Sonja:

      I may have stumbled on the best covered bridge in Oregon. It looked restored and many are only open for pedestrian traffic. I was lucky to be able to ride through it.

      You can't buy the best until you know if you like camping, so now I know I need a better sleeping bag. Camping puts you out into the elements, makes you more alert to your surroundings and encourages self sufficiency. It also makes you more resourceful.

      There was no rush as it takes a few hours for the Marine fog to burn off. Plus the roads were wet so I was aiming to leave by 9am. I had been missing the good breakfast so this day I wanted to start off the day RIGHT

  3. I'm not a big fan of the coast and no longer head that way unless I have to, it's just too cold and wet.

    What can I say about our neighbors, we're known as the motorcycle couple so once they saw a bike in the driveway all was well.

    1. Troubadour:

      It may have been a mistake to ride to the Coast, but I was so close . . . but I had to discover if I like camping or not, and also to TEST my equipment and I now know that my sleeping bag is not rated COLD enough, otherwise all would have been okay. I was only equipped for the heat of Eastern & Central Oregon

  4. I took I-5 through Oregon up and back last year. Perfect weather, warm to hot coming back south.

    I wonder if it gets better along the Oregon coast after Labor Day. That's the first day of summer hereabouts.

    1. Yes, September and October are the nicest months on the Oregon coast.

    2. John:

      We have been on the Oregon Coast in September and the weather is definitely better than during the summer. I find that the weather on the Coast is always opposite what is happening in the Valley (ie: Corvallis, Portland, etc). If the weather is bad in Portland, then the Coast will have good weather

  5. Funny the neighbors didn't bat an eye. Does that say we are weird enough this seems normal or are they that oblivious.

    You should have come into the office and I would have treated you to coffee or bought you lunch.

    1. Trobairitz:

      A few cars drove past but I was behind the tree and I don't think they really noticed me, or my tent.

      I didn't want to bother you at work, even though you were just on the other side of the door. You are so lucky to be able to park in the closest space. Lunch would have been good as that's where I went to grab a quick snack before I cruised the downtown area.

  6. I am not sure I am going to like this moto camping gig, freezing, no pillow, I dunno. Hope you warm up soon. Nice camp pot, I hear the people in the yellow house are very hospitable, you just have to wath out or their attack cat.

    The other night I went riding with the Moto Mama's & we rode out to Sooke, we went from summer to fall to winter to back to summer again on the ride. Matine fog was rolling in and it was freezing, good thing I wore my heavy textile jacket.

    Can you fit a small fleece sleeping bag liner indie your sleeping bag & then roll it up? Either that get a flat flannel shee, it's thinner, but warm.

    1. Dar:

      Dar, tisk tisk . . . you will LOVE camping. I just didn't have a sleeping bag rated for the cooler temps and I didn't bring sweaters or anything for the cooler Coast, as I was packed for the heat of Eastern Oregon. Other than my sleeping bag the other equipment I bought was of good quality, even my cooking/heating-up pot, which is titanium coated.

      Oh, BTW: their attack cat liked me. I was able to get close and do some heavy petting.

  7. That is a beautiful bridge, it almost looks brand new. See, camping isn't that bad if you are prepared for whatever temperatures. My sleeping bag is rated for sub zero (F) and I generally just use it like a blanket. I can only remember a handful of times when I actually had to zip it up and those trips usually involved snow.

    So when is the next trip?

    1. Richard:

      I do like Camping, but with some "facilities", not those PIT things. I plan to be retiring soon and this was just a "practice" run to see how things go when my income disintegrates. My next trip will involve a new, more capable sleeping bag able to withstand cooler temperatures

      I love the feeling of being more self sufficient. In Baker City I would have gladly checked out of the Hotel and gone back to the Campground. It was so much more relaxing there.

  8. Yay, a cow pic for me! I'm honored. Notice the ones further away heading over to check you out? Oreo cows aren't very common. Maybe that's why I like them so much? You sure have had your share of cold but are doing a great job toughing it out!

    1. Kathy:

      I passed a few flocks of cows, or is that a gaggle of cows ? I was going too fast and didn't want to wear out my brakes. I muttered in my helmet that I had to stop the next time, and I did. I must have travelled miles and miles and I thought that there would be no more cows, just empty pastures, but then I saw them.

      Kathy, I suppose it wasn't that cold, it's just that my sleeping bag wasn't good enough for the few degrees lower than what it was rated for. Plus the marine air has a chill, and is damp. I am looking another sleeping bag good for below zero, then I should be set. When I woke up I went to the shower buildig, turned on the hot shower and just stood there until I was not chilled anymore. Then all was fine with the world.

  9. So glad you had fun ... that's what it's all about, that and a warm sleeping bag. The east coast,usually much warmer.

    1. Karen:

      it was fun, and it will get better when I get a Bag rated for a lower temperature. Out West we are not getting the heat wave that you are getting back EAST. We are still quite cool at night.

      Where were you when I needed you ? I needed a camping tudor on the Coast