September: Where is he? Where was he? When will he be in El Paso? Cary, N.C.? NYC?

Mrs. Palmer-

As always, please alert me to any errors. 🙂

Mr. Groth

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Sept. 1- Coeur d’Alene to Davenport, WA

85 miles.  Brinnon Mandel, Lisa May, Adalid Coca, Jenny Wayman and Pam Babb rode to the Rocket Bakery on Argonne and then returned to Coeur d’Alene. img_0545

The send off!  Lake Coeur d’Alene! (Writing this on Sept. 13- it seems like a long time ago.)

Keith Jones and David continued to Davenport. A surprise was the hill in Airway Heights.

Camped in Davenport City Park

Sept. 2-Davenport, WA to Bridgeport State Park, Bridgeport, WA

92 miles/ 177 total. Brutal headwind. Arrived in the dark at 8 p.m. Keith and David.

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Break, courtesy of Cheryl and the SAG wagon

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Keith in front of our dinner spot

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Camped at Bridgeport State Park

Sept. 3- Bridgeport to Winthrop, WA

65 miles 242 total.  “A day off,” said Keith, “only 65 miles.” Gorgeous ride along the Methow River.  Sunshine!

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A dip in the Methow River

Camped at KOA

Sept.4- Winthrop, WA to Diabolo Lake, North Cascades State Park

75 miles/ 317 total Over Washington and Rainy Passes.  Jenny Wayman caught up with us as we descended Washington Pass. She’ll be with me six days. 🙂 Rainy and cold as we climbed the pass, moving along at 4 mph.  Sunny at the top, then a hard rain and Keith and I hid under trees for 10 minutes.  Fun descent. Arrived at Diabolo Lake at 7:30 p.m.

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Keith, after waiting for me at Washington Pass

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Keith Jones at Washington Pass

Camped at Colonial Creek Campground

Sept. 5, Diabolo Lake to Everett, WA

96 miles/ 413 total  Keith and I went our separate ways, after three hard-riding days together.  At 6:45 a.m., he headed east, back over the passes, toward Winthrop, where his wife, Jennifer was picking him up.   He reported later that on the east side of the pass he had 13 miles at 31-43 mph “without one pedal stroke.”

I had 96 miles to Everett. Keith and I were both challenged by the long day ahead- and glad to be done. I had miles of downhill, then gently rolling hills and finally, on a bike path as I approached Everett.  Jenny parked in Arlington and rode 20 miles toward me, then we had 20 miles together, back to Arlington. I arrived Murray Reid’s home at 5:10 p.m., very tired, just in time to shower and go to Steve and Peggy Sue Juergens’ home for dinner.

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Karen, Murray, Jenny, Peggy Sue, Steve, David, Lana, Dave, at the home of Steve and Peggy Sue, dinner courtesy of Steve- and Dave and Lana

Slept at Murray’s

Sept. 6, Everett to Port Townsend, WA

66 miles/479 total  Murray and I rode the Interurban Trail to a suburban REI, then boarded the Kingston Ferry in Edmonds.  Left the car in Kingston and Jenny, Murray and I biked to Port Ludlow and Port Townsend.

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Ferry- Edmonds to Kingston

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Mark plays for us. We eat peanut butter and crackers and enjoy!

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Mark and Pat’s deck

Slept at Dale and Becky’s

Sept. 7, Port Townsend to Port Angeles

58 miles/ 537 total Murray and I rode in rain, part of it on the Discovery Trail.

Slept at Dave and Libby Christian’s

Sept. 8, Port Angeles to Beaver

50miles/ 587 total  Jenny and I rode the whole way, part of it on the Discovery Trail, through the rain forest, past Crescent Lake. Arrived at 7 p.m.

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Jenny and I swam in Crescent Lake, with visibility at least 60′. Swimming felt like flying. 

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Jenny.  Sweet part of the ride. Olympic National Park.

Slept at Dave and Libby’s geodesic dome.

Sept. 9, Beaver to Lake Quinault Lodge

77 miles/ 664 total  Murray and I rode the first 38, until lunch at Ruby Beach.  Jenny and I rode the last 39.  I was dragging.  Arrived at dark.

