Cycling Adventure Series Day 6,7 & 8

Day 6 – May 21, 2015 – Thursday

Last night was cold and wet. I snuggled in my mummy bag and got too hot, so I opened it up completely and put it on top of me and slept on my mat. Then, of course, I got cold, so I zipped it back up and got inside. I laid on my back and wrapped my arms over my chest to get warm and fell asleep. All of a sudden I’m on an inner tube sliding down a snow bank and I slam face first into the snow, which would have been funny, but I can’t breathe! I wake up with a gasp. I fall back asleep and have several version of the same dream, I’m under water or my face is buried in a pillow and suddenly I can’t breathe! Again, I wake up gasping for air. Why is this happening? It’s kind of scary! Finally I think “maybe it’s because I’m falling asleep with my arms on my upper chest, and the weight of my completely relaxed arms is causing me to stop breathing.” I move my arms and thankfully it doesn’t happen again. I’m pretty sure I’m the only person on the planet that tried to kill themselves in their sleep with their own arms. I’m not sure if I’m embarrassed or impressed.

I get up and pack up. My tent fly and tarp are wet, but I will dry them out later. We stop at the info booth on the way out. Dad tells the lady that the showers are cold.

Today we have at least two hills, one of them is taking us up slightly over 800 feet so I say a quick prayer that God will lift the fog. I also take a picture of the fog that is covering the top of the mountain where we are headed.

Guy on bicycle riding towards mountain with fog coming down

We are passing beautiful rock and water views leaving Rockaway, but I can’t seem to get the pictures I want. We stop at a view-point with an info sign about Captain Robert Gray. Dad looks at the view and says “Sailors on a ship used to be gone for months at a time.” I respond “I don’t think our spouses would like that.”

We ride through Garibaldi. We pass what looks like a smoke stack for an old factory. There is a worker on the side of the road so we stop. Dad asks her what the big smoke stack looking thing is and she says “I don’t know. I haven’t been here that long, but now I’ll have to go home and find out.” I think to myself “if I lived here, I wouldn’t know either.”  As we ride past this ugly old building that take a picture because mom said to take a picture of an old cabin if we see one. It’s the only one I’ve seen so far and it figures that it would be the most ugly, not interesting or antique looking old building ever. I’ve got a digital camera, but I already regret taking this picture.

In Tillamook I take a picture as we pass the Tillamook cheese factory. We don’t go in, but I take a picture because I remember Cle mentioning it. Dad goes into O’Reilly’s to get some chain cleaner. We ride to Fred Meyer. Dad heads off to get some food and I head to the clothing area. I need a long sleeve shirt for under my jacket that isn’t quite as warm as my sweat shirt. I don’t find anything on the sale rack but when the lady rings up my shirt, it’s less than I expected. What a blessing!

When we meet back at the bikes, we check the map and there is the suggested route or the Netarts Highway Alternate, which is 8 miles less, but has lots more traffic. We decide to take the suggested route with the hill and less traffic.

The road is narrow, uphill and right now has no shoulder. A semi-truck passes me, but it can’t get past dad. Three more vehicles pass me and line up behind the semi. I’m looking ahead and hoping that the truck will be careful passing dad because he has absolutely no room. He is riding in the lane of traffic and the ditch is his only other option! I keep watching. The truck is not passing him. I breathe a sigh of relief. The whole line of cars is going the same 4 mph that we are going. Dad pulls over at a wide spot where there is some logging going on. I’m glad that’s over, that was uncomfortable.

We ride into Netarts. I’m suddenly confused. I thought we would see Oceanside first. “Hey Dad, let’s stop. I need to look at the map.” We study the map. “I think we probably took the Netarts Hwy Alternate route by mistake.” Dad says, “Yeah, that’s what I think.” A guy in a vehicle stops across the street and walks over to us. He asks if he can take our picture from behind. I look at Dad then say “Sure, I guess so.” The guy goes on to explain that a couple of years ago he hit and killed a bicyclist. He has an upcoming court date and wants to show that if the guy had been wearing bright-colored clothes that would not have happened. The bicyclist was wearing a white t-shirt that had gotten sweaty and dirty after a day of riding and he was hard to see. The guy sounded really nice and he said that he had been in a war and been injured while working on a fishing boat and this was the hardest thing that he had ever been through. He took a picture then we said goodbye. I pray for him as we ride on.

