John and Patís

Western Bike Trip Adventure 2002




May 28, Tuesday, Starting temp ?, hi temp 86, sunny, daily miles 6.6, av. 8.4. This brings us up to date from the beginning of our trip on May 26, 2002 from Minneapolis.Today is the first actual bike day.After having our carry on luggage searched, and ourselves inspected via the wand metal detector, we boarded the bus on May 26th with very few people for a relatively nice trip.Things went well until we got to Des Moines where they determined we needed a new bus and we got one without too much ado.Onward to Tulsa, the pukiest bus station in the world, and once again, they decided we needed a new bus.Not thinking ahead very far, they drove off with the old one and neglected to find a new one.After much waiting and aggravation, John determined that the Greyhound waiting to take off in the space next to ours, would be the bus that we would be boarding in Oklahoma City, the next stop.The bus driver was kind enough to let us on that bus. As it turned out, they got what would have been our bus figured out by that time too, and we both made it to Oklahoma City about the same time.

The bad news was that the first seat we sat at in that Greyhound bus, smelled like someone had urinated in it.So we switched seats when someone left the bus.Then the other bad news was that we wound up with a mom and stupid 3 year old kid ahead of us and cigarette smoking woman†† coughing, hacking, spitting, complaining person behind us.Sleeping at night was not easy, although I did it much better than John did.


We did arrive safe and sound at Holbrook, AZ.The bus driver was kind of fascinated with what we were doing and he was kind enough to take 3 of our empty boxes back on his bus for us.The bikes and boxes were manhandled, tossed, jammed, strewn about, but John packed everything extremely well and they were fine.One bolt was lost off of John's bike (it was probably left in the box that the bus driver took back with him).But we just stopped at a hardware store and got the correct bolt.


As always, everyone is very thoughtful and helpful.We only biked into town today, a very short day and just rested up to get used to the 5000 ft. elevation and try to catch up on sleep and water intake.Weather should be very hot tomorrow.


Our campsite here at the KOA is quite spectacular.We even have a little shed to put our packs, a covered picnic table (and an outdoor one), a double sink with running water, electricity, and a beautiful lawn with a shade tree.And that is just for our site.I doubt they will all be this nice.Oh, and we will be able to store the bikes and Bob in the neat little (actually not that little) shed.Time to sleep so we can get up early and bike on the freeway on the way to the Petrified Forest.


May 29, Wednesday starting temp 66, sunny, hi temp 106, starting time 6:45, daily miles†† 55.8, av. 9.6.We saw jacket rabbits, regular rabbits, prairie dogs, some lizards, a dead rattle snake, panting ravens (we found out in the movie that they pant to cool off); we saw one raven hiding under a rock to be in the shade.We wouldn't fit, the area was too small, otherwise we would have chased him away and taken his spot.


Started out on the freeway to the Petrified Forest.†† Freeway was great.No problems with trucks or anything.Got to the visitor center and saw a really neat movie about the whys and wherefores of petrified forests and painted deserts.The scenery in the Painted Desert is awe inspiring.Absolutely unbelievable.Areas of reds, whites, greens, some blues.Just amazing.Pictures won't do it justice.We wound up traveling ups and downs throughout the whole 27 or 28 miles of the park. Sun was out, John's thermometer read 106.And there was no shade.Except after about 15 miles we came upon a single lonely tree.So we stopped and got out our sleeping pads and laid down for about an hour and a half.When we were getting up to go, John saw a dust devil out in the desert. It crossed over the highway and went over to the other side.


Throughout the whole park we got to see beautiful cacti that were flowering.We saw red flowers, white, orange, yellow, blue and purple.Some of them were quite hard to see and I'm sure the people in their cars missed them.


Then we came to the Petrified Forest part.Again, unbelievable.Incredibly beautiful rocks, that used to be logs.They were red, yellow, crystal colored.Amazing.†† As I write this, I just put on my jacket.The sun sets about 7:30 or earlier and we go from 100 degrees to 70 in about 10 minutes.


It was a very trying day today although there were spectacular things to see.John said I should mention about the killer hills, and they were. Right before we left the park there were 2 that were awful.It was great going down the hills but it was way too hot to have to go up them.But we made it. Now it's 7:45 and we are both ready for bed.Oh.And we are camping at a free place, right outside of the National Park.They have a picnic table and bathrooms available from 9AM until 8PM.But it's free. Today we biked 54 miles.


May 30, Thursday. Starting temp 69, sunny, starting time6:36, hi temp 109, daily miles†† 35.3, av. 9.7†† We both woke up today about 4:30 and so we got up before our 5:30 alarm went off.It's already starting to get light out at 4:30. (Arizona doesn't have day light savings time.)

We started out with a half-mile climb and then we had about a 4-5 mile gradual downhill, going between 13 to 16 mph the whole way.It was great.We biked into Holbrook again to begin our journey to the Grand Canyon.On the way the road was generally flat; at least there were more down hills than up hills.We also stopped to look at this place that had millions and millions of pieces of petrified wood.They had them outside, like a used car lot has cars fenced inside their lot, this place had a huge area on either side of their warehouse building of petrified wood.Incredible.We just rode through their parking lot to look at them, and a lot of them had cacti, some flowering no less, growing out of the cracks in the petrified wood.


At Holbrook, we stopped at a very nice city park while we waited for the library to open. We went to the library to use the Internet.In this little town, there were 4 computers in their library and there were 4 of us using them.We were all standing there at 10 o'clock ready to knock down the door.


From Holbrook we went back onto I-40 (to start our day we biked on a state highway) and biked only about 8 more miles to our destination campground, for a total of about 35 miles.Except for the fact that it was 109 on John's thermometer today, it was an easy day.


We also stopped to look at some more petrified wood.Actually they called it the largest petrified log in the world.It was pretty wide, not really very high (10 feet), but I guess if you're talking petrified wood that's something.


We are camped at Cholla County Park in Joseph City, AZ.Not too many people here, but they have showers and bathrooms that you can use all night long! Right before dark last night, we biked over to the boat launch and then found a little unknown trail and biked quite a ways, into the dark and a million bugs, and on the way back, about 2 blocks from our site, John got a flat tire; from riding over thorns.He fixed it with his headlamp and then we looked at the stars which were spectacular.


May 31, Friday. Starting temp 62, sunny, hi temp 111, starting time 6:30, av. Speed 10.8, miles 60.0.The days here are kind of crazy, we usually begin the morning with the wind at our backs (that is, it's out of the east).Then when it starts getting hot out, around 10 or so, the wind is in our face.But we had a great morning and biked about 25 miles before I died.Have to eat more.I also had a slightly flat tire; John took it apart but couldn't find anything; put it back together and it is working fine.We saw lizards today and prairie dogs, jack rabbits and 2 dead dogs or coyotes.


We started to see a mountain early in the day; I'm quite sure it is the one by Flagstaff so tomorrow we will be climbing about 1600 feet.And I heard a weather forecast of wind 15-25, gusts to 35 out of the northwest.


Today we stopped under some underpasses as I was really feeling poorly.It was quite nice.We also stopped at a wayside rest that was wonderful.It had shaded picnic tables and a place to get water. It really isn't that bad if you can get out of the sun.


After I dragged my dead body into the campground, we found out that the Meteor Crater was 6 miles down the road.700 feet deep, 4000 feet wide.We thought this place was right down the road.Well I decided to go anyway, without any panniers and John didn't have Bob.The lady said it was uphill, but she didn't say we would be biking into a gale force wind. I drafted behind John and it worked out ok.The wind however is amazing.It would swirl and hit us in the face (mostly) and then quarter us, and then we would do a 90 degree turn and it would still be right in our face.Then it would die down.Really weird.However the ride home was great, the wind was at our back.


The crater was quite awesome and we saw a little movie about it, went to the museum, the rock shop (I got a cool rock [jade or an agate] necklace for 85 cents.We also got to go outside and look down at the crater from a catwalk.It was quite spectacular.Tonight we are staying at a very nice RV park, with nice tent sites.


June 1, Sat. Starting time†† 6:10, temp 69, cloudy + windy,hi temp†† 96, miles 39.7, av.7.8.It was cloudy and windy all night long.Today was the day we were to climb about 1600 feet and we started out with a very long, although gradual climb.We did have some down hills, but the wind was so horrible that you had to bike to go downhill. It had to have been at least 25 mph and when the trucks would go zooming by, it actually was good because the wind was partially in our face and partially on our side.


We saw prairie dogs, red tailed hawk, lizards and rabbits galore.There is a big problem here with fire danger, and so there are no campfires anywhere in the state and also you can't even grill.And as we were biking they had one of those big electronic billboards over the highway that said there was a fire danger and you should watch out for elk.But we didn't see any elk.We saw some bones and a carcass of some really big animal.


Going up some of those hills, we frequently couldn't go any faster than 5 mph. (Me at least). Even on the flats, I could barely maintain 7-8 mph.†† When we got into Flagstaff, it was even windier (if that's possible) than it was on the freeway.We also wound up on a road without a shoulder and John ran Bob into the guardrail and I also hit my pannier into the guardrail.It was so gusty that I could hardly keep my bike where I wanted it to be.We even saw some other bikers, with gear on, walking their bikes.


The reason we had to go into Flagstaff was because I lost my biking gloves and so I got a neat new pair.We are staying at a KOA which is not that neat, but they have showers and we can watch a free Walt Disney movie tonight if we want.I think it is supposed to be this windy tomorrow too.


June 2, Sunday, starting time 6:45, temp 60, hi temp 82, windy, sunny, miles 49.2, average 9.5.Right before we were ready to leave, John noticed that my back tire was flat and so he just gave me a new tube and threw out the old one.


Last night the wind was like it would blow away the tent.It was so bad that in the middle of the night, we turned on the radio to listen to a weather forecast, that they never have.After a long amount of time they said "cloudy and breezy".So we went back to sleep.


We started out going on business 40 through the city of Flagstaff.It was pretty nice.We saw a couple more campgrounds way nicer than the one we were in, but I would never have been able to bike that far.It was somewhat hilly going through town, but they have a really cool downtown shopping area.However it was Sunday morning at 7 am so nothing was open.We saw squirrels today and prairie dogs.Lots of "watch for elk" signs, but didn't see any.We had a net 200 foot drop in elevation today and the day was quite wonderful.It seemed like way more than that to me; like 3/4 of the time we were going down fairly significant grades.There was still wind, at times in our face, but we were going through the mountains and there were tons of big ponderosa pines that blocked the wind for us and also huge cut out birms, or walls of stone where they had to dynamite through the mountain.All of that kept the wind off of us quite a bit.Then as we got down further in the valley and there were big open areas, we had more problems.Going fast, down a hill, or pedaling on the flat, the wind would start being in your face, then you'd pull out into the open and it would slam you on your left.So then you would be practically leaning way over onto your left and a big truck would go by and I, at least, would start veering right for the truck.The truck would zip by and then I'd get knocked over way to the right again because of the wind.It was quite exciting

We stopped at a National forest campground which is very nice.The sites are way more spacious than the one we had last night.There are no fires allowed, or any grills and there are even no smoking signs around.And all of the hiking trails are closed because of risk of fire.We're wondering what will be happening at the Grand Canyon.


Williams is a quaint little town with 2 one way streets and it's got a train station whereby you can take a train to the Grand Canyon and then come back the same day.


Right before we went to bed we walked down to the lake, which is about 10 feet low, and there were tons of swallows, like maybe about 100.And as we were sitting there, they all came around us, searching for bugs. They zoomed and swerved all around us; you could hear the sound of their wings.If you just sat quietly, they would come around us from behind and you would see them out of the corner of your eye as they came around in front of you.They got like about 3 feet away from us.As we watched them, it was amazing that they didn't run into each other.It was so cool.


June 3,†† Monday temp inside of our tent was 50, outside of our tent was 44, starting temp was 50, it was calm and cloudy, starting time was 6:55. Av mileage was 10.4, miles55.

We started with a climb out of the park, and turned onto hwy 64 which had quite a nice shoulder, but that didn't last very long.It seemed as we got further along the shoulder got worse, i.e. bumpier.It was about 1/3 the width of the shoulder on the freeway.And we had some fantastic down hills for a distance of about 10 miles. (not all downhill for 10 miles, but primarily down).Then we went for maybe 15-20 miles where it was mostly flat.The wind was primarily fairly strong at our back today.Then the last of the way in, was primarily uphill. Not terrible high hills, but long gradual ones; they were pretty tough.


Today we saw some jack rabbits, lizards, regular rabbits. And a fairly new (probably) elk carcass.At our campsite we have Imperial Jays and of course those ravens that seem to be everywhere.They are not noisy like the crows can be.A mostly uneventful day today.We went from the high forest into a more desert like setting, and now we are back again into the forest area. Kaibab Forest to be exact.All of the service roads are closed off with signs everywhere saying "no camping"†† referring to dispersed camping.We are camped at the Kaibab Nat'l Forest in a most beautiful site; huge.We will be here just one night, then go about 8 miles to the Mather campground at the Grand Canyon. John rodea couple miles to the Grand Canyon airport after we set up camp, to use the telephone to check up on Grandma because we don't have cell coverage here.†††††


June 4, Tues, temp in tent 50, temp outside the tent37 , starting temp57starting time†† 7:17, sunny should becoming windy, miles biked 19.5, av. 8.Left the campground and went into Tusayan to McDonalds for breakfast.From there, a short bike to the Grand Canyon entrance where we had to pay $10 per person to enter; cars get in for $20.We had a lot of uphill into the park and after the entrance gate it was almost all up.The signs are all very vague, like you have to have been there before to understand where you were going.And not a single sign for the visitor center.We just happened upon Mather Point, saw a ranger and asked which way to the visitor center.He must not have understood us as he said "that way" which was exactly the wrong way.So we went "that way" and at least wound up at the campground.As we went to check in, the lady asked if we told them we were on bikes, as they have about 7 hiker biker sites at $5 (I think) per person.Well of course John had called the park, the reservation number, the campsite and everybody else and none knew anything about hiker biker sites. Plus if we had cancelled our reservation, it would have cost $13.82 plus one nights stay which was $15, so the ranger campground lady and John determined we would come out about even.She was extremely nice and helpful.We got to our site, very nice, quite spacious with very few people in our area as she said they never fill up their hiker biker spots.