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After a gloriious swim in Lake Quinault

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Murray Reid

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Breakfast, Lake Quinault Lodge.  Jenny preparing to share. 🙂

Slept at lovely Lake Quinault Lodge, courtesy of Murray’s generosity

Sept. 10, Lake Quinault to Aberdeen, WA

45 miles/ 709 total  Murray and I.  Jenny sagged. Arrived at 4 p.m. Nice to have a full evening ahead. Jenny headed to Seattle for the night, then on to CdA. 😦

Slept at a Best Western Hotel, courtesy of Murray.

Sept 11, Aberdeen to Center Bay, WA

44 miles/ 753 total  Murray and I. Arrived at 4 p.m., same time as Murray’s girlfriend from Bellevue, who picked him up to return to Seattle.  We had a wonderful six days of riding!

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Dinner and a couple of beers.  I bought one for Wes Candeler and he bought one for me. 

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Wes and Kathleen Candler

Slept at KOA.  Lots of good energy there!

Sept. 12, Center Bay to Astoria, OR

38 miles/ 791 total  Rode the first 12 miles with Jim, a  62 yo from Everett, who was camped at the KOA, then he headed for the coast and I went inland toward Astoria. Crossing the Astoria bridge, with a very narrow bike lane, was stressful. Met Emily, Aaron, Sonke and Nele.

 

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Jim, from Everett, with whom I rode part of the way toward Astoria. I learned a lot from him about hostels and restaurants and campgrounds in Oregon and California. 

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First sight of Oregon, across the Columbia River. 

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Bridge from Washington to Astoria, OR

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Pacific Ocean at Fort Stevens, Astoria, OR.  I was last here for Midge and Harold Thysell’s 50th wedding anniversary. 

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Buoy Bar Brew Pub in Astoria. Dinner courtesy of Darrell Dlouhy. Thank you! Sonke is married to my niece, Belle, and Nele is their daughter. 

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Sea Lions, in the Columbia River, under the glass floor at Buoy Bar.

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Nele and “Bubble Head.” It was very important to Nele that we go for a bike ride. 🙂

 

Slept at Norblad Hostel.  Very nice, although hot.

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Lobby of Norblad Hostel- with album covers- and Miles Davis playing. 

Sept. 13,  Astoria, OR to Cannon Beach, OR

30 miles/ 821  Emily, Aaron and I. Added a STEEP ride to Ecola Viewpoint in Cannon Beach. I walked my bike a bit on the way in, but made it out without walking- or falling.

Slept at Wright’s for Camping, outside of Cannon Beach.  Owned by Gail (sp?- I’ll probably have to contact her to find the correct spelling of her name, ’cause it will bug me).  Nice hiker/ biker spots for $10/ person.

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Seaside, eight miles from Cannon Beach

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Cannon Beach

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Aaron!

Cannon Beach

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The view from my pillow

Sept. 14,  Cannon Beach to Tillamook

40 miles/ 861  Emily, Aaron and I.  Steep ride out of Cannon Beach, the third highest hill on the coast. Also through a tunnel, with a very narrow bike lane. And loud.  That was stressful for me. E and A did well with it.  Past Tillamook Bay in the sunshine. Spent part of the day with Andreas, from Switzerland.

We were headed for Cape Lookout, or Oceanside, but when we got to Tillamook it was totally “socked in” in that direction.  I was damp, from sweat, and cold, and ready to stop. We booked a Shilo Inn, with a phone in the bathroom, and other touches that were state-of-the-art 30 years ago.

Biked .7 miles to retrieve burritos for dinner,  from a food cart that Emily and Aaron knew.  Best I’ve ever had.

“Oh, you were just very hungry!” you’re thinking.

Yes, I was hungry, but I think they really were the best I’ve ever had. Such a subtle blend of flavors.

Celebrated Aaron’s birthday by opening the haikus written by the May family, sent with me on Sept. 1. 🙂  And had a beer and a piece of chocolate cake at the Shilo restaurant. My beer free, because I was willing to drink Coors Light. E and A had to pay for their IPA, for their discriminating tastes. 🙂

Slept at Shilo Inn

Sept. 15- Tillamook to Lincoln City

58 miles/ 919 total   Emily, Aaron and I.Got an early start for us- before 9 a.m. On the way out of town we went by the taco stand where we ate last night and I got this picture of the owners. It’s way more than a “taco stand.”

