September 19, 2010

Florence Or. to Crescent City Ca. San Diego or Bust??

Winchester Bay Light House.
as you can tell, fog is a major theme along the
Oregon Coast.

Yo Anonymous Y. No they don’t allow camping on the beach no mo, but, there were cool driftwood shanties in the works and we hiked that coast at dusk during the high tide and it was a thrilling adventure to be sure.

So here we are in a Motel in Crescent City Ca. The northern most town in California, riding out a 3 day rain storm.

The rain is warm. But not like the mist we had encountered earlier. This is rain. The thing about riding the pacific coast is; that in nice weather the prominent wind comes from the north west so, on nice days the wind is at your back. Perfect! But, on shitty days----the wind comes from the south. So, not only are you riding in rain but the wind is in your face. No Bueno!!

Typical Oregon Coast!
We are and have been on bicycle time now. Bicycle time is, well, a lot like Wells Gulch time. It’s a natural time. Like you lose track of not just the time of day. You know it’s day time and that you have to get from point A to point B, eat, set up camp ideally in the daylight. But, you also lose track of the day of week, or where you were yesterday or two days ago. I Mean it just all rolls into one. One hazy, almost dream like state. [Perhaps, too much fire wood.]

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For a while, in the early part of the trip I could maintain a good meditative state. No thoughts, just riding. Then it became the breath. Focus on the breath. Then counting. I found myself counting. Not consciously. Just, you know like in the middle of a climb or something I would find my self on 54,55,56 and so on. Then later---22,23,24. I couldn’t break the habit. If I thought about it, it would start to drive me crazy! Now I moved into songs!! It might be the same song for the entire day, though I have found that I can change tunes if I think about it. Songs like----well hell. Now I cant think of any!! But for a hard head wind kind of day----------- Led Zeppelin does fine.!.! The worst is when you start looking at the mileage meter and the time. You mean we’ve only gone 5 miles in an hour!! This state of mind definitely is not good. To remedy; Simple move the cateye as its called around to the bottom of the stem so now it still works but you cant see it. I highly recommend this!

Coquille Light House near Bandon.
Now the wind is really howlin out there directly from the south. There is no way in hell were goin out there to ride today! You would have to be crazy, and my guess is there are plenty of crazies out there. Power to them!! No way jose‘. Not me. I’m sittin here warm, dry and comfy and I aint gonna do nothing to upset that. Cept go out to the Laundromat and do what you do at those places.

By the way Phil. As we all know coffee is very popular here in the Great North West. However; untill arriving in Crescent City we had not seen a Starbucks since leaving Seattle. POWER TO THE PEOPLE! In Seattle there was one on every corner. Like you couldn’t find an independent anywhere. But outside of Seattle. Nothin but independent Coffee Shops.!

Rogue River
Crescent City, like a lot of places scattered throughout the west seems like it was poised, Not quite there, but poised to boom, to become one of those coool places. And then---the recesion. Maybe it’s the weather and the fact that summer tourism is over, or my mood. But this place feels like it is on the verge of a ghost town. Reminds me of the first time I came to Salida in the early 80’s. it was weird. I mean there were alll these nice parks, and houses, and lawns, but the whole time I was there, walked all over town, didn’t see a soul. Not a dog bark. Nothin!! Downtown was all boarded up. Weird. I remember it giving me an eerie feeling. Sort of like the feeling I’m experiencing now.

After this past weeks riding we are at about 1,182 miles logged…with a grooviness factor of 4-5!!! The Oregon

Coastline is just “SPECTACULAR”. Seeing it from a bike seat is pretty” rad”…our favorite word as of late!

To re-cap some of our recent happenings I’ll start with the simple enjoyment of kite flying!!…oh to feel like a kid again

This is certainly one of those things to do…and what a sweet place to do it in but the sand dunes! With some nice wind the kite took off with a mind of its own…and with Greg or I at the controls instantly putting smiles on our faces! And bringing us to the conclusion that we’ll need 2 kites instead of 1! Good times…and we’re on the lookout for another kite shop!

