Sunday, April 27, 2008
Saturday, April 26, 2008
Sunday, April 20, 2008
At the Richardson Grove campground I met some folks from Hanover Germany. The worlds fair was there in 2000 he said. They were driving up the coast in an RV from San Francisco. One of them had gone to school in Berkeley and loved California. Hard to blame the guy, it is the coolest place on the planet that I have seen myself.
While waiting for my breakfast in Garberville I had a conversation with a tourist from Aurora Colorado. He was digging the big trees so I recommended the giant sequoias near Santa Cruz to him. Hope he makes it they are truly spectacular. It is on my list of places to ride to so some in person pics will be forthcoming.
Saturday, April 19, 2008
Heading south is a little flatter for the first 20 miles or so but once you get to Scotia it is an uphill ride. I started slow warming up my leg muscles as the sun warmed up the day. The country is not as stark as the coast but is just as beautiful in its own way. Mixed forests and meadows, Fortuna and Loleta are dairy country with Humboldt Creamery the local brand. They do make a tasty Neapolitan ice cream.
Along the way I passed Table bluff and the Humboldt National Wildlife Refuge as well as lots of cows. Then it is into the logging towns and Palco mills. The smell of lumber being milled is like being buried in those pine-scented trees from the carwash. The smells of the road seemed exceedingly strong on the first day riding south. Cow dung, road kill and Western Red Cedar in overwhelming waves. You are riding along and wham and a few hundred feet down the road it’s gone fortunately.
Speaking of the smells the road kill report for this trip included 3 snakes, 4 birds of which one was a massive crow, 2 possums 1 deer and a house cat. It was almost two deer as a fawn came flying up to the freeway but I startled it back before it got into the traffic.
I had a spot of bad luck in that I had brought along a really killer cinnamon roll for breakfast and it fell off the trailer somewhere along the way. I had added it at the last moment and stuck it in so as not to smash it and as a result I got nada and ended up at a Denny’s for a Grand Slam. Filling but a huge let down. Two days later in Garberville I had essentially the same thing, pancakes eggs and sausage, at the Millwheel and it was a thousand times tastier; that and I hate to eat cooperate food.
The Avenue of the Giants is amazing. I rode my bike thru a 5,000year old tree and saw another that people had thought was extinct for 20million years. In between is about 25 miles of old growth forest even if it is only a few miles wide the big trees give you a sense of perspective. When you see one of these mountains with a replanted tree farm that they try to pass off as woods and compare it to a real forest like this and it drives me crazy. The human population of this region tends to be a little different as well, after all this is the land of the Bigfoot. I passed by Hobbiton USA and an ear of corn on the side of the road. Chainsaw carving is abundant in addition to kitschy tourist art and some interesting stuff from the hippies.
Back from the southern trip and I am sore as I have been in a while. All the last leg, 48 miles, was into a 20 to 30 mph headwind. that just sucks the fun out of any ride. It makes it like riding an exercycle for like 9 hours straight as opposed to the wonderful weather on the trip down. Here is some video from the road. I will post more in the coming days. It was a great trip with some of the most amazing country. The new packing arrangement with less weight was nice but some of these hills still take a long time to get over. I have found that if I just go at it eventually I will get to the top. When the sunscreen is running into your eyes and you are gasping on the side of the road that can be harder than you might think. shot lots of pics and they are up on flikr I will put together a group for here when I straighten that page out. set up to upload the way I have in the past but screwed up something and it started to upload my whole catalog so I need to go through and edit it but that will have to wait.
A few procedural notes. The state web site is not accurate for open campgrounds so if you are traveling call first. Benbow was closed for the season when I got there so I went down the road To Richardson Grove. I want to head south again and go farther but time was a problem. I will give more details of the trip but I have to shop and get coffee today and I am moving kind of slow. I did a little computer work on the road but not quite as much as I should have. I hope to get in a little better shape over time as now I am pushing hard each day so at the end I am too tired to type much. The voice recorder works well for making notes so I am getting some writing done but I still need to put in the transcription time. enjoy the vid and I will give you a better yarn in the next post.
Sunday, April 13, 2008
Saturday, April 12, 2008
Friday, April 11, 2008
Headed south for the day put in a long ride close to 40miles in 5 hours. focused on the ride and did not get a lot of pics. A few of the steep hills stopped me for a short break but other than those gasping for air moments I rode continuously. The terminus of my ride was at hwy 36. Wanted to see how it was riding toward Fortuna for the tour of The Unknown Coast in May
I need to do this about every other day when I am not camping if I am serious about getting in shape. Hope to head south for 4 days on Tuesday morning weather dependent.
Wednesday, April 9, 2008
Monday, April 7, 2008
I returned from the camping trip up the coast. The weather was a little damp but the scenery was unbelievable. I need to work on my conditioning before tackling the mountains again. I traveled 125 miles in 4 days of riding. I made 34.4 miles each of the first 3 days with the short day coming when I arrived home.
That was odd the way it worked out but ran into a few problems with a trail that wasn't maintained. I wasted half a day trying to reach a campsite out at Ossagon Creek. There was blow down all along the trail and I thought what the hell I’ll be a good guy and clear some but eventually got to a section that needed a chainsaw, which I did not have. I had portaged twice already and gave up and turned around after tweaking my ankle. By the time I got back to the paved road I was whipped so I went down hill to Prairie Creek.
Let me back up a bit, on day one I was up early and after a few packing modifications I was off. Took a while getting used to the weight again but made it out to Clam Beach by lunchtime. Then it was all uphill for a while to Westhaven and Camel Rock. I shot some vids and pictures along the way and ended up at Big Lagoon for the night. That was one of the things TV taught me wrong. From watching Giligan’s Island as a kid I did not know the thing that made it a lagoon was the sandbar. They always just paddle out on their rafts or whatever. Speaking of Bad TV from the 60’s seems more than just Bob Denver was 420 friendly. Dawn Wells got busted for pot possession; we have some useless laws for a free country. It was the camp host at one end of the campground and I at the other in what felt like the middle of nowhere. I sleep well in the true dark and quiet, a few hours after sundown the silence is clarifying. I would have slept well under any circumstances, as I was exhausted.
Along with the trail problems I also had a few tech problems. My tape recorder gave up the ghost, it was 15 years old but damn it pissed me off. The sleeping bag cover sweats so it was a total waste however I did get good at guying the tent to avoid condensation and the rain bothered me not a bit when I was inside. Since I was not going as far I decided not to rest day 3 and rode back to Clam Beach another 34 miles.
For the next trip I will be cutting the weight and looking for something a little less mountainous but I need more conditioning. This trip the wildlife I saw elk at the little red school house some mule deer and a falcon. I did not get photos of the Sandhill Crane or the Egrets. The chainsaw carvings were a little more exotic. The road kill report was pretty light a gopher 2 birds a field mouse and a skunk.