Day 26 (1)

I just updated day 25, sitting in the Coffee Cove coffee shop in Bodega Bay, and the scones here were awesome. The coffee was good too, and the photos on the walls are really good. It’s now 9:30, and the fog hasn’t dissipated much yet. I am aiming for Point Reyes to tonight, and San Francisco tomorrow. That should wrap it all up in just under four weeks!

Day 25 (2)

Morning of 26, here are the promised pictures from yesterday:

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When I got to the Manchester Beach campground I thought it was likely the last night that I would see the folks I have been traveling in sync with for the last few days, so I thought a camp fire would be a good time. Brandon and I walked out to the beach to collect driftwood, and the sunset was so impressive that I had to snap a few shots. Look for more in the Flickr gallery!

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The whole area was nice to look at, and everything was inconvenient and remote enough that it didn’t seem heavily trafficked at all. There were signs warning us to stay on marked paths, so as not to disturb the rare mountain beavers.

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I was surprised, this driftwood fire was roaring hot!

And now that I think of it- those pictures were all from the night of day 24! Here are the others from day 25:

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This is where I ate breakfast. How about that sign! I had the biscuits and gravy, and the portions were so large that I wasn’t hungry again until about 4 PM. Good price, too!

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First of a couple really eccentric houses I saw today. I also saw Sea Ranch, which I heard about in a class somewhere with regards to design, but it seemed thoroughly boring to me.

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There are so many sweet rocks sticking out of the water getting hit by waves. I really can’t overstate that, or how cool they are.

So as I am looking through my pictures, I remember that there is a story from yesterday, why I ended up doing 65 miles and rolling into camp at 8:30. I had intended to stay at a park about 45 miles from my start, but it was closed. The next was closed too, so I rolled through, and decided to press on. As the sun started to go down I realized that I had some fairly noteworthy altitude changes ahead of me.

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If I was driving a car on these, I’d be super nervous.

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And of course there were many many sections where the shoulder was just a sheer drop off a 200 foot cliff into the ocean. A cockier cyclist might have done this route in half the time, but I rode the brakes on the way down 90% of these. After that broken arm in March I started paying more attention to maintaining control.

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I think this may have possibly been Goat Rock. Geez, it turns into such a blur so quickly! It was totally beautiful though, thoroughly enjoyable even though my legs were protesting a bit by then.

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I don’t know what this is, it looked like some sort of a pink rock with a bird or two on it. Traffic was happening, and the shoulder was tiny, so I didn’t dig out the Nikon or switch it to the telephoto. This is the best we get of this particular mystery.

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Here’s the other house I felt like taking a picture of. I just want to say- that’s how you do it! All these folks building McMansions in grid like developments, what are they thinking? If I ever have the means and desire to spend a ton of money building a place, I’d want it to look like it should be in someone’s portfolio.

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I finally got to cook my meal at 9ish, in the dark. Garlic fettuccine noodles with some Tapatio and peanuts, I bet whoever came up with that box didn’t expect it to take a Thai-like twist! It was good, then the bike tourers showed up with beer. Late night, fun stories, good time!

Day 24 (3)

I nearly forgot- two other things happened today. First, I found that my Brooks saddle is well and truly broken in. I did about 45 miles with regular shorts, no bike padding, and I was quite comfortable. Finally! For some people these things never really do get comfortable.

Second, I heard an entertaining story from a Dutch guy who’s been camping in our group for the last couple of nights. He saw my can of salmon last night and asked what I was having for dinner tonight. I joked that anything could be better, since the cheap fish really wasn’t that good, and the other folks were complaining about the smell. He said that he could relate, and the worst thing that he had eaten on this trip was a can of lamb. At first I thought he meant he had this at home- we don’t typically have canned lamb here- but the he said it was in Oregon. Then he said, “It was really bad, I almost could not finish it. I had never heard of the brand before, have you? It was Alpo.”

We had a good laugh when I explained that it was dog food.

Day 24 (2)

I decided to keep going, and to call it a night quickly if I didn’t feel good about it. The day was actually really easy, except for one really steep switchback that I walked up.

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The day started foggy, but I was on a pedestrian path for the first five miles, and most of the rest of the fog stayed well off the roadways.

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I had a really awesome ham panini with salad and bread pudding in Mendocino. They really should have put that town ten miles farther south, for the sake of us bike tourers.

