All posts by Ridin' Rick

Day 27, Bodega Bay to San Francisco

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Great dinner in town last night and good sleeping weather. . . warm all night. Only downside . . . a fog horn that blew EXACTLY every 8 seconds, ALL NIGHT!!! The riders were so tired it was not a problem for them!!! I had been wondering what was behind this elaborate stone wall and walked over to check it out . . . on the backside was a SERIOUS sized  BBQ for group use.

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Joe, Mike and I were in the van as we headed for San Francisco . . . soon we came upon Gina, Jenny, Denise and Anne.

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We went directly to The Re-Cyclery, located in San Rafael, where they were holding a front fork for me that might fit Connie. Here is  a better view of the anodized cracked  part of the shaft that was exposed to air for eight years as a result of the ‘punk’s eight years ago pushing the shopping cart in front of me. An accidnt waiting ot happed . . .that happened on this trip!!! and anodized to a dark color..r

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Brian, the store manager, was just opening at 11:00am when we arrived. He had to rummage around a bit to find a race, cup and bearing that would fit Connie but finally put together a set or the three pieces that fit. That and the fact that the fork fit was a perfect Cinderella story!!! They usually do not do bike repairs but I think he knew I was in a pickle and decided to do it all. A LOT easier than taking the parts around town to another shop . . .

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. . .the lower cup being stall in Connie’s fork tube . . .

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. . . re-adjusting the spacers . . . installing the light, truing the wheel which had been knock out of whack by the crash, transferring the fender and brakes to the new fork all took less than an hour . . .

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. . . and soon I was out the door!!! Ready to roll.

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Thanks again to Brian, who besides giving instructions to the the five volunteers of what they would do for the day and dealing twits walk in customers, also managed to work on my bike in the main reception area because the three bike stands were already in use. REALLY went the extra mile to help me put. And I quickly loaded Connie, front and center here, in the van when Joe arrived to prevent someone from making an offer on her!!!! Read all about the Re-Cyclery’s mission to help kids here: Trips for Kids- Marin

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Soon the clouds had gone away and we were crossing the Golden Gate Bridge . . .

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. . . our lucky riders today who were able to cross the bridge using the pedestrian lane of the bridge.

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We are staying for two nights on our layover day at the Hotel International located very near Fisherman’s Wharf . . .

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. . . exotic reception area decorated for Halloween . . .

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. . . and here was the submarine that was to be the boys hangout . . . the girls looks the same.

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. . .the hostels always have LARGE kitchens . . . breakfast is included in your stay . . .

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. . . and they have large well equipped kitchens available if you want to bring in your own food and cook . . .

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. . . with handy cubbies to store your extras.

Day 26, Mendicino koa to bodega bay

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In the van again today, with Tom. We stopped right away at a café in Manchester so he could catch up on his expense reports. Tom and Joe need to keep very detailed records of our daily expenditures to insure we stay on budget. The reporting needs to be done live, online, so when we have no connectivity they can easily get several days behind.

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. . . Joe is riding sweep today and he and Hugh stopped by for a quick Ginger/Pear muffin snack, and catching up on all the news to print,  before heading on down the road.

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The half way point, Stewart’s  Point, had a great mercantile where we tied up with most of the group. The sunny sky had turned to fog!!!!

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. . . all the more reason to have a nice sandwich and beer which Glen promptly did!!!

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. . . these two guys out in the parking lot were looking for some chow ,too.

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. . . and who knew Bigfoot was such a patriot!!!!!

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We are camping at Bodega Bay State Park located bout two miles out of town on a sand spit. If there is a tsunami tonight . . . we will be some of the first to know. Elevation, about three feet above sea level!!!!

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Tomorrow we reached San Francisco and I’m hoping Connie will be transformed from a unicycle to a bicycle again . . .

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. . .  interestingly, the wrench at the last bike shop mentioned the two colors of the broken fork post indicated the shaft had been cracked before this incident. He asked me if I had ever hit anything before and sure enough, the incident about eight years a go where three ‘punks’ pushed a shopping cart in front of me came immediately to mind. The bike went one way, and I was launched the other way. The post was probably cracked then. The area circled in red is the cracked area that turned darker through the years as the metal anodized. The metal to the left that is whiter is the the part that finally failed on this trip. I’m very lucky the failure didn’t happen on the way down from Legget Mt when I was going 25-30 miles per hour. The good Lord was looking over my shoulder!!!!

