We began the day with some we riding in a misting fog that kept the roads wet. We headed off Highway 101 and merged on 199 towards Grant's Pass.
199 started with a typical, winding climb filled with switchbacks. For the rest of California we would be following the Smith River. We had a slow 35 mile climb ahead of us. At times the only way we knew that we were headed upstairs was our slow 10mph average speed.
Smith River was beautiful and crystal clear, often offering views of the river bottom through 10 feet of rushing water. 199 continued the California tradition of spastically jumping between starting and ending freeway zones. Some parts of the road were the narrowest we had seen yet; they ran thinly between rock slide prone rock walls and cliffs that dropped down into Smith River.
Our time in California finished with a steep 2 mile climb up to the beginning of the Collier Tunnel. At the rest area many drivers were shocked that we were biking to Oregon, nevertheless across the country. One lady asked what way we were riding, then warned us we had miles of hill climbs remaining. After passing through the tunnel, we descended for about 8 miles. Seems like the lady at the rest stop had been unaware that any direction from a mountain summit will lead down in elevation.
We pulled into a general store 10 miles south of Cave Junction where we received some advice. "Panhandling is illegal around here, there are no cops for 40 miles around here at night". "Free vegetarian dinner at 12:30 on Saturdays at the church". And from the helpful cashier "Don't stay at the Junction Inn, you'll have a much better night at the Holiday Motel".
Well, the Holiday Motel was full. Guess what the only other hotel in the Cave Junction area is? The Junction Inn. Other options included camping at one of the town's trailer parks. After a drinking driver and passenger "complimented" Greg's bike, we decided to go with the Inn because our tent does not have a deadbolt.
Pictures of the Inn are forthcoming, but for now, here are some reviews of the Inn:
"Never stay there ! The place is so bad. Creepy looking people staying there. The room smelled like un-cooked fish when we walked in. everything was dirty. pulled the bedding back and there were crumbs and hair on the sheets.It was July and we had to swat away the wasps before we could enter the room."
"This hotel cuts every corner possible -- to the point that some of their actions are illegal. The man at the front desk is rarely sober. The cleaning person sometimes doesn't show up and your room ends up uncleaned and without towels for days. There is old rotten lumber on the lawn with nails sticking out of it. There is a broken pool chair and scratched up pickup topper in the pool area next to a green colored pool with garbage floating in it. There is a smoke alarm bracket hanging on the wall in the room with no smoke alarm."