Wednesday, June 30, 2010

ELK!!! And Warmshowers!

Well, I finally saw the elk this morning! They were in the field next to the campsite. Don't worry, not too close. It's a big field (one might even call it a prairie--oh, wait, that's what they do call it). There were big bulls with huge racks. Several cows and even a couple of calves. I almost rode off the road because I wa looking at the elk and didn't realize the wide shoulder was ending. I saw it just in time to swerve onto the narrow shoulder on the road. Later I saw one more elk walking through a private campground place. As I passed this place called Stone Lagoon, I saw there was a large group of elk cows in the RV part. I pulled into the place and took pictures. Then I went to the gift shop because I had seen a sign saying they had blackberry pie. I had me a slice of pie! A couple came in and asked me all about my trip. Later they honked and waved as they went by me.
Awhile down the road I stopped to put sunscreen on and switch to my sunglasse lens. Jess caught up to me. We rode together all the way to Arcata. We went along Patrick's Point through Trinidad (a hoppin' place for such a small town--pop. 311). We stopped at ate at a small wayside. There was an interest gal there. We weren't sure if she had some problem or if she was on something. Her body was doing all these contortions while she was talking to us. I walked out to the bluff. Jess had the presence of mind to stay where she could see the bikes. We continued on doing patches of gravel road as well as a section of fresh oil and gravel. The road was pretty bumpy, so we had to keep our eyes on the road. We got on the Hammond Trail (a cool bike path that Abe and Rose had told us about). After the trail ended, it seemed to take forever to come into Arcata. We finally made it. Jess and I parted ways there. She went to the co-op and I went to Safeway. Coolest thing happened while I was locking Stella at Safeway. A gal came up and asked me the usual questions. When I told her I was hoping to stay with a warmshowers person in Eureka, but I hadn't actually talked to her, the gal whipped out a card and said if it didn't work out to call her and I could stay with her! How amazing is that! People are so nice! When I checked my phone though, there was a message from Barb saying I could still stay with her. I did my restocking and headed for Eureka. I stopped at Target and talked to another gal on a bike. I asked her how I should get to 6th Ave. She gave me directions and I took off. As I pulled up to an intersection on 6th, this lady leans out a window and asks if I am Colleen. Turns out it was Barb, my Warmshowers host! We talked for a moment and she gave me directions to her place (she was at work). I rode on and she got home shortly after I got there. I did my laundry and Barb fixed a great dinner complete with Humboldt Creamery ice cream for dessert. We talked non-stop until bedtime. What a great person. I have been so lucky to me such wonderful people. Barb and I will keep in touch. Maybe we can tour together at some point! What a fabulous day!

Pretty Big Trees--No Elk!

