Sunday, August 1, 2010

I thought you readers, all 3 of you, would like a short pictoral summary of the change of climate we have experienced in reverse order. Here it is!

Day-7 Gualala to Santa Rosa!

(Literary point of view: 3rd person objective)

Last night The Tour-lifers had no Idea where they were going to sleep and the campsites where they might have stayed were all full. As Les, Byron, Christian, and Scott finished the day's ride they saw a shady pair of roadside walkers and, upon approach, realized it was Kevin and Aaron who had been driving the tour car that afternoon. They flagged the riders down and told them to take the next right. The riders, slightly confused, expected to see a nice little hidden place to stealth camp or a house owned by some generous people who would let them camp on their lawn. In stead they rode around the back of a small abandoned building where they found the tour car backed in to a small hidden place. They all thought that that was pretty cool until Aaron opened the back door and said something to the effect of "Check this out." He opened the unlocked back door to what, after we all thoroughly inspected it, turned out to be an abandoned restaurant. The tour-lifers left all of their stuff there and went to cook their pasta dinner on the cliffs that overlooked the ocean. Upon return, having thought through the worst case scenarios... your imagination can fill in what that might be, they decided to go with the lesser of two evils in order to secure a place to set up camp for the rest of the night. So the tour lifers, presuming upon the generosity of the church, decided to set up camp right in front of a baptist church after only leaving a voice message on the pastors office phone on, mind you, a Saturday night. needless to say, no one picked up. Camp was set up quickly and the frigid night was slept through without disturbance. Just as a precaution, they left extra early in the morning in case any of the congregation or the pastor were early birds. They left a thank you note on the church door as a courtesy. The next morning was very cold and misty but the foggy views were exquisite and the rolling hills exhausting. Aaron drove the tour car ahead and prepared a breakfast of yogurt pancakes so that at about ten miles down the road, the riders would ride in and have breakfast. Les decided that he would do pushups in the street untill an oncoming car forced him off the road. He did 47 before a car came. The last 3 didnt count. The riders took on some steep hills and fast descents along the beautiful 1 highway and had lunch on the bank of a river that feeds into the pacific. Then they cut inland to wine country where christian and scott got separated from kevin, Les and Byron. This was ok because the road they followed led them to the exact same place. It was an odd experience to have two halves of the riders pass eachother on the same road. Christian and Scott had passed the destination without knowing it so they had to turn around. Christian ate it when he tried to make a u-turn on the gravel. One day left and only one rider has yet to fall. YOU SCARED YET SCOTT! The route will take you soon enough. It always does. The tourlifers, not expecting what was next, pulled in to a beautiful ranch house with horses where they met the McEvoys. Whittney is from South Africa and her husband is from Northern Ireland. Great sounding voices! they treated the Tour lifers to some showers and a delicious dinner.They are very interesting people. They met while riding in an old world war 2 transport truck driving from cape town south africa to london England. they have even backpacked around the world. The tourlifers will be sleeping on their lawn before they make their final push to San Francisco. God bless them and keep them safe.

Day 4 - Myrtle to Richardson

Breakfast @ the LaForges

Rock Store

Avenue of Giants

Redway - Western Grocery

Campground - Richardson State Park

Day 2 - Cave Junction to Requa

Woke at the RV Park in Cave Junction.

We crossed over the California border

Les jumped off a rock into a river.

We road on a dirt trail, on top of, and inside of some giant Redwoods.

We saw a giant, TALKING, Paul Bunyon

After an accidental, super-tall climb, we set up camp next to the beach, in Requa.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Tour-Life Injury Style