He tells us to go down the hill and take a left and we will be on track. At first, I am thinking we need to stay right, but Dad and the guy think left. I look at the map and realize they are right. God was good to send us someone who could help us go in the right direction, otherwise we would have taken a loop backwards. Hopefully we helped him a little bit too.

We ride a bit then I need a bathroom, so we pull into Cape Lookout State Park. The entrance to the park is long. We ask a park ranger where the bathrooms are and he says in the day area. We find the bathrooms. Dad says “Are you ready to go?” “Yep, I’m ready.” I respond. Dad starts riding off. I grab some crackers and jump on my bike. I’m stuffing food into my mouth and riding at the same time. There is a hill coming up soon and according to the map it’s significant.

We take a right out of the park and encounter “the hill.” In about 2.5 miles we go from 0 elevation to a little over 800 feet. The roads are in very poor condition with narrow or no bike lanes and the right of us has become a steep hill with no guard rails. I look down several times and think how just one accidental tired swerve and we could be rolling dangerously down a very steep hill. “Lord please be with me and Dad.” I pray. As we climb, the fog gets thicker. Dad is having a particularly hard time with this hill. He stops a lot. He hasn’t trained for this ride as much as he should and he’s carrying more weight than our last ride. That means his butt is not toughened up yet. He also has a bad right knee and he had a wreck a few weeks before we left giving him pain in his right hand and back. Yeah, he’s a mess right now, so this is a tough one for him.

The other difficulty is that there is no flat place to stop, we are always on an incline. Dad’s balance isn’t as stable as he wants it to be so to get his feet clipped in he turns his bike around, starts on the downhill until he clips his feet in and then turns back uphill. I can start uphill and get my feet clipped in, but there have been times I’ve tried to clip in and my foot has slipped, so I’m very careful.

I shift to my lowest gear and say “I’m in my lowest gear.” Dad says, “Me too.” I say, “I could do this all day.” Dad say, “Aaaalll day!” I settle in at a slow 3 to 4 mph pace to grind it out. Dad’s lowest gear puts him at a slightly faster speed than me, so he gets up ahead a bit, then needs to stop. Just about the time I catch up, I’m getting warmed up and ready to keep going, but I stop anyway. Then we rest. He goes and stops. I catch up, etc. Dad is stopping a little more than I like, which actually makes it harder on me, because I’m not able to get a rhythm, but I remember I was the slower one on our last ride and he was patient so I figure it’s my turn.

guy hunched over bicycle

Finally we reach the top. I say, “Dad don’t go too fast downhill, because the roads are awful and could be wet or slippery.” Dad says, “Yeah.” Riding downhill is a little tense because the roads are so poorly maintained. The canopy of trees overhead puts shadows on the road, so I know this means there might be a hole in the road I can’t see until I’m right on it. I hit several bumps of broken road that is jarring.

After several hours in a foggy forest I am surprised when it suddenly changes. At the bottom of the hill the forest thins and suddenly it’s sand and trees and almost sunny. The road ahead is straight and relatively flat! Definitely not what I was expecting! This is great. I instantly relax which makes me realize how stressful riding can be in certain situations.

I see a sign that reads straight ahead to 101 and right to Pacific City. We want both, so I’m not sure what to do. Dad swings his left leg out (our non-verbal sign to stop) and stops. I say “Let’s ride up to those signs up there and see what they say.” We ride up further and decide the road going right is the correct one. We passed to look at the signs coming the other way, so we turn around. “Hey dad, pull over at that fence I have to go to the bathroom.” He says “ok.” I’m thinking how inconvenient this is, I ALWAYS have to go to the bathroom. We turn onto Sand Lake Road to Pacific City. It’s flat riding. We ride about 9 miles and pull into a store for food. The sign on the hotel says Cape Kiwanda, so I ask the cashier where we are, because I think we are supposed to be in Pacific City. She says we are in Pacific City, Cape Kiwanda is right next to it.

This is one of my continual confusions. I ride into a town. I miss or there is no sign saying “Welcome to Pacific City.” then I look around and see Cape Kiwanda Hotel. So now I am wondering am I in Cape Kiwanda? Will I have to ride further to get to Pacific City? It’s really annoying when the name of the hotel is the same name as the next town you know you are supposed to visit AFTER the town you are supposed to be in. Yeah, irritating. That’s why every motel should be named NOT a town name, unless it’s the town you are in, or better yet, why not name every motel after the color it’s painted. Magenta Motel or the Blue Motel. Just saying.

