Day 10: Port Orford - Crescent City
Friday, September 16, 2005

79.57 @ 13.1 = 6:04'05, max: 38.4, trip total: 769.9

50° - 60°, cloudy and rainy in the afternoon- with more rain and road grime, and cold rain

pop-tarts, bacon cheese burger, fries, chips, tacos al carbon, sierra pale ale

Americas Best Value Inn, $22.55 p/p

Waking up after such an amazing day allows you to think that everyday has such wonderful potential. But not so. Some days are just hard. We didn't fully realize all of the things we were going to be walking into - or experiencing today - but we had plenty of energy (or something that felt like energy).

Again with a warm up climb to start the day- this time much longer and not as steep. So it was truly a much better warm up although it was cold. It was slow going but you figure the day always gets faster towards the end. We were headed down the coast and by days end we would be in California. It seemed so far away and so remote. Just the mental barrier made it seem like we were in for a longer day than it was. I mean after doing 120 just the other day what would 80 miles really be like. We should breeze through that. But I've been at the end of too many rides to know that not every mile is the same. That 10 miles can be heaven or your worst hell - well in context; this hell is still enjoyable.

And with the start of the day we quickly end up on winding up and down the coast. One gorgeous shot after another and my camera was still not charged up. Well, it's not going anywhere- I can come back and my memories are always better than these selected viewing area photos that lack sound and smell, as well as temperature and wind. But as soon as the camera was functional the shots came one right after the other so fast that I began to wonder if I was biking or stopping more. It's safe to say that by my stats we stopped quit a bit along the way. Most of the time it was to take it all in. Breathe in the what was in front of me, savor it, and get back on the pedals.

It was one climb after a descent and another photo opp- all morning long. We stayed on Highway 101 pretty much the whole way.

video clip: tim and melba »

"Breakfast" was a stop in Gold Beach, but when we got there we had a run in with some locals - the type that yell at anyone and did so as they drove through the parking lot - screaming out and threatening everyone in sight. Unfortunately they spooked out part of our group after telling them they were gonna kill 'em. Nice stuff. We ended up at the police station for a while making a report and making sure we weren't going to get run off the road. That took up some time so by the time we sat down in the restaurant at the cafe it was 11:10am.

We browsed the awesome breakfast menu only to find out it was "lunch" time now. Ugh. Some of us ate, others couldn't in frustration. I had a bacon double cheeseburger with fries. Hell, we ain't getting any closer to lunch than this and by the time I eat again it could easily be dinner. So pile it on. That's a lot of food at that time of day. I may have finished Todd's plate of fries too. And to be totally honest he didn't really have many at all. So I was fueled for a long afternoon. I think we were at mile 27 or so for that day and by the time we left - surely after noon - we had another 50+ to go. Dig in.

video clip: coast panorama »

With the long afternoon miles came a nice steady rain. Oh, did I mention the headwind all day long that blew gusts of 25mph just to make it interesting? Yeah, that too. Things started to look funny and at that point.

Road grime, double gloves, solid shoes filled with water, serious wind chill, and the list goes on. The elements were having a day of it and not letting us forget it. It was time to bundle up and charge forward. Get there. Get there fast. And with the steady headwind fast became like 13 mph. I've never figured how long I have by calculating 13 miles per hour. C'mon! But at this point it was a safer bet.

All the while I thought how much fun this is- why I like it so much, how free you are, and thanking God for the opportunity. Sounds silly but to get handed such a shitty day and still have fun lets you know it's pretty damn good. How often do you laugh every few minutes riding down the road when you're completely soaked, filthy, butt aching, cold, and have a head wind? Not often.

Oh, and you wonder why no photos of the rain... well, there was nothing that was dry enough to keep the camera safe or even allow to take it out for a couple shots.

Rolling into town we were all looking for a place to stay. We looked eagerly knowing a hot shower might help defrost our core. It wasn't long before we were cleaned up and having dinner. Telling all the tales to each other as if we were hearing them for the first time. Impressions of all the characters we meet along the way. What if's and next time's. Luckily next time starts less than 7 hours from now. Pray for sun. But enjoy it any way you get it.


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