Four are moteling it tonight and because of the long all the riders had on the coast, we are eating dinner out in Bodega Bay. NICE!!!!

Day 25, McKittrich State Park to Mendicino KOA

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Joes driving today and Tom is sweeping. Once the kitchen crew finishes with the breakfast and lunch prep, and have put things away,  . . .

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. . .  we are about ready to go. Make sure all the luggage is loaded,

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. . . make sure all the rest of the gear is in the trailer. . .

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. . . and with one more review of today’s route, Joe and Tom, Jenny, Joe and I were on the road. Jenny has a cold coming on and decided not not ride today. She slept in the van while Joe and I shopped for groceries at Safeway in Ft Bragg and then hung out for an hour or two at Starbucks, while he did his daily paperwork. Including a report of my ‘incident!!!

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. . . and I got a new Specialized flashy colored helmet to replace my cracked Bell (which I bought in Ireland to replace the one I cracked there last year when I crashed)!!!  mmmmmmmmmmmmmm . . . is there a pattern developing here?????

KOA tonight and everyone who wanted to pay extra was able to get a cabin . . . five of us boys slept in tents!!!

Hugh and Pam cooked up some yummy viddles inside of a great outdoor kitchen compete with three stoves, a microwave and three HOT water sinks!!!

BBQ chicken thighs, pesto  pasta salad, green salad with all the fixin’s and pumpkin or blueberry pie for dessert with REAL whipped cream!! Big day tomorrow for the riders 74 miles and 4,600 feet!!!

Day 24, Standish Hickey park to mckittrich state park

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Big day today as we climb the largest climb of the trip, Legget Mt. you can see it above on the Map #3 profile, the BIG spike in the middle. A long gradual uphill with a ten mile run out on the  other side. SWEET!!!

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Cold again this morning. The Nutella becomes unspreadable in low temps so Joe heats it in a hot water bath each morning, NICE!!! (red light is from my headlamp).

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Somewhere up there is the top of the climb . . .

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. . . and we switch from Hwy 101 to Hwy 1 which we will basically follow to Dan Diego. ‘Team Peckish’ (Denise, Jenny and me) are short a rider because Denise’s bike is in on the top of the van until we get to Ft. Bragg and it’s bike shop. She has a noise rear hub and is worrying about it seazing up like mine did!!

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We couldn’t start the climb until be stopped to see the ‘Drive Through Redwood’ . . .

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. . . which was unfortunately closed for the season or just not open yet at 8:00am . . .

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. . . either way we didn’t feel like trespassing so had to settle for this dramatic painting!!!

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First switchbacks of the trip . . . .

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. . . and up we go . . .

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Words of encouragement . . .

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. . . and the traffic that there was, was quite courteous!!!

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Finally at the top, yippee the big downhill. On the way down I had a flat and eventually everyone passed me. Hugh stopped to help and soon Joe showed up too. He was riding sweep today. A half mile down the road my rear tire flatted again. (need a new tire). After stopping to help again it was Hugh first down the rest of the hill me and Joe behind, about a mile.

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. . . at this point on sort of a flat area, my bike started handling very weird. Hard to describe but if you ride a lot you know when something is wrong. I stopped at a Call Box pullout and checked the tire again to see if it was flatting. Nope, so on I continued. I knew we did not have cell service here because Joe, Hugh and I had tried to call Denise who should have been at the bike shop now to buy me a new tire.

I continued on and the bike felt VERY unresponsive. I knew  would need to be hauled in by van so looking ahead and seeing a car far in the distant, made a u turn to go back to the call box and call Tom for a lift with the van.

I made it across the road and onto the shoulder when the tube on Connie’ s fork snapped and down I went.

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When I came to, the folks who had been approaching were stopped and getting bandages out to stop my finger from bleeding. I wish I could remember their names but can’t. They were on their way for a two week mountain bike adventure. I assured them I was OK (although my vision was ‘wavy’ and asked them to tell Joe what had happened when they met him ahead as he descended the mountain.

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By the time Joe arrived I was pretty much’ back to normal’ and he now had a cell phone signal. He called Tom who was just leaving the bike shop with Denise and he responded to pick us up. In the hour we waited we began calling bike shops in an effort to find a replacement fork. Looks like the closest that might work out is in San Francisco. Going to be a few days in the van for me and Connie!!! Blood on my water bottle from wherever I snagged my finger in the fall.