Saw some more beautiful coast:

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Went over another cool bridge:

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Saw some foggy coast:

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And here’s a view from the switchback that kicked my ass:

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Oh yeah- I passed 1,000 miles after lunch today. Woo!

Day 24 (1)

I’m trying to decide of I ought to take a rest day today. Looking back at my posts, I think I have gone about five days since I had one in crescent city. I was super wiped out last night, but I ate well and got a ton of sleep. I’m pretty eager to get home at this point, so that’s another factor.

I guess I’ll look at a map to see if I can make it to a good rest spot today if I do set out.

Day 23 (2)

Camping right before Leggett was a good idea. The hill really wasn’t bad, and taking it in the shade instead of the heat of the day made it that much easier. I was kind of worn out for the cape right before hitting the coast, though, and I was dragging by the time I got to camp.

This sign was no joke:

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I did make it back to the coast today, I forgot that I’d been away from the pacific for a while there. It’s still pretty!

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And I think this was one of the cooler bridges I’ve seen in California so far, over the ten mile river:

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This was dinner:

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Yum, canned tuna! I stuffed a bunch of burritos with it and some couscous, cheese, and hot sauce. Once again I apologize to my camp mates for the smell.

Day 23- ready for Leggett

The whole tour I’ve been feeling a little nervous about Leggett. Here’s why-

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The highest elevation that I’ve reached so far was just over 900 feet in Oregon, and this one is around 1700. However, on further study, I noticed that where I camped last night was at nearly a thousand feet. This won’t be so bad!

I have been traveling in sync with some other bike tourers for the last few days, and two nights ago we had a good time talking around a picnic table, and three of them said they were continuing on the Standish Hickey park today. I really wanted to make it, but about four miles from the camp I had this happen:

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What?!? How? Why??

I couldn’t pull the chain out, but at least I had a pretty view.

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I absolutely could not tug the chain out, and I was starting to thing I’d have to break it. Fortunately I had been matching pace with a family coming down from Avenue of the Giants for a few miles, and they stopped to see if I needed help. They had ten people riding and grandpa John driving the truck behind to pick up anybody who ran into trouble. Fortunately for me, he was a mechanic and had some huge pliers in his truck, and was able to tug the chain out!

I made it into camp just as it was really getting dark enough to worry me, and a different batch of cyclists told me that my new friends were looking for me earlier, and went across the street for burgers. Of course I went over to join them, and got this awesome sausage:

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Beer flowed, and jolly times were had. Check out this growler holder- that’s how you tour!!

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In closing, South Park.

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Aiming for Fort Bragg tonight.

Day 22 (1)

I hit 900 miles by lunch today, that’s a cool number. A thousand will be cooler.

I’m stopped for lunch in a Chinese place in Garberville, and will need to stock up on some groceries for the next stretch.

Yesterday I saw some baby cows. They were pretty cute.

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The next picture isn’t too noteworthy, but I had to take it. I was climbing the gradual hill out of Ferndale when I got to a section that was suddenly far too steep, and I had to walk up for a few hundred feet. Anyway, this was the view:

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Soon after that I made it to Rio Dell, and a serious serious blackberry patch!

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A plant I don’t know was also there, and I thought it was kind of pretty:

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Continuing south through Scotia, I saw the most enormous lumber processing facility. Mind boggling, really.

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That’s a lot of dead trees!!

Not long after Scotia I made it to the famous Avenue of the Giants. If you have a chance, this is a cool place to see a lot of enormous old trees. Paradoxically, it was both a great and a terrible place to take pictures. It’s an explosion of light, and color, and texture, and lines, patterns- all kinds of things that can make amazing pictures, but it’s really darned hard to really give an appreciation of the scale of some of these trees. I tried with the Nikon, so you’ll see in the Flickr gallery. This is what it often looked like cycling through the place:

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And this is the kind of cool stuff to either side:

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Here’s a bridge over the Eel river:

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I think that’s for trains, I didn’t go over it. Here’s the Eel river:

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Before I left Eureka I went to the natural foods store, and one thing I picked up was a bag of energy bar nugget things from a bulk bin. They claimed two grams of protein per chunk, and decent nutrition per pound and per dollar. Also, vegan.

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Surprisingly edible.

In closing, I will leave you with some vines on a trunk. I’m trying to make it to Standish Hickey tonight.

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