Heading into California and the Redwoods today! I left Harris Beach at about 7:50. As I rode through Brookings, I noticed a bakery sign. I slowed down, but then saw that it wasn't a bakery. It was a pet store! The sign in the window said, "This is NOT a bakery!" No kidding!
I got to the border and took the required photos. Woo Hoo! I'm in California now! Atthe agricultural stop the guy didn't even ask me if I had any produce. He just asked where I was from. Then he told me he had lived in Shelton. Then he said, "Have a nice trip!"
I followed the ACA mapwhich took me off 101 right away and over several rolling hills. I could see 101 most of the time. It was flat. Perhaps I would stay on 101 if I were to do this again...
So far the route has been well marked with signs for the Pacific Coast Bike Route. I will probably do a combination as long as the signs remain. The route was inland pretty much until Pebble Beach Dr. coming into Crescent City. I pulled off to take pictures of the coastline and could here the seals (or sealions) barking out on the rocks. After Crescent City I started the first really long climb into the Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park. Although it had been sunny on the coast, it was still foggy up in the redwoods. It was also rather chilly. That was not a bad thing since I was Super Grannying it up the hill. I stopped at a viewpoint and was going to eat something, but a guy was weedeating so I continued on up...and up...and up somemore. I thought I had finally reached the top and was ready for a good downhill. Well, the downhill was short and then it was back to climbing. Finally, after seemingly endless climbing (I finally just pulled over and ate a bagel on the side of the road), I got to the top. From there I had a very nice 6 ad 7% grade downhill for about 4 miles! Then it was back to views of the coastline. At the bottom, I stopped at Lagoon Creek and ate the rest of my Raspberry Newtons with peanutbutter on them. A family pulled in and the dad was talking to me. It was his little boy's 6th birthday. I gave him a cookie.
After Laggon Creek was the "Trees of Mystery" tourist trap. I took a picture of Stella in front of Paul Bunyan and Blue then continued down the road.
I thought I would get groceries in Klamath. There isn't anything in Klamath. Outside of Klamath was another big climb. Then the turn-off to Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park and Elk Prairie Campground; my destination for the day. From the top (after 900 feet of climbing) it was downhill all the way to Elk Prairie. I caught up to Alice and Andy (people I've camped with a couple of nights). Both Andy and I wanted to take a picture of this ironic sign that said "Big Tree". We wondered which one they were talking about as they are all big trees! At the entrance to the campground, Andy and I exchanged cards and took pictures of each other. They were goig on to Patrick's Point. I may not see them again.
So at Elk Prairie, as you might guess, there are supposed to be alot of elk. I didn't see any. Bummer! The same "family" of people have pulled in that were at Harris Beach--Joan and Werner, Jess, Abe and Rose and Rose's brother Abe and his girlfriend. Had a greatchat with Joan and Werner. Fascinating people! I hope I see them again.
This was an intense day of climbs, but still a good day.

Monday, June 28, 2010

The Ice Cream Man Cometh!

Yes! The Ice Cream Man came through the campground! It wasn't Umpqua or Tillamook, just your garden variety grocery store ice cream. Still, it was a nice dessert.

My "Rest Day" is coming to a close. I didn't go kayaking as it was way too windy. I did take a cool trail down to the beach and then took another trail up to Harris Butte. Mostly, though, I've just been hanging out. David and Lisa also took a rest day so I've been talking to them. So now there is a new crowd here. This gal named Melissa rolled in and came over to say hi to Dave, Lisa and I. She introduced herself and when I told her my name she said, "I've heard about you!". She had ridden with Carling for awhile. Carling had told me about her too. Pretty funny!

I've packed most of my stuff up and I'll be ready to go early in the morning. Hope the wind blows like it did today. Got some good climbs tomorrow. It would be nice to have a little assistance from the wind.

Insights From the Road: Dehydration

Today is Day 11. I'm taking a rest day here at Harris Beach St. Park. It is my last Oregon stop. I thought it might be time for another "Insight From the Road". Dehydration, a little is a good thing. Not only are the potty shack opportunities sometimes far apart, but seemly more annoying is the fact that the Hiker/Biker sites seem to usually be situated far from the restrooms. Oh, sometimes the park puts a sani-can near the H/B area, but not always. The issue then is at night. No one likes to have to get up in the middle of the night and walk a quarter of a mile to the nearest restroom. This is where a little dehydration comes in handy. No need to get up in the middle of the night! It is a fine line. I do drink plenty during the ride, but just that edge of dehydration makes it nicer.

As for my ride yesterday, it was great. A gal that I have camped with all but one night since Nehalem Bay, caught up to me at Arch Rock yesterday. We rode the rest of the way to Brookings together. We stopped at most of the brown signs (viewpoints). We didn't stop at all of them because after awhile it was getting a little ridiculous. The coolest one was Natural Bridges. We parked our bikes and walked about 100 feet down the trail to the viewpoint. I'll post pics when I get home.
After we set up our camps at Harris Beach, we rode into town to eat dinner at a restaurant (a first for me in 10 days). We chose one of the many Mexican restaurants (the one with the most cars in the parking lot--always a good sign). After dinner we stopped at Fred Meyers. I just needed some essentials like more Jelly Bellys. Then it was back to camp. The same group of people that were at Humbug were also here (minus Jess who was going north). It's like this big family that goes off to work in the morning (our work being the day's ride) and then all comes home each night. Except our home keeps changing. We are all ages from all over with all levels of touring experiance. It has been great getting to know this family of cyclists.

