Thursday, August 30, 2012

Onwards to Samual P Taylor

After having a a much needed rest day at Bodega Bay, along with some good meals, I was all geared to ride to ride on towards San Francisco.  It is amazing what rest will do.
I said my goodbyes to the other bikers  including Leo from Fairfax at my campsite before leaving.  ( l bumped into Leo at the Rustic Bakery in Larkspur, the next day!)
Leaving Bodega Bay, the highway turned inland for awhile. It was another one of my favourite areas to ride through. There were lots of rolling hills and farms. For a while, there was hardly any traffic and I felt like I could be riding alone in an end of the world show like Survivors, or the Walking Dead. Thankfully, I did not run into any outlaws or zombies!
I stopped for coffee in this cute little village of Tomales where there were other cyclists hanging out. I enjoyed a nice cup of coffee and a very tasty pastry. There were also lots of motorcyclists out for a day ride from San Francisco.
I continued on until I reached the ocean.  There were lots of roller-coaster hills to ride along the ocean.  Those are great as long as I can make enough momentum to get up the next hill without much effort.
I stopped at one of many quick seafood places for some clam chowder.  (At the many fancy oyster places in the area, people from San Francisco like to come out for the day).  At the seafood place that I stopped at, I bumped into a rider from the Bodega Bay campsite.  He was riding slower due to bummed knee.
We rode a lot of the rest of the day together as he was riding slower.  I soon met him again in Port Reyes Station again where I stocked up on food.  This town was cute touristy town.  I stopped again in Olema to get some needed beer.
I had to ride up this 500 foot climb and then ride on a bike path to get to the campsite in the Redwoods.  It was great to get to camp in them again.  We had lots of time at Samuel P Taylor to explore the Redwoods.
(I saw the cute Dr.Who mug in a store front at Point Reyes Station.)

Sunday, August 26, 2012

On to Manchester

After a good night's rest at Fort Bragg, I left fairly early in the morning as usual.    By 7 am, I am wide awake every morning.  I checked out the cool town of Mendecino.

It was another short ride for the day.  But it was a challenging one as there were a lots of ups and downs with narrow turns.   I call those tight corners, 'pee your pants moments', for good reason!  There are plenty of those riding down the California coast.  Shoulders mostly do not  exist here. After having a quick lunch in Elk, I continued on.

I was tired by the time I hit the KOA.  After signing in, I immediately set up tent, then jumped into the hot tub!  I also watched some more tv.  Then, off go bed early again as I was tired and sore.

Next morning, I packed up early to avoid the busy weekend traffic and to increase the odds that I would make it to Bodega Bay. I did not think I would.  I also thought that I would not catch the 8 am shuttle to there.  I had to catch it in a town after Manchester, that was 7 kms away.  But, by some miracle, I did!  After riding madly down a hill to catch it, I threw all my stuff off the bike and onto the bus.  It took the bus 2 hrs to get to Bodega Bay, but it beat riding as I would get there late then, if at all.  When I saw some of the crazy cliffs along the way, I was glad that I chose the bus to get there.  The roads were insane!

Here I am relaxing.  Cheap campsite, but I splurged on a t-shirt, a good breakfast and dinner to prep me for shorter ride to campsite near San Francisco, my last stop before hitting the big city.