We pull into this store and dad sits down on a bench to change his shoes. I start taking pictures. “Hey Dad, show the camera how you’re feeling right now.”

guy with back ache sitting on bench

We laugh about our “show the pain” photo shoot and head into the store. We eat on a table outside the store. We go back in to ask about camping and they tell us we can camp right here at the Cape Kiwanda RV Resort. (notice the name, I want to stab myself with a fork about now). Dad pays and we decide to shop a bit more before we go so we don’t have to come back.

Following the RV Park map we find the spot for the tents. We are in T3. We move our picnic table closer to our tents so we can lock up our bikes and start setting up. There are lots of trees around us. I take some art shots. Dad goes to shower. I decide to do laundry, which I’ve been wanting to do for a couple of days, so when Dad comes back I collect all his dirty clothes and head off. I ride to the store because I forgot to buy laundry soap earlier.

There is a gate that opens automatically when exiting the RV park, but requires a code to get back in. I ride up to the gate. I put in the code but the buttons are super sensitive and I push a wrong number. I can’t clear it. A guy in a truck leaving the park yells to me “the code is 513.” I say, “I know, but I pushed a wrong number and didn’t know how to clear it. Thanks though.” I ride in the gate he just came out of. I ride to the laundry and look at the door. Sigh. The key pad has no numbers, just 5 buttons. I try several times but can’t get in the laundry room. A lady comes out of her trailer and yells “The code is 513.” I think “I hope it’s not a secret.” I say, “I know, but the buttons aren’t labeled.” A guy comes by and I say “do you know how to get in here?” He says “the code is 513.” I say, “I know, but the buttons aren’t labeled, so is 1 at the top or bottom? I’ve tried both.” He opens the door. Turns out I wasn’t waiting the right amount of time after I entered the code to push on the handle.

I lock my bicycle to a shelf inside the laundry room and start some laundry. I walk around the building and take a very long, hot, free shower! It is awesome! I come out looking like a cooked lobster, but it is nice after a cool moist day. I put the laundry in the dryer. I take a picture of the art in the laundry room. It’s just one painting, but I like it, maybe I’ll paint something like it. Then I skim through a magazine someone left. Laundry dried, I ride back to our site.

Dad has already cleaned his bike chain, so now he helps me clean mine. We decide to lube them tomorrow, because it’s still misting outside and the chains need to be dry to lube them.

This is Memorial Day weekend and Dad and I are wondering if there is a day we need to avoid the roads. Traffic is one thing, but I’m concerned about drunk drivers. I will ask Marc when I call him later.

It’s getting dark out and there are bunnies all over. They are so cute. I noticed them when I went to the laundry, but I take some night shots of them. They are everywhere and let you get pretty close before they hop away. Camp grounds with bunnies are cool!

Bike Stats: Time: 4:19.57   Dist: 41.20     Ave: 9.5     Max: 38.8     Odo: 268

 

Day 7 – May 22, 2015 – Friday

I wake up and see all of our gear is still wet and it’s cold out. I’m cold. I didn’t sleep well, again. It’s that too hot then too cold problem again. What can I say, it’s budget travel. It’s also foggy. “Hey Dad, It’s foggy out so I’m going to take a shower and try to get warm.” “Okay” he says. This morning the shower feels like there is a limiter on the hot water because it just won’t get hot enough for me to get all warmed up inside, but at least I’m not sweaty anymore.

We pack up and lube our bike chains as best we can, they were not properly dried because of last night’s mist. There are two older guys camping next to us. We mention getting off the road early because this is Memorial weekend and ask about traffic. Guy 1 says he’s not sure when the worst traffic will be and Guy 2 says he’s sure Memorial Day is next weekend. I think he’s wrong because I spoke with Marc last night and he said it was this weekend, so I will ask someone else.

We ride to the store to get AA batteries, and it starts misting again. I ask the cashier and she says this is Memorial Weekend, just like we thought.

