Day 93 ‘Happy Birthday‘
Birthday woo!!! We relaxed in the hotel room in the morning and had a very late start, leaving around noon. Officially on the 101 and on the labour day weekend, not the best timing. There was plenty of RV’s and trucks to contend with. Though the weather was perfect!! Here we were able to celebrate our first visual of the pacific!!
We stopped for lunch at Winchester bay and soaked in the sun and sand.
A warm showers was booked in Coos bay for this evening so we powered on to get it finished. I was apprehensive spending my birthday with strangers but the night couldn’t of gone better. Jan was really hyper and just what we needed at the end of the day. She cooked us up a feast and even got me a gluten free cupcake and present! I would have taken a picture but I was too busy inhaling it. Rob came in after his own round the local bay training ride for Ride Oregon (best of luck).
The awesome meal was complemented by the great company. The house was beautifully traditional and we stayed in the loft which was perfect.
Started out early for a change and headed into the fog.
Shame the weather wasn’t brilliant because the roads were awesome!!
It made everything seem incredibly errie a little bit like a scene out of pirates and the Caribbean.
Words of wisdom from this mornings cup of tea. Spotted some interesting Graf.
‘Hey you guys’ saw the rocks that could have been from the Goonies…(just a bit further up the coast).
Stopped to eat our locally caught salmon stick with lunch.
This sign stopped us in our tracks.
Whilst making a sugary purchase we noticed a hive inside. This was both fascinating and worrying since accidents can happen and usually when I am around.
We arrived in Langlois to a fully stocked store. They had everything and good quality options too. This has given me great hope for the future of west coast stores. Whilst discussing on what stout/gluten free beer is best with the owner (Jake), I inquired where is available for camping. We stupidly thought we could camp on labour day weekend without prior reservations. Fortunately he said we could stay in the back yard of the store we thankfully took up the offer and set up. Firstly, and more importantly, rehydrate!
We woke to hot sunshine beaming through the tent which instantly made us cook like chickens in a oven.
Started to pack up and Jake came to open for the day. He didn’t open till later but offered for us to come in to refuel before we leave. Just before leaving he generously pack us off with a parcel of free food and sent us on our way.
The day was fresh and we saw the coast in its full beauty. Though we were greeted with a headwind, this is not what I was promised!! But there was still this to brighten up the day.
We stopped in Port Orford and thought we should follow the subtle arrow.
Here we snapped a duo with the view.
We enjoyed a coffee in this stylish seafront restaurant.
Only turned out to be Jakes girlfriends mums place, what a coincident.
Left and enjoyed this all the way to Gold beach.
Except for the 16 miles route off of Highway 101 at the end of the day. This took us on a quieter country road.
Had lunch at this idyllic spot though forgot how windy the coast can be, had to batten down the sandwich bags.
Andy was nearly this dudes food.
Arrived in Gold beach warn and dirty and decided on a RV park ‘Indian creek’. Turned off the route and started to descend at speed. I hate big downhills off route since you are totally aware of the fact this will be drudging climb of the morning.
The campsite itself seemed lovely clean and well maintained atfirst glance. We even got some indoor space for the evening to shelter from the rain. However, as we moved through the RV parking and back to the poor mans tent camping the lush grass vanished and we soon found ourselves in the mists of a dog shit minefield! Not impressed 🙁
We spotted this interesting furry friend also heading south.
Whilst filling water bottles in the campsite we noticed one family had definitely come prepared. This is the same size one we have at home and just incase the cooler wasn’t enough there was a freezer too.
Perfect weather for a perfect day!! We set off down the coast and every corner brought a splendid view.
Andy only just stayed within the law going slightly uphill from a standing start, must try harder next time!We strangely rode through a cloud which resulted in a chilly few moments. Then as we descended it cleared back to let the warm sunshine break through.
We met a lovely German couple that were experienced tourers of 15+ years. Each year they start where their last tour ended, but due to their friend not being able to make this years trip they started a fresh in Vancover. They had pretty much toured around the whole of Europe and followed a route we hope to do in the future. We soaked in the view together and parted ways. During the tough climb of the day somebody kindly reminded us that ‘hills are fun’.
We headed for Brookings to find the ‘waving man’, but Bradford we unfortunately didn’t spot him 🙁 So we stopped in their botanical garden for a late lunch instead.
That afternoon we crossed the boarder into California woo, surfs up dude! We met three more German girls that kindly took our picture.
Though we will miss you Oregon and hopefully will return soon!!
That evening we had a warm showers booked at a church. Katie met us to open up and she even brought us a gift in the form of freshly cooked chicken, our prayers had been answered.
We sofa boated and turned in early for the evening.
