It turns out that my ride wasn’t a serial killer after all. He was simply in the area looking for some property on which to park his RV for the summer and he dropped me off at a hotel in Port Orford where he had recently stayed.
“It’s the cheapest in town,” he told me.
I know what you are thinking. Another hotel room? My thinking was that the storm was supposed to last for several days and well, I’d worked my butt off to save a ton of money having originally planned on doing a Pacific Crest Trail thru hike. Still the hotel was too expensive and the hike had been so miserable that I was seriously considering ending the hike.
All night I ran through my options and the only thing that I kept coming back to was that it was way too expensive to stay in Port Orford riding out the storm. So I took a bus the next day. North not south. Back to Coos Bay when I realized that getting further north would take more money than I’d thought. I found the cheapest hotel room I could find and dug in for the duration of the rains.
Even at almost half the price of what it would have cost me to stay in Port Orford I was still bleeding money out of my quickly diminishing budget. So after a couple of days I headed south again to pick up where I left off.
Outside the bus stop across from Safeway an obviously homeless guy watched me shiver.
“This isn’t exactly shorts weather,” he said. I laughed a little, I hadn’t packed pants at all. The closest thing I had were my long john bottoms and I wasn’t about to risk getting them wet.
“You’re right about that,” I said pacing back and forth, trying to get the blood going in my legs.
Luckily the weather seemed like it was finally going to break and I had a great hike down to Cape Blanco State Park where I stayed at the hiker biker camp and enjoyed an amazing sunset with the deer grazing on the bluffs near the lighthouse. The next morning my faith in the trail was renewed with the walk south along the beach into Port Orford. The sand was still softer than I’d hoped but wasn’t impossible to hike. Resupply was easy, there was a supermarket only a few blocks off the trail. Then back down to the beach and the giant standing rocks and amazingly blue/green water.
After that a small portion of the trail was washed out so I climbed back up to 101, rounding a mountain to cross over to old 101. The old route 101 is gated off and overgrown, just the type of landscape I love. By now it was so clear and hot that the sun was burning me alive. Add to the list of things I didn’t bring: sunscreen. So I opened my umbrella and hiked like that. Feeling silly but at least there were no passing cars to see me.
To the side of old 101 is a trail that drops you right down into Humbug Mountain State Park. Though it was still early in the day I claimed a hiker/biker campsite and decided to finish reading a book instead of pushing on.
Besides the next stretch was a long road walk and I couldn’t find a single reason not to linger here and watch the sunset one more time.