As we got settled into our site, and walked up to the bathroom, there was a mule deer, munching leaves, like 8 feet away from us.After a while he just slowly wandered away.Then we met Ingrid and Robert from the Netherlands who had biked from Las Vegas to here.She was extremely talkative but it was nice to hear about what they had to say about the area that we will be traveling in.


Then we went to find the visitor center only to find out that it is right by Mather Point, just a short way away from the way the guy told us to go.We also learned about the free shuttle system there, 3 different routes to take you anywhere you want to go in the Grand Canyon Village area.The maps for the shuttle were also quite confusing so after we took the blue shuttle (also called the village shuttle) around the entire loop we (John anyway) began to understand how the whole thing worked.So since then, we locked up our bikes on some convenient trees and have been walking and busing all over.Once you figure everything out it is pretty neat, but it takes a while.We took our blue bus to the red bus which goes out 8 miles and is actually more like a tour bus.It stopped at various scenic points and since they run every 10†† 15 minutes, you could get out and look and take pictures and then get on the next bus to continue on down the trail.While we were looking at the scenery we saw some condors. Great huge birds with a wing span of 9 1/2 feet or more.Their underside is white and they just soar up in the wind currents and sometime come down quite close so you get to see them really close.†† I don't think I have mentioned how spectacular the Grand Canyon is.It is quite awesome. The colors are incredible and all in all it is just beautiful.We finished our tour busing around 7pm, hopped on our blue bus to rush to the grocery store that closed at 8 pm so we could get food for our hike the next day and so John could rent a backpack.We just made it.

Came back and fell into bed after an exhausting but wonderful day

June 5,Wed.,don't remember the temp. But it was not unusually cold. We had breakfast and went down to our every ready blue shuttle and went out to Bright Angel Trailhead as we planned to walk down into the canyon.The first stop for water and bathrooms was 1 1/2 miles.It was quite steep going down, but down is pretty easy.Next stop was 3 miles and only water at that point.Actually we had a lot of water and didn't even stop.We had started our walk at 7:15 and by 9:50 we were at the 4.5 mile point which was called Indian Wells.It was beautiful.Like an oasis is the middle of a desert.Tress everywhere, beautiful flowering cacti everywhere, water and bathrooms, and lots of areas for campers and shaded areas for the hikers to rest.I stayed there, decided not to go any further, and John left at 10:10 to go another 1 1/2 miles to Plateau Point where he could look down and see the Colorado River.And there was also water out there.


On our way down, there was a mule train that passed us by (as I was going to the bathroom) They did not have people on them, but logs because they were fixing the trail up ahead.When we got to Indian Wells, there were probably 5 or 6 groups of 8 to 10 mules carrying people that stopped for the people and the animals to get water.


Then John got back from his 3 mile hike around 11:10 and we left there to head back for the top around 11:25.We got to the top around 2: 25.I thought I did pretty well, and after it was all over, I probably could have gone onto the plateau.Next time.We came back, showered, napped and then went out to a cafeteria to eat.After that we went to watch the sunset over the Grand Canyon.It was very beautiful: all the fantastic colors turned a hazy purple, which I really liked and then you got to see the beautiful red sky.By this time I was so tired I could hardly stand and we came back (via the shuttle) and went to bed.Unfortunately I drank as much water as they told us too and I was up 4 times at night to go to the bathroom!I still slept well.


June 6, Thursday, temp seemed almost warmish last night, but I didn't check to see what it was.During the day John checked his thermometer and it was 92 in the sun, mine showed 85 in the shade.My legs are so sore today I can barely walk.My calves hurt, my hamstrings and my hip joints (occasionally).It is almost impossible for me to get off of the bus.

We did our laundry today and then hung it up to dry.Then we went out on the green shuttle to the eastern side of the south rim. After about 5 miles, we stopped and got out to look at the South Kaibab trail, which is supposed to be the steepest and the neatest.We walked down just a short way and then came back and went to the other stop which was Yaki Point.We hung around there for about 30 minutes and hiked a while on the rim, looking to see if we could see the Colorado River (and we did).Again there were so many scrubby trees in bloom, and cacti in bloom; it was very pretty. As we were waiting for the shuttle bus and sitting under a shade tree, we heard this sound, a loud whirring, that turned out to be a swallow at probably mach speed.The sound it made was incredible.


This morning as we were eating breakfast a mule deer wandered over to the site across from us, just looking around.Tonight I don't think we have anything planned; john is checking over the bikes and we will be heading out, back the way we came.To McDonalds and then onto the Kaibab Forest near Williams.And then onward to Las Vegas.


June 7,Fri starting temp53sunny, calm, clear, weather forecast was becoming windy at 10- 20 out of the SW. Time 6:02, high temp 100, average miles 9.5, miles biked 57.8.A rough day, although it started out great, however very cold.Since it was 53 I didn't have my leg warmers on and John didn't have on socks or an extra shirt over his biking jersey.But after going downhill for a couple miles we stopped and put on more clothes.


We made good time because it was fairly flat, some up hills but no wind.The first 25 miles were quite easy.We saw some incredibly beautiful bluebirds, 4 red tailed hawks, a dead grass snake and a really cool antelope with big ears.It wanted to jump over the fence, but didn't and so we got to see it run for awhile.It was so graceful. And John saw a prairie dog poking it's face out of it's hole.

Then we stopped at Valle at a restaurant for breakfast and the wind as picking up.The weathermen got it right, except for the 10-20 mph part.There was one point where I was down to 2 mph trying to bike into that wind.It was also broad siding us and at times you had to do the old leaning into the wind trick.Also I had one bad time whereby the shoulder was terrible, they had this dumb blacktop over the otherwise terrible blacktop, and then the rest of the shoulder was this real soft stones that blended in and looked just like the hard shoulder.I was not concentrating, going downhill and I started to swerve off into the loose stuff and I hit my back brakes and luckily jumped right up back onto the hard shoulder.That could have been bad as the loose rock was like that cinder, or volcanic rock that is really scratchy.But I was ok and only had to bike into that dastardly, unrelenting wind.


We are camped at the Kaibab Lake campground again.It's nice.


June 8, Sat. elevation 6780, starting time 6:17, temp†† 66, sunny, bursts of wind, clear, av. 9.1, miles biked†† 50.9, ending elevation 5250.Starting out with some hills and some wind.However after about 5 miles there were signs for a 6% grade going downhill for 6 miles duration.It was a pretty neat downhill, but the wind was getting bad, hitting us broadside.We actually made some pretty good time, with all the down hills.We stopped in Ash Fork, a very small town and looked around and some guy there said that there was a big cold front to the north and it was supposed to get" really windy" in the afternoon.And he was right.It was like biking to Flagstaff, where you lean way to the left, the trucks pass, you practically run into them, they zoom by and then you almost ride into the right shoulder.The areas where there is a birm on either side, helped a lot.There were places where the sand would just whip across the highway and John took a picture of it.Also a picture of the tumbleweeds that would cross the highway and then bunches of them would get stuck against some of the stone birms; they were just piled high.


I just had a really hard day and so John took both of my panniers and my rack pack so all I had to do was bike with nothing on my bike.It was still pretty hard and I can't imagine how John managed to pull absolutely everything up those hills with that wind.But he did.


We saw prairie dogs, antelopes and lizards.We pulled off the road and went to Seligman to a KOA.There is basically nothing around here except desert.However our campsite did have 2 evergreen tress and there was a swimming pool at the KOA.So we sat at the pool for a while and then sat at our picnic table in the shade for quite a while because it was too windy to put up the tent.It was actually comical.You had to either put our heavy bags on whatever was on the table, or physically hold it down.


There was a train track right behind our campsite with a lot of trains going by, however neither of us heard a thing once we fell asleep.


June 9, Sunday, time 6:04, temp 64, clear, sunny, windy (of course). Elevation 5250.Av 9.6, miles biked 41.6 , hi temp about 85; the days have not been that hot lately. The proprietor at the KOA yesterday ran a thing for us on his computer that said the winds would again be 15-25 with gusts to 35.However the wind was quartering us and also pushing us and we started by going down hill and it wasnít bad.I was really tired, and John too, but the going wasn't too bad.


Saw a million prairie dogs, they're so cute.They go zooming across the highway in front of us and into their hole on the other side of the road.We also saw a hawk and some other big birds, but could not identify them.


We planned to stop at Grand Canyon Caverns; unfortunately it was a few miles off the road and somewhat uphill but we still had some of that wind pushing behind us.The cavern was great.It was a dry cavern and apparently there are very very few of those in the world.Like about 3% o all caverns are dry and only 1 and 1/2% of those allow the public in.It was a constant 56 degrees with 6% humidity.The guy said that the air in that cave is the cleanest you could ever breathe.They found a shaft and suspected that was where the air was coming from.So they took red smoke grenades and set them off every 30 min. Expecting that they would show up at a certain point outside of the cave nearby.But it wasn't until 2 weeks later that the red smoke started showing up by (a given waterfall) right inside the Grand Canyon! Like about 60 miles away!Our guide also told us that the caverns had just been bought out by a big company in California and that there is a wet cave underneath the cave we were in.In Sept 2002 they are going to start excavating down there and next year (2003), the public should be able to go down into those caverns too.


We had some breakfast after our cave experience and then got on our bikes into REALLY WINDY weather and saw a sign for Peach Springs, 13 Miles.Which really wasn't that bad, except the wind had picked up and the road changed directions (we were on Route 66) and we were going into the wind quite frequently and uphill more than we thought we would be. However, right outside of Peach Springs there was another highway sign for a 6% downhill grade (yippee!!), and that took us right into our motel.Where we are now.Ending elevation 4915 (per bike computer), a new low and Kingman should be even lower.


June 10, Monday starting temp 51,starting time 5:36, av. 10, miles biked 75.5††† a record mileage day!It started out pretty chilly and we had lots of down hills on Route 66.We did run into quite a bit of construction, but it didn't really bother us much. A fairly uneventful time into Kingman, especially since the wind wasn't bad at all.However as we were coming into Kingman, from about 20-25 miles out, you could see this haze, like a fog almost.As we got to it, we still didn't know exactly what it was and it was not apparent that we were in a fog when we were in it. John thought it may have been pollution since it was at the bottom of the valley.


We finally found the visitor center in Kingman, it was down at the bottom of this huge hill, I even got up to 33mph.And we decided to go onto Chloride which is on Hwy 93 on the way to Boulder City via Arizona instead of going into Bullhead City and then climbing out of the river valley to go onto hwy 95 in Nevada.


So to get out of Kingman, since we went down that huge hill we had to go up another huge hill.Then we went down what was supposed to be a 6% grade, but I didn't think it was.Then onward to Chloride on a highway which was supposed to be flat, but wasn't, but it really wasn't too bad at all.


So we are camping at the city park in Chloride; they have bathrooms so I am happy.There is a nice breeze.We should have a pretty long day tomorrow too, that is supposed to be on a relatively flat road.We'll see.

There were big signs that no commercial trucks can cross the Hoover Dam because of 9/11 and the lady at the visitor center said that at mile marker 8 they stop everyone and search them. They are concerned about someone trying to blow up the dam.We watched the solar eclipse with the local park caretaker lady.She was very nice and we had quite a chat.


June 11, Tuesday time 6:05, clear, sunny, a little windy, temp 64, bike altitude 1355, John's odometer 4661.4, av for the day 10 (!) and miles biked 69.4. Odometer at end of day 4730.8.

Started out by going downhill out of Chloride and then going faster and faster and faster†† I didn't realize the day before that it was so uphill. We turned north onto 93 heading for the Hoover Dam.It was primarily downhill at first and we didn't go too far and Bob got a flat.He had 2 thorns in his tire.John fixed the tube, and kept it, but put a new tube in Bob's tire.We saw jack rabbits and regular rabbits and last night John heard some coyotes howling, but wasn't able to wake me up so I missed it.


We stopped at an old time restaurant and had a hamburger.Then after that as we are traveling into a northerly wind, tough wind but only about 20mph, this other biker comes up alongside of us and we talk to him awhile.Actually he talked most.He was from Germany, about 44 years old, had just lost his job at about the beginning of the year and was now biking for the St. Jude Hospital. He was somehow sponsored in Germany to bike over here.A very nice guy, a little hard to understand sometimes with his accent, but he was going to bike a total of about 8000 miles and was about half done.I couldn't keep up with him and so he went off on his own.Oh, I was really tired today and John took all of my gear early on in the day.As we got close to Willow Beach we had a huge downhill.And after that a huge uphill.And that's how it went for the rest of the day. Then we came to the checkpoint which was actually at mile marker 10. They funneled the traffic down to a single lane, shoulder traffic included, which was us, so it worked out that we were smack in front of this huge semi going up a very short, but steep hill.I pedaled my legs off, John being in front of me and when we got to the checkout, he just waved us through and said " watch out for those semi's"


So it was 10 more miles of extreme downs and extreme ups to get to the dam.Did I mention it was really hot? John's computer showed 111.We got to the top of the hill and there was the dam.It was way cool. The way it was set up is that the road spiraled down and down and down to the top of the dam.The speed limit was 15 and there were of course no shoulders, so we just rode like we were a car.At the bottom, we obviously started to spiral again, but upward of course, and the visitor center was there on the right.This place is so huge that I can't describe it.Not just the visitor center or the dam (the dam really is huge) but the whole complex and the way it is set out is quite unique and we might go back there tomorrow to tour if I can make myself do it.It should be a piece of cake for John since Bob will stay here at the campsite.


Then we had to bike up and out for 1 mile and then not in a spiral, but just up for another 2 miles.When we got to the top, we went zooming back down toward the city of Boulder City or the outskirts of Las Vegas.The Lake Mead Visitor Center was right on our way, so we stopped and were fortunately on the right road for the campground and we are here now at the Boulder Beach National Campground.Its pretty neat because the lake is easily within sight of our site, there are quite a few more trees than the other desert places we were at, plus they also have some palm trees here. Did I mention hot??We have been drinking water like crazy.We will be spending 2 nights here, then move on down the road to another Nat'l Park campsite that's for tents only and then perhaps to Las Vegas to a motel to get ready for our bus encounter.