Watch out for the BIRDS in Bodega Bay

Let"s do Leggett

After riding with my two Nanaimo buddies, it was finally my time to ride on my own.  There were quite a few bikers staying at the Standish Hickey campsite, but most were still sleeping when I packed up.   I wanted to tackle the over 2000 foot Leggett Hill early to beat the 100 degree heat.
I stopped at the cafe across the street to say my goodbyes to the guys, then off I left at about 8:15 am. I was going to stop in Leggett to have a proper breakfast, but nothing was open.  So tackling Leggett was my first order of business.
Right away, as I was leaving Leggett, the long, fairly steep ascent begun.    The hiker in me told myself that I would find it easier to walk the bike up, so I did.   I climbed up it to the top fairly quickly.  At the bottom, I asked a local resident for some water.
I had bit of flat road where I biked quickly, then I had another steep ascent!  I also walked up most of that.  After a fast descent, I made it to the ocean.  I had a bit of a break there.  A German tourist offered me a diet Coke.  I took him up on it.  He was amazed at me riding.
After going up and down several rolling hills, I made it to Westport.  I enjoyed a Crabby Patty at the local market.  Spongebob must live near there!
I continued on to Fort Bragg, where I decided to stay at a cheap motel as the campsite was just North of the town and I wanted to hang around the town area.  I made it to Fort Bragg in good time at only 3pm which is great considering the big hills that I had climbed that day.   I enjoyed dinner and light Scrimpshaw Pilsner beer and dinner at the local micro brewery.  While there, I chatted with other cyclists who were heading North.  The told me to stay at the KOA near Manchester the next day as they only charge $10 for biker/hiker and it includes a hot tub!
After exploring the town, I headed to bed early after watching some tv.  I was exhausted from that day's ride despite it only being 63 kms long.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Hot day in the interior

Today, we had a hot ride in the interior.  We stopped for coffee at this cute cafe.

We decided to ride on the freeway as we seen the big cedar forests.  But, they were our friends as they kept us cool during the hot day.  We ate at this cute cafe in Garbervile.  We met some other cyclists from Berlin.  While in town, I cancelled the room for 2 for the hostel for Sunday, as I am completely following the Biking the Pacific Coast book, which means I won't get into San Francisco until Monday, August 27.  We bought some food, but there is a restaurant near where we are camping.

After some hot climbs with rests under trees and a bridge, we came to Standish Hickey campsite.  It was closed due to California budget cuts, but volunteers have opened it up!  Kudos to volunteers!

Changes of scenery.

After spending a night at the KOAc campsite, we headed out early to eat breakfast in Eureka.  We ate at the Chalet.  Afterwards, Douglas had a flat!  So he changed it.  (Tom is the other guy)We took a look at te old part of town with all it's old buildings.

We started riding again.  It wa a long hilly way out of the city.  Going up a hill, we met up with a group of riders with support.  They too, were heading to San Francisco.  They were amazed at our strength carrying all the gear.

I felt like I had more energy then the day before.  Every day is not always so easy.

We stopped in Scotia for lunch.  We had food from a market.

We then rode on and turned off to ride on the Avenue of the Giants.  What an amazing ride!  And btecother guy)ecause we left Eureka so early, we could ride slow and enjoy it!

We made it to the campsite in good time, and it gave me a chance to dry and air my things out.  I met up with a coup.e with a cute mini homebuilt trailer whom I also saw at Elk Prairie campsite.

We had a good rest under the Redwoods.

Monday, August 20, 2012

2012 Pacific CoastTrip Recap (so far)

On August 10, me and Deanna took the train to Portland.  While waiting for the connection to the coast, we rode around.  We enjoyed a sampling of Micro Brews at one of many micro-breweries  around the bike friendly city.

We then took the 2 1/2 hour bus to Astoria, where we were dropped off right by our hotel.  It was a basic hotel, but it suited our needs and we both got a good nights rest before the adventure.

Next morning, we checked out the Goonies house.  Then we prepared to leave Astoria.  After ridinjg for a bit, I had to return to the hotel as I left some clothing behind.

Onwards to Eureka!

I had a nice night at the Elk Prairie State Park.  I woke up at 7 and the guys from Nanaimo were packing up.  As it was a shorter 74 km ride to the KOA campsite near Eureka, I did not feel like rushing.  I enjoyed some Starbucks instant coffee and some granola.  Then I packed up.  I left almost one hour after the guys did.
I saw them leaving a cafe in Orick.  I decided that I would also stop at the cafe for a good breakfast to get me going.  It was your typical small town Cafe, it had character!  But it did have wi-fi...
After breakfast  I headed out to Trinidad.  I was struggling on the hills.  The shorter day still seemed tough.  As I approached Trinidad, I saw the two guys from Canada.  We ate a nice hearty lunch together.  Then we rode on.
Eventually, we made it to the Koa Campground before Eureka.  After setting up the tent, I started doing some laundry.  That is where I am right now.  They have a hot tub and pool, and tonight they have an ice cream social.  Yum!
According to the bicycling the Pacific Coast book that I am following, I will be riding with them for another day, before they go down 101 to Napa Valley.  I go down Highway 1 which follows the coast.  I met some girls from Kelowna riding to San Francisco, maybe I will team up with them.

