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Pacific Coast Question

Old 01-10-11, 08:21 PM
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Robbykills
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Pacific Coast Question

Hey all, planning a tour of the Pacific Coast in Summer '12 (gotta get it in before that apocalypse....pff). Probably gonna use the Adventure Cycling route maps or the Cycling the Pacific Coast book. I did a solo cross country by myself in 2008 so I'm not too worried about fitness and what not, and I'll potentially have some friends along this time.

From what I gather reading other threads and crazyguyonabike it seems that it is not too hard to find hiker/biker campsites through most of the Washington and Oregon portion of this route. Is this true? I have no problem camping behind churches, fire stations, etc. or just stealth camping, but I figure this route is so well travelled that it may not always be easy to find a place to camp.
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Old 01-10-11, 10:23 PM
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Here's the link to the Oregon Dept. of Transportation Oregon Coast Bike route. https://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/HWY/BIKEP...e_map.pdf?ga=t

It lists all the state campgrounds and their amenities (like hiker/biker). H/B sites are something like $5 and come with a free hot shower. The ODOT route information is actually pretty good too. There are also some private campgrounds, but they are generally more expensive.

Every time someone says they are heading down the Pacific coast, I recommend that they skip the Avenue of the Giants (and the deadly portion of Hwy 101 just north of it) and head out to the Lost Coast instead. Just head west to Ferndale and go up over Wildcat Ridge towards Petrolia. There are a couple of nice campgrounds near Petrolia (one on the coast, one further up the road). At Honeydew, go up Wilder Ridge towards Ettersburg. From Shelter Cove Hwy, head towards either Shelter Cove (two campgrounds) or take Briceland Rd. directly to Usal Rd (not paved, 26 miles to Hwy 1, campground at the 20 mile mark)

The Lost Coast is hilly. There are very few stores or amenities (Petrolia has a bar and a sort-of store; Honeydew has a store). Bring a water filter. Usal Rd. drops you 60 miles north of Ft. Bragg. Traffic is very, very light, as is the population. There have been times that I have not seen a car from Camp A.W. Way (9 miles west of Honeydew) until I reached Hwy 1. Needless to say, you need to be able to manage your own repairs. If you get jammed up, the locals will no doubt help you if they happen upon you, but you may wait quite a while before anyone comes along.

I'm impressed you are planning so far in advance. I'm lucky to get my route together before I leave on a tour.
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Old 01-11-11, 08:04 AM
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I'm currently on tour, I rode down the Pacific Coast in July/Aug/Sep, before heading east on the Southern Tier. I'm just north of Miami FL (at South Bay RV Park, which is an awesome county park), headed to Key West.

I camped at State Parks every night down the coast. The State Parks are awesome until you get south of San Francisco, and then the parks have added alot of restrictions (in Carpinteria SP, you can't enter before 4pm, most parks south of SF have a one night stay limit, etc). I met probably 100-125 other bike tourists, about 90% of them south-bound.

If you're curious what the some of the route and some of the hiker/biker sites look like, I'm documenting my tour on video (the link is in my signature)

On the Southern Tier I stealth camped about 4 nights a week, but on the coast it's not worth it since the parks are 5 bucks a night
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Old 01-11-11, 09:22 AM
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I made it from Seattle to Santa Cruz in 1992. In those days there were plenty of campgrounds. I used the Bicycling the Pacific Coast route - I stayed in their recommended spots every night. I stayed in two KOA's - one by Willapa Bay in Washington, and one in Eureka. They were fine - kind of like camping on someone's lawn. I stayed at one County Park in California. It had hiker/biker spots. The rest of the time I was in hiker/biker sites in state parks pretty much every night.

I rode the Oregon section again a few years ago. I varied the route a little, in that I didn't always stay in the spots recommended by the book. I still stayed in hiker/biker spots every night.

I think the west coast, particularly Oregon, is one of the most welcoming for bike tourers, in terms of camping, stores, restaurants, etc. (and motels if it rains.)

I liked the Avenue of the Giants a lot. I didn't like the touristy part of northern California on 101 (Trees of Mystery, the Paul Bunyan and Babe giant figures, etc.) There were lots of stretches with no shoulder and tons of traffic. However, I made it through safely.
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Old 01-11-11, 09:38 AM
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I've only done a small portion of the route, so I won't add much except to say that the Oregon state parks are great in my experience.

