??? ft Climbing (Google Maps has no clue)
This morning, I got up early, like two of the three cyclists in the hiker/biker campsite, and was set to hit the road early. But this was one of those sites with the bike repair setup and bike stand, so I took some time to detail and lube my chain and drive train. Just as I was getting ready to pull out, the third camper, a young guy named Vincent, from Montreal, came over to inquire about what I had been doing. He has had the same bike for years; has been piling on WD-40; and has never cleaned his chain or had a shop do it for him. So we put his bike on the stand. His chain and gears looked like they were covered with thick tar. I pulled out my cleaning patches and chain cleaner/lube, and we got to work on his bike. What a mess!
Just when I was ready to leave Vincent to finish the job, yet another cyclist pulled in–this one a John Denver look-alike with a classical guitar strapped across his back. He proceeded to tell Vincent that he wipes down and lubes his chain daily. Daily! Wow! I need to up my game on maintenance.
Today’s route covered three types of terrain: countryside with ranches and farms, tree-lined roads, and roads that followed the ocean. Can’t beat that.
The best part of my day was crossing over into California. I’m going to miss seeing all the recreational marijuana shops (Not!). When I was riding through Bandon, a couple of days ago, a couple of tourists who looked to be about my age, pulled over to ask me if I knew where they sell marijuana. I thought to myself that they must be on something to think I might even have the answer to that question.
I’m going to miss Oregon. Hopefully, I will come back soon. What’s the plan, Dale?
And what’s the first thing you come to when you’re heading south along the coast of California? Redwoods, and tourist attractions.
Going off route to check out Smith River, which is supposedly the Lily Capital of the World, I saw a lot of fields, but no lilies.
And just down the road from Smith River is the Pelican Bay State Prison. A lovely spot. I’m guessing the people who live in manufactured homes in all the nearby small towns work there.
Passing through the town of Fort Dick, I saw no sign of a military installation. Just more manufactured homes.
In Crescent City, the route took me by an animal rescue location with this beautiful mural. It turns out that the people on the mural are volunteers, their children or their grandchildren, and the dogs are all former rescue animals.
In Crescent City the route went way off Highway 101 to follow the beach on the west and south side of town. I contemplated staying on the highway, but went with the longer route, which was a great decision. The beach was amazing, with rock formations, birds, cool beach houses, cool beach mansions, etc. I stopped over and over again, to take in the scenery, and believe me, an iPhone camera cannot do it justice.
The Battery Point Lighthouse is just off the shore of Crescent City. Commissioned in 1856, it is only accessibly during low tide. The rest of the time, it is on an island, its configuration when I rode by.
Did I mention that there were some heavy duty climbs on today’s route. I have no idea how long they were or what the grade was, but the longest was a real killer. I thought it was over when I reached this sign, but I was wrong.
Eventually, the road leveled out, and a while later, this was the beginning of about six miles of steep downhill. I LOVE steep downhill. It’s my specialty.
Then I rolled into this tourist attraction. Did you know that Paul Bunyan had a blue ox named Babe? I didn’t. Check out the chest hair on Paul Bunyan, and check out how big he is compared to itty bitty little me.
On my way to my rest stop, for the night, I passed through the Yurok Indian Reservation and took in yet another breathtaking ocean sunset.
My digs for the night are the floor of the rec room of an RV park that offered free laundry and wifi. It’s owned by a retired marine and his retired navy wife. So I get another holiday from setting up my tent, crawling around on the ground, and dealing with insects.