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I had landed on my left shoulder and the left side of my helmet had a crack in it. I put Connie’s pieces together and from here she doesn’t look to bad because the fork stub is inserted in the steerer tube, although you can see the fork has sort of a ‘rakish’ angle . . .

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. . . as I tired to move her across the road, into the sun, this is what happened, again. (white medical tape my good Samaritan;s left me to fasten my bandages, hanging from the handlebars).

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. . . catastrophic failure. Tom took me to the hospital for ex-rays of my noggin, and things were fine. The ‘spacy’ head feeling would be gone by morning an my ‘wavy vision’ had cleared. The ER doc was from Green Bay and went to medical school in Madison. FUN!!!!

Day 23, Orick to Standish-Hickey State Park

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Cold morning again, 32 when we crawled out of the tents . . .once again at 6:55am. hot coffee, tea or chocolate helps get the blood flowing again.

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Our fourth and last day of riding through the ‘Avenue of the Giants’ . . . .

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. . .where as we approached Richardson State Park there was plenty of opportunity to get everything you didn’t;t really need!!

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Home of the original ‘tree hugger’!!!

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Down the road we would go and again had the road all to ourselves for the first 3 hours. In the heavy shade it was still only 38 degrees by 11:30am . . . got to keep moving!!!

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Now, when one of these trees fall across the road it is a BIG deal . . . traffic can be detoured for several days!!!

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As we rode out of the redwoods, there was still lots of climbing today . . .up and over this . . .

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which led us to the ‘One Log House’. Amazing how many ways entrepreneurs can try to capitalize on the redwood phenomenon.!!!

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Confusion Hill . . . .

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Lots of confusion . . .

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from the ‘recent’  1940 photos, I was not confused about the confusion of ‘Confusion Hill’ . . . separate you from your money!!!!

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Connie resting after ride to our home for the night . . .

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Camp quickly develops once the majority of the riders start arriving . . .

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. . . and start looking for charging options. We have not blown a circuit breaker yet!!!!

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Nice surprise tonight . . . we are eating dinner at the Peg House located right across the street from the park . . .

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Two of our riders trying to convince Joe they need more per diem to eat at the Peg House . . . didn’t work!!!

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Our new leader, Tom, asked what the specialty of the house was and ended up being ‘BBQ Oysters’, so he bought eighteen to pass around . . . most wouldn’t try one. . . .

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. . .  Anne and I both had four each and there were still leftovers. Hamburgers, tofu, and veggie burgers, along with ice cream Sundays were enjoyed by all. AND many beers!!! Still, we ere all in our tents by 8:00am. BIGGEST climb of the tri tomorrow!!!!

Day 22, Arcata to orick

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Thirty six degrees at 7:55am and some of us were ready to roll . . . if for no other reason than to warm up!!!

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We needed to drive through Eureka, CA and it was rush hour . . . including this chap who had LOTS of cans loaded on his bike heading to recycling!!! Am I back in Thailand??????

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Busy road but beautiful eucalyptus trees along the shoulder . . . .

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. . . on the way out of Eureka was this wildlife refuge . . . funny species to be protecting!!!

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Soon we passed one of the P G&E power plants that were back on line, its turbines whirring away at full speed . . .

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. . .  and this redwood lumber mill was back in operation since it had electricity now to power it’s saws, Hundreds of thousand of board feed of raw product AND lumber ready for shipping.

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. . . another river with hardly any water. Not sure if CA didn’t have a good snow year or if this amount of flow is ‘normal’ for this time of year.

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For the next several days we would be riding through the ‘Avenue of the Giants’, huge preserves of the giant redwoods . . .

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. . . which are REALLY hard to capture with a camera . . .TOO BIG!!!

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. . . big tree . . big rider

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Jenny stopped to buy some organic eggs at a stand in Pepperwood, sort of an enclave of folks holding firm to the 70’s. A variety of egg colors!!!!

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We were ahead of the group so stopped at Shotz and had lunch and an iced coffee. It was actually in the 70’s!!!!

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I left Connie across the street at the hitchin’post . . .

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. . . cute puppy, reminding me of our pooch. Locals were walking by and giving her cookies!!!

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Back onto the ‘Avenue’ where the temps promptly dropped about 20 degrees!!! Nice riding because most of the cars are on the adjacent Hwy 101, but VERY shady.