We ride for a while then cross over a bridge. I look to my right and see a boat, named Simon, partially sunk in the water. It’s covered in moss and looks so cool that I have to stop and take a picture.

girl in front of sunken boat

It starts raining more and water starts spinning off the tires. My bike feels so heavy! Is my tire flat? I look repeatedly down at my tires to make sure they haven’t gone flat. We are technically going up in elevation, but the ride should be easy. The biggest hill only gains approximately 150 feet in elevation. The water is making my packs heavier and the tires feel like they are stuck to the road. My feet are wet in my shoes and my helmet is dripping water off the front. I take a quick selfie to try to capture the moment and show the water dripping off my helmet and on the road spraying out from the tires. Sand is getting everywhere too. One bad thing about riding on the coast is the sand gets everywhere when it rains and it’s really tough on our bike chains. It making shifting noisy. We had our chains cleaned perfectly last night and now they are filthy. My gears are not shifting as smoothly as when we are able to apply the lube to a dry chain. This bothers me, I want it to be silent when I switch gears.

A large truck and a couple campers pass us as traffic picks up. There is lots of edge to ride on, but riding downhill is cold and wet. Dad says “My glasses are getting spots all over them which is not great, but if its cold and my eyes tear up when going downhill then I could be in real trouble.” I say, “Yeah, we should get off the road as soon as possible.” We ride through Oretown. It’s on the map, but I wouldn’t call it a town because all it has is an abandoned building or factory of some sort, not useful to us at all.

Dad’s having a lot of trouble with his gears. He only has about three upper and three lower gears on each sprocket. I think that’s what he said. Either way, it’s a pain for both of us. It’s hard on his body, to only have really high or really low gears and it’s a pain for me because I either can’t keep up or am running into the back of him. We are going to have to find a bike shop. There was supposed to be one in Pacific city, but the bike map said “at different locations” for an address and the number didn’t work. Dad is having a lot of problems with his bike dropping his chain, then the gears are a little off and now they are really bad, so if this keeps up by the end of the trip he will have a completely rebuilt his bike!

Up ahead we see a sign for Neskowin. The map says it has lodging, so we check it out. We pull in and ride up to the Proposal Rock Inn. We change shoes and go into the office. The manager lady is nice but doesn’t smile ever. “We need a room with two beds. Non-smoking and on the first floor.” Dad says. She looks and says “I only have a room on the second floor.” Dad and I look at each other. “Well, we don’t really have much choice, I guess we could carry the bikes upstairs.” I say. “Yeah, okay.” Dad says. “Also Dad, we need the room for two nights, because we don’t want to ride tonight or Saturday night.” He says “Yeah, that’s right. Okay, we’ll take it for two nights.” “Also Angela, there is a hose right over there we can clean our bikes off with.” “Okay, great.” I say.

We hose off our bikes and our packs and walk our bikes to the staircase. Dad says “We can just leave our bikes here and take our packs up.” “Why don’t we leave our packs on and take our bikes one at a time. That would be faster and two of us should be able to carry a loaded bike up the stairs.” I say. “Ok, good idea.”

We get the bikes upstairs and lean them against the railing outside our room, #230. This is the first hotel we have not been able to get a ground floor. We take off all our wet packs and pile them in the tub and on the bathroom floor. We lock our bikes to the railing outside to let them drip dry before bringing them inside.

We settle in and Dad showers while I call Marc. We brought dad’s prepaid cell phone because it’s a simple flip top and the battery will last for days without being charged, however, I run out of minutes and the phone cuts out mid-call. Dad gets out and tries to purchase more minutes, but can’t seem to figure it out.

It’s about 11:32 am now and I decide to write in my journal. I hope the weather is nice on Sunday, because I’d like us to have a nice place to stay on Monday if we have to take Memorial Day off because of traffic. Will they have a bike shop open for dad on Memorial Day? Not likely. Stupid Weather! Stupid Holidays! Ha ha! Kidding.

Bike Stats: Time: 1:02.21   Dist: 11.01   Ave: 9.5     Max: 22.1     Odo: 279

2:33 pm – Since Dad paid for the hotel, I am buying us lunch at The Café on Hawk Creek. He got a Thai Chicken Salad and I got a Cesar Salad with Salmon. There isn’t that much Salmon on it either, but it cost $29.50. Yikes! Everything around here is expensive, because it’s in the middle of nowhere. We feast!

3:54 pm – Dad got ice cream for dessert. Chocolate PB for him and organic Coconut Bliss for me. Dad has a gift for picking up the weirdest flavors of ice cream when he buys it for others. It wasn’t too bad. I ate some and gave him the rest.

I decide to see if I can refill his phone. It works this time. We watch Star Trek Next Generation on TV and I still love it.

