Cycling Adventure Day 15 & 16

Day 15 – May 30, 2015 – Saturday

Its 5:30 am and foggy. Dad and I have the same reoccurring discussion about waiting an hour to let the fog lift, because it’s foggy and outside of Gold Beach we will climb from about 50 feet to 800 feet above sea level in approximately 5 miles and we assume the fog will be thicker the higher we get. I eat a banana and decide to read “Mental Floss.” My legs are feeling more tired today, but it’s nothing a huge hill won’t fix. Despite the initial climb, today will be a short day. We are heading to Brookings so I can have my bike adjusted.

“Whoo, whoo” an owl wakes me up. I fell asleep again. Now it’s 6:36 am. There is an owl and other birds in the trees nearby. I can also hear a fog horn in the distance. I’ve never fallen asleep (last night) and woken up (just now) to a fog horn before and it’s nice, well, since it’s far away and not too loud.

At 10:30 am we are on the road. I take pictures of a rock that looks like a whale (from a distance) and a rough road sign (as if we didn’t notice). There is fog ahead, but it never seems very thick where we are riding. On one of our riding breaks, I take a picture of a plastic fishing lure by the side of the road.

We see a turn out and take some pics of the view that even on day 15, I never get tired of.

Coastal View

There are other people taking pictures and a guy offers to take a picture with me and Dad in it. He says “Otherwise they won’t know you were on the trip too.” I find this interesting, I never thought if I wasn’t in the picture that people might think I wasn’t there, considering they are my photos, maybe if I never got any pictures of me.

two people on beach

I take some pictures of the way the sand piles around the rocks and Dad tells me about gold dredging and where the gold settles.

rocks and sand

We ride over Pistol River, which makes me think of my friend, Cristal. We stop quite a bit. One stop is at the end of a guard rail. We get some snacks out and see that someone has written a funny note to those who might need to potty beside the road. It maybe it’s just funny because I’m sleep deprived.

stinging nettles

At 1:48 pm I take a picture of Dad riding past the Brookings sign, and at 2:07 we are outside Subway taking a picture of our trip’s food chain of choice. We eat and I call the RV park for information, they close at 5 pm so we have lots of time. Then I call the Escape Hatch, the local bike shop, for directions and to tell them my bike needs an adjustment.

When we get there I take my bike in and unload all my packs behind a counter near the back, trying to keep them out of the way but safe at the same time. A kid puts my bike up on the holder to check it out, affectively moving my seat from the perfect position I had it in, without marking it. Soon the main bike guy comes and the end result is a new chain (slightly different size), new brake pads and a tune up. Dad and the bike guy chat while the bike guy works on my bike. They tell me some stuff that they are doing but eventually I leave because honestly, I don’t care how it works, I just like to ride. Thanks Dad for doing the boring stuff.

I go back into the front and call Marc. I talk to him untill I run out of minutes. This is so frustrating, because I am supposed to have unlimited minutes! I call the phone people to refill my minutes and chat with them, but I take my conversation outside for a little more privacy. They do finally fix the error, apparently they had us on the wrong plan, but now we have service till June 28th. They tell me to restart the phone and everything should be fine. I do this and still see a notification of a phone with an x on it, but since the phone works, I ignoring it.

I call the local RV park and tell them we are going to be late and ask if there will still be a site for us. The lady is going out to dinner and we have a much too long conversation, but we get it worked out that I will put the money in the drop box. I’m not sure why she didn’t just say “I’ll be gone use the drop box” but anyway, it’s worked out.

My bike’s finished so I ride around back trying out the gears and the new seat height. I can tell it’s much lower than before, however, the guy at the shop says he thinks it looks like it could even be lower. I tell him this is fine. I probably had my seat a little too high earlier, but I can already feel that I am using my muscles differently so I’m not about to go any lower on a long trip. I wasn’t born yesterday!

I put all my packs back on my bike then pay for the work they did and a bottle of lube. We head over to the Bi Mart and shop. I look for a new pad to sleep on without success. When leaving the parking lot, Dad asks if I am hungry. I say “No.” It’s about 5:30 pm, but spending 2 ½ to 3 hours in the bike shop and fighting with the phone people has taken away my appetite. He decides he can eat the food he has packed.

We head to the Riverside RV Park. We ride through town and take a left onto a road that goes up hill and then to the very steep driveway of the RV Park. I would say this is probably the steepest hill we have encountered yet! What is it with people and steep driveways! Dad and I both think “this is not going to be fun in the morning” and say so.