Today, since I'm not going anywhere, I thought I might check out the marina and see about renting a kayak or something. The fog is gone now and the sun is shining. It's going to be another day in Paradise on the Oregon Coast.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

He said, "Shouldn't you look afraid?"

This morning I stopped at Oregon's Prehistoric Park. They have two big dinosaurs out front. First I took a picture of Stella in front of the Tyrannasaurus Rex. Then a guy comes out and asks if I would like him to take a picture with me in it. I gave him my camera. As I was standing there smiling and waiting for him to take the picture, he says, "Shouldn't you look afraid?" so I put on my best "afraid" face and he took the picture.

60 miles is not enough?

Yesterday I was a Biker AND a Hiker! After I got set up at Humbug State Park I hiked to the summit of Humbug Mtn. It was a little over 1700 feet of elevation gain. I thought the hike was 3 miles round trip. Turns out it was3 miles to the summit! It took me 1:15 to get to the top and an hour to come down. I ate the remainder of my trail mix on the way down. Saw a snake that, of course, freaked me out, but otherwise, it was a nice hike. At one point I could look WAY down and see my tent!
Later in the evening, 5 of us walked down to the beach to see the sea lions feeding on smelt. Mostly they just looked like they were playing in the surf. Weeatched the sunset then walked back and hit the sack. Strangely, I was tired!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Sitting in the Sun at Port Orford

Just a quick post as I know I won't have service at Humbug Mtn.
I left Tony's at about 8:00 this morning. I may not have had to do Seven Devil's Road, but I di do two devilish climbs through the Coos Forest! Coming down the second one, I got up to 41 mph! Woo Hoo!! Came into Bandon at about 10:30ish. Stopped at Face Rock and had a snack. Then stopped at the Devil's Kitchen (didn't eat anything there). After the Beach Loop, I was back on 101 on the way to Langlois. I stopped at the Langlois Market to put sunscreen on and decided to have some ice cream. The first Umpqua flavors of the trip were Chocolate Brownie Thunder and Bordeaux Cherry. Quite tasty, of course. The chocolate one rivals the Tillamook Mudslide. Apparently, I should have had a hotdog there because they are famous for their homemade mustard. In fact, when I pulled up a gal leans out of her car window and says, "They have really good hotdogs here!". Still, I only had ice cream.
I have about 6 more miles to Humbug Mtn. The wind is blowing so hard that I will probably coast half the way there! Interestingly, I ran into a couple I met at Seal Rock State Park. They are in a van. Strange to see them again.
Well, I'd better push on or I'm going to fall asleep sitting here in the sun! I want to climb Humbug Mtn. when I get there.

Friday, June 25, 2010

My First CouchSurfing!