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If you don’t see this reflector and get to close . . . good luck at the hospital. That tree is not moving!!!

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Got to remember to look up every once in a while . . . stunning!!!

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As we rolled into camp I had a nice chat with our camp host, Kip. He was rebuilding the carburetor of his 1991 Doge motorhome. Looked like he knew what he was doing!!!

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We waited an hour and a half for Tom to arrive with the van and trailer. He had to wait for stores to restock their meat departments’ after the ‘run on meat’ during the power shutdown yesterday. We had a nice chat with Brad and Stella who were walking their pup Joey around the campground. They live in Pismo Beach and we will be riding right by their home  !!!

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PUPPY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Day 21, Elk Prairie Campground to Arcata

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The power went off at 2:30am and the 300 foot walk to the unlit toilet/shower building was a challenge to say the least. Hey . . . who is that breaking into one of our test at 7:15am??? Just Jenny returning to her tent wearing just about everything she had brought along, just like the rest of us, because the overnight temp was 25 degrees!!!

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It was a cold camp along with a thick fog that just started to lift at 7:30am . . .

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. . . my panniers were frozen !!!!!!

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As we rolled through our first town of the day, Akin, there was the Palm’s Motel that had an indoor type herbarium that was probably . . . 80 degrees. If we could have only slept in there last night!!!

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Trying to become a platinum bicycling city by having green painted bike lanes . . .town population 289!!!

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Nice operations center for the Redwood Park Operations, (maybe they should have saved some money to pay their electric bill for their parks. (there would be much more to the story to come . . .

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We have seen elk crossing signs since Oregon and I have not seen a one . . .

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. . . but there might be some ahead at Elk Country  . . .

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. . . can you say ‘baiting’????

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. . and sure enough a mile down the road was the resort with LOTS of No Trespassing signs. Paying guests only. But you could see them from the road bedded down in the long grass.

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We took and undeveloped road for a ways that ran right on the cliffs over the ocean. We have been seeing lots of this Pompous Grass along the way. Not sure if it native to CA. Also lots of surfers along the way . . .

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. . . mmmmm don’t think I will stop at this place to fill my water bottle.

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Cal Fire Rural fire station. Tried to talk to some of the boys but they were all in a meeting.

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Lots of rails along the beach and lots of people put waling their dogs. Beautiful setting!!

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Here was an example of a well repaired area where the rod had slid away. Instead of just patching it, the bed was replaced and reinforced and plant, trees and forbes planted to hold the soil. Expensive to do right!!!

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A surfers paradise!!!

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. . . and for seals looking for chow, too . . .

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Here they are in the shallow water . . . looked like they were having fun!!

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Denise and I were supposed to cook tonight. But Joe had trouble getting the ingredients for the Corn Chowder with chick or tofu, Texas toast and green salad we were going to make. The local utility for norther California, Pacific Gas and Electric, had turned off the power the night before at 2:30pm because of high winds, The shutting down of power affected over 500,000 people, including many of the people in line ahead of Joe at the grocery stores buying whatever they could, The power company had said electricity might be off for 5 days!!! Joe was able to get us spaghetti, sauce, cheese and bread. We had 4 cans of Clam Chowder Soup. So soup, spaghetti with ragu, salad and grilled cheese were the emergency rations we were able to rassle up for the night. The power came back on at 2;30am after the winds had subsided. Whew!!!

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Everybody left the table with a full tummy!!!

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This great pair of guides were soon to be history on this trip. Ryan was being ‘airlifted out’ by another ACA guide who was driving up from Reno to pick him up and get him to the airport in Reno. Tom, an ACA guide who lives in WA was being ‘parachuted in’ to fill in as the second guide for the rest of the trip.

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One final photo of our august group. Good by Ryan and hopefully no surgery needed!!! It had been quite a 48 hour period. An ADVENTURE to be sure!!!

Day 20, Brookings to Redwoods State Park

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Rest day we all stayed in yurts! Yippee . . . even stayed warm during the night.

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Th usual breakfast routine before we headed off to Redwoods State Park. Rich and Jenny compare routes on the map over coffee.

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For those of us who never ventured past downtown over the rest day, we finally see the marina in Brookings as we head out of town.

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We are crossing into California today and literally right on the state line is the last change to by weed in Oregon!!!

