I should start by apologizing for posting this so late! We always aim to publish a new post every Monday but sometimes time slips away and we aren’t able to. Luckily, it’s here at least. This post recaps our sixth week on the road. Enjoy!
DAY 44: Tuesday, July 19th, 2016
Crescent City, CA – 20 miles
That morning, 8 cyclists woke up. We all had stayed the night inside a community room of a church that we all had found through Warmshowers. Two from Germany, two from Tennessee, one from Berkeley, two from Florida and one from Flagstaff, Arizona. We all headed our separate ways. Jordan and I went back to our diners and had a delicious breakfast at Good Morning Cafe. We made deli sandwiches and biked to Jedidiah Smith State Park with Marcella and Jacob (our friends from Florida).
The Redwoods were beautiful! They were so tall. We enjoyed 2.7 mile hike to Boy Scout Tree. On the way back, I ran into a friend who I met 3 years ago in San Francisco- my friend Bernet! What in the world are the odds of that happening? Bernet and I met while I was staying at the Embassy Network working as an intern for Verbling.
That evening, we made pasta for dinner and then watched Jurassic Park with Marcella and Jacob.
DAY 45: Wednesday, July 20th, 2016
Crescent City, CA to Trinidad, CA – 60 miles
After a long morning of packing up, we said bye to Katie, our amazing Warmshowers host, who made us give a final payment- one last hug. As her saying goes, “a hug a day, keeps the crazies away.”
We rode through the beautiful Redwoods and hit Trinidad, a small coastal town of less than 500 people. The first house I knocked on said yes. The owner’s name was Mary and offered us a warmshower and a cold beer. For dinner, Marcella, Jacob, Jordan and I bought deli food from the grocery store and ate it on a bench overlooking the sunset on the pier.
DAY 46: Thursday, July 21st, 2016
Trinidad, CA to Myers Flat, CA – 72 miles
We got an early start and left around 7:30am. After hard riding, we ate lunch in Scotia, a very small town on the way. On the road, we saw a woman riding by herself. She told us her husband was following her.
After that, we finally hit the famous Avenue of the Giants. Imagine tall, wide redwood trees and lots of greenery. This felt amazing for us, almost a sort of meditative feeling because there weren’t many cars. Then we hit Brighton Campground. We wanted to keep to our goal of not paying for accommodations and relying on the kindness of others so at the campsite, we asked some folks if we could set up our tent next to their site. They said yes and their names were Tom and Martha. The woman we saw biking earlier was also camping right next to us with her husband. They invited us over for steak tacos!
Right after, Tom and Martha invited us to join them for dinner with their friend Debbie (also staying at the same campsite) was cooking homemade vegetable pot pies over the fire. Over dinner, we had great conversations about traveling, the world and the adventureous spirit we shared in common. It was WAY better than stealth camping and being on our own.
After dinner, we made rounds saying hi to the fellow bicycle tourists who were staying at the campground whom we had met in previous days. Being the two gregarious individuals we are, we knew about 5 people there and chatted with each person or couple before heading to bed. It’s awesome because the PCH is a popular route so you’re always meeting new people but making friends who cycle the same pace as you.
DAY 47: Friday, July 22nd, 2016
Myers Flat, CA to Westport, CA – 75 miles
In the morning, Debbie, who I must also mention recently retired from her work at a nonprofit was doing a four month road trip around the US, hugged us goodbye.
On the road, we stopped for water at a gift shop but were disappointed when we found out it wasnt potable. However, an older gentleman in his 60s lit up when he saw us at the shop and told us he wanted to do a tour. We gave him some tips and told him that age should never be a factor for limiting one’s adventures in life. He smiled, patted us on the backs and wished us luck on the rest of our journey, telling us he may plan his own trip in the future.
On the ride, we met Zach, a 20 year old guy from Portland riding to San Francisco, who rode with us over 2,000ft of hills.
