Days 41- 46: We’re Done!!!

Clearly, I was slacking with the blog a bit towards the end of this trip. All the days sort of blended together. I’ll just tell you the hilights of the end of our bike trip.

-We took a zero day on the beach at a wonderful campsite where their were hardly any people. It was great except for the crude oil on the beach that stuck to our feet and took an hour to clean off.

-We biked several big mile days in a row, our biggest being 65 miles.

-L.A. was a disaster to bike through. The cars do not care at all about trying to avoid hitting cyclists. They just want to get where they’re going as quickly as possible.

-We rode a train one evening to skim off 30 miles. Southern California has an excellent public transit system.

-From LA onward, it was difficult to find places to stay. The hotels were very expensive and there weren’t very many campsites. One state park turned us away because they were full and they didn’t have hiker/biker sites.

-On our last day, we biked through Imperial Beach and down to the Mexico border. There was a giant fence separating the two countries and a wall built out into the ocean (which looked swim able to me). Not a lot was going on on the U.S. side, but the people on the Mexico side looked like they were having a blast. There was a crowded restaurant with loud music and people laughing and having fun. The beach was full of colorful umbrellas and children swimming.

So now our bike trip is over and we’ve been in San Diego for a few days. We’re off to the airport tomorrow.












Days 38- 40: Big Sur and the Drought

We biked 100 miles through Big Sur in the last 3 days. It’s definitely been the most beautiful stretch of ocean. The water is an indigo shade of blue and it’s difficult to differentiate where the ocean ends and the sky begins.

Big Sur is a mountainous stretch and we had heard how difficult it would be. It wasn’t too bad though. The uphills were tough, but zooming down the road is thrilling. I probably get up to 40 miles an hour, although I haven’t actually recorded my speed.

Big Sur is pretty isolated. I usually don’t mind it so much, but I wish I had loaded more food in my bag. Most of the places in Big Sur are expensive.

There’s also a drought going on right now. Many of the campgrounds have turned their showers off. We stayed at a dry campground last night. There wasn’t anywhere to fill up our water bottles. We had to pay $5 to the ranger for a gallon.

I smelled so bad tonight that I hopped in the ocean and washed my hair there. We do have water spigots tonight though, so that’s a plus.

Highway 1 is veering inland tomorrow. I think we’re going to take a train down the Santa Barbara. It’s too hot to bike without the ocean breeze.






Days 36 & 37: Headwinds and Big Miles

We’ve biked 100 miles in 2 days. I’m exhausted.

Yesterday, the headwinds were blowing against us all day long. Biking is way more difficult with wind blowing against you. Even the flat parts were hard.

We were also by the water, so there was lots of sand. Whenever a particularly strong gust came along, sand would blow up and sting my skin and stick to my sunscreen. My skin was grainy all day.

We had a Warm Showers lined up in Santa Cruz. Warm Showers is a website where people open their homes to long distance cyclists. We went and stayed at Rita’s house. She set us up in her spare bedroom, helped us plan out our route through Big Sur, and made us coffee and eggs this morning.

We did another 50 to Monterey today. It wasn’t as bad because the headwinds didn’t start blowing against us until we were 10 miles from our destination.

Tonight we’re at a hotel.

I seem to have limited mobility in my hand after today. I think my nerves are going numb from resting on handlebars all day.

Tomorrow is the beginning of Big Sur.






Days 33- 35: San Fransisco and the Bay Area

We’ve had a busy few days.

The day before yesterday, we left Samuel P. Taylor State Park to head for San Fransisco. It was 30- something miles. I thought that it would just be boring suburbs, but the area was actually very unique. Lots of the houses are brightly colored and the neighborhoods had lots of cute restaurants.

We stopped for lunch at a gluten-free, dairy-free Mexican restaurants. I didn’t have high expectations, but my enchiladas were delicious.

The Bay Area is actually a really expensive place to live because of all of the tech companies in the area. It’s a hot spot for computer related jobs.

We stopped in Sausilito for ice cream, then headed for the Golden Gate Bridge. One side of the bridge was just for walkers and one side was just for cyclists. We posed for some photos, then kept biking. I tried to go around one of the support beams, then the wind hit me head on and I couldn’t move forward. I had to get off and push. It felt very unsteady.

Finally, we made it across the bridge and into San Fransisco. Our phones were close to dying, so we had to quickly navigate over 5 miles to get to where we were going.