After seeing the ups and downs we had to go through today, we both think that the route out of Bullhead city really couldn't have been any worse.But since we took this route, we are actually here at least one day early and can just rest and relax.




June 12.Wed. Time 8:45, temp 104 !! The usual, sunny clear little wind today. Ave. 9, miles 25.1.John biked most of those.Today we biked down to Hoover Dam and back.As I write this at 7:30 pm it is 98 degrees.It took till about 2 AM last night before it cooled off.


So we biked up the road, enroute to Hoover Dam, stopped at the Hacienda Hotel/casino and each had a 99 cent breakfast.And then we both had 2 quarters to gamble with.I lost mine but John won 1 quarter, but lost it again.So much for gambling.The traffic wasn't as bad as yesterday.We stopped right before the garage where you pay $5, parked our bikes by some barricades and hopped over the fence that said "No pedestrians beyond this point" and we were on our way.You got to go immediately into a gift shop if you want, which we mistakenly did and then fought our way out again.From there we went down this long escalator to the buildings of the Hoover Dam.We went through a metal detector and the bags went through an x-ray machine, we paid $10 each and we were in.First we went down 535 feet to the generators.HUGE area.Then we went out onto the observation deck.The immense size of this dam is staggering.We went through a museum and got to push buttons and listen to recordings and there was just a bunch of neat stuff.We went to a place that had old pictures of when all this stuff happened and we got to see the neatest topographical map of the whole area from San Diego all the way across to almost Denver.So we saw all the places we had biked, the places we were going to bike and the places in Utah and Colorado where we will be biking and all the mountains we have or will be going over.


The power generation at the dam is divided with generation facilities on the Arizona side and the Nevada side. There are 4 350 foot deep intake towers.Each intake (2 on each upstream side of the dam) has a 30 ft diameter penstock which feeds individual tubes which are 13 feet in diameter. There is one 13 ft diameter penstock for each generator.The reduction from 30 to 13 feet accelerates the water so it is going 85 mph when it reaches the turbine.

Each generator is 133 megawatts.The power the plant generates at any time is divided between California, Nevada and Arizona.56% of the power goes to California, 35% to Nevada and the balance (9%) goes to Arizona.

We walked out on the bridge over looking the dam (while the traffic is going about 5mph) NOTE:By the year 2005 they are expecting to have a 4 lane highway crossing from Nevada to Arizona that will not entail going across the dam like it does now.When the new highway is open, the road across the dam will be closed to the public. Currently crossing on the dam is the only way to get across the Colorado River in the Northwestern part of Arizona into Nevada.The terrible congestion of local, commercial and tourist traffic is the main reason given for building the new highway.


We also saw a little 30 minute movie of how the dam was built.Absolutely amazing.From what one of the guide's told us, President Hoover was also an engineer and he was the one who designed (or helped design) this dam and many others in the US. We then went back into the main building to use the bathrooms.Since we had our tickets, we didn't have to wait but we did have to go through the security screening again.There was a huge line of people waiting to get in.


We jumped back over the fence (No pedestrians) got on our bikes and headed off for the campsite†† I did that is.John went another 4 miles into town to buy groceries.He did happen upon a bike path on the way that was also a drainage ditch but when not flooded is used by walkers, joggers, inline skaters and bikers.


We have seen quite a few bob white quail, a hummingbird, and a roadrunner that every now and then comes through our site and he comes quite close, within a couple of feet.


June 13 , Thursday starting time 6:20, temp 80, ave 8.5, miles 35.6,odometer 4791.7.Left the campsite and traveled up and down, up and down, toward the Las Vegas Bay campground, but it was out way out of the area.We wound up taking Lake Mead Boulevard into Henderson.At Henderson we found a library and were lucky enough that we both got to get on a computer.Then we turned onto Boulder Hwy and went all the way into Las Vegas.Let me back up by saying as we were approaching Henderson the good thing was, was that it was downhill. Primarily downhill all the way to the bus depot.The bad news was the smog.The air actually looked green.It was extremely apparent as we were coming in from the mountains.We did have a very nice shoulder most of the way in.We turned left onto Charleston Ave.Went until the numbered streets counted down to all the way to first street and the next street was Main street and the greyhound bus depot was just right after that.We found a cheap motel 2 blocks from the bus depot.

Also as we cruised past the depot and were biking around the block there was a mall there, and someone shouted out "New Hope".†† There were some people there that were obviously from Minneapolis. But we were far too tired to stop and talk.

After we got cleaned up, we thought we would just walk around a little and here we found out that we are in Old Town.It is where the old casinos were first built, and still are, and it seems to be just a cheaper place to stay.This place is not enclosed, but they have some kind of a structure over the top of it and so it is air conditioned.Many of the places have really super good meal prices (we had 12 0z prime rib, a baked potato, roll and vegetable for 6.99 each.We have gambled some, like a total of about $5, mostly in the nickel slots and have lost it all.


We were going to see the Blue Man Group for $75 each, but instead found a theatre that is about 6 blocks from here, via the air conditioned mall and so we went to see Star Wars.I liked it.And as we came out of the show, it was around 10 PM and so dark and all the lights were on in the mall.It was actually dizzying.There were also lots of vendors and odd people about that were not there earlier in the day.And in general, way more people.We stopped at the bus depot on the way home to be doubly sure that they had boxes, came home and fell sound asleep.


June 14, Friday we left the motel this morning about 9:30 and the temperature was already 98.We called Tracey to wish her a Happy Birthday. Then we found out about a bus that goes down to the strip and we got on the bus for $2 each and got off by Paris.There was an Eiffel tower there so we paid $9 each to go to the observation deck.They said that it was an exact replica of the real Eiffel tower except that this one was exactly half the size of the real one.


Then we went into Caesars, Balleys, Belagio, Venetian, Treasure Island and many many more of the casinos.The reason being that we wanted to hang around till 3 PM to see the water show at the Belagio.And we did.They played the Star Spangled Banner and it was spectacularly cool.They shot that water up so high it was amazing.It is really neat at night when the lights are on it, I'll bet.

Then we went over and waited to get the bus, but apparently some of the bus people are on strike and the 15 minute bus didn't come until 35 min and then there were so many people on the bus it didn't even stop.So we went over to get a cab.He took us to the bus depot, we got our tickets, and then John stopped in and got an extra night stay for us.However we will have to leave at 10 PM, the box place closes at 11 and we have to be sure to have our boxes.Then we'll pack up the bikes and equipment and just sit around the bus station until 2:45 AM and then be on out way to Los Angeles and Olympia.


June 15, Sat. Miles biked were 10.4, and the average 9.2.We got up today and went to have some breakfast. John biked to get some packaging tape then to a bike shop to get a tube for Bob.Since it wasn't super hot out yet (probably only about 98) and there was a fairly nice area to bike in, we decided to bike to the library.It was about a mile away and it was a nice bike. The library was also nice and we got on a computer.In the afternoon we went to see the movie "The Bourne Identity".Very good.Came back to our motel, rested, started packing, went for dinner, and got ready to leave for the bus depot to be there about 10 PM.All in all it was a real mess, but everything got done as it should have.There were so many people in a relatively small area.The ticket agents were quite slow and there were people backed up everywhere.John was in line shortly after 10 and barely got the boxes by 11 pm.


June 16, Sunday. We packed everything up and were in line by 1:30 am, waiting for our bus which came around 2 AM but we were missing a bus driver.And so when one finally showed up, instead of leaving at 2:45 we left around 4AM.Which meant that we would miss our LA connection and so we switched buses at San Fernando which worked out fine.We went up through Sacramento, the central valley and arrived at Olympia WA. By 1:30 PM on Monday.In general, if you have a good bus driver, it goes pretty well, if you have a jerk bus driver, it can be pretty annoying.And it gets pretty hard to sleep when you are in such a small space.



June 17, Monday. We arrived at Olympia and the temp was about 55 degrees, rainy on and off, obviously cloudy and quite windy out of the south.When we got off the bus to put the bikes back together I almost froze to death. The motel we are staying at is about 2 blocks from the bus depot.Tomorrow we will leave in a rental car to go to Mt. Rainier and Mt. St. Helens.We ordered a pizza tonight and stayed in and it was wonderful.


June 18.Tues. Got up around 6, then John walked about .6 mile to the car rental place and got a red 4 x 4 ford ranger truck which had the little jump seat in back and it worked out really well.We only got about 15 miles to the gallon though.


Our first stop was Mt. Rainier.It was a rainy day.We saw the 2 biggest waterfalls on the way to the visitor center.To see the 2nd one (Narada) you had to walk a very short distance down the trail.Except that the whole trail was under at least 3 feet of snow.So we got to slip and slide down to the viewing point.It was a fantastic sight.So much water, everywhere.As we drove to the visitor center you could see waterfalls every 5 feet, falling down the side of the mountain because of the huge amount of snow that was still on the ground.The ranger at the visitor center said it was 33 when he arrived around 8am.We did get to see the rain turn to snow for a while.


We saw a little video about Mt. Rainier and basically they talked about what would happen if the same thing happened here as did at Mt. St Helens.And it would mean that one side of the mountain would give way and it would be a big mess.It would flow all the way down to Puget Sound.And the guys who predicted that that would happen to Mt St Helens (by the year 2000) (it blew May 18, 1980) are saying the same thing could happen to Rainier.


Then we went to Mt. St Helens.We went to windy ridge, where you could look over and see where the blast came from and the whole area there in front of us bore the brunt of it.Trees are all knocked down, you could see where the mud flow went, it's just a huge area of nothingness, that is slowly growing back.The beautiful lake that used to be there, is getting to be a lake again, but on the shores you can just see vast amounts of mud.And at this windy ridge place (which was INDEED windy) we climbed up hundreds of steps to get to the observation point where you could look over and see Mt. St Helens.Which would have been great, except it was still raining, and the cloud deck was so low, you couldn't see the top of the mountain.


Then we went to Ape cave, where you could go into this lava tube about 1 mile on your own.But all we had was my mini mag light and John said it would have been enough, but I chickened out.So then we came back to Olympia, ate at the Olive Garden and went back to the motel.It was a wonderful trip and well worth the time and effort. (what effort?We weren't on bikes)


June 19, Wed. starting time 7:26, temp 51, cloudy, humid, bone chilling cold.Miles biked 50, average9.8.†† John took the car back and that's why we had a late start. We biked through Olympia.We saw the most beautiful flowers.Bright yellows, purples, tons of roses, and I think they might be hibiscus in every shade and color possible.They are all gorgeous.We also saw llamas, goats, sheep, cows, rabbits, and now that we are here at our site it's like there are a million mosquitoes, except they don't seem to be biting.


We went through Centralia and got somewhat lost, but John asked at the gas station and the guy found us a wonderful road that took us through Chehallis, a little town with a one street that wound all over the place, up and down and around and through and then we found our highway and took it all the way here to this state park.The bike maps like to route you so that they love to have you climb hills, and they love to take you as far away from civilization as possible.And in order to do that, you have to go this far for .2 mile, turn here for .1 mile, go 4 blocks etc etc.John does much better mapping.


We are at Lewis and Clark State Park in WA. It's nice, but there is nothing here. Also there is something wrong with their water and so we are supposed to boil it for 10 minutes!Get serious.They were also supposed to have a hiker biker site here, but it is not shown on the small amount of information that we have read.This park did have a really cool area that showed us some trees that were 1000 years old.One was a Douglas Fir, and the other was a cedar.They were massive.I really thought the Douglas fir was a redwood.Now I should go and take a shower in their contaminated water.Not to mention that it cost 50 cents for 3 minutes.††


June 20 Thursday start time 6:57, temp 46, sun is out, no wind, freezing to death. Ave biked†† 9.7, total miles 47.5.Started downhill, had a mostly quiet day.We followed the bike map and really got off on some side roads, although they were beautiful.We were right next to the Cowlitz River.The current was amazingly fast and it was quite scenic.And lots of down hills, so we eventually had to go up. On part of the way, there was a fairly steep area on our right and all of a sudden this young deer came running down that hill, heading near me.He was going pretty fast and he looked scared.He went past me and then right in front of us (about 20 feet) zoomed across the road and up the other hill.It was pretty exciting. Then as we were biking along, in the ditch John saw a snake.It was a small snake, but alive.


We stopped at Castle Rock and got a few groceries and then headed south toward the Columbia River.The guy in the grocery store warned us that there would be a big hill.And as we were biking that area, another local biker biked along with us or a while and chatted with John.All this time we are going pretty much up and up and then down and down. The biker guy left us and then we came to THE hill.The guy had said that when you can first start to see the 3 mountains, that you are almost over the hill. There was one of those corkscrew signs that said 1 mile and it was up.When we almost got to the top, we looked over and there were Mt. Rainier, Mt. St Helens and I guess Mt. Adams.Absolutely breathtaking†† all of them covered in snow.And then we went down almost forever. We got to Ocean Beach Rd and followed the Columbia River (a massive river) west. I think it will be like when we will be biking on 101. We have a very nice shoulder; we have no shoulder.People get way over in the other lane; people try to touch us as they zoom by.It's super flat; then we have big hills to go up.But the entire time it is very scenic.