Near the top of the first big hill, a car was stopped. Nelson, the driver, was stopped with his wife because their 2 year old was car sick. While chatting, he offered us cold beers to pay it forward to all the people who helped him when he hiked the AT in his earlier years.
When we made it out of the Giants and back on the coast, we yelled with excitement! The energy inside us was finally being let out. This was the first moment we hit Highway 1, the main route for the rest of our ride. Nothing felt better than knowing this would be our main road the next 800 miles or so to San Diego.
We cycled more miles and hit Westport. There, we bought sandwiches at a little market. While outside, Marcella and Jacob cycled up and the five of us stealth camped together behind a church.
DAY 48: Saturday, July 23rd, 2016
Westport, CA to Gualala, CA – 75 miles
After grabbing coffee, we all headed out and soon separated off into two groups- Marcella and Jacob, and Jordan, myself anfd Zach.
We all stopped at Taco Bell for a lunch break but then broke into our separate groups.
Halfway there, we ran into two older gentlemen in their seventies riding from Seattle to Salinas, CA. They were packing way lighter (sleeping in motels) but also pushing 100+ miles each day. We couldn’t believe it. They inspired us more than they know it.
In Gualala, we received one no from a house. Not having much options and little time, we started brainstorming. We watched two fire trucks by and then thought to follow them. We rode up a hill and found thr station. After asking permission, we camped behind the station and used their regular house hose (with warm water) to rinse off. It was the first “shower” in two days after hard riding.
DAY 49: Sunday, July 24th, 2016
Gualala, CA to Bodega Bay, CA – 48 miles
Zach, Jordan and I woke up and headed to the local grocery store to grab breakfast. There, we met an older gentleman who told us about two college students who rode from New York to Long Beach last summer (Westward Wheels). We chatted with him for a bit then hit the road.
While riding, I encountered another cyclist. I stopped to apply sunscreen while Jordan and Zach pedaled on. A younger woman rode up behind me and started chatting. Her name was Megan and she was an outdoor educator from Vancouver B.C. She and I rode together and caught up with Zach and Jordan. Then the four of us trekked over big hills on Highway 1 until we hit Jenner where Megan took off ahead of us.
Then, we rode the rest of our ride and hit Bodega Bay, where we planned to meet Jordan’s college friend’s parents, Steve and Nancy. After we said bye to Zach, we began searching for a house to camp at.
After one “no” we received a yes from a man named Jeff. Jeff was a carpenter and trained falcons to hunt. He also happened to have a fresh litter of 7 week old chocolate whyrhymers. They were so cute! Jordan and I died a little inside with all the joy of playing with puppies.
Steve and Nancy treated us to a delicious Italian dinner at Denucci’s, a local restaurant, where we enjoyed breaded veal and fine Italian wine. It was super kind of them to drive 100 miles from their home near Sacramento to see us.
DAY 50: Monday, July 25th, 2016
Bodega Bay, CA to Nacasio, CA – 48 miles
In the morning, two of Jordan’s close friends whom he met during his study abroad in France named Satchel and Leah joined us to ride from Bodega Bay to Nacasio in Marin county.
It wasn’t the easiest ride because of the notorious California rolling hills, but riding 48 miles with company, specifically two people who enjoy cycling (road and mountain) sure made it go by quickly!
At Leah’s, we jumped in an 80 degree pool and enjoyed the afternoon in Marin.
That evening, both Leah and Satchel’s parents along with a few family friends came over all for a big BBQ dinner. We had a blast learning about all their life experiences and hearing about their careers in psychology, fashion, and the medical field. The night carried away with great conversation and great company. Without a doubt, Jordan and I were happy and thankful to be in Marin county.
Last, please don’t forget! We’re raising $5,000 for Outdoor Outreach, a nonprofit in San Diego. You can donate by going here and making a contribution to help us reach our goal. Thanks 🙂
Written by Joe Previte