Oregon Coastline – California Redwoods – Crater Lake
August 4-14, 2004
What an amazing bicycle tour! Joined by the rest of the” Mad Dogs” touring team I rode down part of the Oregon coastline, thru one of California’s redwood parks and spent a couple of days and nights at Crater Lake National Park. Except for one drizzly, windy day the weather was great, and the scenery was spectacular. This was the first time I’d flown to a ride and shipped my bike, but everything worked out well, although it sure made it a lot more expensive. It was also my first trip to the west coast and to see the Pacific Ocean. And I just had to go swimming in the Pacific at least once. It was cold…and this was August!
One highlight of the trip happened while we were at Crater Lake. A park ranger was having a special stargazing program one night. He had a couple of large telescopes set up for viewing the stars and mentioned we may see some meteors flashing across the sky. It was a dark, clear night and the sky was beautiful from atop the mountain. We laid on our backs looking upward in anticipation of seeing a couple of meteors or shooting stars race across the sky. But for half an hour we saw only the beauty of the bright shining stars. No meteors. Then all of a sudden, the show began. At first it was one or two every minute or so. The excitement grew as more and more meteors shot across the sky. Many were only seconds apart. An hour quickly passed by and we had to board the bus taking us back to our campsite located a short distance down the mountain. Once there we grabbed a blanket and headed over to the amphitheater where once again we laid on our backs and watched the spectacular meteor shower taking place overhead. It was a night to remember.
The next day was a layover day and some rode their bikes around the lake and some of us decided to do a little hiking on nearby trails at the top. We were astonished to find snow still on the ground in the month of August. Nothing like a snowball fight in the middle of summer!
Another highlight was the day we rode into Crescent City, California. Just east of the city was Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park. We rode our bikes among the gigantic redwoods and were amazed at their size! To me, seeing these trees was a dream come true.
This was a great week with a bunch of fun people. It was a long, hard ride with three days near 100 miles a day. I rode a total of 631 miles over 9 days with one of them being a layover day. The ride was organized by Cycle America and they did a fantastic job in making it a most enjoyable experience. Now, the anticipation and excitement begins as we consider another Mad Dog tour for next year. Any ideas?