My friend Erika had invited us to stay with her. I met her years ago at Camp Wakatomika. We both went to Girl Scout camp there for years and were counselors when we were older.

Erika took us out to her favorite crepe place, the Crepe Vine. We had a great night sleep on her blow up mattress, then spent the next day exploring the city. Erika drove us around in her car, and showed us some tourist spots. I think my favorite was getting a clam chowder sour dough bread bowl on Pier 39.

Erika is really into biking as well, and she does a fundraising ride from San Fransisco to Los Angeles every year. By the end of our visit, she was planning her own bike tour for Europe next summer.

We had to head out this morning and start toward Half Moon Bay. It was a 30 mile ride, and it took a surprisingly short amount of time. I think we’re becoming faster bikers. We’re planning on doing 50 miles to Santa Cruz tomorrow, so we’ll see how that goes.













Days 29-30: Lots of Miles

The past 2 days have been 2 of our biggest mile days yet. We did 50 yesterday and 40- something today. We also went over the biggest uphill of the whole trip. It was about 1500 feet, then there was a 500 feet climb as soon as we got down it.

There’s lots of people in camp tonight, I’m guessing since it’s Independence Day weekend.

I’m really tired and sore tonight. The weather has been really hot as well.




Days 31- 32: Fort Bragg

We had intentions of biking yesterday. We even packed up camp and left the state park. Once we made it to town however, we lost enthusiasm. The roads were busy with holiday weekend traffic and there was a lot of nothing coming up.

After sitting in Starbucks and charging our phones for 2 hours, we decided just to go back to the park. The 5 mile ride was great. It was on a paved bike path and by the water.

We also checked out Glass Beach. Apparently, decades ago, locals would just throw their trash over the cliff. Eventually, the broken glass smoothed over and became like pebbles. So it was a glass beach for awhile, but most of the glass is gone now.

I spent some time on the beach by MacKerricker State Park. The was a gigantic rock with a few dozen seals hanging out on it. It was difficult to notice them at first because they didn’t move too much. There was a booming of fireworks in the distance and a few of the more frightened seals scuttled off the rock and into the sea.

We didn’t do much today except for take a bus for a few hours. To our credit, we did wake up at 5:45 and bike 5 miles to catch the bus.

We’re staying at Samuel P. Taylor State Park tonight. It’s packed full of people. Supposedly after San Fransisco we will have a long, rural stretch and get away from all these people. We will also only have 600 miles left. This is good because I’m reaching the end of my trip budget.

We have 30 miles to San Fransisco tomorrow. We will take a day off and stay with my old camp friend Erika.








Days 27- 28: Arcata and the Redwoods

Yesterday we biked a short distance from McKinellyville to Arcata. We took a bike path for half of the distance, which was very scenic and easy to bike on. Then we biked down a country road through the area known as “the Bottoms”. It’s just the farmland part of Arcata and it looks a lot like Ohio.

Despite being in Humbolt County, I have not seen any marijuana farms. I think their kept secret pretty well.

We met up with our new friends Amelia and Chris to stay at Amelia’s mom Linda’s house. We did a load of laundry then went out to shop for my new bike part. My gears weren’t shifting very well, so Chris offered to fix it for me. I just needed a $20 part, and 2 hours of his time.

Luckily for us, we were in town on potluck night. We helped cook and eat some delicious food. Linda also had a plum tree, so we ate plums all day long. We also met several more locals at the potluck.

I had a wonderful hot shower and shaved my legs for the first time since Washington. Then we slept in a wonderfully soft bed. I didn’t really want to get up, but a cup of coffee motivated me to get going.

We went out for breakfast at Amelia’s favorite crepe restaurant. I had a crepe filled with raspberries and covered in Nutella and whipped cream.

Then it was time to get going for the day. We skipped ahead about 50 miles on a public bus, for the sake of staying on schedule. We got off the bus in Scotia and started biking.

Avenue of the Giants was the big thing today. It’s an old growth Redwood forest, meaning it’s never been cut down for lumber before. Some of the trees are as old as 1000 years and they have withstood floods and fires. The Avenue of the Giants goes on for 30 miles, and we’re camped out in the middle of it at Burlington Campground.

Tomorrow we’re going to try to do our biggest day yet: almost 50 miles. We’ll see how that goes. We will be in San Francisco in a few days.