We set off very excited about entering the redwoods only to be greeted with a monster of a hill. During the climb we encountered a fellow tourer named Steve, who was a retired engineer and was riding the whole Pacific Coast trail. Towards the top the road had started to collapse #crazy!
The sun was beating down by now, but upon entering the Rewood Parks we were sheltered by the towering trees for most of the remainder of the day.
You feel inferior to their monstrous stature in fact you feel a little bit like a tiny fairy. It’s a very magical place and nothing like we have ever seen. We even got swallowed up by this enormous tree.
Then went to the appropriately named ‘big tree’.
Decided to push on to Orick for lunch. Maybe we should of stayed put in the forest because we ended up eating outside of the store which was not the nicest spot. Though some cool motorbiker gave us some ice and we met up with the German couple again. Another corner, another treat!!
Got to tick horse shoe’s off the bingo board.
We had a WS booked in Trinidad our host wouldn’t be home till 9pm though she had a friend that might be in.
We hung out at the store for a while then headed to hers hopefully her friend would be in to open up for us. We chilled and ate dinner in her serene garden. Just after which Nelson came and let us in so we could clean ourselves up. That evening we enjoyed getting to know Carol and Nelson. We were fortunate to listen to Nelson play his ukulele just before bed.
Happy birthday Lianne hope your having a blast in Cornwall.
Left at a reasonable hour to travel along the coast line with this amazing view.
Our journey through the redwoods continued with us using a magical portal inside a tree, we couldn’t even touch the sides!!
Had a little clamber up these up rooted giants.
California roads surfaces are a bit of a joke!! They are so bumpy that the jolting broke my pannier. Fortunately it was easily fixable by Handy Andy.
Stopped in Eureka for lunch at their extensive health food shop. That evening we stayed in Stafford campsite with a couple of pussy cats for company.
Woke up early and eager for the first peak of the avenue of the giants…and we were not disappointed.
The trees towered above us and provided great respite from the heat of the day and to our surprise the road surface here was much better then expected.
There was an eternal tree house which I am sure used to belong to Peter Pan and the lost boys!!
We got to cycle through a tree though it wasn’t as impressive as the alive ones the previous day. You can see this is dead and supported by wires.
We also climbed into a tree house where we relived our youth.
and we even met an old lady that lived in a shoe….
Our tummies were rumbling and lunch time was upon us. The first bench that was free we pounced on and laid out the picnic.
That afternoon was not the best, in fact it’s probably up there as one of the worst. The 101 has these pointless signs that say ‘share the road’ where as what they should say is ‘No Shoulder, so good luck staying alive if your on a bike’.
There has been far to many of these down the coast!
To make matters worst the road users fly past you at over 60mph without a care in the world and the majority of the time they on the phone too. That partnered with the tedious climbs with downhills so slow (due to broken glass and uneven surfaces) made for a crappy rest of the ride.
This made us cut our day short at 55miles and stop in a different campsite then planned. Here’s hoping tomorrow’s a better ride.
On the plus side at least this place actually let us camp on the grass, yippee!!
Happy birthday mum!! Thinking of you today.
Woke to sounds of logging trucks flying down the 101. I have to say that the noise the trucks makes is very distinctive and absolutely terrifies me. We set off a little down hearted after yesterday episodes only to be elated when we realised we were changing to highway 1 after a few miles. Despite the lack of shoulder and continued uneven surface the road was free from traffic and awesome! We climbed over 5000ft and had plenty of hair pins to enjoy on the way down.
At the first site of the sea we took a rest at the viewing point. Here we met the friendliest and coolest people in California. To be honest our first experiences of the people of this state has been really negative, so it was refreshing to meet some genuine kind hearted souls. This group of bikers and furry friends were the highlight of our day and we were hoping we would bump into them again. Pamela and Sandie had the most well dressed dogs of the trip!!
Much of the day we had the pacific to our right.
It was compulsory to stop at a couple of tasty fruit stands.
This tree had fallen and collapsed a bridge in the 80’s.
Just as we got close to Fort Bragg a dog ran out in the road which gave both me and Andy flash backs of Kentucky. Luckily this dog was very chilled and was just wandering aimlessly around, I was worried he was going to get hit. Just as we were both laughing at how dosaisle he was (probably due in large part to this region being to home of cannabis growing) two monsters ran into the road barking and heading right for us. I dodged them and Andy stopped and aggressively shouted, realising he was in no mood to play they scuttled back into there house. It does make you wonder what has previously happened to the dogs that don’t retreat.
We decided to go off route to a campsite on the beach.
