To Devils Lake State Park 72km
To Beachside State Park 85km
Hiker/Biker campsites are cool. Two days now, we've turned up to a "Campsite Full" sign and still been given a spot. Both days the site has been away from the noise and ruckus of all the families on holiday, the teenage parties, and drunken singing around campfires. Both nights we've been under tall trees, with the sound of the Pacific Ocean pounding ashore. Tonight we even have an ocean view, and at a cost of $6 each. Fantastic value.
Now here's a funny story, that may not get past my new live-in editor. ..... We went to REI the other day so Ju could buy a new sleeping mat. Good price, and a comfortable first night sleep resulted in a thumbs up...... but then..... Ju is trying to pack the mat up, and was having great difficulty getting all the air out. The valve was just in a "blimmen stupid position. I'm taking this blimmen thing back....." Night two unwrapping her partially inflated mat..... "Oooops. There's another valve here. One for inflation, one for deflation. Lucky I didn't find another REI and gone in ranting....." Hehehe.....
Another "Road Closed" today, but we asked a Sheriff whether we could get through with our bikes. He gave us the nod, which meant we had virtually a clear road for 10km, with no traffic, and it was stunning, even with the big climb half way along. The views are great. The beaches beautiful. The weather great for cycling, although a little foggy in the morning, and I've got Juliet by my side. Happy daze.
I'm continuely surprised when we arrive at places. Almost always they are not how I imagined. Today, a town I expected to be a small fishing village was a big city, with all the usual fast food and outlet stores. Another town, which I expected to be a plush resort, turned out to be almost like a "Central Asian" resort. Everything was scruffy and run down. USA towns always surprise me. They are not compact, with a central CBD like in NZ. Some have an older section that was once the core of the town, but most now have a "strip" of businesses on one of the main roads entering the town, all accessed by cars, and surrounded by huge car parks.
This route we are cycling is not what I expected either. I was looking forward to quiet, curving roads, along a beautiful coastline. We have got the beautiful coastline, but most of the route is on a busy main highway, 101, and being the middle of the summer holidays, it's really busy. Occasionally our route takes us on back roads, which are fantastic, but not often. Never the less, we are seeing some amazing views, and today we saw lots of whales.
But what's with the weather? Today it was foggy almost all day. Often we couldn't even see the beach, and it was cold. And the ocean is really cold. So here are all these thousands of holiday makers, who have come to the coast to escape the heat of the inland valleys, and they can't even see the sea from the carpark. Some were braving the cold winds and fog, and sitting on the beach, but most were in the towns and villages shopping, or queuing for food, which explains why we had such a long wait for very expensive, inferior quality, fish and chips. Every day a challenge.
This route is a very busy cycling route. In four days, we've met three individual guys cycling from Alaska to Patagonia, a couple of USA guys touring locally, two English guys heading from Vancouver to Mexico, and seen numerous cyclists going north, (but none of them stop to chat.... unheard of on other routes). Some of the younger ones are doing big mileage. But then, I suppose, just weeks ago I was the same..... They have a target, and are aiming for it. My focus has changed. I'm on holiday with the lovely Juliet. We have 35 days to cover what's advertised as a 25 day route. We are in "chill" mode, and loving it.