Wow! Where to start! First, yesterday at Honeyman. After I set up and showered, I went to the dunes. I trudged my way to the top (one step forward, a half step back). From the top I thought I could go back a different way. I went down the other side of the dune and headed toward the direction of the campground thinking there would surely be a trail. Not so much. I ended up sort of working my way along the edge of the dune and trees until I could go nowhere but up. So back up the dune I climbed and ended up back where I started. So much for the different way back.
When I got back to my camp I fixed myself pancakes for dinner (don't ask why when I still had a few dinners left). As I was fixing dinner Ryan and John arrived. Not long after, Carling and Christian also arrived. Ahhh, the whole gang together for another night! We stayed up late-ish talking. In the morning, Christian was on the road first as usual (he is an early riser). I left around 9:00. The ride today was mostly wooded although I followed the Dunes (getting glimpses now and then). I stopped at the Sourdough Bakery in Winchester Bay. I wanted some bread, but they only had loaves that were too big for me to carry. I aske if they sold half loaves but the gal said no. Then she went in the back and brought me out two big slices, wrapped them up and gave them to me. I thought that was pretty nice!
I went around the bay and up to the Umpqua Lighthouse where I had a slice of the bread with PB and Honey. From there I rode back to 101. Not too far (about 6 1/2 miles) from North Bend I caught up to Ryan and John as Ryan was changing yet another tube with a broken valve stem. He decided the problem was the pump and would get a new one at the next bike shop. They were going onto Bullard's Beach so I probably won't see them again. We did ride together to the McCullough Bridge where they pulled off and I continued across. The sidewalk was closed (I wouldn't have walked anyway), but I still got yelled at to get on the sidewalk. Stupid people! I was riding as fast as I could. When I got to the other side, my legs were shaking. It required a few handfuls of Jelly Bellys to settle them down!
As I was headed to Tony's to Couch Surf, I just stayed on 101 to Coos Bay. I stopped at Safeway and bought too much food. Had to hang a bag off the back.
I got to Tony's place about 4:00. What a great place and a great guy! I immediately felt at home what with the two parakeets and two dogs. Tony also has a violin hanging on the wall. The best part is that I am staying in his daughter's room and her name is Stella!!! I wish she was here so I could introduce her to my Stella. There are also 4 cute little kittens. One reminds me of the cat I had for 19 years. Looks just like Lexie when she was a kitten. Tony was going to leave, but we got to talking and he decided to go early in the morning instead. I fixed myself some dinner, got all my laundry done and generally had a relaxing evening talking with Tony. I hope all my Couch Surfing experianced are as great as this one! Everything is ready to load up tomorrow. Tony will be leaving very early. There are two other surfers here too, Sadie and Jeff from North Carolina. I'll probably leave before them tomorrow. It's on to Humbug Mountain. The post for tomorrow will be done the next day as I know I will not have service.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Perfect Day 7

I got my earliest start since the first day. Left Beverly Beach at 7:50. The weather looked like it was going to be an okay day. No need for raingear. Sun started shining as I came around to the Yaquina Bay Bridge at Newport. Took some photos and then headed across the bridge. Stopped at a drive thru bakery/coffee place and had a bearclaw and hot chocolate. Then I stopped in at the Seal Rock State Park and took some pictures on the tripod. Then it was on through Waldport and Yachats. As I was cruising along toward Cape Perpetua, I met a couple on a tandem. Hank and Carolyn are doing the OR Coast. They are from San Diego. I was riding faster, but they would catch up everytime I pulled off. Cape Perpetua was a good climb, but the wind was blowing me up the hill so it wasn't too bad. I stopped at the Spouting Horn and Cooks Chasm as well as the Devil's Churn. The wind was blowing so hard I was climbing on the big ring in the front. I felt really sorry for the couple of guys I saw going the other direction. Just before Heceta Head I pulled off at a wayside and had a bite to eat. As I was pulling back onto the road, Hank and Carolyn pulled up. They wanted to have some lunch, but also wanted a restroom. Waysides typically do not have restrooms. So they continued on. The wind continued to blow me along (I'm telling ya, it was blowing so hard, it kept flipping my map case!). I opted not to go down to the Heceta Lighthouse Beach as the fog was rolling in. I went through the tunnel and rode up to just before the Sealion Caves. As it was last year, I could look down and see the sealions down on the rocks. There was a couple in a car that had passed me while I was in the tunnel (Volvos make alot of noise in tunnels). The gal was trying to take a picture of the lighthouse which was completely obscurred by the fog. The guy took a picture of me (apparently I was not obscurred by fog). He commented on how narrow the shoulder is and I told him it is the worst place on the whole coast (at least Oregon). After I got past the Sealion Caves, the shoulder got wider and the sun was shining again. Coming down Heceta Head was fun. With the wind I was flying!
I've made it to Florence and am having Slumgullion at Mo's. Not too far now to Honeyman. I'll get there in time to go out on the dunes.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