The Redwoods

I had 2 wonderful rest days in Brookings.  Deanna was under the weather still, so I thought 2 nights in a hotel would help.  The day before, we had made it to Gold Beach, and then Deanna could not go any further.  We ended up taking a shuttle from Gold Beach to Brookings, which was about a 1/2 hour trip.  The driver was so much fun!  My bike was on the front bike rack and Deanna's was inside.
The hotel we were staying at, was very close to the bus stop. We each had our own room so I would not catch her cold.
On Saturday, I was lazy..   I got a Starbucks coffee, and splurgec at the nearby Fred Meyers. Then I biked around.  I saw this cute deer and fawns wandering around.
Eventually, I made my way to Brooking Harbour.  I wanted travel info from the local travel agency.  I came across this cool Farmer's Market. I love that no matter where you are, there they are!  I got myself a nice homemade wool touque.
I enjoyed a nice lunch of steamed clams.  I had dropped a $50 bill at on place, and after eating, while riding around, a truck stopped to give back it, which I did not even know that I was missing.  How cool is that?
When I returned to the hotel, Deanna had said that she was flying home from Crescent City.  I had to decide what to do.  After consulting with friends, I decided to continue on as I was on good shape and did not want to abandon my plans.  Besides, I would be so bored spending 2 weeks in San Francisco, never mind more broke.
In the early morning, I said my goodbyes.  I was nervous about going ahead on my own.  But while I was eating breakfast at Mcdonald's, I saw some riders go by.  My heart jumped and I quickly rode to them.  It turns out that they were from Namaimo!  Luck was on my side.
Soon, we were riding in the redwoods, and I was happy that I did not stop riding.  There were plenty of other riders out there.  There must be at least 6 camping tonight at Elk Prairie Park.  I made it here in good time, even though  I went up some 1200 foot hills today and rode 106 km!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Seven Devils

After posting at Northbend/Coo's Bay Safeway, we biked a good 8 miles.  We were going to stay at Sunset BayState Park, but when we came across a private campsite advertising LAUNDRY, it was a no-brainer to stay there!

We had a very sandy campsite, but it worked.  It was by a lovely beach which I discovered next morning.  We saw no other bike campers, but assumed that they were staying at Sunset Bay.

After a very late dinner, we headed to bed. 

Next morning, we caught a nice sunrise.

As it takes us a while to dismantle and pack the bikes, we did not leave until 10ish.  Right away, we had to climb up some dreadfully high hill on the aptly named Seven Devils's road!  We chose to walk up it. We noticed that someone had spray painted numbers marking a lot of the hills. We had to ride over seven, although not all the hills were tough.   The real steep hill was at the beginning.

For a while, it seemed like were riding in the middle of nowhere in Oregon in the fog.  There were not too many houses to be found.  I stopped a German tourist driving by to make sure we were on track. Deanna thought that we were, but I wanted to double check.

It was reather a peaceful ride away from the 101.  This is the best part about bicycling the coast, riding  on the quiet roads and going places that you wouldn't go in a car.

After quite a long ride, we reached Bandon.  We saw the familar tandom bicycle of a couple from Santa Barbara who are also riding to San Francisco.  We ate lunch where they ate, as they were leaving when we got there.  We also met up with Jack, Randy, and Ken who were riding the Oregon Coast with the SAG support of their wife.  We camped and bumped into them lots on the Oregon Coast.

In the cafe we chatted with an older lady who approached us.  She had just ridden across the USA from Florida to Oregon!

Soon, we left.  We had to ride a other 50 kms or so to Humbug State Park where we would be staying the night.  We elected to not stop in Port Orford to get food as we would be getting into Humbug late.  We had a backup freeze dried food for backup for times like this.

I was so happy to make it to Humbug, Deanna too, as we were both tired.  I saw the guys with the SAG van camped, so we stopped to chat.  Deanna went to bed early, while I enjoyed marsmallows and smores with the SAG guys.  They were so nice and supportive.