So we pulled into County Line Park and find out there are 4 spots for tents; 2 are taken (but the one guy offers us part of his site if we want).We go through the sand (this park is right on the sandy shores of the Columbia River)They are pretty odd sights, huge trees here, a falling apart picnic table, but it is quite wonderful.All the other guys in the tent sites are fishermen, fishing for Chinook.The site only cost $5 and last night it cost us $6 in a hiker biker site.We should have a good night tonight.Tomorrow we have to cross on the ferry, and go into Oregon.As I am writing this, and looking out onto the river this huge ship is going by and it is only carrying logs.About a million logs, and it is going so fast. Incredible.There are 8 stacks of debarked logs. ††


June21, Friday starting time6:15, temp 53, sunny, some clouds, no wind.Av. 8., miles biked 54.4.Left the campground and started going up and down, up and down.It started to get cloudier as we went along; the clouds getting very low in the sky. It was 10 miles to Cathlemet where we would catch the ferry to take us across the Columbia R. into Oregon.Well we get to Cathlemet, cross what we think is the Columbia via a bridge and then on the other side it says "Ferry 3 miles".And that's all it said.Nothing was marked as all the locals know where it is.We did find it but a sign here or there would have been nice.And we didn't have any hills.Got there at 8:10, it leaves every hour on the hour.So they were just pulling in when we got there and the lady said we could bring our bikes on board.It was exactly like the Merrimac ferry only this one had no guiding cable and it cost 50 cents per person and bike.And the sun came out, so we just sat there in the sun till 9 o'clock.When it started this couple came over to talk to us and they have a son who will be getting married in Madison and they told us we could expect a lot of hills on the way to Astoria and one really big one, immediately after getting off the ferry.And they were right.It took us about an hour to get up that hill.And you get so hot and sweated and then when you finally get to go down, you just about freeze to death.After that killer hill (635 feet) we just had your run of the mill ups and downs, which I'm actually beginning to like.


The last part of the way into Astoria, there was a bike sign that said something like "share the road" and we thought that meant we would loose our shoulder.But what it was, was just lots of little ups and downs and lots of twists and curves and it was pretty neat.We came up to a sign that said "Welcome to Astoria"and I thought "Great, no more hills!".Then right after that sign there was a mega hill taking us into the city.I was pretty upset.And did I mention the wind had picked up??In our face, at least 20 mph.


So we don't know exactly where we are going, just staying on the main road looking for signs and we finally find 101 and we have to go across this very long bridge, in this not quite gale force wind.We have this little baby shoulder that's got dirt and stones and twigs and everything else on it while these cars, campers, logging trucks and semis in general go zooming past us.Once we got off the bridge per se, we got our nice size shoulder back even though we still had at least another mile to go while we were still over the water.


It was 8 more miles to our campground†† Fort Stevens State Park.A very nice park which happens to have hiker biker sites that only cost us $4.28.And we have the whole place to ourselves.Our bathroom, which I guess we share with the Yurt people and Group tenters has 9 showers in it. (A Yurt is like a small cabin that people can rent for the night if they do not have their own tent.)


A trying day.Tomorrow (and I'm afraid) everyday after this we will be climbing some big time hills.But we should also be down along the ocean. Figuring out what to wear could be a problem.




June 22, Sat. starting time†† 6:50, temp†† 55, cloudy, no wind, ave. 8.5, miles biked 45.As the day went on today it got cloudier and wetter not really rain, but droplets from the low hanging clouds.As we left Fort Stevens, we had some fairly easy biking for about 10-15 miles.Then came the hills.They weren't horrible, but it was tough because it was getting so cloudy and wet.


We saw llama, ponies, sheep and a red squirrel.In the clothes department we decided that in this incredibly humid weather, actually it's just like boundary waters weather. Little droplets falling out of the clouds and the sun only thinks about peeking through.Anyway, our biking shirts aren't too good for this.You get so hot going up the hills and so cold going down and then you are so sweaty and you get slimy and freezing.So we both wore long sleeve Lifa shirts which worked out well.I wore a coolmax shirt underneath my Lifa and John wore a sleeveless coolmax over the top and it was ever so much better.I also kept taking off my jacket whenever we would go uphill and if I would get smart I should slip it back on when we go downhill.I have also been wearing my leg warmers which are a godsend.If I'm working really hard going up the hill, I pull them down from the top of my legs and when I'm going down, I pull them all the way up.John has been wearing his biking shoes and socks instead of his biking sandals.


Today we were way up high and looked down and saw where our campground was (Nehelen Bay) and then came down about 2 miles from the very top (me braking all the way).We got a hiker biker site for $4 tonight, the guy didn't tax us.This site is different from last night.It's sort of like a group site and you just find a spot and set up a tent.The bathrooms and showers are not too far away in the group A loop.Last night we had like individual premier sites (plus we were the only ones there) and we had this really neat shower facility that we shared with the group campers and the yurt people.There are 3 other bikers here in this area tonight.


I forgot to mention that we went through a tunnel today.We hit the little button and then there were lights that flashed outside, warning the cars that there were bikers in the tunnel.They had a small sidewalk that I thought you were supposed to ride on, but it was pretty crappy with all kinds of gunk on it and we rode in the road.The cars were supposed to slow down to 30 and I'm fairly sure they slowed down to about 65 and there was very little space for us.It was extremely scary. We had a biker stop by and ask us how we got through the tunnel.††


I almost forgot to say that we met this couple who live right by Camp Pendleton at Dana Point and they gave us their phone number and said we should call them when we get down there to tell them all about our trip.


June 23, Sunday. time 6:30, temp 53, cloudy, no wind, av. 9.4, miles 51.3.We decided to take 101 today instead of taking the Cape Route which was a shorter distance but way harder elevation wise.And all went well until we got to the end of our route and had to turn off 101 to take the road to our campsite, and except that the road was in bad condition everything was flat-ish.We started to climb slowly and we wound up in this immense sand dune area.As we were traveling on this road to get to our campground, we saw hundreds of cars with 4 wheelers on them and we couldn't figure out why.The reason was that there was an area in the sand dunes that was open to 4 wheelers and motorcycles.They looked liked little ants zooming every which way.And as we moved onward, we kept going up and up and then we noticed we were seriously going up.It turned out that the hill we tried to not travel on was the exact hill we wound up going on to get to our campground. It rose about 860 feet in 2.5 miles.A real killer, especially at the end of the day. After having reached the top, we stopped and saw another biker dude, an older guy with a Bob trailer.And he happened to be from Minnetonka.Jon Overton.And so we continued onward and zoomed down the hill to the campground.We stopped short of the end on an overlook and there were people doing some hang gliding. We got a site at Cape Lookout State Park.These were separate hiker biker sites set in an area like where they filmed Starwars; with all those big neat trees.One of the guys that had camped where we did last night was there and he had done the same thing we did and wound up doing that killer hill.


Johnís nephew Andy came to visit us at 4 o'clock and he brought fried chicken and vegetables and cookies and we walked on the beach and then went to our site and had a great time.He looks good.His friend Cheryl had a terrible headache and had to go to the Emergency Room that morning for a shot so she did not come.Andy lives in Salem and goes to school in Portland 3 days a week and works at Xerox.He should have his assoc. Degree in a year I think in computer programming. It was great that Andy could make it to see us.


June 24, Monday time 7 am, temp 53†† SUNNY!!! Av 8.8, miles biked 45.2.We didn't want to leave today because we knew we would have to go up that horrendous hill.And so we did, but it wasn't as bad as we expected.We were fresh and knew what to expect. Then when we got to the top, there on the side of the road, John found a dollar bill!And after that we had relatively flat stuff to bike.John did get a flat tire on the rear of his biked.He got it overlooking the ocean; it was quite beautiful.As he was fixing it a biker came by and stopped to talk to us, Dave came by, who was also at the site last night, and a tandem couple came by who were on their way to Va. And a couple of day bikers went by going in the other direction.

We stopped and had lunch and then took the recommended "old hwy 101 scenic drive"because it was suppose to have a less step grade.And it did for a while, but we wound up going 710 feet on a hill that said was 600 feet.However hardly any cars were on that road and it was actually fun going down it.I hardly braked at all. We only had 6 miles left after that, but I was really tired. That last hill did me in.


We got into Lincoln City and found a Laundromat and did our laundry.We are now at Devil's Lake State Park.These hiker biker sites are just in an open area; there are no specific sites.There are picnic tables and 2 fire grates and some water.We had the choice of camping at the bottom of the hill, where it is more or less the same, just an open area or at the top of the hill, a little more out of the way. We chose the top.Dave (fellow biker we see from time to time) came up while we were eating supper.Then we walked to Devil's Lake, which was just an ok lake, and then we walked to the ocean.We didn't stay for very long as I was exceedingly tired.


John called Pat and Allen Burton, Pat is Johnís cousin who he has not seen for about 15 years, and we will meet them on Wed.They are so excited they took that day off of work and are going to get a campsite and we'll camp together and they will feed us dinner.Good deal.


June 25, Tues. time 6:47, temp 55, sunny with some clouds appearing.Av. 9.6, miles 46.9.It started out sunny, got cloudy all over and then got sunny and actually quite warm.We had a pretty nice day except I was just tired again today.So we did stop at one of their many many wayside rest areas and I took a little nap, which helped a lot.


We got to go on Otter Crest Road which was an area closed to vehicles and open only to pedestrians and bicyclist.We happened onto this lady who told us that the road was washed away and they fixed it and then it washed away with a dad and his kid in the car who happened to live right in that area.Their car turned over a couple of times and they were stuck in there for a couple of hours and had to be rescued at night; and were OK.But they finally shut down the road to automobile traffic.So for a couple miles we got to bike on this road with no cars and the scenery was fantastic.After they routed us back onto 101, we stopped at a vista and could look down (way down) and see sea lions. We also got to see a lot of the ocean today; some beautiful sandy beaches and some really rocky areas, which are my favorite, where the waves splash against the rocks and then spray way up in the air.


As we were biking today Todd (a fellow biker we have been seeing from time to time) passed us by, then we passed him while he was stopping for a rest, then he passed us again.Dave also passed us and we've not seen him anymore.


We also went over 2 very big bridges.One was old and we went up on the sidewalk as the cars and truck drivers were getting berserk.It was really neat though.We stopped in the middle and John took a picture and we looked down (way down) at the water. Beautiful.It was really tricky going back down the other side.I braked the whole way because the sidewalk was very narrow and we were going so fast and I was a nervous wreck when we got off of there.The 2nd bridge was a new modern bridge, really pretty long too and with a gorgeous view.I wasn't at all nervous going over that bridge; we just zipped right down and off of it but there was a lot of glass on the shoulder.


Tonight we are at Beachside State Park and it was a sign yourself up on your own park, so I had to pay $8.48 for a hiker biker.They have us right off the pay station and there is a big cozy spot and a really little cozy spot and we took the little spot.But since no one is here we stretched a clothes line over both sites and of course used both picnic tables.Now (almost time for bed) we have everything in our own little site.We do have a bathroom very nearby (as opposed to last night when we had to walk down that monster hill and then go about another block or two further).


June 26†† Wed. time 6:55 am, 57 degrees, almost sunny, slight wind, av. 9.4, miles 36†† we had lots of ups and downs today (I can't actually remember too much as I haven't done this for 3 days and I am writing from my notes, which are few.I do remember that in Florence we stopped at Fred's and got groceries, and used the scan it yourself checkout.Pretty neat.Then we went to the library and used the slowest computers in the west.Then we went to Jesse Honeyman State Park where Al and Pat Burton had a campsite for us and them.They even went so far as to put up a little (LITTLE) tent for us and put 2 nice pillows in there for us and an air mattress that slept like a water bed.They took us to Old Town in Florence and we just wandered through the stores and got some ice cream.Actually John bought a gift for Pat and Al.


We also went out on a long jetty in part of the Nat'l Sand Dune area.It was very windy and really neat to watch the waves come in.Then we went back to our site and they fixed us steak and baked potatoes which were very good and a salad.Yes, it started drizzling and being icky.They had a roaring fire going which was nice and warm.


June 27, Thursday.†† It was not to great sleeping because it was one of those Target tents that don't breathe at all and our sleeping bags and anything that touched the side of the tent got soaking wet. They fixed breakfast for us of bacon, apple pancakes and potatoes. It was nice to be waited on and the food was great.Pat is very nice and Al is too but he sure likes to talk a lot.He can talk nonstop about anything and everything, but a great guy.

We left at 8AM after breakfast and it was 56, cloudy with drizzle.Av. 9.3, miles biked 54.5.All in all it was a miserable day. It drizzled most all of the day to the point where we actually called it rain.The drivers were all kind of nasty in general, and I got absolutely soaked and changed clothes near the end of the day (I put on John's dry stuff as I freezing).Luckily it quit raining and was just spritzing a little, so I stayed warm and dry.We did meet a couple from England who had come from LA and were complaining bitterly about the weather.The guy said he couldn't figure out why anyone would ever live in Oregon and I had to agree.They were going to go up to Florence and then cut over to Eugene instead of continuing up the coast.They just wanted to be away from the cold and wetness.

We went over 2 big bridges.On one of them Todd got ahead of us and we were about to start up and we noticed he was walking his bike.Since the sidewalk is super narrow we could never have passed him and since the drivers were so cranky we didn't want to go in the road, so we just waited till he got ahead a little.We caught up with him right near the end and he was surprised that we actually biked on that sidewalk.John does not have much choice as it is almost impossible to walk his bike with the trailer attached.


We stopped at Coos Bay and did our laundry again.We also got out our sleeping bags and put them in a dryer and they just took about 5 minutes and were perfect.Then we sort of met the Canadians that Esmai (another biker we see from time to time on the road and at the evening campsites) is always talking about. They went by us and said hello and that pretty much covered it.But there are 2 guys and 2 girls and 3 bike at a time and the 4th one drives the van with all there equipment. What a good idea!


We spent the night at Sunset Beach; it had quit rainingYESSSS!Todd and Esmail were both there.It was a very beautiful park and too bad we got in so late, there was no time to explore.The weather radio said winds out of the south tomorrow and rain later in the day. (We were fighting a head wind today that was quite tiring).


June 28, Friday. 6:55, 55 degrees, cloudy, barometer going down. Av 8.5, miles 43.6.We started off the day going up a horrendous hill.It was not part of 101, but one of Adventure Cycle's routes.It almost killed me.Then we wound up going up and down on this high plateau. These weren't great big hills, but they just seemed really hard to me. However the view was fantastic.


As we got close to Bandon Esmail came up behind us and we had breakfast with him and he paid for it!We stopped at Old Town in Bandon to eat, a nice place.And then as we got out on the highway the wind had picked up, like as bad as some of the wind in Arizona.Like it would leave you dead in your tracks and if it was from the side it knock you off the road.So we decided to stay at the KOA in Langlois and about 6 miles before we got to Langlois, Bob got another flat tire. As John was fixing it, Esmail came by and said hi and goodbye.Then the Canadians came by and stopped for a couple minutes and went on.We are staying at the KOA now as I write this and it is nice.Their hiker biker sites are $8 per person, but with this wind I couldn't have gone one more mile.And the sun is out.I'm thinking it's not going to rain.It did rain a little bit as we pulled in here and we quickly put the tent up and covered everything, but the day has turned out quite nice (if you don't count the wind in your face).