What I Forgot to Bring

I found out something I forgot to bring. I discovered this at about 1:15 in the morning. I forgot to bring Zantac. Zantac is the medicine I take (in addition to Benedryl) when I have eaten something that doesn't agree with me. When I woke up at 1:15, my stomach felt funny and I needed to go to the restroom. Having experianced this many times before, I immediatly took two Benedryl and would have taken Zantac as well, except I seemed to have not packed any. Actually, what I think happened is that the bottle I had was expired so I took it out and meant to replace it. That, obviously, didn't happen. Usually with the Zantac, I can get through the episode without vomiting. So, as you can guess...well, I won't go into the gross details (let's just say, I have discovered another use for the urinal in the sani-can).
I was able to get whatever it was (I suspect the butter--not eating that anymore) out of my system and go back to sleep. Due to the Benedryl I did not want to get up this morning. I had wanted to get up at 6:15 because I had a fair amount of miles today with alot of climbing. I got up at 7:15. I was on the road by 9:00 (didn't eat much duh!). I felt okay, just a little tired. Once I was on the road things were okay. I climbed Cape Lookout right off the bat. It's 2 1/2 miles up. Then at Cape Kiwanda I stopped to watch the surfing attempts. Then I decided I felt good enough to have a single scoop of Udderly Chocolate ice cream. The next climb was Cascade Head on Old Hwy 101. A couple out for a day ride caught up to me and we chatted our way to the top. When I got to Lincoln City I stopped at Safeway and bought some Zantac. Hopefully I won't need it. The final climb of the day was Cape Foulweather. I took Otter Crest Loop like last year. It was long, but not a bad climb. I stopped and checked out The Devil's Punchbowl. Would have been more spectacular had the tide been in.
So now I am at Beverly Beach. A guy from Germany that I have camped with since Nehalem Bay is also here. We rode together for awhile today. He's a nice guy.
Tomorrow is another long one, but without so many climbs.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Insights to Life on the Road: Housekeeping

When one is spending a lengthy time travelling without the benefit of a large suitcase or hotel, laundry becomes an issue. My plan was to stop in Tillamook today and do laundry (day 5 on the road--I carry 4 changes of clothing). Having washed my first day's clothes at the Anderson's, it was time to wash again. Last night I got this idea to wash my bike clothes in the bathroom sink at the park (I carry those travel size sink packets of Tide). Then I could hang them up overnight (knowing full well they would not be dry by morning--this is the ocean climate). Then I thought I would stop in Tillamook as planned, but only have to dry them. As I left the park and pulled out onto 101, I remembered, from last year, that there was a laundromat just before the town of Nehalem. Sure enough, there it was. I decided instead of carrying all the wet stuff all the way to Tillamook, I could stop there and be done with it. That worked perfectly! While my clothes were drying (28 minutes for a buck), I took the opportunity to raise my seat up abit. My thighs had been feeling the climbing more than they should. With the new saddle, I thought maybe it was sitting a little lower. That was much better.
So, an hour after I left Nehalem Bay, I was back on the road. Went through several small towns on my way to Tillamook. It was a fairly easy ride without too many big hills between Nehalem and Tillamook. Got to the cheese factory at 12:15. Yum, ice cream for lunch! I also sampled the cheese so it wasn't JUST ice cream. Today's flavors were Caramel Toffee Crunch and German Chocolate Cake. It was a good combo. They make BIG cones at the factory so I was pretty full afterward. Next stop was Safeway to pick up a few groceries. I turned a block too early and had to backtrack when I realized I had gone past the store. No big deal (people may have looked at me a little funny). Picked up some more lunch type items and a couple of bananas. My hot cocoa supply was running low, so got more of that too.
I had decided when I was planning this trip to not do Cape Meares again. Once was enough up that steep cape. Instead I took the Netarts Hwy. Although it wasn't as bad as Cape Meares, it was a decent climb itself with a nice downhill on the other side. Made it to Cape Lookout State Park at 2:40. Craig was checking in just as I arrived (just like yesterday). I had actually passed him before Tillamook, but I don't know if he stopped like I did. Should be some more of the same people coming in tonight. I also passed an older couple each pulling BOB trailers. I'm guessing they'll be here tonight too. Gonna be hoppin' in the Hiker/Biker area tonight!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Sunshine On My Shoulders Makes Me Happy!

