Sunday, July 30, 2017

Day 7 - Leggett California - Less than 200 miles to go

Sunday 30 July - I'm putting the date down because, all of the days are running together and I don't always have WiFi available to upload my blog on the intended day. After a very cool night of sleeping in the Redwoods, we had facing us one of our most taxing days. The hills leading to Leggett, California. The carrot at the end of the day was a shower and a night in a comfy bed, if only we could get there. The ride was really beautiful, but we knew we had those hills on this the hottest day of our ride. It was above 80 and it may have gotten to 90 degrees.  We checked on one another and made sure everyone was drinking plenty of water. Our journey took us along the Eel River. The river seemed to be taunting us, as if to say, "you know you want to jump in and cool off". But it never seemed like we were close enough.  But finally the opportunity hit, we found a spot after looking at the river for 2 days,  to actually jump in and cool off. It was just what we needed at that moment in time. The water was wonderful and rejuvenating and gave us what we thought we needed to get to Leggett. I think that was about the time we also realized had we known it was going to be a blazing hot day we probably would have started our day much earlier than we did. The glory of the river kind of wore off after about an hour as we faced each hill that confronted us. The worst parts were when we were on highway 101 in the blazing sun, the black top was relentless. Finally the temperature began to cool and we were feeling better, but the Kelsey got not 1 but 2 flat tires in less than one hour. That was the bad news. The good news is we we're not far from our dinner spot for the evening The World famous Peg House. The burgers were AWESOME! They even had live music playing. The problem? We still had 4 miles and two more elevation climbs to go. But....we made it!  We are staying the night at the Stonegate Villas, really cute little place with a really nice and accommodating owner.  What a day.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Day 6 - Days all seem to be running together now

Woke up slowly but surely in a comfy Motel 6 bed today. No one wanted to get up, it's was too comfortable, but we did. We rode into the Arcata square and had breakfast at the Alibi. A really good breakfast, check it out if you are ever there. Then it was off to the Avenue of the Redwoods. I must say that the last two days have been the most beautiful and scenic. We rode through lots of farm country. Lots of "California Happy Cows" as a young Ian would say. We saw two strange cemeteries, all of the plots were above ground, I guess because of water levels like in New Orleans.  We stopped for Gatorade in the small town of Loleta, known for the Loleta cheese factory according to the Loleta Market owner. But we also heard that Halloween III, was filmed there. Then we rode into the town of Ferndale. Simply wonderful little town, we stopped for lunch at the pizzaria and in the distance heard the sounds of a mariachi band playing. They were actually marching up the street playing and behind them came a young woman and some attendants in a Cinderella horse drawn carriage. We couldn't tell if it was a wedding or a Quinciera. Whatever it was it was pretty cool. Then we were off to Weott and the Burlington campground. A hilly ride at times but simply awe inspiring to look at the majestic trees as I rode by.

Day 5 - Sort of a rest day

So the plan was for two nights in a hotel in Arcata, but like I said before, that didn't quite happen, but we did get done relatively early in Friday, about 1:00 and we did spend the night at Motel 6. The ride to Arcata was my favorite ride so far as far as scenery goes. We were off of 101 most of the way on scenic bypasses. We even rode for quite sometime on an actual bike path! That was like heaven. We heard and saw sea lions, saw surfers and other cool stuff along the way.
We caught an Taxi (well most of us, Lee insists he will not get in a motor vehicle until we are done with the ride) from our motel to the Arcata square... center whatever they call it and hand dinner at a nice restaurant called Abruzzi's. Afterwards we played a few rounds of pool, had a few drinks and realized, HEY, we have to get up in the morning and ride. Well that's no fun, but we acted like adults and headed back to the motel, and promptly crashed. As I began to doze I heard Tom Bodett say, "We'll leave the light on".

Friday, July 28, 2017

Day 4 Another night in the woods

Well the best laid plans. You know when we mapped this trip out we were sitting around a big table, in a relatively dark room and having cocktails. So when someone said you realize that will be a "century ride, ride"? It didn't seem like such a big deal. But then we started to ride and realized our best laid plans would not come to fruition. That's the down side. The upside is we are spending the night in the Redwood National Forest, which is pretty cool....well except for the threat of bears 🐻, mountain lions and ticks!
As much as I would prefer sleeping in a nice warm bed, there is just know way, we... I could have made it to Arcata tonight. I was so tired going up one hill that I had to stop and rest....bad move, it's too hard to get going again, and I took a tumble, banging up my already bad knee. Oh well, supposed to get a new one soon anyway. We saw some beautiful views and will get into Arcata tomorrow and have half a rest day and get to sleep in a bed and take a shower!

