Daily miles – 42. Total miles 114.
We were planning for today to be a short day so that we could visit with Chandra’s Great Aunt Ginny and Uncle Bill in Cloverdale. We started late intentionally from the campground because we wanted to get the Uber-Tuesday present that Chandra had planned to give me earlier. It was a new digital camera which became even more of a nice present since our old one crapped out on day 1. So we got on the phone with our Ops Center (Chandra’s sister Keiko in Minnesota who is helping with logistics for this – rock on sistah KKO) and she found a Best Buy that was not too far away and hooked us up with directions even! Meanwhile, we drank our coffee and threw down some oats. I forgot to pack the brown sugar, so we went heavy on the dried fruits. Crazy that such logistics can be so common placeingly handled these days. Got the cool new camera at Best Buy and ready to take off.
While Chandra was in the store, I met a guy named Steve who was chatting me up about Talula and asking about our trip. He alluded a couple times to an upcoming trip of his, which turned out to be railroading in Canada! It’s rad – he rides the rails old school hobo style. He told us that the schedules are not printed publicly, but over the years he and some other folks have figured out when there are crew changes, extra pushing engines for steep grades, and whatnot. These are reliable places to get on and off, and are often in the middle of nowhere! Sounds like a killer way to get to remote river canyons and he travels pretty far, gets off, hikes a while, jumps another train, and keeps going. He said there are very few other people doing this, so generally he has a pretty cush ride in a boxcar, chilling in his hammock.
The ride after that was mellow. It was super hot though – high of 93 in Cloverdale. We made our way to a phat lunch at the Oakville Grocery (“Grocery” – think shi shi foods). Mt the Sacramento Wheelmen club out on a multi-day monthly jaunt around the area. Then off to West Dry Creek Road out of Healdsburg to ride through the vineyards along that valley. Been there many times, but never on a bike from San Francisco…Wine tasting at Quivera probably didn’t do much for hydration, but certainly tasty!
The only climb of substance was pulling out of the Dry Creek Valley into Cloverdale. We had some chain issues (see photo of amazing weird figure 8 nonsense that was one hard pedal stroke from being a show stopper). Luckily, Chandra has developed a near-perfect sense of when the chain is jamming and we are able to avoid welding a crimp in the chain into a permanent fused bend or broken link.
Arriving in Cloverdale we were greeted by probably the most refreshing glass of lemonade offered to a human since the glass that inspired Elvis to write a song abou it! Aunt Ginny made it from the lemons out back. I could have cried!
We had a great time hanging with them, and Ed and Jo – friends of Gradma Midge who were also in Japan right after the war. We all had a nice dinner out on the deck (still 88 degrees!) and got a great sleep. I spent some time dealing with photos and the website, and was really tired!
Great second day though, and ready for 128 out to the coast and to start the headwinds and ocean views.