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. You are here:  HOME > Alaska Canada USA > Journals >

 Cindie's Daily Journal: Washington, Oregon, and California.

Port Angeles, Washington to Oxnard, California (July - November, 2008)


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It has been a long time since I sat down to write in my journal, I have had a difficult time getting back into a rhythm of writing again.  I attribute this to burnout from finishing our second book, my recent bout with shingles, and most importantly, it has been hard to find a place to sit and write.  Traveling from on camp site to another is not conducive to writing.  In addition, we have met so many cyclists on the road and getting back in touch with other Americans has become a priority of mine as we all go through this economic crisis together.

Some notes on Canada, it is a stunning place, the scenery certainly kept my mind off the pain of shingles. Boy am I glad that is over.  Canadians are a cheerful and helpful bunch and in central B.C. we were caught in yet another rainstorm.  The night before we were invited to a mushroom pickers (the legal kind) camp and thought we would end up passing them by.  Instead, we turned into their camp and were greeted by a couple of friendly guys who invited us into their makeshift house with a wood burning stove.  Oh paradise, out of the rain and a place to dry our clothes.  The mushroom pickers were setting up for the season, they came to this area in the forest to pick pine, chantrel, lobster, and chicken foot mushrooms, all sold legally to mushroom buyers. The main mushroom sent to Japan is the pine mushroom. It is a cash only occupation and quite nomadic as well. Funny I have never considered where the mushrooms I buy in the store come from, now I know.

We took the ferry from Prince Rupert to Port Hardy on Vancouver Island was a bit wet for us but it is a rain forest.  Then we began our ride back into civilization for what seemed to be the first time in a long time and looking back the last large city we spent any time in was Auckland, New Zealand almost a year ago.  The first grocery store I went to in Campbell River was so overwhelming I had to get out of there quickly.  The choices I had were to numerous for me to make a decision, I honestly wondered if this difficulty in making a decision was related to having shingles.

While on Vancouver Island we stayed with Jim and Cory and their two kids on their farm near Cedar. We also stayed with a couple we met in the Subway sandwich shop in Port Hardy, Marion and Noel and by the time we arrived at their house we were soaked to the bone. It was into the washer with all our wet clothes and I have to say we were a pretty smelly pair.  We took a day off with them and enjoyed the town of Parksville where we later did an interview with a local journalist. Refreshed, we cruised down the coast through Salt Spring Island and over to Victoria where we stayed with Madison and Thomas. What a lovely couple and a great city.

We took the ferry from Victoria to Port Angeles on September 3 and rode the Olympic Discovery Trail to Sequim. Heidi our warmshowers host met us along the trail, now that was a nice reception home after being gone for the better part of 6 years.  Funny I felt like a guest in my own country, it would take a couple of weeks before this feeling would go away.

We covered Washington State in 7 days by taking the dry side of the Olympic Peninsula through the Hood Canal, we were running from winter and getting to Oregon to meet my friend Patti who I knew while I lived in Albuquerque. We did stay at Cape Disappointment and it was a disappointment when we wanted to stay in the hiker/biker site and we were told it was full, she put us in our own site for the same price.  This was indicative of what laid ahead for us.  The hiker/biker sites were mostly full all the way down the Oregon Coast.

Rather than write day to day info on the west coast I decided that I will add some tips that are not in the books or maps we are using. We are using  Bicycling The Pacific Coast, A Route Guide, Canada to Mexico, it details the day to day ride from Canada to Mexico so I don't feel I need to give that information over again.  We also picked up a map called Oregon Bicycle Touring Map and it has more information on shoulder width, terrain profiles, and lists all the hiker/biker campgrounds.

Tips for the US West Coast

Fall 2008 - The hiker/biker sites in Washington are $14/ tent, Oregon sites are $4 per person and California sites are $3 per person. I am pretty sure that Washington, Oregon, and California law that if you arrive at a state park by bicycle or on foot then they can not turn you away.  It makes it really easy to tour the west coast where camp grounds can be fully booked.

The bridge from Washington to Astoria, Oregon is long and has a very narrow shoulder littered with glass and wood bark.  I was white knuckled most of the 2.5 miles across.  I later learned that you can take a bus across the bridge for 50 cents.  You need to be in a place that the bus can pull over and pick you up.  Buses have room for 2 bikes up front and your gear will have to be removed.  If I knew we could have done this I would have.

Pick up a copy of the Oregon Coast Bike Route Map at the visitor center in Astoria, it is free and shows all the hiker/biker sites along the coast and in addition it shows the land profile too.  What more could you ask for.

We stayed in hiker/biker sites all the way down the coast and our favorites were the following:

OREGON

 Fort Stevens near Astoria, the bathroom was close by and the sites were pleasant.  When we arrived there, there were a total of 12 cyclists camping.  Wow, bike touring has gotten popular.