What a day! we woke up and opened our tent flaps to find a fog inundated shoreline that gave way to a wide rivermouth where the locals fish for salmon and other sea life according to the season. It was a chilly morning, about 55 degrees and we arose to a breakfast of bagel halves, sliced peaches and a dash of bland, flavorless oat meal. Christian was the driver for the morning and as we rode out the cold moisture in the brisk air chilled us to the bone until it was evicted by the warm blood that came from our pumping legs. We cruised out to the 101 which was the only main road we would be on for that day. We ascended some gradual hills which drove us to throw of our jackets as the sweat and heat accumulated on our bodies only to descend downward wishing that we had kept our jackets on. The entire ride ran through densely wooded forest consisting of huge redwood trees and lush thickets of moist fern. Since we had some extra time, we decided to take a slight detour off of the 101 onto an older road named after a man named Drury whose first name escapes my mind. This entire road consisted of gargantuan redwood trees. The beginning of the road had a steady hill on which Les and I attempted to put his down vest into his bike pannier while riding up the hill side by side which failed miserably. When we reached the crest of the hill we found a trail head with the sign that said "Interpretive Trail." Odd yes, is it a trail? or is it whatever you interpret it to be? a rubber ducky? an old business sock? who knows... whatever you want it to be. Then came the most beautiful descent of the day. The hill we climbed gave way to a steady down grade through the redwoods and ferns that were as dense and wet as rain forest. We broke the trees and hit a wide grassy field that was skirted by the redwood forest. The smell of the air was fresh and the wind was cold on the face and gave the us the sense of freedom and clarity. Shortly after the field we saw some woodland creatures, elk, or deer or something. On our way to Humboldt Lagoon where we would break for lunch we rounded a inclined bend and encountered slight headwind. Scott was leading, I was in second, Les in third, Aaron in fourth, Kevin in 5. We were in a close draft line and I came alongside the right of the back tire of Scott's bike when for some unknown reason (seriously) my tire started to grind on his and my weight shifted too far over to the left to balance any longer. I went down hard into the road while yelling a slight profanity. Les, in attempt to avoid hitting me fell to the right which left poor Aaron Green no place to go accept over the top of either les or me. He chose me. From my perspective, which was a sideways view while my helmet, head, bike, and hands grinded on the asphalt, I saw Aaron soar over my head and hit the pavement way harder than I did on his head and shoulder. The next thing I knew we were getting our bikes out of the road and to the side where we sort of sat in shock and assessed our damaged bikes and wounds. The bikes are scratched up but fine. Les has some light scratches on his leg, I have some road rash on my shoulder and back. Aaron got it worst though with a deep bruise on his shoulder and the worst road rash out of all of us. Aaron and I later hopped in the tour car and visited St. Joseph's Hospital in Eureka California where Aaron had a quick x-ray that determined he was fine accept for this bruised shoulder. Later that night we rode into Eureka where we are currently staying with Dick and Cathy LaForge. They have a beautiful property with two houses that they built themselves. We had dinner and met a cyclist named luke who came from n carolina and is ending in San Fran. We are safe, well, soar, full of food, and looking forward to a great night's sleep. Tour-Life!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Hello Oregon!!!

So begins Tour Life 2010!! Our first task, picking up Les from the Airport!! After we picked up our 6th man, packed everything in the cars, we hit the road for Oregon!!

Oregon is gorgeous!! On our drive up last night, we saw so many beautiful lakes, and scenery as the light was fading. Mt. Shasta was soo tall! But not enough light for pictures.

We arrived pretty late to Oregon (Medford specifically) and we already had a place to stay! Our hosts were so generous that they set up a gigantic tent for us in their backyard! We knew we had a long day ahead of us, so we promptly unpacked the essentials, and went to bed.

We woke up with the sun, bright and early the next day, and set off into the sunrise!! We thanked our hosts (thank you!) and headed to the nearest grocery store for breakfast, bagels and yogurt.

Once we'd had our fill, we set off! Oregon is so scenic. So many trees, rivers, hills, valleys and amazing landscapes! I would post a lot of pictures right here, but we're in a random trailer park and the wi-fi signal is very very slow. I guess you guys will just have to wait 'til next time. Anyway, after passing through many little po-dunk towns, we made our way to Grant Pass for our lunch break. We had a very relaxing lunch under a tree and next to a river bed. It was fantastic.

Once we had relaxed a bit, and traded driving duties, we set out again. Following Hwy-199, we saw a lot more gorgeous landscape. The sun was definitely out, and it was testing us! The thermometer on my bike reached 106 degrees!! We drained our water bottles to compensate, and stop to fill them a few times in little mini-markets. I'm looking forward to getting to the coast, where the temperature should be staying around a nice and comfortable 70 degrees.

Along the way we found this incredible wood-art shop. It's a bit hard to describe without pictures, but it was worth a stop to look around. They had chairs, tricycles, tree houses, mirrors, statues, and all sorts of various art pieces made out of trees!! It was crazy. Pictures to come.

After a hot afternoon of up-and-down hills, we finally reached our stop for the night, at Cave Junction. We ended up in the back of an RV park for less than we had hoped for. After a delicious dinner of Mac-N-Cheese, we set up the tents, and now we will rest our legs, ready for tomorrow to bring it on!