Daily miles – 87. Total miles – 469.
We’ve been out one week now, and so it seemed appropriate that we left California today.
And although we are far from both our friends and family in California and in the midwest, in many ways they are all still around us, in our thoughts as well as in funny small supportive ways. The collapsible chopsticks that were a stocking stuffer from Judy (my wonderful mother-in-law) handily dress our oyster and cheese over rye er appetizers. . . the nonstick cook set from David and Judy . . . the bike chain key chain that holds our only bike lock key from my brother-in-law Chance . . . the headlamps from my father . . . the Therma-rest straps that Sterling (my younger brother) gave us keep us the sliding too far apart at night . . . And, of course, the all-important support that we get from our “Ops Center” (i.e., my sister and her husband in Minneapolis). So even far from home, often unable to find cell phone bars or internet connections, we still feel connected to all of you.
For those of you who want to hear about how our actual last day in California went, here’s a brief run down. Rice pudding for breakfast. (We made too much rice the night before. It wasn’t bad and was something different than oatmeal, although I wouldn’t want to eat it every morning. Like oatmeal, it is best eaten as hot and as quickly as possible.) We were on the road around 8:30 AM, We took the Old Coast Highway to get off 101. It was beautiful, filled with wildflowers whose names I don’t know. There were hundreds of these small yellow flowers growing on large bushes, as well as these bright pink bell shaped flowers. There are still the occasional purple iris here and there. And on the Old Coast Highway, we ran into these white thistles that grow whereever it is hot and muggy . . . including the midwest in the summertime, so it reminded us of our childhoods.
After joining up on 101 again, we rode through a scenic bypass–the Newton B. Drury Scenic Parkway–which was highly recommended as trucks are prohibited and it avoids a steep hill. Not that there wasn’t a fair amount of climbing regardless. We stopped in Klamath for lunch–cheese sandwiches from a little place that seemed to be operated by two kids around the ages of 12 and 16. I didn’t have high hopes for the sandwiches, but they were actually pretty decent. Mike says that while I was foraging for food someone told him that we were stupid for going south to north. We have an over/under bet on the number of times we hear this. I wasn’t there so I couldn’t confirm the veracity of the comment, but it counts. After lunch, we had another long climb, with three different false summits that made the climb seem longer than it should have felt. Plus, when we finally reached the top, we copped a flat. Better at the top than on the way down.
Mike and I have developed a team work approach to flats: he removes the paneers and trailer; I hold up the bike while he removes the wheel; we stick the trunk under the bike while Mike removes the tube; he inspects the tire while I patch the tube; he reinstalls the tube and pumps the tire up; I lift the bike so he can reinstall the wheel; I put away the pump and stuff while he connects the cables and puts the trailer and paneers back on. After checking the derailer, we are back on the road. It is a good thing that we have the system down since this was the first, but not the last, flat of the day. We copped the second flat just across the California-Oregon border as we were coming into Brookings, OR. This time, I actually put a patch on the tire as well as the tube. We’ll see if that works. We are spending the night in a beautiful campsite in Harris Beach, where the showers are hot and free, the sunset over the ocean gorgeous, and Mike’s quinoa dinner experiment a success. I’d better sign off, since once again, Mike has beaten me to sleep.