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Shortly after heading out of town we took an alternate route and got off 101.  More miles, but a car went by us every few minutes, and the road was next to the water, as opposed to the fairly steady stream on 101. The sun came out. We were rolling.

The first of several three-four mile climbs took us to Cape Meares Lookout.

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Stopped for coffee in Oceanside, then took Whiskey Jack Rd., along the water, toward Pacific City, once again avoiding 101. While climbing out of Oceanside, in my lowest gear and moving just fast enough to stay upright, a car stayed next me and the woman in the passenger said something and tried to hand  me a business card. Going as slow as I was, with all of the weight, it’s hard to take a hand off the handlebars.

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“It isn’t a good time, ” I said, and they sped off.  They could have been trying to do something nice for me, but I think they would have waited at the top of the hill if they wanted to do that.  Rather, I think they were advertising their business- lodging or restaurant?  It was a version of a telemarketer.

I was having troubles with my derailleur (“derailer,” for those who don’t speak French). I could only use the middle of the three front rings, and the chain was rubbing in many of those gears.  Irritating, and difficult to negotiate some of the terrain.

We arrived in Pacific City about 2:30, eager to enjoy lunch at Pelican Brewery, courtesy of Darrell Dlouhy. (Thank you!)  The beach area was in full preparation for this weekend’s surfing competition, we saw a whale breach several times, a man was flying a drone over the surfers. Fun energy.

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There isn’t a bike shop in Pacific City.  If I couldn’t figure out my derailleur, I was probably done for the day.  Emily, Aaron and I went after it in the parking lot of Pelican Brewery and, collectively, figured out that the derailleur had spun on the frame and was out of line with the chain.  I rotated it.  Tightened it. Took a test spin in the parking lot and was delighted to hear smooth shifting to all gears.  We loaded up and started toward Lincoln City, 24 miles south.

Near Cape Lookout, we climbed the highest point on the Oregon Coast Bike Route, perhaps four miles of climbing.  After 45 minutes, or so, each corner seems like it has to be the top.  Before we arrived at Lincoln City we climbed another of the top four biggest climbs on the coast.

Pulled into Devils Lake State Park,  in the heart of Lincoln City, about 7 p.m., 58 miles behind us, showered, set up tents and biked to a Thai restaurant. I was freezing,  not  not because it was so cold, but my body was craving calories to burn for heat.

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Over dinner, we decided to shoot for Yachats tomorrow, about 48 miles south.

Slept in Devils Lake State Park, near many cyclists.

Sept. 16, Lincoln City to Yachats (ya-hots’)

58 miles- 977  Emily, Aaron and I. Overcast until the afternoon. Lunch in Newport at Local Ocean.  Fabulous.  Spoke with the woman who opened it 11 years ago, with a gentlemen who funded it.  I had a  cod sandwich.

As we pulled into Newport, Aaron broke  a spoke on his front wheel, and something was going wrong with my bike,  so that it was wobbling and getting harder and harder to ride. After lunch, we headed for the bike shop and, on the way, my bike became unridable.

We were lucky.  The bike shop was excellent.  Darren fixed Aaron’s spoke and then reworked all of the spokes in my back wheel.  All morning, I felt like I was tired, like I had a flat, ands thinking I needed a day off.  After Darren trued the wheel and equalized the pressure on the spokes, it was totally different.  Much of my energy had been sinking with the soft wheel. it was 90 minutes well-spent.

It was almost 5:30 and we still had 24 miles to Yachts, which I was salivating about all day. Good restaurants.  A hotel. We decided to go for it, and were treated with a tail wind rolling hills, no giants, and pulled into Yachats at, 7:15, just as it was getting dark.

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Ate at Ona. Fabulous.  I mean, fabulous. Great seafood and grilled cheese with tomato bisque and crab cakes.  (My sister, Kris, and her husband, Ed, ate their during their May trip to Oregon.:)  Also, their brandy old-fashioned were like a Wisconsinite made them.

Slept at Ya Tell Hotel.  $91

Sept. 17, Yachats to Reedsport

49 miles/ 1,026 total- Emily, Aaron and I. Rained ALL day.  Soaked, but not cold. Received a  call in the morning, from a CdA friend, inviting us to have dinner and stay with them tonight. It was a carrot all day as we fought the rain and slippery conditions to keep going .

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Leaving Yachts

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Emily’s strong leg (s)

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I scored a hat at Goodwill in Florence.