Our derailleur hangar for the Mule finally showed up Monday morning!! YiPPee!! We packed up our camp and headed for the Florence bike shop. They installed the new hangar and we were on our way!!! Only to discover something was still not right….however, we make it to North Bend/Coos Bay which is about 45 miles down the road and stumble upon Moes Bike shop (another cool family owned for many years shop) good guys, great place and they help make it right. Thanks Moes!

 So we go to North Bend to Bandon to Gold Beach to Brookings…peddling our way down the coast! Some of the towns are small, quaint with cute little harbors/light houses and all are in nothing less than beautiful settings. We also get to ride over some beautiful old bridges along the way which can be narrow and scary but very cool! We run into some rain which at the onset is okay…then when you’re riding for 4,5,6 hours in it, it becomes not okay…and you’re looking for the nearest Laundromat or cheap hotel!! The interesting thing about riding in the rain is when you’re going up hills and sweating…your lovely rain gear is of course “water proof” which means it doesn’t breathe because its needs to keep you dry from the rain however, then you’re not only wet on the outside BUT wet on the inside from sweating!! So after the 4,5,6 hours of riding you’re soaked to the bone from rain AND sweat!! HeLLO! I think I need a cold beer while I watch the dryer go round and round….heehee

Now about some “rascally RACCOONS”!! I think the grandkids will like this part of the blog! Ha!…we have some interesting encounters with raccoons in a few of the campgrounds lately….didn’t even think about it…had our food all buttoned up in the pannier (of course we all know you should NOT keep food in the tent for fear of bears!) on the bike away from the tent….I get up for a middle of the night pee, get out of the tent to hear all this commotion in the bushes next to our tent…okay…is there a person in there?? No I don’t think so….theres more moving around in the bushes….crap!? What the heck is it?? Then I hear these animal noises…like one animal is fighting with another!…geez, I just want to pee….but now I’m afraid….alright the noises are moving away…I do my thing and hurry back into the tent!! Daylight comes….then we discover….oh great!! Our snickers bars are gone…the triscuit crackers are gone…the bread is gone….the salami is gone…those little @#$%^^&!!!…we also find they tried to make away with one of my flipflops! (after chewing all around the edges of it!!) not sure why the flipflop tasted so good!…..they are sneaky little devils…very stealth and quiet,too! They were able to slip their little paws right into the pannier without even undoing any of it!….okay…we’ll have to be more careful! Encounter #2.…another campground…..we think we have everything secured….hop in the tent to sleep….this time Greg hears the little devils in the middle of the nite…he flys out of the tent …flash-light in hand….runs over to the bike…one of the raccoons (the smaller one) runs up a tree…the other one (a larger one) is hiding behind the pannier….Greg shines the light on him and tells him to “go on, get outta here”…..this guy stands there and starts growling at Greg!!…oh great! Now what!? Greg tells him again and he finally leaves!

Brookings Oregon to the California border….and on to Crescent City….some more awesome coastline…rain….and winding our way thru daylily farms…very pretty! And wet….just 28 miles today…we find a cheap hotel! With a Laundromat, a liquor store, a grocery just within a few blocks….we’ll be drying out for a day or 2 here then heading into the big Redwood country!!!

Pedal Power Baby…keeping the rubber side down!!


  1. Will you be back by Oct 2nd?We are having a very cool house concert with a fellow named Bill Mize,a really great finger style picker he did some of the background music on Ken Burns PBS series on the Natl Parks.If your here hope you can make it.My Mom lived all around that N.Cal coast for a lotta years it's really something else.Be safe Y.

  2. Keep up the writing you two... it helps me more than you can know! I'm wishing I could be riding along with you... living on bicycle time is a magical thing for sure... it seems a loooong way from where I am now - awake at 3:42 am I miss you two.

    Say did you ever get that shifting issue sorted out?


  3. nice blogging in the rain...glad to hear you feel like a kid...the aspens on the trails here in colorful colorado bring the same thoughts...peace and have FUN! p and d