Today I went from Ft. Stevens to Nehalem Bay. It was misty this morning, but not for long. I stowed my rain jacket before I even got to 101. This time, coming into Seaside, I followed the map and found this great path called the Prom. It ran along the beach for the length of Seaside. There were a fair amount of people walking that I had to work my way around, but it was very pleasant. Met an older gentleman and rode with him to the end. He was out for his daily exercise. I came into Cannon Beach a little after noon. It was not too crowded. Stopped at a shop and had my first Tillamook ice cream of the trip. Sweet Centennial and Tillamook Mudslide. It was delish! Then I rode a bit further to my friend Julie's fabric shop. Stopped and visited for awhile then headed on down the road. The sun started to shine not long after I left Cannon Beach. I stopped at Tolavana (not sure if that's how it is spelled) Wayside and ate some real lunch (as much as I could survive on ice cream alone, I probably shouldn't). Not long after lunch the climb up Arch Cape started. It's a long one with a tunnel part way up. Since clocking over 10,000 miles last year at the Arch Cape Tunnel, I have added an additional 4260 miles to Stella. I made it to the top and reaped my reward of a nice downhill to Manzanita and the park. So far there are 5 tents total. I have talked to one guy so far. And last night two gals came into Ft. Stevens at about 10:00. They had ridden all the way from Portland. They are from Oakland and are riding back. I expect I'll see them again. I'm crossing my fingers for continued good weather!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

All Day Swish Swish

Okay, when I said it could rain anytime after the first day, I didn't mean literally! It started raining last night and continued for most of today's ride. At first it seemed as if my campsite was something out of the Hundred Acre Woods ala Winnie the Pooh's little black rain cloud becaused when I walked away from my campsite it didn't seem to be raining. Perhaps I should have chosen a site with more tree cover. Anyway, it managed to not rain while cooking and eating my dinner. After dinner, I went up to the restroom to do my dishes (Bruceport even had hot running water in the sinks!) When I was walking back a couple in an RV asked if I was the cyclist that had come in and where I was going. I went and talked to them for awhile. They were just about to celebrate their 51st wedding anniversary! I gave them one of my cards with my blog address. So, Joe and Karen, if you're reading this, it was nice to meet you and I hope you had a Happy Anniversary!
It was raining when I woke up this morning, but stopped long enough for me to fix my breakfast. Then as I came out of the restroom, it was raining again. I continued to pack stuff up because I wanted to get across the Astoria Megler Bridge by noon. By the time I got to taking the tent down, it miraculously stopped raining! I beat feet and quickly got the tent packed away. It was just in time too, because it started raining again! Everything was packed by 8:00 and I was on the road (or should I say, on the river). Going down the first big hill, I swear I could have pulled a waterskier! Of course going up was like swimming up stream (how do the salmon do it??). Today's route was mostly all rollers; up and down all the way to the bridge. At times I thought it had stopped raining, but no, just a little less.
I did see some of Mother Nature's Cleaning Crew in the form of four buzzards (at least I think that's waht they were--big black birds with red heads). They were cleaning up a dead deer on the side of the road. I tried to get a picture (they were sitting in a tree), but they flew away when a car went by.
I made it to the bridge at 11:53. Right on schedule! I took Hwy 4 and 401 instead of the longer 101 route (did that one last year). This year's bridge crossing was vastly different from last year. There was alot more traffic and a crosswind. Still, on the flat part, I was doing 16-17mph! And, it had stopped raining (for awhile anyway). The swish swish is the sound my rain pants make while I'm riding.
So, now I am at Fort Stevens State Park. So far there are no other cyclists here, but I did see alot of riders coming through Warrenton. I'm wondering if there was an organized ride today? Oh, and Oregon State Parks raised the Hiker/Biker fee to $6 (a 50% increase!).