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That’s Emily in the distance.  Almost the entire day was like this. 

Arrived in Reedsport, at the home of a friend of a friend, and fulfilled our greatest desire- we put on dry clothes. Pizza for dinner, with their family of three boys.

We slept in Ron and Joanne’s travel trailer.

Sept. 18, Reedsport to Bandon

62 miles/ 1088  Emily, Aaron and I.  After riding almost all of yesterday in the rain, we were not excited to start this day in the rain.  We received a welcome response from a Warm Showers host south of Bandon, and that was motivation to get going and to cover 62 miles.

Besides the goal for the day, we are now focused on covering the entire Oregon coast in the days that Emily, Aaron and I have together.  Tuesday, Sept. 20th is our last day to ride and we plan to end the day in Crescent City, CA, about 115 miles from Bandon.

We slogged on in the rain this morning. My world becomes small in the rain.  I don’t look around as much. The cars feel closer because of the additional noise from the spray.  The road is slippery, so I ride more cautiously.  Descents are slower, out of caution. We don’t stop as much- to look at views that don’t exist, or for anything.  We know that the way out of the rain is to keep going.

img_2868North Bend was 24 miles down the road and we arrived there in a little over two hours-quite fast for us.  The bridge into North Bend was high and long, shoulderless, and it was undergoing repairs, which took up more of the space for bicycles.  We walked the bridge, on the sidewalk that was barely wide enough for a bike with panniers.  It was a stressful walk, especially at the point where the maintenance project narrowed the sidewalk by another foot.

About to cross the bridge to North Bend

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About to cross the bridge to North Bend

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The long and spooky bridge

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I’m not wild about heights, and this challenged me. I thought about my brother, Jeff, and how he’d have been crawling.  I share his fear of heights;  my fear just starts a bit higher than his.

Emily and Aaron were in the lead and, after they got past the construction, Emily walked back to me and  lightened my load by carrying my front panniers.  It helped. We walked about 20 minutes, and I could feel my anxiety ease as the elevation decreased.   We were happy to roll into North Bend- at sea level.

Sometimes things work out well because they are meticulously planned.  Sometimes they just work out. Before I left Coeur d’Alene,  my sister-in-law, Ellen Cantor, said she was going to be at a shorebird gathering in Coos Bay, on the Oregon coast, and perhaps we could see her as we traveled down the coast.

“We’ll see,” I said, not having much sense of when we’d get there.  Traveling by bicycle has way more variables than traveling by car- like hills, wind, personal energy.

We were in touch and knew that there was a good chance we’d see Ellen.  She got off a birding boat in Charleston, nine miles south,  as we pulled into North Bend.  We had lunch with Ellen and her friend, Judy, at a Mexican restaurant.  (Thanks for buying, Ellen. 🙂

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The sun came out when we reached Charleston, an incredible energy boost.   We rode over the Seven Devils, a notorious climb, and coasted into Bandon about 6 p.m., stopped for groceries and rode another seven miles south of town to…a magical end of the day.

Our first Warm Showers hosts, Ed and Judy, greeted us at their home on Laurel Lake.

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Breakfast, courtesy of Suzy!

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Aaron did some window washing as a thank you.

Sept. 19, Bandon to Gold Beach

50 miles/ 1,138 total. Emily, Aaron and I.   Lovely day.  No big climbs. Sunshine.  Nice tail wind coming into Gold Beach on a side road, off of 101.

The last time I was in Gold  Beach, and crossed the Rogue River, was in 1980 with Dick Weidner, on a bike trip. 🙂  We started in Eugene and were headed for San Francisco, but there was construction on the bridge in Gold Beach and Dick hit a cut-out in the concrete, fell and broke his collar bone. We shipped the bikes to Wisconsin and Ohio, where we each lived, and continued by bus.

After a few days in SF, we got a drive-a-way car (one to be be delivered for someone) to Ohio and headed for home– via Hayden Lake, Idaho, because at Lake Chelan met a woman named Jane Thysell and I wanted to visit her.  We got married a year later.

Slept at Indian Creek RV Park, in the tent area.

 

Sept. 20- Gold Beach to Crescent City, California

62 miles/ 1,200 total  Emily, Aaron and I.  We did it! We cycled the entire Oregon coast, from Astoria to the border, between Brookings, Oregon and Crescent City, California!