6:07 pm – Yeah, I’m writing a lot. I’m a little bored, we usually ride a lot longer. I’d much rather be riding, but it’s probably better this way. Plus there is no way to protect yourself against a drunk driver except don’t be on the road. Called Marc, but have nothing to talk about.

6:30 pm – I keep debating on whether to save my receipts or not. I keep thinking I might need them for details or to do something artsy with. On Animal Planet channel they keep advertising this movie “the Cannibal in the Jungle” that seems interesting. Maybe if I remember next time I talk to Marc I’ll have him record it for me.

8:07 pm – I think my pink riding shorts are causing some discomfort so I’ll have to buy another pair at the next bike shop. Money is a concern, but bike shorts are NOT the area to skimp.

Day 8 – May 23, 2015 – Saturday – Rest Day

Today is a rest day, by force of Holiday. It’s 9:57 am and I’m writing slowly because I’m also watching on Disney XD “The Pirate Captain.” Dad is still sleeping. The movie is Claymation.

10:07 am – Dad just woke up.

The movie has ended. I think I’m going to go for a walk. I take a picture in front of the hotel so I’ll remember the name.

girl in front of proposal rock inn in neskowin

I also take a picture of the Café at Hawk Creek sign and the Neskowin Farmer’s Market sign. The Farmer’s Market is right across the street, but there are people there and I’d rather be alone. I love to be alone and not having to see or talk to anyone. I take a left at the road and see there is a path that leads to the beach behind the hotel. It’s beautiful, I’m surprised. I didn’t know anything was back here. This is nice. I would come back here.

The sand beneath my feet is very soft and hard to walk in. It’s not freezing, but I’m glad I have my hat and sweatshirt on. I see a man watching his two little girls play in a tidal pool, a bird dog carrying around his orange toy and an old sailor smoking a pipe and looking out to sea. I see a woman taking a picture of her husband and two kids with her iPhone. I think “I should go take a picture of them all together.” I walk over to them and say “Do you want me to take your picture?” “Sure, thanks. Usually I don’t get to be in any of the pictures.” She says. I take about 5 pictures of them then give her the phone back. She says “Thanks.” “No problem.”

I carve MOE into the sand with my finger and take several pictures trying to get it and myself in the picture. It doesn’t ever look perfect. I’ll just put something together with a photo program when I get home.

I head back to the hotel. I stop by the store right next to the hotel. It has a huge wine section and some basics, but it’s mostly healthy and natural foods. There are lots of people in the store and lots of samples set out. I eat some of the samples of bread and salad dressings. So delicious! It also has a bakery of sorts. I really like this store, but I’d have to mortgage my bike to shop here very much.

When I get back to the room, I pull my tarp out and hang it on the closet door to dry out.

2:53 pm – Our plan is to ride to Newport tomorrow, take Monday, Memorial Day, off and then ride into town on Tuesday and have Dad’s bike looked at, again. Then hopefully we will be able to put some miles behind us.

3:52 pm – We lube our bicycle chains. They were so beautiful then we rode into that torrential rain. We rinsed them with the hose yesterday, but they are dirty again.

I had this idea to create a camp – Dad said I should call it an “Out Camp.” It would be for soldiers coming out of the service. A place sort of like a huge hospital/resort with medical facilities, but we would also have speakers like Anthony Robbins and Zig Ziglar speak. (I know Zig is dead, but you get the point). A camp to get them back into society after war or service, but it would teach them more than just surviving with their experiences, it would teach them to thrive and become successful. I also had a book and a whistle idea. I always get lots of ideas when I ride.

9:58 pm – Besides an upset stomach in the mornings because of the stress of not knowing where we are going and map reading, I also have been battling awful thoughts, like driving off the road and falling over a cliff. We’ve been riding on roads where it would be very easy to make a mistake and do that, but I know God is with us. He takes care of us.

Our spouses are missing us way more than we miss them. Ha! Well, it’s true, and it’s probably because we are having fun and they had to stay home and work. I feel bad for them and hope they are happy. This trip has been pretty easy for me so far, much easier than last time. I am loving the benefits of training ahead of time. We’ve had really bad weather, making camping cold and uncomfortable, but I love the road and I love the coast, so I am very happy! I was born for the open road, maybe my parents really did find me under a cabbage leaf, because I was left there by a gypsy.

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