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Welcome to California . . .

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. . . and across the street it the welcome to Oregon sign, much nicer than the OR landing of the ferry ride we took from WA across the Columbia into OR where on the OR side there was only a pile of trash and an outhouse!!!

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And gas was notably more expensive in CA. Gene, a local in Fort Dix,on a bicycle, told me it was because the of ‘special ‘CA blend’ that causes the price to be so high . . .

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. . .and here was the nicely named ‘Pelican Lake’ correctional facility, the only one like it in the state, where the badest of the bad go, Sounds like our ‘Super Max’ In Boscobel, back in WI. For the second time we have seen a prison with no name or reference to what it is. Easy to tell though from the guard towers and multiple fences.

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On a nicer note was this local artist who was VERY skilled and using horses welded together to make creations . . .

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. . . and he had quite a display!!!

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Oregonians are just as anxious to get their coffee in the morning as Washingtonians seemed to be. Her was the result of someone not getting enough milk in their double latte. They mowed the place down with their car!!!

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Per every other crossing I have made into California there was the ever present vegetable inspection station . . . they just waved us though!!!

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Our first view of the California, not surprisingly it looked a lot like the Oregon coast!!

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Several of us saw this sign and questioned if the ‘local’ fine was for turning left or taking the bike lane!!! How do they collect?????

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As we passed through Crescent City there was a scenic lighthouse right along the pier. Very Nice!!

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Most of the signs along the beach a old and faded, but they all had the newer ‘No Solicitation’ sign added. I have been amazed at the homeless population we have scene along the way in WA, OR and now in CA. It’s appears to be in epidemic proportions!! People sleeping everywhere!!!

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Crescent City’s version of the Queen Mary . . . tours provided , too.

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Great views along the way as the sun rose higher in the sky.

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A big downhill from the top of this bluff down and across the bridge.

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Soon we entered the joint National/State sections of the redwoods, an ecotype we would be following, on and off, for the next three days.

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. . . however this was sort to f disconcerting. In many cases there ended up being NO shoulder, and uphill!!!

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Oh yeah . . . those redwoods are BIG!!!

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Mile after mile of tall giants that have stood for hundreds of years . . . a camera can really not capture the size and grandeur of these trees.

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Hey wait a minute! At the ‘Trees of Mystery’ there was Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox. I thought they were from Bemidji, MN!!!!

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They keep getting bigger. Connie liked brushing up against something almost as old as her!!

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Very little traffic along the way made for a GREAT ride, mile after mile.

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Oh and sometimes the behemoths are right out into the road. One needs to pay attention whether in a car or on a bike . . .

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We finally landed in Redwood State Park our hoe for the night . . .

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Great burgers cooked up by Anne and Pam. Mike and I are the only veggies on the trip and the group has been VERY accommodating. Here Mike gets his veggie burger, served from the pan on the left>

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Four kinds of salad to accompany the burgers . . .really hit the spot after a long day!

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Dave and Joe discussing the next options for cabins or yurts . . . it was going to get cold tonight and four of the gang had secured a cabin.

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A quick map meeting before the sun went down and everyone was in their tents IMMEDIATELY got down to 25 degrees. Water bottles froze and there was frozen condensation on the tent fly’s!!!

Day 19, Layover Day, Brookings, OR

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We are all staying in yurts for the two nights and David and his family had a yurt between our three. They are leaving to head back to their home in Vancouver, WA and were kind enough to give us their extra firewood. Thank you David!!!

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My back is acting up again and I could hardly get out of bed on our rest day. Here Denise, my road wife,  retired physical therapist and sadist/dominatrix leads me through the “cobra’ exercise that is supposed to help. She was reassuring and my back actually seem to get better. She said I need to do 10 reps, six times a day. Sometimes when she has back pain while riding, she stops and exercises alongside the road!!!  Got to get some Ibuprofen too.

Not for the faint of heart!!!!

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Ryan was riding sweep yesterday and while on the last mile of the ride, swerved to miss a truck that was not yielding to him. Unfortunately, he went down hard and after 3 hours in the ER came to camp with his two broken arms in casts!!! End of the ride for Ryan . . . but at least he didn’t hit his head!!! He spent a restless night in the yurt with Rich and me and will fill his hydro cordone prescription today which will hopefully give him some relief.