Cape Lookout near Tillamook has some nice quiet camping spots near the ocean.

Newport has a great bike shop, so if you need some work done stop in and see Elliot at the Newport Bike Shop on 6th street, he also has an upstairs lounge to take a break where you can connect your laptop and do your laundry too.  Stop in say hello and sign his guest book.

South Beach State Park is located 2 miles from Newport, the hiker/biker is a bit noisy but it does have a hospitality house where they offer free coffee and tea, and a warm place to read a book, do a puzzle, connect to the internet, and watch a dvd movie.

Jessie M Honeyman may be the prettiest hiker biker site although the bathroom seems to be far far away.  The campsite is within Redwoods and surrounded by sand dunes. Just a pleasant setting.

Harris State Beach near the Oregon/California state line also has a laundry at the state park.

CALIFORNIA

California does things it own way, it took a while to get use to the mileage marker signs, rather than show the mileage through the state, each county must be responsible for the signs so the miles count down through each county, how convenient.

Northern California is the home of the giant redwoods and it is certainly a special place, especially when we realized that the groves of redwoods we rode through were preserved for future generations not by our park system but a group of people who pooled their money and bought large tracks of the redwoods in the 1920s, true visionaries. When you tour the redwoods you will see what inspired them.  We took a rest day at Elk Prairie campground and did a day hike through the redwood forest, just magical.  After Elk Prairie we stayed the night in Arcata, home of Humboldt State University.  I stopped in the grocery store and was at awe at the bulk food, organic food that was reasonably priced and shear variety of food.  I came away from the store with lots of granola. Tim still teases me about leaving Arcata with 2 pounds of granola. OK Arcata is a hippy town. The Avenue of the Giants located south of Arcata is a beautiful cruise through trees so tall your neck hurts looking at them.

We left the coast at Jenner and headed up highway 116 towards Guerneville.  We spent the night in Guerneville and the next day we rode to Napa Valley and stayed at Napa Booth State Park.  A nice place, we toured Napa Valley during crushing season and it smelled great.  Napa is an interesting mix of wine connoisseurs and the workers that work the fields. We felt like we were visiting a part of Latin America at the same time. Needless to say we found some great Mexican food to eat. YUM.

We then rode over to Sonoma Valley via the Oakdale Grade and Trinity road.  The Oakdale Grade may be the longest steep grade we have ridden in a very very long time.  We arrived in Glen Allen to visit Melanie, Brian and their daughter Rosie.  We met Melanie 6 years ago in Guatemala and have kept in touch ever since. We toured wineries they worked at and learned a lot about wine, I even got the hang of the difference between Zinfandel and Chardonnay. Cool. Little 5 month old Rosie was a bundle of sunshine too.

We then rode back to the coast via 116 and Petaluma.  California has lots of traffic and it was a bit congested on narrow roads.  We camped at Samuel Taylor State Park in the Redwoods again and it felt like it got below freezing that night. Again, there were lots of touring cyclists.

The next day we headed into San Francisco and rode across the Golden Gate Bridge. It was a difficult route to follow from the campground but it being Sunday plenty of cyclists pointed us in the right direction.  We crossed the Golden Gate Bridge just in time to see the Blue Angels roar over the bridge. The Embarcadero was packed with people and it was a lot of fun to ride through Crissy field.  We took the Bart (subway) out to Lafayette and stayed with Linda and Don.  We are not sure when we met Linda on line but we know we have been writing each other since the beginning of our trip so it was a no brainer for me to stop in for a visit.

We were really tired when we arrived at Linda and Don's and we stayed for 4 days, watched the debate, did a presentation about our trip to a group of friends, did an interview with Roger Wendell and just relaxed.  Boy did we need it. It was a bit strange to be so comfortable with someone I had never met before but then I realized that wasn't true, emailing through the ups and downs of our trip really did develop a relationship so meeting Linda was easy and added another dimension to our friendship.

We went back to San Francisco and stayed with a bike nut named LX who shared his house, his lifestyle, and his city. Tim kept confusing his name and called him XT, (LX and XT are shimano bike components) he didn't seem to mind.  I have been to San Francisco many times and I thought it would just be impossible to ride a bicycle around the city.  Well my perspective is changed, it is not as bad as my expectations led me to believe.  Riding around with LX and Jon Winston of Bikescape, showed us the bike culture of San Fran and if you can ride a fixed gear track bike with no brakes through town well than I can ride my multigeared touring bike there too. It seems that San Francisco cyclists have a fascination with the fixy, one gear no brakes (ok a few had hand brakes) track bike.  It is interesting that we saw this same fascination with fixys in Auckland, New Zealand as well.  