We did get a really cool weather radio which is wonderful, but is doesn't appear to come in here very well.The lady said the wind should only be 5-10 out of the west tomorrow.I hope so.


June 29, Sat. since it rained all night and most of the day, we left at 11:11 today in clouds, light rain and the temp is 57.Av†† 9.6.Miles biked 39.3.We started out in the rain and it stayed that way for the most part.We didn't have any killer hills, but a lot of ups and downs.We had periods of incredible fog, medium heavy rain, mist most of the day, and a pukey day in general.We would get up to the top of hill and then as we would go down about a mile or more, we'd wind up going through rain so your glasses would get wet and you couldn't see and frequently fog where you could see about 10 feet in front of you.When we could see anything, the view was beautiful, the waves were huge and there were mostly rocky shorelines.


As we got closer to the end (Gold Beach) we came upon about 7 miles of flat.It was wonderful.There was some wind but not very much.Tomorrow we are expecting it to be out of the North.We stopped at the library and that library had trouble with AOL so we couldn't get through.Then we went to look for the County Fair to camp and they didn't have a campground anymore.So we (I) decided we had to stay at a motel for $36.04.Then we went to a Chinese place to eat and off to the grocery store.


At first we stopped at a nice motel for $65 and decided not to stay.As we left there was a jogger and John asked her where a cheap motel was and she directed us to this place.Then she stopped and said that we could just stay at her house.They were going out tonight.But we declined.It was certainly nice of her though.




June 30, Sunday time 6:30, 53 degrees, clouds, no fog, we crossed into California today and as we got closer the sky got bluer and bluer.Miles biked 57, av. 9.6.A good average because the first thing we had to do was bike a couple of miles up 710 feet.It was quite tough, then there were quite a few ups and downs but nothing too serious.


Right before we got to Brookings, we saw a deer in the road, literally wandering across the highway onto the other side.The driver stopped and let it go by.We stopped as we were very close and saw that there was a second deer on our side looking stranded and as John went to get the camera, it bolted into the brush still on our side of the road.We just watched for a second and then the deer that had crossed the road, came wandering back to our side of the road and bolted then into the forest exactly where the other deer had run.THEN we get into Brookings, looking for my favorite place (McDonalds) when John stops and says "Look!"And there, wandering on the sidewalk (these deer were not in any hurry), there were 3 deer just sort of walking along on the sidewalk and then over into some brush.


As we at last crossed the line and came into California, I was going to take John and Bob's picture by the sign and this guy came over and asked if we would like for him to take our picture.He said he just dropped off a couple of bikers only 10 minutes ago and they were on their way to San Francisco.So he took our picture, then he wanted us to pose for him as he took our picture again on his own camera.His name was Herb.

We also met another fellow biker whose name we don't know.He was pulling a Bob trailer too.He started in Seattle, in fact he said he rented a midsize car and took all his stuff in that from his home in North San Francisco and that will be where he will end his trip.A nice guy.He told us the route from SF to LA is really nice too.

We got into Crescent City and stopped at the Info Center and got a campsite at this RV Park which is ok. The campsite we chose just happened to have 6 million thorns in it, and we cleaned all of our tires but John got a flat on his front tire.The guy just came and delivered a new port a potty.We had some wind at our back today and sometime it seemed in our face, but all in all we did pretty well.


July 1, Mon. We missed Andy's birthday.Mark's too, but at least we remembered that we forgot Mark's.Slept in today, it was wonderful, left about 8:30, don't know about the temp.Av. Today††† 8.7, miles biked 36.5.We knew we would be going up 5 miles to a height of about 1200 feet, and we did.It was hard going up, I thought really steep.We stopped frequently and that helped.When we got near the top there were a fair amounts of ups and downs before we got to the real DOWN.Starting at the beginning it was sunny and fairly warm.As we started down it was the same.However at some point going down it started to get cool, then there were clouds that we were going through.Then it got so I could not see my hand in front of my face (at that point I wiped off my glasses and that helped quite a bit).Luckily there wasn't too much traffic going my way.There were a couple spots where it said "rough road" and it was, one of my water bottles jumped out and I almost ran over it. Then you could just feel this incredible coldness and the fog was thick and it was a terrible start to the day.I was so tense braking down that hill, when I got to the bottom I could hardly move, not to mention that I was frozen.

At Klamath John took a picture of Paul Bunyon and Babe that was way neater than the PB and Babe in Bemidji.We had some lunch at Klamath and then headed on, thinking it would be flat for a while but NO!!.We had a 500 foot climb and then at the top it said we had 1 mile down to get to our turnoff, which was the Prairie Creek turnoff; actually it turned out to be a bike route thru the State Park of Prairie Creek and this is also the Redwood Nat'l Forest.We went up 900 feet and then the good part was that it was 4 miles of gradual down. We sat back and coasted about 14 miles per hour as we went through this incredible redwood forest.There were gigantic trees everywhere that you could leisurely look at as you coasted slowly down the road. We stopped at 2 places to walk into the forest and take some pictures.


At the camping area we were told there were only hiker biker sites left, and we were all alone back there except for the cars that come down this dead end road and then have to turn around.There are some wild elk out in the huge field right by us, but the grass is so tall it is hard to see them.They have signs posted, to stay out of the field.Oh, did I mention that the hiker biker sites here are only $1 per person.It is interesting to note that we passed many RV Parks that actually have signs out, welcoming tenters and most of these places were quite empty.


July 2, Tues. 7:15, temp 50, 55 in the sun.Unfortunately there are so many trees that we were frequently (freezing to death) in the shade. av. 9.5, miles biked 46.2.I forgot to type yesterday that there is a quite large area of land right by the campground that is an elk viewing area.There is a sign that says, don't enter, but you can sit and watch them and you can also see it from 101 and the cars can park on the road and watch.So we got to see elk 13 of them yesterday.Then this morning as we were leaving, 1 of the elk came down to the edge of the campground and actually came into a campsite and was grazing on the grass.As we biked onward to our next destination we saw a couple of other places for elk viewing and one of them had a group of about 15 or so sitting right by the side of the road.We had a couple of hills today, nothing bad, and we were on 101 most of the day.For a while 101 has turned into a freeway with controlled exits and entrances and 4 lanes and people driving like crazy.It's getting tricky to get past the entrances and exits.Also they put down new blacktop in a 10 mile stretch and were only allowing the cars to drive in one of the lanes, we had the shoulder which was kind of a mess.So when we went past one of the highway guys, John asked if we could bike on the other newly paved lane that the cars couldn't drive in and he said it was ok.That was pretty cool.


We took business 101 into McKinleyville and stopped at a library that had really fast internet service and we were both able to get on a computer.John typed up and sent a new update for everyone.I checked our bank statement.Then we went and ate at McDonalds and went grocery shopping.We got back on 101, had a slightly nerve wracking time of going only about 6 miles to our campground (so many cars) and here we are at the KOA between Arcata and Eureka.Our hiker biker area is right behind the building; we are hidden from everyone which is fine and it's set down and in back of their main building and I'm sure most people don't even know there is a camping area here.It is also fenced in and that keeps the wind out.It is quite neat.The bathroom is a hop, skip and a jump away, or about 11 steps up the sidewalk.And it was only $13.50 plus they stamped our card. (The last KOA wouldn't do that or give us our discount.)


After listening to our weather radio it is suppose to be foggy and drizzly in the morning.I plan to wear every piece of clothing I own because I almost froze to death this morning.The sun is supposed to come out in the afternoon.


July 3,Wed. 6:45, 53 and cloudy. Av 10, miles biked53.1.Actually after listening to the forecast we thought it was going to rain and so hurried to take down camp.As it turned out, it never rained (by us anyway), we didn't even have any dew and the sun came out fairly early.It also wasn't quite as cold as yesterday so I didn't have to wear many more clothes than usual.We stayed on 101 and biked mostly flat to downhill with the wind at our back; it was great.We averaged about 11mph for the first 30 miles.We encountered 1 hill of 300 feet and then maybe one more.And my back brake started making noise.John took it apart (here at camp) and it is worn.Obviously because I am not comfortable going down any big hill unless I am riding my brakes.So John replaced it with one of the spares that we carry and I got a new brake.


We are now biking on the Avenue of the Giants.It is quite wonderful.I think we have completed about half of it (14 miles) and tomorrow will bike the remaining 15 miles, or thereabouts, to the end of the road.We have been doing a lot of ups and downs, and been going slowly to look at all the signs and see these beautiful Redwoods.We are camped at Marin Garden Club Grove Park.It is only for hiker bikers and at 3:30 pm we are the only ones here. I would expect to see at least one other person show up before the night is up.


July 4,†† Thurs. no one else showed up in our campground last night.Starting time 7:30, we decided to sleep in a little later.Actually when we got up to go to the bathroom at 3 AM it was SO dark.You couldn't see anything.The big trees block out all the light; and we couldn't even see through them to see if there were any stars out.Then when John's alarm went off at 6 it still looked dark but we got up anyway.And it wasn't till we got out onto the road where we could really see some light.We were surprised how bright it was.The temp this morning was 55, it was cloudy and windy.Av. For the day9.3, miles biked34.3.


We had a fairly easy day today because tomorrow should be the killer.We will be going up about 2000 feet on a windy twisty road and then go all the way down to the coast on hwy 1.Today we had some 600 and 700 foot hills and we are gradually tending up. We also had some pretty neat downs.John hit a new speed record today with Bob of 40.3 mph.His criteria for braking is if Bob gets unstable and since there were very few cars out today, and no cross wind, there was not much wind resistance when they go zooming past you.My odometer doesn't record how fast I went, and I was too scared to look, but it was fast enough for me to brake.


We continued to the end of the Avenue of the Giants and paid $1.50 each (rip off) to bike through a redwood.Later down the road they had a redwood that had burned out in the middle and they made it into a room.That was pretty cool and actually we stopped at one of those places yesterday too, all for free.These redwoods are amazing.I never get tired of looking up and up and up to see how tall they grow.


Tonight we are staying at Richardson Grove State Park.When we came in, the lady told us the hiker biker spot was between site 25 and 27.All the odd spots being on the same side.So we passed site 25 and there was a path that had 3 garbage cans in front of it and frequently they have the hiker bikers go down these strange, out of the way, paths.So we go down the path and it leads us to an open grassy area.It is pretty big but all that is in it are 2 big redwood trees, and 2 stumps.No picnic tables, no fire rings, no bear lockers. (Most of the state parks in Northern California have bear lockers). So we have come onto some weird places that they have put us and we assumed this was it; but just in case we went out and walked down to see where site 27 was.And sure enough, right past our garbage cans was the REAL hiker biker site.A regular camping site, fairly large with 2 picnic tables, 3 bear lockers and a fire ring.We felt much better and thankful that we looked before we set up camp in the wrong spot.


July 5, Fri. time 7:10, temp 51 and sunny.Miles biked 58.9, average 8.6.Today was the dreaded day where we were supposed to go over a 2000 foot hill, plus we camped 15 miles back from the original spot so we had an extra 15 miles to go before the hill.But not to worry, there were hills everywhere. We got lots of practice.I think the hill itself was about 4 miles down the road and in fact it wasn't nearly as bad as I thought.It was a back and forth thing (like switchbacks) instead of straight up.When we got to the top and looked down the way we came there was a sign that warned the trucks "7% grade".The downhill part seemed to come in about three parts and they were all zoomy, curvy and twisty and lots of fun.There were not too many cars on this route either.So when we got to the very bottom we knew that in a couple of miles there was one more hill of 700 feet.And that was the real killer.We were probably getting tired.After that we thought it would be kind of flat.NOT.Just one up up up and then down down down and that went on forever till I thought I would die.At last we came to our campground, Macerricher State Park and the sign said full, but they did have a hiker biker site available.It was a normal run of the mill site, bear locker (3 of them), 2 picnic tables, fire ring, bathroom and shower within close walking distance.


Then John noticed that the guy's license next to us was from MN. So when he talked to him, we found out he was from Plymouth.He and his wife both taught in the Wayzata school district.


As we were sitting at our picnic table a big bird flew overhead with a big fish in his mouth and he landed in this tree not far from our site where you could actually still see him.It was an Osprey,feeding its babies.


July 6,Sat. sunny!, but only 46 degrees, 7:30.Miles biked†† 43.6, average9.1.Not too bad a day.Highway 1 goes from absolutely no shoulder to 10 feet of shoulder in the blink of an eye. It is quite nerve wracking when going downhill so I have just started riding in the middle of the road when going downhill.At one point I was following a car downhill and had to brake because it was going too slow. Normally if there are any cars behind me I let them by first.


We saw quite a few hawks today and a lot of soaring birds, but don't know what they are.We also have seen quite a few deer, like not afraid of humans, just sort of hanging out.


The views we have seen are fantastic, we are up on a high plateau (at times) and each view is better than the next.We did have one terrible time.We went up this windy, switchback type hill that at one point had to have been a 14% grade.We had gone up a really steep part and it felt like my front tire would come off the blacktop.Then at that really steep part, I just leaned my bike over a little and came off of it and walked and pushed my bike up for about 30 feet.What is amazing is that John made it up that part.He said his front tire came off the road and he had to stand up on his pedals and lean forward to keep the bike from tipping over backward.It would have been impossible for him to walk up that hill with the trailer so he had to bike it up or have me help him push it up.Luckily he made it.


We had made reservations last night to stay at the Manchester KOA.Big mistake but I don't know where else we would have stayed.This is a big place and they have 2 bathroom facilities in the whole place.The facility back by us, has only two coed bathrooms, each has as a stool, sink and shower in them, so it could take all day if someone is showering.Plus we are back in the wind and it is freezing back here.However I am typing in the tent, so that it is quite warm here.We have gone 1540 miles so far.


