Cycle Oregon VII
Sept. 11-17, 1994—Eugene to Brookings
Day One: Eugene to Oakland, 64 miles
The ride begins in the heart of Eugene, one of America’s best bicycling cities. Our starting line is on the University of Oregon campus, birthplace of one of our sponsors, NIKE. The Willamette Valley, the place Oregon Trail pioneers called The Land at Eden’s Gate, energizes eager muscles as we set our sights toward Drain and lunch. After refueling, it’s back to the road and on to our overnight destination in historic Oakland. Boasting a Main Street filled with century-old storefronts, Oakland greets us with all the festivities of the Umpqua Valley Wine, Art and Jazz Festival.
Day Two: Oakland to Myrtle Creek, 58 miles
Not far outside of Oakland, we pedal through the tour’s first covered bridge into surrounding picturesque wine country. You won’t need a safari jacket, but our destination is the Winston Wildlife Safari. Here, we will lunch among the hungry eyes of free roaming lions and tigers and bears (oh my!) and hundreds of other exotic animals from around the world. But please don’t feed the animals; the carbos will be needed for the week ahead. Bordering the beautiful south Umpqua River, Myrtle Creek will be the day’s final destination.
Day Three: Myrtle Creek to Glendale, 59 miles
Trekking farther south, we head away from the Willamette Valley toward the shadows and solitude of the Umpqua National Forest and the meandering waters of Cow Creek. This region was initially home to the Cow Creek band of Umpqua Indians, whose descendants have taken pride in linking the area’s natural beauty with their heritage. We camp tonight in Glendale, a small community that is big on hospitality.
Day Four: Glendale to Butte Falls, 80 miles
Yes, we are heading for the West Coast, but first we point our tires eastward to climb through pristine forests of Douglas fir and alder. We’re half way to the beach, the perfect time for a really good workout. Climbing to 3,000 feet, muscles screaming, we come to the summit of Goolaway Gap. Continuing east, a gradual change in the landscape unfolds as the lush forest opens to vistas of ponderosa pine and rolling grasslands. As we close in on Butte Falls, Mt. McLoughlin makes an inspirational appearance on the horizon. Locals call Southern Oregon a cyclist’s paradise. Today you’ll see why.
Day Five: Butte Falls to Merlin, 72 miles
Onward we ride! Our community on wheels heads toward the banks of Oregon’s white water rafting capital, the wild Rogue River. The river will be our guide as we pedal through Grants Pass, also known as “Tree City U.S.A.” Merlin, our overnight host, promises to treat us right with some down-home cooking flavored with a touch of the old, and still a little wild, West.
Day Six: Merlin to Gold Beach, 81 miles
By now, you’re in peak physical shape. Get those legs warmed up for what will be the most challenging leg of the ride! The day begins gradually, as we roll out of Merlin and head west following the Rogue River. But get ready, we’re about to reach for the sky. Climbing to an elevation of 4,500 feet, we cross the Coast Range at the Bear Camp summit. The reward is lunch with a view. From here, it’s downhill all the way to the scent of the ocean and the comforts of camp.
Day Seven: Gold Beach to Brookings, 31 or 58 miles
Before turning south for the final leg of our journey, we will take a scenic northward spin through Squaw Valley. At Nesika Beach, egrets, herons and other migratory waterfowl rest in roadside estuaries. If you stop to capture the spectacular scenery on film, the 29 miles from Gold Beach to Brookings might take forever. Large offshore monoliths and beach rock formations dominate the coastline. The summit of Cape Sebastian, one of the most photographed spots on the Pacific Coast, offers an excuse to stretch out sore legs before completing the week’s adventures. The final ride into Brookings and the “Log Show By The Sea” timber festival guarantees long-lasting memories to conclude your Cycle Oregon VII experience.
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