We left our host on Sunday and headed down to San Jose via Cal Train. Cal Train has a special car for bikes where we could bungy cord them in so they didn't move around.  A nice alternative to riding in traffic.  Along the way we met Rick who plans to embark on his world tour in a year.  Well Rick you have good timing, it seems the Dollar is getting stronger against most currencies again. We watched a 40% decline of the dollar and it chased us home.

Now we are in San Jose getting an overhaul on our Phil Wood hubs at the Phil Wood factory, plan a couple of days to do this, it is taking longer than I thought it would. We are staying with an old college room mate of mine, we haven't seen each other in 18 years, whoa, that is a long time. Boy is it good to be back in the USA. 

October 24 San Jose to Canyon Rock State Park 13 miles.  We left Amy and Owens house after we had cast our early vote ballot and sent it back to Arizona.  It was good to visit with Amy and Owen and I am just so amazed at how fast the years have gone by. It is good to see that they have done well. Their daughters Kerry and Rachel will be in University for the next couple of years, the time that I met them, boy it seemed like yesterday Amy and I were room mates, hiking in the Grand Canyon, and hitch hiking to Sedona.

It took us over two hours to ride up route 9 towards Castle Rock state park.  Up at 2,600 feet the air was warm and the night clear.  It is a strange phenomena in this area, the higher in elevation the warmer the air temperature, and the lower in elevation the lower the temperature, the fog can be so cold to ride in.

October 25 Castle Rock State Park to Santa Cruz 28 miles.  I was glad we had all morning to descend through the redwoods down to Santa Cruz, as soon as we entered town we picked up the bike path down to the waters edge.  It was Saturday and a surfing competition was in full swing.  The surf and surfers were amazing, not since Australia have we seen such a surfer culture.  the waves that broke right in town were amazing, even more amazing were the surfers, In the end, a local boy called Nat won the competition, the first since the 1980s. 

We made our way over to Joel's house, one of the bike to surf crew and we pitched our tent in his back yard.  We had a great barbeque that evening.

Oct 26 Santa Cruz.  I love Santa Cruz and I'm not even a surfer. What I didn't realize is Santa Cruz has great mountain biking too.  Tim and I took a bike tour of UC Santa Cruz with our friend Aj. 

October 27 Santa Cruz to Monterey 50 miles

October 28 Monterey to Andrew Morelo State Park 31 miles

October 29 Andrew Morelo State Park to Kirk Creek 32 miles

October 30 Kirk Creek to San Simeon State Park 40 miles

October 31 San Simeon State Park to Morro Bay State Park 26 miles

 


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INDEX #6: Alaska, Canada, and USA
5-3-08 to 4-30-10

1North and
Central America
3-30-02 to 4-17-03

2 South America
6-3-03 to 6-17-04

3 SE Asia / China
11-22-04 to
9-15-06

4 Australia
9-15-06 to 9-15-07

5 New Zealand
9-16-07 to 5-2-08
6 Alaska, Canada, and the USA
5-3-08 to 4-30-10
7 India. Nepal, and the Subcontinent
5-1-10 to present
Where am I  now

Subscribe to Email Newsletter


Alaska, USA
Valdez, Alaska to Beaver Creek, Yukon, Canada (July 1 - 13, 2008)

Cindie's Daily Journals for Alaska

Tim's Emailed Newsletters (Join  List) Back on the road in Alaska

Best Place to see Alaska Pictures

Full size Picture Pages

- Valdez Alaska, USA: home of the oil pipeline
- Valdez to Glenallen, Alaska
- Glennallen, Tok, Alaska to Beaver Creek Canada


 Yukon, BC, Canada

Cindie's Daily Journals for Canada

Tim's Emailed Newsletters (Join  List) Wind, Rain, Cold, Cindie’s Illness, and Forum Trolls

Best Place to see Yukon, BC, Canada Pictures

Full size Picture Pages

- Canadian Border- Beaver Creek to Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada
- Northern (BC) British Colombia, Canada
- Bob Bell II to Prince Rupert British Columbia, Canada
- Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada


Washington, Oregon, and California

Cindie's Daily Journals

Tim's Emailed Newsletters (Join  List) Hear our latest radio interview (mp3) on KGNU Metro with Roger Wendell

Best Place to see WA, OR, and CA Pictures

Full size Picture Pages

- Bicycle Touring in Washington State on the Adventure Cycling route and maps
- Oregon #1: Pacific Coast bicycle touring route
- Oregon: #2 Pacific Coast Bicycle touring
- Northern California and the Red Woods National Park
- Northern California #2, Red Wood National Park and avenue of the Giants scenic drive
- Napa Valley, Sonoma Valley, and the wine vineyards
-San Francisco Bay Area
- Phil Wood bicycle hub Factory
- San Jose to Santa Cruz, California.
- Santa Cruz to Oxnard, California


Arizona
Tucson/Yuma to Jacob's Lake, USA

Cindie's Daily Journal for Arizona

Tim's Emailed Newsletters (Join  List)

Computer Crash and Selling Books at El Tour De Tucson
Return to America
Winter Break in the Arizona Desert
Mp3 interview download and itchy feet
A quickie before I go
Back on the road and you are invited to our public appearances.