July 7,Sunday sunny, 50 degrees, 6:45.Miles biked 21, av. ?.†† Since this is the day everyone is going home we decided to only go 21 miles to a Regional park and avoid the traffic.We saw some deer grazing again back at the Manchester KOA.We had our usual ups and downs, one really cool downhill.And we stopped at a really neat Natural food grocery store and spent way too much money there for what we would have spent at a regular grocery store.But it was a cool store.Then we came into Gualala, also a neat city and as we were leaving we saw that familiar brown camping sign and followed it (up a slight hill and then down a terrible super bumpy road) to the campground; which read Gualala Redwood Park.There were a million mosquitoes and the lady said they had no hiker biker sites (which they were supposed to) but they had primitive sites for $15!.So we said ok, got a site and couldn't figure out what was going on.We checked the map, the name, the map again and decided we were at the wrong campground.So we went and asked them and they said the regional park was just a little farther down hwy 1.They had a big sign "No refunds" but luckily for us the owner was there and said it was ok, because the staff working there weren't going to do it.So we went back up that bumpy hill, which wasn't as steep as we both thought.And sure enough, just a little farther down the road was the regional park, which we stopped at and there were no mosquitoes.People were leaving like crazy.The site here was $3 per person.

John found a neat field out in the sun.Most all of these sites have so many trees that we can't get the solar battery charged.So we took a tarp, John's pillow, my chair, a book and the solar battery charger and went and took a nap/read in the sun.It was great.Later we walked what seemed like 300 miles to the beach.It was sooo windy.When we came back, there were 2 other bikers here.What a surprise!We haven't seen other bikers in quite a while.They said that the traffic wasn't that bad.Actually they said that after they crossed that hill from Leggett, that they had some bad experiences with people yelling stuff and throwing stuff at them.But today they said, wasn't bad.They started in Vancouver and will be traveling to their home in San Diego.We saw some humming birds today.


July 8,Monday 7:35, sunny @ 48 degrees.Miles biked†† 52.9, av.†† 9.4.The first 25 miles were kind of fun.There were small rolling hills that if you biked down them hard you could coast to the top of the next one.We saw hawks today, turkey vultures in a tree, sheep, llamas that ran toward us when they saw us†† probably thinking we would give them food.John had a fawn run right in front of him and he saw a bald eagle.


After the fun part of the day we came into a major hill area.Big hills.We went through 3 construction zones where they would only let one side or the other go through at a time.Which was nice because that meant that for a lot of the time we had no traffic behind us.We would climb to the top of these cliffs and the view was spectacular.


We stayed at Bodega Dunes State park which was within the Sonama Beach Area.After we got there, Sebastian (another biker from Quebec) came in.He took a leave from his job and flew down to Mexico and is biking north to Vancouver, then across Canada to home where he should be by October.He took a bus in Mexico somewhere and he said that you just take your bike, your trailer on the bus and you're set.He tried that with Greyhound and it didn't work.He couldn't understand it.So then he tried Amtrak.He bought a ticket, put his bike on the train, then he put his Bob trailer on the train and sat down.Security saw that and wouldn't let him because that spot was only for bikes.So he got off the train and biked across the desert in Calif.He said the police stopped him three different times and told him he couldn't bike on the freeway. He said he liked the US but the "service people" really didn't do a very good job.

Another guy that showed up was Michael. A 60 year old guy that flew down to Argentina and was biking back home to Oregon.He had left 1 year, 8 months ago. He designed his own bike and bike trailer and panniers and everything else.An interesting guy.Also quite late at night, like after 8 another older guy came in, but didn't talk to him much as it was bedtime.


July 9, Tuesday 48 degrees, sunny and 6:55.It didn't really feel that cold out. Miles biked†† 44.5, av.8.8.We started out the day heading east into the interior.Ups and downs; the usual.After 8 miles inland, we came back west and ran into Tomales Bay.A huge bay in which we saw tons of white pelicans, kingfishers, egrets and herons. We also saw a wild turkey, some quail, and as I was going down a hill and then just coasting I saw a hawk on the side of the road and when he saw me, he flew up and he had been hanging onto a rabbit and the rabbit ran free.I don't know what happened then because I was coasting fairly fast.


Again we came onto more construction again today, only 1 area.They were only letting one lane go at a time and when it was our turn we couldn't keep up with the cars and got left behind.But it was ok, we made it and so again, we didn't have that much traffic to deal with.


We stopped for some groceries at Point Reyes Station and then left town on hwy 1.However I wasn't paying attention to the map because we were supposed to turn on a different road.However upon checking the map we decided to go the way we were going and take kind of a shortcut we'd wind up on our road in a shorter distance.We went through this neat little town Olema, and then we had to take our turnoff to get to the original road.Unfortunately we had to go up for 1 mile, but then we got to go down for half a mile and we just jumped right onto this bike path (which is what we were supposed to do).I think it was shorter and knowing Adventure Cycling they probably had us going up and down like crazy on their route.The bike path was flat, perhaps tending downhill and we entered the state park from the back, which really confused us as we couldn't figure out exactly where we were in the scheme of things. But we found the front gate and are now camped at Samuel P Taylor state Park.There was actually a guy here before us (we're usually the first ones in the site).He is from England and is going to Oregon and then he plans to take a ship across to Australia because he is going around the world.

I haven't mentioned what beautiful flowers there are around here and in Oregon too.Just gorgeous.And they attract hummingbirds.Also John's solar collector is working just fantastically.It keeps little Minnie Me (the name we have given to the IPAQ pocket computer we use to type this diary) charged and also all the batteries we use in our radios and flashlights.


Tomorrow we go into San Francisco and cross the Golden Gate Bridge.I am really excited


July 10, Wed. 7:40, temp†† 50 and sun.Miles biked†† 46.4, av†† 8.4.Yes we went through San Francisco today.Started out going through some neat suburb type areas.I have a terrible time reading those maps.The people who do them obviously have gone that route 20 times before and they put down the dumbest roads to look for and skip what I would call significant land marks.So anyway we got lost many times however everyone in the Bay area is so nice and many many people helped us out so much with directions.And of course we had to go up up up so we could go down down down.And then going onto the bridge we could see from far off that it was foggy around the bridge.And cold.Freezing. And windy.There were many people biking across the bridge.We were all nuts.Once we got past a certain spot the wind wasn't so bad because there was a big hill blocking the wind.Prior to that it was blowing across us and sometimes in our face.It was probably 30 mph with gusts up to 40-45 mph.And at some time the wind pushed us. It was basically terrible.We got off and started going up up up and yes, down down down and we stopped at a little Deli to eat and then had to bike up this horrible hill to get to the library.Got a lot of stuff done at the library though.Then continued on to the Great Highway; we both put on some more clothes.Continued on asking people if there were any motels and except for "back in San Francisco" we got vague answers.Finally someone gave John pretty good directions to a nearby motel and as we were biking there we passed an RV place and stopped to see if we could camp there; and we couldn't for political reasons (they tried it but the city said they couldn't).But that lady also gave us wonderful directions and we found out it was a Holiday Inn and so John called in for a reservation so we could use our Holiday Inn frequent traveler points.And here we are; a really nice motel, we just found out it's brand new.


I also forgot to write that last night around 10 we woke up and were hungry and when we went to the bear box, another biker had come into camp and was eating.So we met him more formally in the morning.His name was Ryan and he goes to school at Corvallis Oregon to be a construction engineer.He biked 115 miles yesterday but frequently goes at least 75 a day.A nice kid, he wants to go as far as San Diego but his roommate is getting married in mid July and he has to be at the wedding.


As we were eating dinner at this neat restaurant, we could look out the window and see these surfer dudes out in the ocean, waiting for the right wave.Neat.

July 11, Thursday time 7, temp about 55, cloudy, av. 8.1, miles biked 40.7.We started out and it was cloudy with a hint of sun and we were on hwy 1 and came to the 4 mile part of the road called "Devil's slide".Your regular run of the mill, twisty, turny, winding up up up hill with very little shoulder (6-12 inches).And a million cars zooming by.Going up was not too terrible but as we got to the top it started getting incredibly windy, in our face and from the side and you could see the fog coming in.It was 2 miles to the top and 2 miles going down.It was so windy knocking at you from the side and when the road would turn and you'd face the wind, it wouldn't stop you but clearly slow you down at least 10mph.The fog got worse and worse, my glasses got so I couldn't see a thing, so I wiped them, but after we got to the bottom we got a very nice shoulder back and it has stayed that way the whole day.Like 6-10 feet.Unfortunately the fog stayed all day too and it was to the point where I thought we were in Oregon because the moisture drips out of the clouds and it is like drizzle and you constantly have to be wiping off your glasses.It is freezing cold because we were biking into that headwind all day.

The good news is that we passed, and stopped at even, about 5 different beaches along the way. At one we walked around the rocks and looked at the tide pools, but only saw crabs.The water was rushing up over all the rocks; it was so neat. We didn't have a whole lot more hills, or at least they were more gentle with the ups and downs.


As we pulled into our campground, a private one near Ano Nuevo State Park called Constanoa,the sun finally came out.As I write this, the fog is coming back again.I'm hoping we don't have to deal with the wind again tomorrow.


As we were getting close to our campground, we noticed that there were brussel sprouts laying here and there on the road, so we picked some up and will have them tonight for supper.Oddly enough, this seems to be a farming area in these parts.


July12, Friday 7:05, 55 degrees, fog and some wind.Miles biked 45, av.8.7.Although it started out with some fog, we did see the sun quite a bit today.John broke the wind for me which helps tremendously.In our campsite today John pointed out a snail in one of the evergreen trees, and it was slowly working it's way out of it's shell.


We rode about 20 miles on a pretty nice road and then came to the outskirts of Santa Cruz. On John's bike, the shifting was starting to work quite poorly and so we stopped at a bike shop and he got that fixed (actually the guy didn't fix it that well and probably tomorrow John will fix it himself.)The guy did take out 2 chain links.And while he was getting his bike fixed, I got my hair cut! A little further down the road was a Safeway, so we grocery shopped and then stopped at McDonalds.As we were looking at our map (that darn map, I missed the correct turn again) this lady came up and told us which way to go, and she looked at our route and thought that it was a pretty good route.So off we went on Adventure Cycling's route.It was quite busy and hectic, but 95% of the time we did have a bike lane.I'm not too crazy about going through big cities.It took us about 20 miles to get through the whole metropolitan area.

We are camped at Sunset Beach State Park and luckily we are not right by the beach or I would be freezing. All of the State campgrounds are marked "full"; we're lucky we're bikers. As we were close to this place, we were biking along side huge strawberry fields.The aroma of strawberries was so strong, it made your mouth water.You could look at the fields and see tons of them just laying in the rows on the ground.


Most of the way here we were quite close to the ocean and even early on, like 8 AM, there were surfer dudes out.We were listening to one of them who was on the same channel we use on the radios that we carry to communicate with each other while we are biking and apparently he spent the night on the beach.


July 13, Sat. 55 degrees, fog, drizzle, 7 AM.Miles biked 40.1, av. 8.5.We had a rather nice day today. We were on hwy 1 for only about 6 miles, otherwise on Adventure Cycling's route.The route took us back in the country past miles and miles of fields of strawberries, artichokes, lettuce and many other vegetables we couldn't quite recognize.It's amazing that this is such a huge farming area.We even found an artichoke on the road and stopped to pick it up and will eat that tonight. We also stopped at a roadside stand and bought a small container of strawberries.The lady kept piling more berries in our container.They were excellent.


Then as we were biking across a bridge, John spotted a sea otter, laying on it's back and eating something.It was so cute.We biked on, this time following the route correctly and came onto a bike path that we stayed on through Seaside and into Monterey.Then we stopped at a visitor information place and this wonderful lady gave us the best directions to wherever we wanted to go.She was so nice.She told us that our campground was at the top of this huge hill and she got tired just thinking about it.So she said we should stay in the city and play first; then go up the hill.So we got back on Monterey's bike path and biked around the bay along the ocean, past the Cannery(whatever that was, shops I think), Fisherman's Wharf, the aquarium, numerous restaurants and cafes and we got to the end of the trail. It ended at a park on Monterey Bay.We biked back, went to Safeway and up the hill to Veteran's Memorial Park, a city park with a campground which has hiker biker sites.And who should be here when we got here, but Ryan.He had taken a day off from when last we saw him, and then biked 75 miles the next day.We didn't think we'd see him again.He left to go down to Monterey to swim and then to eat.


We met this character at Safeway.An older guy (60) who was looking for someone to bike with him in August, in Alaska.The guy never quit talking. An interesting guy, lived in Palm Springs and has biked many places.


July 14, Sunday 6:03, 53 degrees, foggy, miles biked 37, av. 9.7.We had an interesting night last night.First of all the night before these drunks came in and started getting really noisy early in the morning.Ryan said that the same thing happened at the campground that he stayed in.Then last night at 3 am this girl comes back to her site (right near the hiker biker site and she and her boyfriend get into this huge screaming fight, the police show up for a little while, they leave, everything is quiet, something happens with her car, you hear the squealing of tires; she's back.They start screaming at each other again.They finally get into their tent and start yelling a little more quietly, and our alarm goes off, it's 5AM.We plan on having some tough hills today plus a lot of weekend traffic.So we got up and got out of there.

We did have hills although nothing worse than we've had in the past.The sun came out from time to time, the fog overtook us at other times.It really wasn't too bad. We got to our campground way early, 11AM.It's Pfeiffer State Park in Big Sur.A beautiful area in general plus (I think it's) the Big Sur River that flows through this park and people bring their inner tubes and lawn chairs and just sit and play in the river.It's very shallow with lots of little rocks on the bottom of the river and it seems to be the main reason most people come to this park; to play in the river.

We took a nap and then my chain seemed to be slipping or at least doing something it wasn't supposed to do so John took off my chain and cleaned it and put it back on and lubed it.I am sure it will be working much better tomorrow.


Beautiful scenery today. I also spotted a couple of deer running alongside the road, in the woods.The wind finally came out of the north, pushing us along our way.Going down some of the hills was tricky because it was really windy and would just push me all over the road.Then when we got down off the hill the wind slowed way down and the sun came out.It's been a lovely day today.