Riverside RV Park

We pass a group of people at some of the RV’s and one of them asks if I am “Sharon.” I say “No I’m Angela, but I did talk to her on the phone.” She tells us where to set up and where the office is.

It costs $24 to camp here tonight, which after my State Park deals seems SO expensive. The grass looks great where we have to sleep, but is really lumpy. When I set up, I put my pillow right into a dip in the ground which as it turns out is quite comfortable.

Dad talks with Mom on the phone and tells me Aunt Ginger had a stroke. We tell them to keep us informed. I’m definitely worried and praying for her. Ginger is Grandpa’s last sibling, I think, we need to keep them both around as long as possible.

Our camping spot is close to the bathrooms and showers, but also close to the park’s dog potty spot. It works out fine though, I only smell stinky animal a couple times. From here on out its the standard evening routine, showers, calling spouses, eating, reading, sleeping.

Tomorrow we should make it to California!

Bike Stats: Time: 3:21:53      Dist: 30.30     Ave: 9.0     Max: 36.5     Odo: 555

Day 16 – May 31, 2015 – Sunday

7:09 am – Foggy, foggy, foggy! There are owls hooting in the trees nearby again. This must be owl country.

fog campground

I’m up and writing in my journal. I also took some pictures of flowers outside the bathroom to kill some time and so I’d remember. Now I’m back in my tent and stuck!

zipper stuck

I’m really stuck! I can’t move the zipper at all! “Hey Dad, I can’t get my tent to unzip, can you come help me?” I ask. “Okay. (pause) I suppose you mean now, so I have to get up?” He says. “Well, hopefully soon.” I say. I can hear him getting out of his tent and he comes over and then after a minute says “Boy, it really is stuck.” “I know!” I say. “I’ll have to cut it.” “Okay.” He cuts it and I say “thanks.”

I decide to put on my bike shorts with the pink skirt again to see if they still bother me, since we have a short day today (and I need to do laundry) and I am able to tighten the belt about an inch around my waist. That’s definitely good news. As I’m packing up a bird flies so close to my tent that the air from his wings shakes my tent. It was cool and kind of freaky. Now I’m thinking of Hitchcock’s “The Birds!”

We plan to be on the road by 8 or 8:30 am, even if there is still fog. We are kind of in a hole and can’t exactly see the road, but we’ve learned that even when it’s foggy, usually we can start before the fog is all gone and seem to still have clear enough riding conditions.

It’s 8:30 am and we are walking up the hill and out of the Riverside RV Park. Dad said he is going to walk the hill because he doesn’t want to wear himself out this early in the morning. I decide to walk too, but I still think this makes us kind of wimpy and we could have made it. However, it’s probably a good thing we did walk because a big truck and trailer come down the moderately narrow driveway as we are leaving, and it also gives us time to take a reflection picture in the dirty traffic mirror they put up.

reflection picture

We take a minute at the top of the hill to put on our riding shoes. Then ride back to the road, go over the Chetco River Bridge and stop at the Circle K in Harbor. The map says we are to immediately turn right onto Lower Harbor Road and then take a sharp right onto Oceanview Drive. I haven’t seen any Lower Harbor Road. We ask a guy leaving in a truck about the directions and he gives us some. We eat breakfast in the Circle K and then talk to a couple as we are getting ready to leave. We ask about the roads/directions and they give us different directions and take a picture of us.

picture in front of circle K

We take a left out of the parking lot and a right on a road which when we get to the end is down a big hill and it’s not the right name. Well, we aren’t sure what the name is actually, so we decide to just go back to Hwy 101 and go south. All these side roads connect with 101 again anyway, and it will likely be flatter riding. We ride for about 40 minutes and stop to take pictures with the California sign!

bikers in front of California sign

We pass the Lucky 7 Casino and Hotel and I take a picture of the sign as we ride by because it says how much gas prices are (regular $2.93 cash price) and Grandpa is always asking how much gas prices are any time I go anywhere. “Do you want to stop in and win our fortunes or do we just want to be free and keep going?” Dad asks. “Let’s keep riding, this ride is about being free.” I respond.

We pass a gift shop/free museum that is inside an old boat, and I take a picture of a US 101 sign, as a momento, since we’ve spent so much time on it.