LETTER  Seven Years DownTheRoad: What has changed and what we have learned.

Best Place to see Pictures AZ thumbs

Full size Picture Pages

- Tucson City and El Tour De Tucson Bicycle Expo
- Winter Break in Yuma Arizona
- Yuma to Phoenix Arizona
- Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument near Why and Ajo, Arizona
- Phoenix to Prescott to Flagstaff
- Flagstaff to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon National Park
-Grand Canyon NP to Jacobs Lake the Utah border


Utah

Kanab to Monticello, USA (May 2009)

Tim's Emailed Newsletters (Join  List)

LETTER NPR Mp3 radio interview, Newspaper coverage, and one dead computer

Best Place to see Pictures

Full size Picture Pages

- Kanab to Bryce Canyon, Utah
- Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah
- Bryce Canyon to Torry, Utah on Adventure Cycling's Western Express
- Capital Reef National Park to Lake Powell National Recreation Area
- Lake Powell to Blanding and Monticello, Utah on Adventure Cycling's Western Express


Colorado
(June, 2009)

Tim's Emailed Newsletters (Join  List)

LETTER Cindie's Daily Journal Now on Twitter and Email Interview

Best Place to see Pictures Colorado Thumbs

Full size Picture Pages

- Delores to Telluride, Colorado on Adventure Cycling Western Express
- Telluride to Montrose to Monarch Pass, Colorado
- Monarch Crest Pass, Salida, Pueblo
- Pueblo to Sheridan Lakes, Colorado and the Kansas border


Kansas Nebraska
(June/July, 2009)

Tim's Emailed Newsletters (Join  List)

LETTER Seven Years DownTheRoad: What has changed and what we have learned.

Best Place to see All Pictures

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- Colorado Border, Tribune, Kansas on Adventure Cycling Trans-America Bicycle Touring Trail
- Fort Larned, Kansas
- Scott City, Kansas to the Prairie Grasslands National Monument and the green Flint Hills
- Council Grove, Manhattan, University of Kansas to the Nebraska boarder
- Nebraska


Bicycle Touring in the Mid West: Iowa, Indiana, Ohio, and Ontario

(July - August, 2009)

Tim's Emailed Newsletters (Join  List)
Seven Years DownTheRoad: What has changed and what we have learned.

Best Place to see Pictures Mid-West, USA thumbnails

Full size Picture Pages

- RAGBRAI Bike Ride Across Iowa
- Cycling in Indiana
- Ohio: bicycle touring on Adventure Cycling's Northern Tier
- Ontario Canada, Bicycle Touring Lake Erie Coast, Canada


East Coast

New York State - Niagara to Albany

Tim's Emailed Newsletters (Join  List)

LETTER Greeting from the East Coat of the USA

Best Place to see thumbnail pictures of bike touring in New York State and City

Full size Picture Pages

- Niagara to Ithaca On the Erie Canal bicycle touring trail and Tow Path
- Ithaca to Fort Stanwix in Rome, upstate New York
- Fort Stanwix in Rome, NY
- Rome to New York City - NYC
- Bicycle Touring in New York City NYC
- Museum of Natural History in Manhattan, New York City NYC
- 9/11 Trinity Church near the Twin Towers Terrorist Attack Site Under Construction
- Wall Street and the Manhattan Financial District in New York City
- Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Liberty Bell, Independence Hall on the C&O Canal Tow Path Bike Trail.
- Valley Forge National Park and Historic Site through the Amish lands to York and Gettysburg
- Gettysburg National Historic Site and Civil War Battlefield Park #1
- Bicycle Touring in Gettysburg National Park and Civil War Historic Battle Field Site.
- Gettysburg - York - Maryland - DC
- Washington DC District of Colombia Capital of the USA United States of America
- Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington DC


1North and
Central America
3-30-02 to 4-17-03

2 South America
6-3-03 to 6-17-04

3 SE Asia / China
11-22-04 to
9-15-06

4 Australia
9-15-06 to 9-15-07

5 New Zealand
9-16-07 to 5-2-08
6 Alaska, Canada, and the USA
5-3-08 to 4-30-10
7 India. Nepal, and the Subcontinent
5-1-10 to present
Where am I  now

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