The southern end of the Oregon coast is sparsely populated and 101 runs close to the beach more of the time than in the north.  Haystack rocks are almost always present.  Bike shops are NOT common.  There was a great one in Newport, but then there was none in the 107 miles between Coos Bay and Brookings. And a  weak one in Brookings.

With the number of cyclists riding the coast, it’s surprising that there aren’t more shops.  There are “Cyclist Rest Areas,” which are only benches and a quiet spot, and there are efforts to place bike maintenance stands, with tools, along the Oregon Coast Bik  e Route. That would have helped my need to adjust my front derailleur.

We started to see logging trucks carrying redwood trees, pedaled past Pelican Bay Supermax Federal Prison, where Charles Manson was held for 14 months ( 81 years old, Wikipedia told me, and is housed in Corcoran Prison in California) and into Crescent City.  Aaron headed for the airport, to pick up a rental car that will get them home, and Em and I headed to the Light House (not “Lighthouse”)  Inn, across from the harbor in Crescent City. We did it. 🙂  We had bicycled the entire Oregon coast.

We went to Port-o-Pints Irish pub for a couple brews, then on to Marlo’s, a very good Greek/ Italian restaurant. ( I think that if you’re in  a small town you have to diversify).  Our server, Kathryn, said my high five lifted her spirits, after a couple of challenging tables. That was easy. 🙂

 

Slept at Light House Inn.

Sept. 21 and 22- Rested in Crescent City

0/ 1,200 total  Emily, Aaron and I drove to Stowe Redwood Grove, 10 miles outside of Crescent City.  “They’re prehistoric looking, ” said Emily.

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Lunch from food carts in town, and Emily and Aaron headed toward Bend. I miss them.

Slept at Light House Inn

Sept. 23, Crescent City to Orick

40 miies/ 1,240 total  Just me, for the first time.  A bit lonely. Rained mid-afternoon so I stopped seven miles short of my Humboldt Lagoons State Park goal and grabbed one the rooms in the motel in Orick.

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My first stop in town was the market/ general store.  I asked about a motel and the clerk called and asked if they had a room.  The perky gentleman continued to banter with all of the people who came in the store.

“I’m living the dream,” he repeated several times.

“Are you the guy who called?” asked the motel clerk.

“Yes.  Got a first floor room?”

“Room 10, by the corner of the pool.  Just leave the key in the room when you leave.”

“Wi-fi?”

“Ummm…yes…there’s no password.”

The room was reasonably clean.  The TV had six to seven cable channels, the shower worked and the bed had some structure left to it.img_3042

 

“How’s your bike trip going?” asked the server at the Palm Cafe, next to the Palm Motel. “I used to ride my bike every day, when I was in the corporate world.  Whole Foods, in Eugene.  I commuted on bike. Didn’t ride like you, but I rode every day.”

“And now you’re in Orick.”

“I grew up here.  My 91 year-old mother owns the motel- and restaurant. I had enough of the corporate world.”

“I’ll have the burger and a salad– with bleu cheese.”

“Now I’m getting mad.  We close at 8:00,” he said, as he watched a group of three get out of their car to come in. It was 7:45.:)

“You got it.  Help yourself to the salad bar.”

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Slept at The Palm Motel ($67)

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Sept. 24 Orick to Eureka

45 miles/ 1,285 total  Just me.

Highlight of the day? This. 🙂  Near Trinidad, CA, south of Arcata.

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Slept at a Warm Showers host, Debra Precaut, in Eureka. She had a van behind her house that became my home for the night.

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Sept. 25 Eureka to Miranda

58 miles/ 1, 343 total  Just me.  Left about 9:30. Rode the Avenue of the Giants, through the redwoods.  Was shooting to camp at Myers Flats, when my brother sent me a note saying there was a coffee shop, restaurant and bar there.

I arrived about 6:30 p.m. to find a rugged town, with 30 “trimmers” (20/30 somethings from South America and Europe, in the area to harvest marijuana) hanging out by the bar.I had a ginger ale in the rugged bar and watched the sad culture of drinking and drugs.

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I covertly took some pictures and a woman yelled at me.  I was a little spooked and slowly packed up and decided I better not camp in Myers Flats.  The campground a mile down the road was closed for the season, so I continued to Miranda, but there was no campground and a cabin was $175 for a night!