We have been having a lot of trouble with our stove, because instead of using white gas we have been using regular gas from the pumps.John had taken that stove apart and cleaned it and put it back together again a hundred times.It seems to be working quite well now.


July 15, Mon 7:15, 50 degrees, quite cool, some sun (!), blue sky and clouds.We traveled 33.4 miles at 8.8 av.We started right off the bat going up hill, that hill being 700 feet and from there we stayed quite high with many ups and downs, gorgeous views, but a lot of work. We did lots of climbing.There were also a million motorcycles out just zooming by us.They had to have been going at least 75 mph, passing every car in sight. It was like we were at a speedway.They usually travel in bunches of 5-10.At one spot where we stopped for lunch, we looked down into the ocean and there was a big rock covered with seals.There was a smaller seal trying to get up on the rock, but the big one kept pushing him away.At one point when a wave came across the rock, it washed the poor little seal into the water.He looked for another rock, but apparently was not too good at finding rocks.

We are staying at a Nat'l Forest campground tonight†† Plaskett Creek.It costs $5 per person here for hiker biker plus they don't have showers, but we are getting to the point where we don't have a huge choice of campgrounds.It is very nice here and right off the road.As we were biking, we looked over this way and saw this road way high and we were both afraid that that was going to be where the campground was.But no.It was right off the road.And just down the road about 2 blocks from here is the Nat'l forest beach, so we walked down to the beach.It was a small rocky beach.The waves would come in, and then you could hear the sound it made against the rocks as it washed back to sea.Really neat.We met this lady who showed us her Big Sur Jade necklace, she found the stone walking around all those rocks.We looked too and found 4 candidates.Do I want to carry them??We had a fun time at the beach.


Another biker has come here to this site; Troy and he started from the central valley and climbed over Tioga Pass.He's going onto Long Beach.


My chain worked quite well today; way better than yesterday.It is getting cold here now, the sun is out of our site and my hands are getting cold.Tomorrow I'm pretty sure it will be more big hills. Will they ever end?


July 16,Tues. 7:06, 53 degrees and cloudy.Miles biked64.6, av. 10.7.And yes the hills finally did end.We started off by my bike falling down (I wasn't on it).We took off and my front chain ring wouldn't shift.I could only be in first gear.My cable had completely broken, probably when my bike fell. About 6 inches came off at the end. But there was still enough cable left, after adjusting the adjuster thing, that John managed to attach it back and it is working.We got another cable but I will continue to use this one until it's time to have it adjusted and then the new one will have to be put on.It's working fine.After that, we continued climbing, fairly high, and going down sometimes all the way to sea level.Then we climbed one very steep hill, came back down, entered San Luis Obispo county and it was like we were in another world.Mostly flat stuff, the vegetation changed to more desert like stuff and we were cruising.


As we were going along, we kept hearing seals but when we were way up in the hills, we looked down but were unable to see any of them.Now that we were on the flats at sea level, we saw lots of them.At one place, on the beach, there were 2 pods of Elephant Seals; maybe 15 in each pod.They were just laying up on the beach.We went a little farther and there were tons of people at one of the waysides, so we stopped and there were even more seals.These were mostly elephant seals, they are way big and have this long snout.Some of them were kind of fighting and they made these really odd noises.There were 2 pods of 50 seals, plus a couple here and there.All of these beach areas are roped off with signs all over the place not to go by the seals. We also saw lots of little ground squirrels that are just like prairie dogs, only way smaller.But they have holes in the ground like the prairie dog and run and scamper all over the place when you come by.We saw about 3 dead snakes, some humming birds, hawks, turkey vultures and I saw 2 things that looked like little tarantulas; they just weren't fat, they were quite skinny.They were running across the road.We also looked up and saw the Hearst Castle by San Simeon.We had no desire to tour it.


When we got to our campground, we decided to go another 20 miles since it was flat (yah!!) and the wind was pretty much at our back.Unfortunately right away we had to climb a hill, although not too long, maybe half a mile and from then on it seemed, we did mostly coasting.It was just great.That's how we got such a good average for the day.We are camped at the Morrow Bay State Park. It's a nice park.We had a good day.Tomorrow should be a shorter day so we will stop at a library and a Laundromat.††


July 17, Wed. 57 degrees, cloudy, 7:33.Miles biked†† 32.5, av9.4.Today before we started out, John called and made reservations at the Holiday Inn in San Diego for 2 nights, and the H.I. In San Hermosa. Then we took off and started traveling in farm country again.There were mountains all around us; it was beautiful.We had 1 hill to climb but then we had a nice down.We eventually came into San Luis Obispo.We found a Laundromat and washed the clothes and John got a hold of Nat.She will be sending us the biking map of Colorado to our Holiday Inn at Dan Diego.John also called and transferred points to the priority club, so we can make another H.I. Reservation at Costa Mesa in the LA area.But we have to wait 3-5 days till the frequent traveler points clear.


We biked through the city of San Luis Obispo; a really cool town. There was one street where the trees made a canopy to ride under.I think about 45000 people live there.It would have taken about 2 hours to get on the internet at the library, so we just kept going through town and out of town.They had us off of route 1, and on a bike route.However after about 2 miles the bike route just plain ended.So we biked on a fairly busy highway with about a 6-12 in shoulder and a curb.It was really nerve wracking.Then after another mile or 2Voila!!The bike route magically appeared again with a shoulder about 6 to 8 feet wide.Funny how that happens.We entered Pismo Beach and are camped at the Pismo Beach State Park.John cleaned his chain tonight. Then we biked into the town of Pismo Beach.We walked out on the pier; people were catching smelt.As we were watching this, an older couple behind us said "did you see the whales?".Well we have been looking for whales forever and have never seen any.So we saw these whales spouting tonight.And then if you watched, you could just see the top of their backs.The lady let us use her (most wonderful) binoculars and John even saw one of their fins.Now we can rest.We finally saw some whales.There were also about 7 quail in our campsite just kind of wandering around.


Now I have to add on here about our exciting evening with the psychos.When we came into the park the ranger lady told us that there are 11 hiker biker sites; we were the first ones but that we may have visitors.We said we probably knew most of the bikers that would come.She said that they also allow homeless people because they are only allowed to stay for no more than 2 nights.So right after we get there, 2 guys and 2 girls walk in and set up a fairly big tent.The guys have a backpack and are carrying, among other things, a skateboard, a folding chair and a guitar.Well they all run off to the beach.Then Troy shows up.Then he goes off to the beach and we're getting ready for bed and this older guy shows up out of nowhere, having just one small backpack and he walks immediately into this area of trees that is almost like a little shelter.Then he walks out, sits at the picnic table, takes a blanket out of his backpack and wraps it around him, including his head and says to us that he is not cold, but his ears are cold.He tells us his name is Josh, he's from around the area and we don't have to be concerned about him.We decide it's a good time to go to bed.We had noticed a tarp in the bear locker by where Josh is, so John tells him about that, because all he has is that one blanket.So he rustled around with that tarp for probably 30 minutes and then finally fell sleep, as did we all.


At about 2 AM the 2 guys and I guess the 2 girls come back, plus there is another guy and he is busy trying to put up his tent.They were really very quiet, but you could hear all this whispering and quiet talking. Enough so that Troy gets up and gives him his flashlight to use so the guy can put up his tent easier.You could hear Josh coughing back in his little tree area.Then John is wide awake and he gets up to go to the bathroom.At some point in this whole mess the guy whips out his guitar and starts playing (he was really pretty good).Then I had to get up to go to the bathroom and when I get back they are trying to start a fire.Then the 2 guys are talking back and forth to each other, shining the light in the other guy's tent because they are not sure if he went to the bathroom or is in his tent.AT LAST everyone is in their tents, it is quiet and the police come through and with their giant spotlight, shine it into each and every tent in the hiker biker area, but then they leave and we all get some sleep.


July 18, Thurs 7 AM, 55 and cloudy.Miles biked†† 59.3, average 9.8.We started out by going through some more farm country and came upon 1 fairly big hill; then it wasn't too bad.We went through Guadalupe, the longest city I've ever seen and stopped at the library but it didn't open for another hour.We had lunch on the side of the road and then turned onto 135 which was also Hwy 1 and we came upon a huge hill.As we were coming down the backside of it the wind was so strong that I didn't even have to brake.We also passed by Vandenburg Air Force Base.There were many hills, some fairly tough.We thought we were done with hills.We came into the city of Lompoc, and once we got into the busy city the shoulder just kind of ended and we were in there in the thick of it with all the cars and trucks.We camped at River Park RV campground which was a city park.And we had a very quiet night.


July 19, Friday 7:20, drizzle, miles biked35.3†† average 9.8. Lompoc is inland a ways and we didn't know what to expect.We encountered some hills, although there were beautiful mountains (hills) all around us.Some farming, but on a much smaller scale.At one point it was like we were in a canyon as there was a huge wall on either side of us. We biked like this for about 18 miles, but we were gradually getting higher and higher.We had maybe a 3% grade for 5 or 6 miles that was just quite demanding.Then we got to the top and the sign said we would be going down a 7% grade for the next 2 miles.We had lunch up there at the top, then went down.Even though it was pretty steep I never got above 29 mph because the wind was so strong in our face.We turned onto 101 and saw another sign that said "gusty winds next 2 miles" and they were right.Big high walls again, not just on either side but all over.The lane going north got to go through a tunnel but (luckily for us) the southbound lane didn't have a tunnel.The freeway had a wonderful shoulder and we had an easy day today.We are at El Capitan State Park.The hiker biker site is at the very end of the park. Literally, there is no place else to go.The ranger told us to take the "bike path" to get here. They have these incredible steep grades on their bike paths.However our site is way at the top of a big hill and it is overlooking the ocean.It is just beautiful.And we're quite sure that the only other people that might show up will be bikers, because this place is so far away from the entrance that no one would walk here.


We walked down on the beach.In the Santa Barbara area (where we are) there are oil reserves in the ocean and therefore we read a sign about all the tar that shows up on the beaches; just a natural reaction from the pressure of the earth pushing it up from the sea.We walked down about half a mile; the beach isn't that big and when we came back it was getting to be high tide and if you stayed off of the rocks and down on the sand part, you got your feet wet.We had a good time.


We've been seeing a lot of hawks lately and lots of lizards.John made reservations for the Holiday Inn at Costa Mesa, and for the Greyhound so now we are set. We have biked 2099 miles to date.


July 20, Sat. 7:05, 60 degrees, it quit drizzling and is cloudy.Miles biked39.2,average 9.2. We started out on 101 which was pretty good and after about 6 miles or so we got routed off the freeway onto a street that took us through the town of Goleta, which was a very nice city and also a nice bike route.Then we moved onto some other street that took us through Santa Barbara.Also a nice bike route and a beautiful city.There was another biker that lived there and we asked her where the library was and she showed us the way.As we were waiting from 9:30 until 10 when the library opened, we talked to another biker lady who had biked across the US (last year I think) and they were saving up money to bike the west coast route that we're doing.

In this library you didn't have to sign up, just find a computer and you had 30 min. If people were waiting.So we both got on a computer and then instead of taking Adventure Cycling's bike route, we stayed on State ST.which was also a bike route and down where all the cool people are.Beautiful shops, lovely downtown, neat bike lane; it was fun.When we came to the big pier we decided to go out on the pier.It was made of those (old) wooden planks and went out a couple of blocks.We met someone on the bridge who as from Red Wing.He said Santa Barbara is a great place to live, the weather is great: except for today, it's still cloudy and overcast.


The bike route took us back on the freeway for about 1-2 miles, then had a sign that said bikers must exit.Actually they took us on a pretty nice route.We have actually been following the California Signed Bike Route that is sometimes a little different from Adv. Cycling, but they are both the Pacific Coast Route, so are going to the same place.We traveled essentially on the frontage roads alongside the freeway which is quite better because there is so much traffic out there.It's just that sometimes with my eagle eye, I will occasionally miss a road.Then usually John sees it.

We are now in the city of Carpenteria and are sitting here at the beach, in the Carpenteria State Park because they tell us that they can't let bikers into the campsite until 4 PM.This is of course the first we've heard of it for the entire coast of Cal., but we're just waiting.Things are a lot different down here with all the huge cities and so many people.Who knows who will show up at our site tonight?†††† No one else showed up.


July 21, Sun.Awakened to the quiet sound of light rain, drizzle on the tent and everything was wet so we slept in an extra hour.Time 8:20, 64 degrees, wet, but no more rain.Miles biked 51.9, average11.6!!We started off by getting on Hwy 1.It was pretty cool.On the Ventura Hwy., the freeway, we had our own bike lane.There are also so many local bikers around here. It is pretty much flat and with the wind mostly at our back, we really made good time today.

As we biked we saw an island, with a long pier to get to it, and there were beautiful palm trees on the island.John wanted to bike over to it, but there was a gate across the road.A little further there were 2 ladies talking by the side of the street, in their neighborhood, so John stopped and asked them what the island was.It is actually an oil well.The lady said it looks so pretty from here, but if you get up close it's really ugly.She said if they have too much gas, they light it and the fire on that island looks really neat.Apparently their lease is up in 20 yrs. and she thinks that people may start living over there then.In general there are so many beautiful flowers around here and we saw (what I think is) a balsam fir; like the ones that Leslie and I have and the one that Dick and Dan have at their house.It was way big though.

We biked through Ventura and Oxnard today.It's just kind of neat, the cities are neat and we sometimes bike on paths (because they are parallel with our route).We missed a turn but then we got to bike through some of the neighborhoods which were cool.

After going through the cities, we got back onto Hwy 1 which got a little crazy at times.We just found out tonight that it is not smart to bike on 1 in this area on Sunday afternoon because there are SOOOO many people.We found out the hard way just completing that area.They get to park on the highway if the parking lots are full and sometimes they park over into the car lane, which means we have to bike even further into the car lane.John almost got hit by a truck.It had to have missed him by 2 inches.I saw it all happening.John said he almost felt the car brush him on his shirt sleeve.The views of course were fantastic.We're right along side the beach.On the way Bob got a flat.I think that's his 3rd one; it was from a thorn.

We are staying at the Leo Carrillo State Beach / Park.It was named after the dude who was the Cisco Kid's sidekick.He lived around here and was on the state beaches and parks commission and was instrumental in the acquisition of land around here for state beaches.


