Sunday, November 8, 2009

Day Two Hundred Forty-six, 091101 - Port Orford, OR

Day Two Hundred Forty-six, Date Sunday, November 1, 2009
Time in Saddle: 6:11
Distance for the Day: 58.27 miles From Coos Bay To Port Orford, OR
Accumulated Trip Distance: 12,144 miles
Altitudes: Starting/Ending 56’/408’, Highest: 599’ Accumulated: 2743’
Speeds: Avg: 9.4 mph, Max: 38.7 mph
Weather: 40° clear
Expenditures: $20

I woke up at 6:41am and got up at 6:53am while it was still mostly dark, clear, cold, and a bit dewy. I saw Venus for the first time in a while – it had started to move towards the Sun, more, so was closer to the horizon. I stopped at a mini mart for breakfast of hot cocoa and muffin + restocking drink supplies ($5), and continued on at 8:21am south on Hwy 101. I stopped in Bandon at around 11am to look for a Joby tripod (no luck) and got lunch at a small restaurant –mushroom burger, fries, and soda ($11). It was now mostly cloudy and cool, with a high cumulo-stratus layer, but not much chance of rain. I had to go over some mountains – went up and down a few hundred feet here, a few more hundred feet there, and got to as high as 600’ ASL, but after getting to Bandon, things leveled out, again. There were more hills coming up, but on the coastline, this is to be expected. Daylight Squandering Time ended, the previous night, so the time was now 12:20pm, and I stopped in Langlois to get food items from a mini mart ($4) before continuing on. Oh, yes: I saw ants for the first time in a long time – I was kind of amazed, seeing them, because I didn’t notice when I stopped seeing them. Isn’t that funny.

I stopped to watch the sun set on the Pacific at 5:11pm, and saw a faint hint of the green flash with my binoculars, but there was a bit too much mist over the surface of the ocean to allow the necessary “clear to the horizon” condition for a really great green flash. The disk of the Sun did warp and warble wonderfully, though. After sunset, I continued on, looking for a stealth camp, and almost immediately found a nice one in the form of a big gravel pile in a medium-small lot, elevated a bit above and right off the highway (N42 38.587’ W124 24.368’). Some traffic noise would still get to me, but on this stretch of the highway, the traffic really dies down after dark, so I should be good. There was a bit of space around behind it, with enough room to hide, and nice level spots to pitch my tent. The weather was perfectly clear, but not too cold at 58°, so I set up and got inside by 5:40pm – boy, it was early. I would have to read and listen to music for a few hours before going to sleep. The nice thing about a site like this, being hidden behind a big pile of gravel: I could use my headlamp to read without the worry of being sighted. How nice! So I read, munched, drank soda, and listened to music until 10:30pm, before I went to sleep. I heard a small band of coyotes yipping and yowling twice during the night – the first time pretty far away – the second time, a lot closer; probably within 100-200 yards away. They don’t bother humans, so I wasn’t too worried. A couple of fine points when setting up or breaking down a tent: it’s good to be aware of any slight tilt to the spot you set up on, as it’s a bit more comfortable if one’s head is on the “uphill” side, rather than the “downhill” side. Also, when breaking down, it’s easier to pull the tent pole segments apart if you pull from the end the tube segment that is furthest from the connected joint, rather than closer to the joint. Also, wearing gloves will keep the metal tent poles from sucking the heat out of your hands, thereby preventing them from turning into blocks of ice.

It being Daylight Standard Time, again, I would have to wake up around 5:30 - 6am so I could be ready by around sunup at 7am to make maximum use of daylight during this time of the year when the days were getting shorter.

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