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Day 3 Complete -That was a Doozy

Four people one route, all with the same thought - that was a very long day. Arrived at our destination at 4 different times, but we all made it. 70 miles of hill after hill, setting up camp at Harris Beach State Park.  And I am too tired to say anything else.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Thankful morning

One might assume that this Army girl is great at camping, well you would be wrong in your assumption. You see when I was little Scott and I would ask Dad why don't we go camping like our friends? Dad's answer was invariably, "because I spent 23 years, camping, I don't need to camp anymore". I only understood that once I got into the Army, but only partially understood. 1) I was an officer, given a shelter half (one half of a tent) that was never used. 2) dad actually used the shelter half he was given. Slept on the ground, in war time. 3) When we slept in "the field" we slept in nice big tents, on cots, the backs of trucks, etc. 4) We were often fed out of mobile kitchens, so I have no idea how to cook while camping. Except if you give me an MRE (Meal Ready to Eat), that I know what to do with.
So thank goodness for Kelsey, Lee and Ian. Kelsey can throw down on one of those little bitty single burner camp stoves that she carries on her bike. On the first night we had rice and beans, with veggies cut up.  In the morning we had an awesome pot of oatmeal with peanut butter, dried cranberries, and bananas to get us going. And of course COFFEE! But I must admit I could use a nice hot vente Pike Place right now. Lee the engineer/Eagle Scout is is great for all kinds of things, like being kind enough to give me his Mountain Hardware jacket for the trip, because I forgot to bring one! Having a personal professional bike mechanic on the trip is never a bad think. So far he's only had to change his own flat though, but did so in impressive time.
As I wake up this morning I am thankful for three really awesome young folks that are putting up with this woman that is 52 years wise.  I am also thankful for the elements -
As I hear the owl hooting, the cows mooing (farm next to camp ground), the sound of the ocean, birds tweeting, I am truly thankful, for God's goodness. But I do miss Bob Goodwin because right now at 6:40 am as those young folks are still curled up in their fart sacks (sleeping bags), my Bob would be handing me a hot cup of coffee right now. Sigh. #thankful

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Day 2 Wisdom and Determination will Out Live Youthful Exuberance

Today was rough, as soon as we took off we were immediately faced with a hill. My legs were just not ready for the hills. Kelsey, Lee and Ian are taking the hills with youthful ease, I just take them one pedal push at a time, they are usually way ahead of me. My sweet Ian though keeps looking out for his mama and waits at the top of the hills for me. We stopped in Charleston, Oregon for a quick break and as soon as we got back on the road, we were met with a giant hill. By now we were off of highway 101 and on the Pacific Coast bike route, which was nice, but that hill did me in, I had to get off and push my bike numerous times, that is until Ian looked at my bike chain and informed I was in the wrong gear! Ugh. It made all the difference in the world. We stopped in Bandon for lunch at the Bandon Fish Market. After a beer and fish and chips we set out for Cape Blanco. The problem with Cape Blanco was the camp sites were first come first serve, so the plan was for Lee and Ian to ride ahead and get us a camp site. But Ian got a flat tire on the way. He fixed it in about 15 minutes and Lee was bound and determined to stop at Langlois Market - Home of the world famous hot dog. So once back on the road a decision was made to turn off before Cape Blanco and try for another camp ground. We wound up tonight at Lake Floras State Park. A much nicer, quieter and friendly place than we stayed at last night, complete with showers, washer, dryer, WiFi and access to plugs. Speaking of which I have very few photos from today because my phone died. I bought a solar power charger but it seems to work on everyone's phone except for mine.
We did about 60 miles today, tomorrow will be a bit shorter and on day 4 we get to stay in a motel....yeah! I'm tired on day two, but determination will always win the day.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Day 1 Complete - 2017 Most Excellent Cycling Adventure

Well we finished day 1, stopping at the Spinreel Camping area outside of Lakeside. Today's take away? Hills are no joke! And it started immediately, we crossed the Siuslaw bridge and immediately hit our first hill and they just kept coming. We stopped in Reedsport for a long leisurely lunch at the Waterfront restaurant, recommended to us by a guy at a auto shop on 101. We asked for good food and beer and he said that was the place to go. It was good. Bud and Buy-in were the primary brews, but they had a local brew that we all went for. It's was good. So far the shoulder for us to ride on has not been too bad. The motor homes whizzing by are not bad, the log trucks are the worse. The young folks are beating me up the hills every time, but I haven't stopped just moving slow.

2017 Most Excellent Cycling Adventure

San Francisco or bust! Me and three 20 something's will be riding from Florence, Oregon to San Francisco. Follow our adventures here.