The book is nice and complete, but the newest edition (4th edition October 1, 2005) might be a bit out of date. That is unless there is a new one before then. I see that they have a kindle version, if that interests you. Anyone here ever use that one?
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Old 01-11-11, 11:57 AM
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Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
I see that they have a kindle version, if that interests you. Anyone here ever use that one?
Yes, I've used the Kindle version of the book. I was going to rip the pages I needed out of the printed book, but happened to be taking my Kindle and noticed the Kindle version so I bought a copy. The Kindle version contains the same text and maps as the printed version. On my Kindle 2, it's impossible to zoom in on the maps so they're not terribly useful. Luckily, the text descriptions of the route are excellent and that was my primary interest anyway...
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Old 01-11-11, 01:17 PM
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thanks for the info guys. In 2008 I biked from Delaware to Eugene, OR and I stayed at a hiker biker site outside of Florence on the coast, it was really awesome, a crazy thunderstorm rolled in too, quite an epic end to the journey.

As far as being an early planner that's more or less because I'm late in doing this! I really wanted to do it this upcoming summer, but I think summer 2012 will lineup with my last semester of school and student teaching in spring '12 so I figure since I'm probably quitting my job for that I might as well just bank on taking my teaching degree to a substitute job once fall kicks back in. That and I spent money I could of saved for a tour this summer on a guitar amp set up and a Shimano Alfine 8 speed kit for my town bike haha
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Old 01-11-11, 01:27 PM
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Is the Alfine8 setup working well?
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Old 01-11-11, 01:36 PM
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just ordered it through a shop discount but I haven't built it up yet, if I remember I'll post my thoughts on it when I do
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Old 01-11-11, 01:37 PM
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Originally Posted by sstorkel View Post
Yes, I've used the Kindle version of the book. I was going to rip the pages I needed out of the printed book, but happened to be taking my Kindle and noticed the Kindle version so I bought a copy. The Kindle version contains the same text and maps as the printed version. On my Kindle 2, it's impossible to zoom in on the maps so they're not terribly useful. Luckily, the text descriptions of the route are excellent and that was my primary interest anyway...
Aren't the maps on the Kindle pretty close to the size of the ones in the paperback book? (which also doesn't zoom)

Do they display larger when you go into landscape mode? Images in other books do, at least on my Kindle 3.
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Old 01-11-11, 05:29 PM
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It is absurdly easy to find a variety of camping spots all along the Pacific Coast from San Francisco to Seattle. (the section I've ridden) I usually stealth camp but for this stretch I stayed in hiker/biker sites half the time because they were common, reasonably priced and I enjoyed the comraderie with fellow cyclists.
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Old 01-11-11, 06:42 PM
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in the for sale section of this forum... top of the page you will find that i'm selling these same maps... They are OK.. But like already mentioned this route is really easy to follow and the book i'm sure already mentioned has quite a bit more info.
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Old 01-11-11, 07:40 PM
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Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
Aren't the maps on the Kindle pretty close to the size of the ones in the paperback book? (which also doesn't zoom)
The paperback book doesn't zoom, but it has much higher resolution than the Kindle's screen. The biggest problem I had was that some of the street names, annotations, etc. are pretty small on the maps. On the Kindle screen, they end up being only 4-5 pixels tall and are generally unreadable. The maps are good enough that you can get an overall feel for the route, but you'll need to read the text to get the exact details.

Do they display larger when you go into landscape mode? Images in other books do, at least on my Kindle 3.
At the time I used the Kindle version of the book, the Kindle 2 didn't support landscape mode. I haven't tired to use it since I installed the OS update that enabled landscape mode. For some of the maps this might help, though I suspect the Kindle version will still be a bit of a compromise if you're relying on it for the maps. In my case, I programmed my route into my Garmin Edge 705 before leaving, so the maps weren't terribly important to me.
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Old 01-11-11, 11:09 PM
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I live in Oregon 90 miles from the coast. I often do 2 to 3 day trips on the coast. In Oregon all beaches are open to the public. You can camp on the beach. The exception being you cannot camp on the beach adjacent to a state park. I have often found nice sites out of the wind and of course way above the tide line. The hiker biker sites are very nice. However, this route is very popular and heavily traveled by tourers.
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