Things do eventually get better…

109. Racoon locker beerAfter the rather miserable day last Wednesday we spent another few days battling with the misery of the fog and mist and cold until Sunday, when things improved considerably. I had been worried about updating the blog given how downbeat we have been the last few days so I’m pleased that we’re now in a more positive mood. Having met other cyclists on the road also struggling with similar issues I do feel a bit reassured that it isn’t just us having a low point. Continue reading

Some days are just crap

090. This is probably beautiful when it is sunnyWhilst on tour we’ve discovered that some days we expect to be good can turn out to be different. That may be because of a whole host of things, such as the weather, especially if there’s a headwind, the attitude of the drivers, the quality of the road surface, the view we may or may not see from the road.  Yesterday, Wednesday, was expected to be good day.  We’d heard Highway 1 would be pretty devoid of cars, coastal views would be spectacular and it was only about 65km to Gualala Regional Park where’d planned to camp for the night.  Unfortunately, it turned out to be one of the worst days, often feeling like we were partaking in the Hunger Games. Continue reading

Fogust strikes again

039. Tree at Founders GroveWe left Bayside on Friday morning for what would probably be our last cycling day in excess of 90km (and actually probably 80km) of this tour! As seems to have become the norm, we set off in grey and cold cloud and this was how we spent the rest of the morning. As we had been hosted in Bayside we were already on the Old Arcata Road which we continued to follow all the way to Eureka. This was a good, quiet road with a mostly large shoulder and avoided some of Highway 101.

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California Dreaming

005. Redwood Highway south of Cresent CityOn Monday it was our last full day in Oregon, and only because we were having a day off in Brookings.  Being a rest day we had a leisurely breakfast, a lazy morning, a slow amble into town and some beer tasting at Chetco Brewing which we stumbled upon before ending the day with a roaring campfire.  There were a lot of other cyclists at the Harris Beach State Park all heading south and as we’d heard the next campsite (Mill Creek in Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park) had a small hiker/biker area we were away nice and early.  Pretty quickly we were in California, our third and final state in our fourth and final country on our nine-month cycle trip. Continue reading

Oregon saves the best for last

089. View from Arch Rock look outAfter getting unexpectedly well fed at Sunset Bay we crawled into the tent and then proceeded to devour the enormous cinnamon bun we had purchased earlier in the day. It was probably enough for six people, or as we found out, two cold and hungry cyclists. I went to bed wearing most of my clothes and waited for sleep to arrive or my feet to defrost, whichever came sooner; sleep I think. Continue reading

The ups and downs of the Oregon coast

066. Bridge over Coos BaySouth Beach, where we were on Monday night, was a bit odd because there was a group of “transient” people staying there who were clearly not hikers or bikers, but possibly homeless people.  We’ve seen similar people trying to hitchhike along the highway and it’s likely that’s how these guys were travelling.  We’re aware there’s a huge wealth gap in the USA, but we weren’t expecting it to be evident on the hiker/biker campsites in the State Parks.  The cyclists kept to themselves and the transient people kept to themselves and it was all OK, although it was a different atmosphere to the other hiker/biker sites we’ve used. Continue reading

Heading on down the Oregon coast

003a. Public Coast breweryWe are covering fairly short distances each day down the Oregon coast so that we don’t get to LA too quickly and so after four more days on the road we still aren’t even half way down the Oregon coast! Instead, we are taking our time, stopping for beer and viewpoints, where we have been lucky enough to see whales. It is getting less grey each day, but despite being summer it is still pretty chilly from the wind. Each night we’ve needed a campfire to keep us toasty and I’ve been cycling in kit that I would probably only need for spring mornings in the UK, despite being much further south (about equivalent to Bordeaux in France). I’m guessing that in about two weeks I will be bemoaning the heat; there’s always something…. Continue reading

Oregon Day 1

001. Entering OregonYesterday (Wednesday 27th July) we left grey cloudy Washington State and entered grey cloudy Oregon.  Since leaving behind the Cascades we’ve had grey weather interspersed with the odd sunny day.  We’re now going to follow the Oregon coast into California border, which is about eight or nine days of riding.  Everyone has said the Oregon coast is amazing, but we’ve been not inspired by the 35km we’ve ridden so far.  Hopefully things will improve. Continue reading

Cycling through Fifty Shades of Grey

070. Potlatch State ParkI’d suggest reading the condensed version of this blog post rather than the full version as it’s unlikely to be very interesting.  It certainly hasn’t been very interesting cycling over the past few days, evident by the lack of photographs we’ve taken.  So, the short version: we left Deception Pass last Thursday (21st July) rode along a busy section of Highway 20 and took the ferry to pretty Port Townsend where we ate burgers in the sun, followed by cider tasting & two nights with Phil and Emmy Lou who hosted us in Chimacum.  On Saturday it rained from Chimacum to Quilcene, then it was just grey along the Hood Canal to Potlach State Park. Monday, grey turning to blue as we rode through forest plantations to Lake Sylvia State Park via some very long straight dull roads.  We went swimming in Lake Sylvia.  Monday it was grey, again, and we cycled to Brucepoint Park via McDonalds in Raymond (a nondescript lumber town) to get some WiFi.  We spent the evening chatting to other cyclists.  Today (Tuesday) it’s been another nondescript day with grey skies and marshy coastline, probably the dullest day we’ve ridden in over six months on tour. So dull that we dug out our iPods for some musical entertainment. We’re now at Cape Disappointment, an apt name considering how disappointed we are with the cycling since leaving Chimacum. Continue reading

Into the USA & over the Northern Cascades Highway

029. Climbing up to Washington PassLast Saturday (16th July) we left Osoyoos, spent the last of our Canadian dollars on sourdough focaccia from the amazing Lake Village Bakery (as an aside why have we found so many great bakeries in Canada compared to the UK which seems devoid of decent, independent places that don’t require a second mortgage?) and rode our final 8km on Canadian soil alongside Osoyoos Lake before reaching the Canadian / US border.  We were expecting a bit of a grilling about our intentions in the USA, evidence of our flight home, monies to support ourselves etc., but it was straightforward and that was that.  After six weeks in Canada we had left.  The final part of our adventure beckoned. Continue reading