Friday, August 7, 2015

Not without justification

I consulted Google Maps to see how far it was from Coos Bay to Boice Cope Park, near Langlois. As Google Maps usually does, it offered an alternate route. Besides the obvious way down Highway 101, it thought I might like to detour through Coquille (the county seat) and follow the Coquille River back to 101. Okay, why not? Besides, the route sort of looked like a profile of Conan O'Brien, with Coquille at the tip of his nose.

Highway 42 to Coquille and points beyond is four lanes. Piece of cake. But 425 from Coquille to Bandon is two lanes, rather narrow, curvy and with no shoulders most of the way—the type of road that can make me a little nervous. The Rolling Steel Tent seems wider and more wallowy under those circumstances. But I took it easy, a little slower than the speed limit, telling myself the road was plenty wide enough and I wasn't going to run off into the river or anything.

About two-thirds of the way along (in the middle of Conan's chin, I'd guess) I came upon a couple of guys waving handheld stop signs. So I stopped.

"Up ahead there's a car that ran off the road into the river. The road is totally closed down. You can wait an hour or more while they pull it out, or you can turn around," one of them said.

I turned around, my anxiety vindicated.


  1. Oh gosh! I have been hesitating on choice of route the last few days for this very reason and you just gave me the answer, which is, basically, that I should always follow my intuition. I feel like such a wuss sometimes, but better than ending up in the river. Or ocean, even.

  2. BTW. Good bookstore in Gold Beach and I liked the little private camper ground in Nisaka. Mighta spelled that wrong. Needed a shower, finally and it was worth the $20. Nice folks, mostly codgers. Quiet, but friendly. Near the beach.

  3. Designer's eye to pick out Conan. I don't think I would have notice that on the Google map but once you pointed it out, it is so obvious. Yep, go with your gut... but also "some" of those narrow twisty roads can be truly beautiful drives. I lost count on one trip of how many animals had "danger...XX... crossing" signs along some of the more interior routes paralleling 101.

  4. Yes it is Nisika. I asked a local about that twisty road going from Gold Beach over to Grants Pass and she said it was washed out in places and you better have good brakes. I drive a lifted Tundra and am only just getting used to it after 10 years of driving a little Honda, which I would probably have taken on that road. Actually, my old 88 Tacoma was the perfect size. I might downsize yet. This big truck is kinda scary. Anyway, I am back in Ashland and it is smokier than it looked on the webcam so might not stay long. I am already coughing. The coast was so nice. I miss it.