(I am resting for 2 nights in Brookings, so I will backwards post- posting about the first part of the trip in more detail, so the posts will be out of order)

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Better Day!

Yesterday we struggled up and down the hills because we did not stop to eat for a big big stretch.  We got into Honeymoon State park near sunset.  We ate in Florence before hand, so we were good.  We decided to stay at the hiker biker site despite the firepit.  With her cold it might make things worse.  It was good though we love the atmosphere of those we met on the rode.

We had a good breakfast of eggs and bacon.

We also stopped to eat in Reedsport.

Deanna struggled up the hills, but we made it to see some sand dunes!

We are now getting food at Safeway after crossing insane bridge.  Probably staying at Sunset State Park tonight.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Tough days

Deanna has been a bit under the weather, so we had to take it easy.  We still made it to Beaverly Beach yesterday.  We had  a big hill to go up yesterday which I managed good.  Deanna was dizzy from being ill, so she walked up it.  I waited for her at the top.
She got some meds at Lincoln City.  I am hoping she will be ok.    She has a cold which is more manageable then the flu.
We have stopped at bike shop in  Newport where bike is getting chain cleaned.  Awesome bikeshop has wifi and showers.
Photos of lighthouse we just visited and bike shop.
It is awesome riding down here.  :-)  Hi all to people I have met along the way.

My bike getting some tender loving care!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Astoria to Weyland Bay

I finally get access to the net for a bit.  Yeh!
We left Astoria at around 9:30  after checking the Goonies house out.  Of course, I had to return to the hotel as I forgot a piece of clothing!  Deanna patiently waited for me.  She got a saftey vest from a marine shop while she waited for me to return.  It was foggy and cool, but soon the sun came out and it warmed up.
We stopped at a sporting good shop to get camp fuel.  (but we realized later, that we forgot to buy matches!)  We also discovered the the official bicycle route went across a different bridge.  The one we had crossed on 101 was narrow and crazy with traffic.  But we did make it across safely which is what counts. 
After checking out a Vollyball tournament in Seaside,  and having lunch there at a Pizza Hut, we met some women riding on a tour.  We bumped into them a few times down the road.  At the top of a hill there were more of them and they joked that we could open up a fruit stand there with all the cyclists congregating there at that time.
We went through a tunnel safely, but Deanna had troubles with the fumes.  One guy standing at the beginning kindly pushed bike in tunnel button.
In Cannon Beach, we stoped by Mikes Bicycle shop and checked the pressure of my tires.  They only needed a small top up.  I love that shop!  I wantcto get a yellow safety jacket like the one that they sold.  It has a built in blinky strip.  How handy is that!?  He gave us some valuable route advice also with a local map.
After a long day, we pulled into the Nelham Bay campsite where we met other bicyclists.  We were greeted by a volunteer from Parksville who offered us coffee and lemonade.  I love Oregon State campsites!
We had dinner, and a shower and off to bed.
Next morning we said bye to a man and his 2 children whom he was towing along.  I will have to post picture of them when I return as no photo of them on tablet.
We rode the day with a guy from Germany and Portland.  I had lots of energy.
We stopped in Tillamook f or some wi-fi, coffee, and ice cream  Plus, we also stocked up at a Fred Meyers which is quite affordable compared to the shops we had bought stuff at previously.  Oh, and we got some REALLY stormproof matches and some Tillamook yogurt.
After reaching Cape Lookout Junction, we decided to go South and camp somewhere else as we had to backtrack and go up a big Freaking Hill to get to Cape Lookout campsite.
We found one down the road that had no showers, but had flush toilets.  I washed my hair in sink and felt much better!
We will be going the a nearby campsite tomorrow, when I will be posting this.  Wish I would have known about it as it has showers and Wi-fi!  Oh well, such is things.
So sorry about not posting much, Wi-fi not often easy to get when you just want to going down the road.  We are already farther then originally planned so we are that much closer to San Francisco.  Not sure how far down we will get tomorrow.

Whalen Bay County Campsite

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Squirrel loves the view,

Just a quick posting.  The  ride so far has been nice.  Roads very congested at times, but riding safely.  I think Deanna hates me for wifi stops.;-)

Love the bike culture. 

I will post details when I can. 


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