Hwy 101 sign

At about this point we pass a “Bicycle Route” sign and some people drive past in a truck and yell, “You’re on the wrong road!” They could possibly be right but we stay on 101 anyway. We pass some sculptures made out of horse shoes.

horseshoe sculpture

I am starting to wonder if my Camelbak has a leak in it, because it’s wet against my back. Suddenly we hear a super loud bang! It sounds like a gun shot. We keep going obviously, and are looking around, but it does get my heart racing for a moment. I’ve considered that it could be a really loud version of those bird scare cannons, but it only went off once and was way louder. Lord, don’t let us get shot!

I’m excited to be flying past our first Redwood Trees, one of my favorite things about California. I take a few pictures, but really they are more beautiful to see in real life.

redwood trees

We ride into Crescent City and the first thing we see is a Walmart. I still need a new sleeping mat so we stop. I find a mat, but can’t tell the price. When I finish shopping and get to the checkout the mat rings up at $50! “Are you kidding me!” I say out loud. An employee happens to be there and I continue, “I do not want this, $50 is ridiculous!” They help me delete it.

We ride through the town, but seem unable to find much. We are getting tired, it’s been cold today and kept getting colder the closer we got to Crescent City. I thought it would get warmer as we went south, but not today. Crescent City is cold! We see this guy riding a bike who looks like he probably lives here and probably on the streets. I think to myself “He has to know the area.” We ask him about hotels and he gives us directions. We just need to go back a block and take a right.

We stop at the first hotel we see. It’s an Econo Lodge and seems familiar to me. It’s from that one cold day in my distant past at that seedy hotel with the gun and the bag of money. Okay, maybe not, it’s something scarier! It’s the same layout as one that Marc and I stayed at on one of our super cheap anniversary getaways. Also in Crescent City and it was where I saw my first cockroach! I’m pretty sure it’s not the same hotel, but I’m still having flash backs. We are still in the older part of town, but Dad always stops at the first hotel/motel he sees. He says “That’s just how we roll!” So I just cross my fingers and hope room 133 is okay. I’ll make sure to check for bed bugs.

Dad pays and we go to the room. We open the door and (deep breath) I sigh with relief. It looks clean and doesn’t smell. I put my stuff on the bed and we re-organize the furniture so our bikes will fit.

Today I didn’t enjoy the ride as much as I should have. It was in a hurry because it was cold, foggy and seemed more inland. Tomorrow I will make sure to enjoy the ride more, if we ride. Marc said there is a 60% chance of rain tomorrow. I’d rather it not rain, but if it is going to I hope it starts early so we know not to ride.

I finish my shower and start to sit on my bed and it is soaking wet! I take all my stuff off and find it is soaked all the way to the mattress. We call the maid and dad shows her it’s wet. It wasn’t wet when we came in because I am pretty sure I felt it when I put my stuff down, so I think my Camelbak leaked and soaked through, but the thing is that it was a lot of water, this huge puddle soaked all the way through the comforter and sheets and extra blanket and sheet over the mattress. I didn’t think I had that much water in my Camelbak I’m still baffled.

Dad orders us two Pasta Bakes from Pizza hut. I do laundry. I have to walk all the way to the end of the units to use the laundry room. “Wow!” I stare at the room. I am thankful for the facilities, but it’s exceptionally dirty with junk piled in the corner. The machines steal 75 cents from me. Dad comes back with 2 family size pasta bakes. It cost $19.00. I had this trouble before, but it’s been so long since I ordered from Pizza Hut, I forgot they don’t have single person pasta bakes anymore.

7:00 pm Some very loud motorcyclists just rode up. They are playing their music really loudly! It’s actually quite inconsiderate. Dad sees that there are four of them. I ask “are you going to ask them to turn their music down?” He laughs and says “I’m not going out there!” Eventually He does go out and talk to the guys for a while. They are from Germany. They bought their bikes in North Carolina and had them shipped to California and now they are just riding around, apparently annoying hotel guests with loud American music.” Okay, I added that last part. They finally shut it off at 8:45 pm. Thank God!

Mom told Dad that Aunt Ginger called Grandpa so she is now on the mend. Thank you Jesus! Marc informed me that he is picking us up on Monday and not Tuesday. After I get off the phone I tell Dad “I wondered if next time he calls he will be picking us up on Sunday!”

Now I’m reading “Mental Floss.” This writer remembers when he was young, he had to study a country and then write a report on it for school and it gave me the idea that I should study a state or country or any subject really and write a short story with it. The goal being to help me retain more information and work on my writing skills at the same time.

Hopefully tomorrow good weather.

Bike Stats: Time: 2:24:10      Dist: 26.36     Ave: 10.9     Max: 24.5     Odo: 582

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