Pictures at the bottom
Woke up at around 5:15, I finished making breakfast and my morning coffee by 6am, and I managed to get myself rolling by 7. Unfortunately, I had used up most of my remaining water for cooking, so my priority was to find more sooner than later. It was a cool and overcast morning, which helped me make my water last. Not even an hour into my ride, though, I was approaching the end of my final bottle, my sips were getting smaller just to save that little bit for the next time.
After about 2-3 hours in, I began questioning where the next town was, my route was planned to make sure I didn’t venture too far from civilization in those mountains. After finally getting a proper gps lock, I realized that I was something like 20 miles past and south from my planned town. My phone was able to tell me of this town named Gunter from it’s cached map tiles, it certainly looked like nothing was there, but without any phone signal, I knew nothing beyond that it exists and was the only thing within 15 miles in any direction that had the possibility of a general store or something, and it was only moderately out of the way.
When I eventually arrived at Gunter, there was just nothing except for this small cemetery, the size of a studio apartment, with 10-20 old worn graves in it. I tried taking a photo, but I couldn’t get my camera to turn on, so I kept going. Not long after, I was beginning to feel dehydration setting in, so I had to start committing to stopping at every water source I had access to and take a water break with my purifier. Using the purifier is typically not fun, it takes 15-20 minutes of effort to get about 8 ounces of water to drink. That’s sorta the downside of having such a portable unit. Around 1pm, and 4 or 5 rivers later, I decided I needed to eat something, so the next river I saw, I boiled down some river water, and used it to cook myself some lunch.
There was a downside with risking a ride to Gunter, because not only did I gain nothing from it, the new path put me on about 40 miles of logger’s roads through the mountains. I spent most of the remaining day just climbing mountain after mountain, slowly cross the ridge lines towards the coast. I eventually made it to the Umpqua river, I was pretty fried at this point, I had barely any energy left, and I was experiencing dizziness from lack of water. Some local fire patrol saw me resting on the side of the road while I cooled down, they pulled over and gave me a gallon of water from their truck and a packet of gummies to munch on, which was great! At this point, I was only 5 or 6 miles away from a town where I could restock and eat a proper meal, but without that gallon, it would’ve been hell just to get there. After slowly drinking through half of it while I continued to cool down, I continued along the river towards Scottsburg where I stocked up and ate some breakfast for dinner from this local place. Once I was all done eating, I got ready to follow the river the rest of the way to Reedsport at the coast, which was still another 17 miles away.
The ride along the river was nice, relatively flat and had a good shoulder on the road most of the time. I passed this elk viewing area right around dusk alongside the road, there were tons of elk hanging around and my bike totally spooked them, so they decided to run away from me ...alongside the road. So I had a quarter mile stretch where these elk were just running next to and in front of me trying, and failing, to get out of my way. Finally made it in Reedsport about a half hour after dark, after this long day, I got a room at a motel and intend to sleep well tonight.