Only to be stung with full price camping (would advice all tourers to stick to the State Parks as RV sites are over priced and generally not as nice ie no grass to camp on), but the spot was quaint and quiet. That evening I knocked up a Mexican meal from cans then turned in early. It’s getting dark around 8pm now. As we write this in the tent listening to the wave crashing against the shore we are also freaking out about raccoons and desperately hoping our breakfast will still be there in the morning!! No bear box’s in RV parks…what a joke 🙁
Both us and our supplies made it through the night without getting eaten by the savage raccoons. We could here them prowling round the tent through out the night, hungry for blood and bananas. We did however wake up to this fella eye balling us on the inside on the tent!!
Finally got on the road after a late start due to chatting to the owners and some Brits. Despite the owners dire warning about ‘the steepest road in the world’ we tackled it with ease.
The sea view on our right remained beautiful throughout the ride. With plenty of typical Northern Californian coves and hidden beaches.
Our lunch destination was in Point Avenue. Here I got a late birthday present, the ring of spoons.
We stopped at Gulala state park for hiker biker rates, yippee. Plus the site was shaded with Californian bend trees and redwoods.
We set up our cosy picnic and toasted to Miss Baddon and Miss Green being at Bestival. Hope your both having a blast!!
We heard the pitter patter of rain and decided to have a casual two hour lay in, hoping it would pass and dry. Finally rose and set off into the errie fog. After both listening to game of thrones at length we were expecting to see galley’s break through the fog, alas this never happened.
Stopped for a picnic lunch in Fort Ross. Here we saw three more tourers one of which was a friendly Californian heading north. After swapping information on gradients and campsites we cracked on with the last 25miles. Though wanting to finish for the day we couldn’t help but stop in this hip organic cafe on the river.
Here we met a lovely couple from Portland and a local teacher interested in our adventure.
Arrived in Bodega Bay dunes state park. Pitch our tent in the hiker/biker spot and headed to town.
Tired and hungry we were dashing around to find a laundry mat. Got directions and ended up in a Motel car park. As I entered the office I felt a rush of positive energy and was greeted with a warm smile from Lisa.
I asked if this was the laundry mat and she stated it wasn’t but she could do it there for us free of charge no questions asked. I was a nobody off the street not even an obvious tourer (dressed casual) and she gave us this kind gesture just because she could. We left our stinky bike gear with her while we went in search of dinner.
Andy had been missing home a little, well mainly good fish and chips and heaven behold, what did we find?
We spent a good hour scoffing good sized portion of fish, extra chips hand clam chowder whilst charging and planning the next couple of days. The kind staff at the ….. let us stay as they were cleaning up and were super hospitable! Thanks guys 🙂
Went to collect the washing from Lisa and she kindly offered for us to come and share breakfast with her in the morning. All these lovely people and good interactions made for a grand evening and new hope for California.
This morning we took up the kind offer of breakfast at Lisa’s motel. I had the pleasure of meeting and cuddling the cutest dog alive, it was so soft it felt like a teddy bear (Meg you would have melted).
Here we met Naomi, Myrna and Piña that were very interested in our adventure, they were touring America by car. Myrna had just finished studying at Bristol University and was keen to do her own tour in the future.
We met some fellow tourers who were unfortunately heading north.
This guy was English, but been living in Germany and Denmark for the twenty years though you could still hear his loveable Geordie twang.
San Fran here we come!!
The ride was very enjoyable with varied scenery.
We then got a real treat when the route took us of the road and on to a lovely quiet, but paved cycle path.
We stopped in a campsite at the end of the cycle path for lunch where I was too scared about the creepy crawly’s to put my legs under the table.
We had a warm showers booked with Mark in Mill Valley. He cooked us a very tasty freshly caught fish meal and we had some interesting conversation. We decided to ask if we could stay an extra night with him and he kindly agreed.
San Francisco rest day!!
Started the morning with a delicious breakfast somewhere in Mill Valley.
Then went to get our first bus since we boarded one in Portsmouth. Here we met a delightful bus driver that was incredibly kind and helpful in directing us where best to go.
We headed to the east part of town on Broadway since the route tomorrow will take us to the west.
We walked along the promenade and noticed a sailing event (Americas cup). As soon as we entered we realised this was no place for us and left.
We spent some time messing about on the pier.
Then we started our hike up a thousand steps to the Coit Tower.
At the top we were treated to a great view of the city, bay and bridges. Here seemed like a great spot for lunch so we tucked into some sushi.
That afternoon we took advantage of the free tasters in the many artisan food stores and did some shopping. All this got a little bit testing for Andy which resulted in him getting back to his roots.
Later we wandered aimlessly taking us into china town.
San Francisco’s china town was at least 8 blocks squared and was a very unique experience, we actually felt like we were in china.
Feeling peckish we looked up the best Thai restaurant close by and set off in search off it. Luckily it wasn’t up to steep a street.
Tired with sore feet we went to the bus stop to ride back to Mark’s. We were fortunate to get on where we did since the bus was full and we grabbed the last seats.