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Most were vanning the 1.5 mile sinto town today becasue they had too much laundry to carry on thier bikes. Rich, Denise and I decided to bike in and first . . .

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. . . have a nice breakfast that was something other than Instant Oatmeal. YUMMMMMMMMMMMMM!

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Some of the gang at the laundromat . . .

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. . . her we met Tom and Jan who are from the UK and traveling the same route we are AND staying out at Harris State Park too.

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. . . and we met Ebony, who with her cutie pup Sadie, was doing some wash before she headed into San Francisco by car. She had spent a month at a campground neat Klamath where she worked for free lodging. She is making plans to head back to Spain and rejoin her family after a 17 year absence. A singer, you can checkout her Facebook page at:  Ebony Str8upruesound

Day 18, Port Orford to Brookings

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Jo is driving the van today and helping with breakfast since Pam and he hd cooming duty last night. Here he is at ‘o datk thirty, an by headlamp, ’ sliceing straberries for us to put on our oat meal. Such service!!!

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Ryan is a taskmaster and donlst allow any breakfast for luch prep until 6:55am. Hoever cofee is erved earkier via French presses. Dave, Gina, Ann and me are allows in line trying to ‘push’ the 5ive minyutes ‘plunge time  . . . but he is strict . . .FIVE MINUTES EXACLY!!!

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. . .ahh, finally that first cup. YUM!!!

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These folks were set up right outside of the bathroom. A tent inside a tent. Must not like bugs, although at this time of year there a virtually none!!!

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Soon we were on the road and although the scale of this photo does not do a good job of representing the 300 foot headwall of timber in front of us as we exited the campground, we all thought how are we going to get over that. But we did!!!!

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Once again, Oregon DOT looking out for us!!!

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More fantastic views as we skirted the coast in the morning light.

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Shadows are harsh at this time of the morning . . .

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But as the sun rises the colorama come alive!!!

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Lots of geologic activity along the coast and there are many slide areas. Usually there are signs warning drivers and bikers . . . but as a cyclist one ALWAYS needs to be aware.

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Coastal communities seem to have a fascination with BigFoot and dinosaurs . . . here is one of several dinosaurs parks we have seen long the way. Nothing moving here . . .

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. . . except this poochie who was  back and forth in the window like a duck in a shooting gallery!!!

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Hope Joe saw this and stopped by Ray’s for the meat bonanza (whatever that is). Could be some good eatin’ for our carnivores!!!

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Along the way today we met Gerald who is biking from Canada to South America. Safe travels!!!

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. . . mile after mile of coastline.

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I was curious about the type and size  of house that must be up on the hill with having such an elaborate, and expensive, entry gate . . .

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. . . I looked back and saw part of it but their must be more hidden out of view.

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Several more miles of beach and  . . .

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. . . we actually arrived in Gold Beach.  A town of several thousand, there was an Apostolic Church, on the main drag, that was really ‘rockin’, as I road by.

Click above to hear  sample!!!

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Great local art on the municipal building!!!

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Not sure what this deteriorating tug was all about but there must be more to the story. Not really ‘sea worthy’!!!

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What a coastline . . .

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. . . and if you have an RV you can just pullover anywhere it is safe to enjoy a nice picnic lunch and some sunshine!!!

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Soon we crossed the highest bridge in Oregon . . .

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. . .here it was a LONGGGGGGG way down . . .

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. . .looked like an giant erector set (for those old enough to remember what that was)

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. . . but had a good shoulder, no 18 inch elevated sidewalk and a chest high guard rail. Bicyclists were not going to fall over this one in high winds!!!

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When you are biking along at 13 miles an hour you have to take in visually what is presented to you. Here was a local ‘art display’ presenting what, maybe a message about modern transportation, waste of natural resources, returning to the rock of the earth . . . or maybe it was just some hiker or kids having fun. A rock on every post!!!

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Communication both data and cellphone coverage have REALLY been a problem for us along the way. The state parks we stay in do not have wifi and cellphone coverage is almost non-existent. Thus a hard time keeping this journal up to date. Tomorrow is our rest day and as Anne and I rolled into Brookings, OR and Harris State Park, our home for the next two night, there were three cell phone towers right out side the park Should be a problem here!!!

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Since check-in was still two hours away, Anne and I went downtown to look for the laundry and scope of the other necessities one needs for a rest day and met Patti. Very friendly and she gave us the 411 about everything Brookings had to offer!!