Saturday, August 7, 2010

California coast

As we left Orick and headed south into California we didn't realize we would be hunting for internet access for the next several days. Not that it was totally unavailable, just not where we were. 8/2 was 68 miles from Orick to Ferndale, 8/3 was 86 miles to Leggett, 8/4 60 miles to Mendocino, then finishing up with 46 and 49 miles to Gualala and Bodega Bay respectively. Totals for the trip ended up being about 1200 miles and 45,000 feet of climbing.

Some route observaions. Nothing is flat. Every day was 2000 to 4000 ft of climbing, and with some of the secondary roads the climbs were a sustained 10-12%. Hwy 1 topped out at 19%. It was nice to have the lower gears for sure :-) Given the limited choices along the coast, the traffic generally was not too bad. We followed the Adventure Cycling route from Astoria south, and they do a very good job of putting you on secondary routes and bike paths when available. Some were just wonderful.

The scenery is special every day. The coast is beautiful whether sunny or foggy, and just inland the redwood groves are spectacular to ride through. Except for a notable exception going inland to Leggett, 90% of the riding was in the 50's. Jacket on and off through out the day. When fog comes it gets cool quick. We drank very little water from our bottles. Generally we would stop for another breakfast or coffee every 20 miles or so. The California northern coast is suprisingly remote, sometimes it was about 30 miles between services. With the AC maps you know ahead of times where the services are which is handy.

Lots of great memories. Many touring cylists encountered once we got on the AC route in Oregon. Some people we saw several days, and more than a few we'll likely see again if they visit Tucson or we visit them. The number of nice peope we met is large, and not so nice pretty short. In Leggett we ended up 2 miles from town at the only motel after a long day. The owner drove us in to town to have dinner, came and picked us up later, all the while his wife did our laundry for no charge. Just nice people.

We're whittling down the 1400 pictures to something manageable and will probably do a slide show at the house as soon as it cools off just a bit (in Tucson that is) Let us know if you'd like to join us.

Next summer is Denmark, Netherlands, Belgium. 2012 is looking like Thailand, Laos and Cambodia. We can't wait!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

On to California - 74 miles

We spent the majority of today off of 101 which was nice. From Brookings, OR to Crescent City, CA we toured agricultural areas on the coast with lots of dairy cows and lily fields. After a ride along Pebble Beach in Crescent City it was time for the big climb of the day up in to the redwoods. In to the fog we went. With temps in the 50's it remained quite pleasant.
A major part of the route through the redwood parks was off of 101 and it was just great. Just thousandss of the big guys lining both sides of the road as we cruised by for miles. After leaving the parks we came across 3 different elk sightings, one with a herd of 40 sitting just off of the road.
Moteling in Orick, CA which has seen better days. Had a nice Mexican dinner for my birthday and it's back to the Palm Court Motel with its empty pool :-)