There was a newish market/ gas station, so I got an orange juice and thought about my options.  It was dark.  I could find a hole in the woods.   I could go behind the cabins. I could sleep on the high school football field, which I had passed a block ago.  I chose that, and it worked well on a starry night, except that the air in that area is full of moisture, which is one of the reason the redwoods thrive.  So by 2 a.m. my sleeping bag was soaked and I couldn’t get warm.  I slept a bit after that, but mostly waited for the sun to rise so I could ride and get warmed up.

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Sept. 26 Miranda to Standish-Hickey State Park (Leggett, CA)

36 miles/  1,379 total

 

Camped in the hiker/ biker area of the lovely state park ($5/ person)  There were about 20 touring cyclists camped there.

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Lucas, 22 yo from Minneapolis.
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Laundry in hiker/ biker campground…
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Waymond, 64 years old, from Chicago. Riding the entire west coast, has fallen love with the west.:)

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Bike maintenance stand at a hiker/ biker campground- a nice touch

 

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Charging station at hiker/ biker campground- a nice touch

Sept. 27 Standish-Hickey to Fort Bragg

45 miles/  1,424 total  Just me.  I had been thinking about this day for several days.  After the town of Leggett is the highest climb on the Pacific Coast Bike Route- 1,700 feet.  Fortunately, the weather was good and traffic was light. It was a wonderful feeling to get to the top and know that I had a significant descent- from 1,700′ to sea level.

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Descending after the Leggett climb.  Not a lot of traffic.  Looks like climbing Fernan Saddle in Coeur d’Alene, with the addition of redwoods.

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Back to the Pacific Ocean and 60 degrees, after a couple of 90 degree days inland. 

Slept at Trevelodge in Fort Bragg, CA ($92)

Sept. 28 Didn’t ride. Sinus infection in Fort Bragg, CA

Slept at Trevelodge in Fort Bragg, CA ($92)

img_3164Sept. 29 Didn’t ride.  Sinus infection in Fort Bragg, CA

Slept at Trevelodge in Fort Bragg, CA ($92)

Sept 30  Fort Bragg to Marshall

42 miles/ 1,486  Just me.  In the morning, I was on-the-fence about resting another day or riding.  I’m glad I rode, as I felt better and better as the day went on.  And I think part of that was psychologically- it felt good to be moving, felt good to not be watching TV in the Travelodge.

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Slept at KOA in a hiker/ biker area with about a dozen cyclists.  Met Anders  Peterson in the morning and he was there.  Shared a picnic table with Jim, a 62 yo from Everett, WA, who I last saw in Center Bay, WA- 20 days ago.

September lodging …

Camping-10

Friends-5

Hotels-11

Hostels- 1

Warm Showers-2

Football fields- 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 THE FUTURE

Sept. 13-20– Ride with Emily and Aaron!

October 23-30– David flies to Tucson, leaving his bike ride to join a bike ride. Will ride with Jenny and friends from Tucson to the Grand Canyon, with support vehicles.

October ?– Ride with Brian Smallwood- and Jim Neitze?

October ?- Visit Kathy Sorrells in LA

Nov. 5– USC vs. Oregon football game with John and Wendy Teets.

Nov. ?– Ride with Skip Kaastad, near LA

Nov. ?– Ride with Pat Doody, out of San Diego

Dec. ?– Ride with Mike and Lisa May out of El Paso

Dec. ? Visit Mike May’s parents in Corpus Chrisie.  Possibly ride with Mike’s dad.

Dec. ?– Scott DuCoeur may meet me in Houston?

Dec. ? – Visit Rich Roy in Louisiana

Dec?  Jan?  Feb?  March?  April?  Steve Juergens flies somewhere and plays with me for a few days.

Jan. ?- Visit Cheryl Kunkel’s brother, Walter, in Mississippi

Jan. ?- Meet Todd Davis in Ocean Springs

March, 2017- Visit Steve Hoffman in Baltimore

March, 2017– Visit Barry Mandel in NYC

April, 2017– Take a break with family! Bike with Chloe Groth in Vermillion, Ohio!  Hang with Kristofer and Michelle!

April/May, 2017- Arrive at family in Wisconsin!

June 5, 2017- Groth buys a round for the Monday night group.