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Change of Plans

Day 2 is complete, but not where I had originally planned. Instead of Bay Center KOA, I am at Bruceport County Park. The only reason I'm staying here over the KOA is cost. It only costs $10 here. The KOA would have been around $30 (they raised their rates because the Ilwaco KOA is closed this season). I will probably have just 4 more miles to go tomorrow than I would have had. No big deal for a big savings.
Today's ride was really nothing special. Not much for scenery, plus it has rained off and on. I took my rain pants off every chance I got. I stopped in Raymond at the DQ and had ice cream (of course). I also did the blog for yesterday. Now I am going to get my tent set up, take a shower (.25 for three mins.-- still cheaper than free showers at the KOA) and finally eat some of this food I brought!

79 Miles? Piece a Cake!

Well, actually it was only 78 miles. Day 1 of my epic solo ride down the coast is complete! I left home at 7:25am. Stopped at Mary Beth's to say goodbye and was on the road at 8:10. Stella sure was heavy! All that food weighing her down. It was slow going at first as there are a number of long hills on Hwy 8 at the beginning. By the time I got to the Gray's Harbor County line the wind was at my back and the hills had flattened out. With the tailwind I was sailing along at 16-17 mph. So much for taking all day to get to Grayland! I pulled into Aberdeen just after noon. I stopped at Starbucks (thanks for the gift card Chris) and had a hot chocolate. I pulled out a bagel and my jar of peanut butter. I just dipped the bagel in the jar (great thing about solo travel--all the food is mine so if I don't want to use a knife I don't have to!)
after lunch, I negotiated the lane changes and bridges of Aberdeen to get to Hwy 105 toward Westport and Grayland. I rode on the sidewalk of one bridge to avoid the grated bridge deck. I had an occasional headwind on 105, but mostly a crosswind. I got to the "T" (left to Grayland--right to Westport) at 2:30. I'd told the Andersons I would be in around 4 or 5. So I went to Twin Harbors State Park and checked out the beach (see photo on FB), ate a snack and called my dad (I'm glad I called because I ended up not having service at the Andersons 3 miles down the road). At about 3:30 I headed on to the Anderson's.
At their house I got Stella all unloaded and locked up in the shed. Had a great dinner and visit with John and Joan. John showed me his Frontierman outfits (most of which he made himself!) and accessories. They are quite the work of craftsmen. I learned alot about what the do at the Rendezvous (frontier time re-inactment).
Today's ride was not nearly as challenging as I thought (tailwinds do help). Tomorrow I'm off to Bay Center.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Bags Are Packed--1 Day to Go!

My bags are packed. I'm ready to go... This is starting to sound like a John Denver song! Except, I'm not leaving on a jet plane. All of this stuff packed into 4 panniers, a handlebar bag and the stack on the top of the rear rack. I really didn't think I would be able to fit it all in. I am such a good packer! How much does it all weigh? About 80 lbs. when I add the last few small items. Once I'm on the road for a few days, it will probably end up at an average of 70 lbs. Right now I am carrying alot of food--way more than I need to.

Stella has her new rear wheel and Chris at Old Town gave her a good going-over. Adjusting brakes and deraillers; tightening bolts and cranks. She should be good to go.
Next post will be from Grayland!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Soooo Lucky Am I!

Went for a 56 mile ride today to try out my new Selle Anatomica saddle (it's red). Forced myself to periodically stop and fine tune the saddle (fore and aft position and tension). I think I've got it the way I want it. When I got home, Stella's shifting was abit off. I put her up on the stand to do some rear derailler adjustments. The chain and cassette were pretty dirty, so I decided to clean them first. Of course, grime splatters all over so I had to wash the rear wheel. That's when I noticed there were cracks in the rim of the rear wheel. They were around two spokes. I called Old Town and Chris took care of ordering me a whole new wheel. Why not just a rim and spokes? Two reasons. One, he couldn't find a 36 spoke rim in stock in any of the three stores. Two, the whole wheel (rim, spokes and hub) has 14,000 miles on it. Clearly time for a whole new wheel! The wheel will be in Tuesday; just 3 days before I leave. I'm so glad Stella was not shifting well! This is one of those things that could be a catastrophic failure on a tour. I am soooo lucky!