There is one other biker here who lives in the LA area and was giving us some tips about tomorrow's ride.There is also someone else in the other campsite but they are not bikers.They have a huge fire going.


As it turned out, those 2 just stopped by to start a fire and get into a (verbal) fight.They weren't campers.When the fire died out, they left.


July 22, Mon. 7:20, 59 degrees and cloudy.Miles biked†† 51.1, average†† 9.6.Started out on Hwy 1, quite a bit of traffic; still cars parked on the side of the road though not as many and people didn't seem quite as nuts today.Shortly after we started, we passed a sign that said "Malibu City Limits" which means that Malibu is a huge area of land, although I think there are only 10,000 who live there.They have huge expanses of beaches and incredible homes with fantastic gardens.It's just something to see all of this, not to mention just the view of the ocean is wonderful.After about 15 miles on Hwy 1,most of it being Malibu, we entered Santa Monica and a wonderful bike trail.I believe this trail runs about 19 miles and I think it is called the Strand.But it is cement laid down right in the sandy beach.It sort of meanders along, it doesnít go in a straight path.It must be 20 feet wide and is only for bikers.As we were biking we met this old guy who told us his name was Bob (he shared with us that his wife calls him " Bob the Slob".)Well his wife was with him; we never did find out her name, and he wanted to be sure we found the right way to get where we were going.So he and his wife escorted us for about 4 miles to one of the streets that we had to turn off of.He was going about 14 mph into a headwind and I could just barely keep up.He would shout out interesting facts as he guided us and do various hand signals and warn us of oncoming dangers.They were both very nice.Unfortunately we didn't really get to see any of that part of the beach because we raced through there so fast.


We continued on this bike path all the way to our Holiday Inn at Hermosa Beach.We had to bike into the city about 8 blocks to get to the hotel.And then John noticed a sign that there was a 14% grade just a block from our motel.So after we went to the beach and had dinner, we biked the 14% grade.And made it. (We have a 14% grade in Utah that I have been worrying about).After we went down the hill, John saw a sign for a 15% grade, so we tried that too and made it up ok; but definitely tough.So I guess we're ready for Utah.


John broke a spoke on his rear wheel.It happened when we were racing on the bike trail with Bob and his wife.It was not creating any problems so John didn't fix it till we got to the motel.


July23, Tues. time 7:17, 66 degrees and sunny.Miles biked 53.1, av. 10.We got back down to the bike path and it was pretty neat, it took us through the harbor, through a covered parking lot, all over every place.It was fun.We had to go up a very steep hill to get up on the street, and then we traveled still higher to get to Palos Verdes Dr.It was quite a beautiful neighborhood and the problem came when we somehow switched onto Palos Verde Dr West, when we should have been on PVDr North.Although it was a beautiful ride we went probably 8 miles out of our way.We wound up way down in the Port of Los Angeles where the harbor is.On the way to this, we also happened through this neat spot that was listed as a slide area (where the rocks can slide down into the road).We went through an area where it said there is a continual movement of earth and everyone should use extreme caution.This was for .8 of a mile.All the pipes (water, sewer, etc) were on top of the ground and when we got past that area, they put them back down underground again.Nothing moved or changed while we biked through it.

We at last got back to where we were supposed to be and biked on Anaheim Rd. into Long Beach and then back onto another neat bike path.We met a retired couple on this path and they were pretty excited about our trip and they gave us their email address for updates on our journey.

Shortly after that we got onto the PCH (Pacific Coast Highway), Bob got a flat tire.It was a wiry thing and John could spot it easily.Onward.We stopped at Bolsa Chica State Park for lunch, got on another bike path, Bob got another flat tire.This time it was a thorn and John put in a new tube. We made it to the turnoff to get to our motel (Holiday Inn at Costa Mesa).It wasn't too bad until we got about a mile inland and then there was so much traffic, and it was just a mess.We biked on the sidewalk for a little while until we got on the street we needed to be on.Then we saw a biker out there on the road, so we went out on the road too and then, out of nowhere, there was a bike lane.And that took us to our motel.


July 24, Wed. 7:15, 75 degrees sunny, miles biked 32.5, av. 8.6.After the harrowing ride to the motel, we had a very nice ride back out to the Coast Hwy.We went through Laguna Beach, a beautiful place.The same problem arises with all of these cities.They are so sprawled out; the ocean is only a stone's throw away, there are only 2 lanes in each direction and a bike lane.However when anyone wants to park on the hwy to go to the beach, they can.And when you get into the cities, all that traffic has to slow down (which they hate to do) and the cities' all allow parking anywhere; so there goes our bike lane.The car lanes aren't that big, so we get squeezed between the parked cars and the driving cars and it gets pretty hairy.I would never come back here again.It is too nuts.


We stopped at the library at Dana Point and we did a little grocery shopping.We tried to get into the park, but down here in southern CA. they won't let hiker bikers in until 4 PM.We don't know why.So we sat around at the beach, took the tent and poles out of Bob and put them on top and then we went and took a shower.Then at 3:30 we went and they still wouldn't let us in, but John bugged them enough that finally they did.It was absolutely the worst site of any of the state parks.Only a single site and it was behind the bathroom(that was the good part).No trees and the ground was as hard as a rock.John couldn't even put any stakes in.So we went to bed and then these 2 people came in; loud and quite talkative and they started a fire, in this tiny little spot.Actually the ranger came over and asked for their registration, which they had.I can't believe they let them in.There was one bike between the 2 of them and nothing to indicate that they were traveling.Of course that blasted train was about 20 feet behind us (and every other camper in that area).It was so loud that I can't describe it.During the night a for real biker came in and set up his tent and he had to tie his fly onto the picnic table like John did.


Last night we biked up about 1 mile to see our friends that we met in Oregon, Don and Charlotte Cox.They invited us to a wonderful home made dinner with home grown vegetables in their beautiful condo.We had such a great time.We invited them to come canoeing with us in the BWCA.


July 25, Thurs. 6:45 AM, 64 degrees and sunny.Miles biked†† 50.4, average†† 10.I forgot to mention yesterday that we missed the turn to get into Doheny State Park;we entered through the out door.But we knew exactly how to get out. Got onto the highway and biked to San Clemente.I missed a turn and as we were looking at the map a nice lady came over and showed us that we were only 1 block off of our route. So we biked on a bike lane, a bike path, and a road that only cyclists and pedestrians could use. We got to San Onofre State Park, biked all the way through there, at the gate there was an opening just for bikers (and peds) and it was attached to Camp Pendleton somehow.It was really a nice path, marked perfectly and there were no cars on the route although there was a road. We were planning to bike through Camp Pendleton because that's what the map said and that's what everyone has been telling us that it's so neat.When we got to the entrance and showed them our ID's and he said "you're not military?"Well, we had to turn around, but only a couple of blocks and we biked on I-5 for about 8 miles.A biker zoomed past us and John asked him about that and he said that no one has been able to bike through Camp P. Since 9/11.I thought the freeway was wonderful.There were 4 car lanes in our direction but we had an honest to God shoulder; and no cars parked on it.

We biked through Oceanside, Carlsbad, Leucadia and Encinitas.John has been having trouble with his chain and 2nd chain ring so he got new ones and a new bike seat, as his broke some time ago.I am typing this now, waiting for 4 o'clock to come about and John just finished getting his bike put back together.We should have another biker in our site because I met him as I was going to the Store.


The biker's name was Christian and he was from Denmark.He has been biking all over everywhere, I think he started this trip in Washington State and will be going somewhat into Mexico.He'll be returning to Denmark next week.He has biked in Alaska and Europe.Probably in his mid to late 20's.A nice guy.He and John were both doing maintenance on their bikes.When we got up in the morning there was another person in our site, although he must have been a hiker as we didn't hear him come in.


July 26, Fri. 7:05 cloudy and 68 degrees.Miles biked38, average 8.3.For the most part it's getting easier to bike; lanes are more consistently staying wider and the through traffic travels on the freeway.We biked past Torrey Pines Park Reserve.Took some pictures of the Torrey pines; unfortunately they didn't have any informational signs up.Biked through La Jolla and as we did that, we stopped at a little park and there on the shore were thousands of squids that had been washed up (apparently from South America)They were white with a total length of about 20 inches; width maybe 8 inches.The guy down there dissecting them said they were pretty big.No one knew exactly why they were washing up on shore.We later found out that they thought it had to do with El Nino and something about the northern water being warmed more than normal.


We biked on quite a few bike paths today, right along the coast. We had to go over a big bridge and we eventually wound up in San Diego, right alongside the airport.But we were still on a very nice bike path, going through the harbors.This path took us literally right to our motel (the Holiday Inn).We biked through Seaport Village that I remembered from the last time we were in San Diego.We have a balcony here and we are looking out onto the city, facing east.It's really neat as we are on the 9th floor.We are getting pretty good at taking our bikes into and out of our room.To get to our room here, we also have to walk our bikes through the swimming pool area.Luckily there are 3 elevators we have to choose from.


July 27, Sat. 9 am, maybe 66 degrees and cloudy.This morning we got on our bikes and biked a couple of blocks down to the trolley.It was a little tricky for me to get my bike on the trolley because we had to go up 3 steep steps, but John helped drag my bike up.We were required to stand there in the back with our bikes, but this trolley didn't waste any time and so we were at our destination of San Ysidro/Tiajuana in about 40 min.It was much easier getting my bike off.Then we were a little lost as we didn't have a map of exactly where we were.But we just biked in that general area so John could take some pictures.We found a sign marked "bike route" and by following that and with John using the maps he had loaded on Minnie Me, he was able to get us out of that area and back onto our biking map.What a feat!! I was pretty worried.

When we figured out where we were, we biked sort of back toward Mexico again to a place called Border Field State Park.It was in the middle of nowhere and we biked about three quarters of a mile on some blacktop, and some just plain sand.But what a surprise at the end! A beautiful little park with green grass and picnic tables and little informational signs telling about the eco-culture in that area.

There was also a mesh chain link fence about 10 feet high separating the US from Mexico. The fence even went out a ways into the ocean.There were people on this side visiting their friends and relatives on the other side of the fence.The Border Patrol people were everywhere, watching everything in their trucks with their binoculars.

We followed our bike map and came back along the strip of land called the silver strand; a very small strip of land that formed between the Pacific Ocean and the Bay of San Diego.This took us to the island of Coronado on a very nice bike path.From Coronado we boarded a ferry with our bikes that took us right across the bay to our motel.We biked out to the Seaport Village area again and had a picnic and then came back to our motel.


July 28. Sunday Today is the day we board the Greyhound and take off around 7:45 PM and take a 13 hour ride (short ride this time) to Cedar City, Utah.John got our motel time extended to 3 pm so from here we will probably just go right to the bus station.




July 29.Mon. Miles biked 5 miles. Getting onto the bus was not an ordeal this time.There weren't that many people and it just went nicely.We took an earlier bus because we were there and ready; made our connection in LA, and the bus stopped in Las Vegas for an hour or more.We were very familiar with that area in Las Vegas so we left the bus station to get some breakfast at a near buy casino at 4 AM and gambled a few nickels for naught.We arrived in Cedar City around 10:30 AM, assembled the bikes in shade of building, went grocery shopping, biked to our KOA, set up the tent and took a nap.The temp is supposed to be around 90 today and we have a nice shady spot here at our campsite.There was a hummingbird flying around John's red bike, trying to get nectar out of it.Poor thing seemed really frustrated.


Tomorrow we climb the mountain.


July 30, Tues. 7:30, 64 degrees and sunny.Arduous miles biked†† 16.2 at an average of 5 mph.Since we are in a different time zone again the sun rises later in the morning; it's still a little dark at 6 am.

†† Cedar City elevation is 5700.The campground that we stopped at was 8400.It just started up kind of slowly, so major hills.But a little way out of the city the sign said 8% grade next 15 miles. And so it went; very, very, slowly.However it wasn't terrible.I kept looking around the corner for that 8% grade and it never came.I was planning for the worst possible hill ever and it never came.It certainly wasn't easy and just to prove it I probably had a case of altitude sickness.


We entered the campground, a United State forest campground, called Cedar Canyon, and had the choice of going to the right, to the upper campground or going to the left, to the lower campground.I chose up so that we could ride down on the way out.John went ahead and found the most beautiful sight.Oh, and as we were going up looking for a site, this car was coming down, obviously going to the lower campground because their tent was all up and they were holding it on top of their car.

We get organized and John goes over to our water spigot which is just 10 steps from our site.No water.We try the next one.No water.I get on my bike and go all the way down to the entrance, checking each one with no results.The host camper is parked at the first site in the lower campground and they have water.I biked around in the lower campground looking for a spot where we could camp down there and there were none.So I go back to our site, John gets our 2 water bags, each 2 and a half gallons, our 2 nalgene bottles, our 2 camelback bladders and 1 water bottle empties out Bob and puts the water containers in Bob and bikes down to the water point and fills them all.Unfortunately he has to bike up that hill with all that water to get back to our site.The good news is that with a fire ban on and no water, we didn't have to worry about neighbors.We had the whole place to ourselves.


We took a shower in a pan, washed our clothes, took a nap and ate.By then it was 7 pm and I was feeling terrible.I had a headache and a stomach ache and generally felt rotten so I got to go to bed and John picked up the site.Actually as he was walking down to the entrance area where we are suppose to put our camping fee, he sneezed and scared a deer that popped out of the forest and just sort of stared at John for a minute, crossed the road and then went on.


July 31, Wed. 50 degrees, sun, slight wind and 7:40 am.Miles biked 34.1, average†† 8.8.We got up and I felt quite good so we decided to go onward.Got to travel down to get out of the campground and then we were back on our 8% grade.Our original plan was to bike 10 miles to the almost top of the mountain and then stay there, but looking at the map better, we decided that we should go all the way to the top today (maybe 4 more miles) and then bike down to the next campground because it should be all downhill.Toward the top it began to flatten out in spots (Yah!!).And it was so beautiful.At 10,000 feet there were meadows and grass everywhere. We got to the Cedar Breaks National Monument Visitor Center.We had to pay $3 each to go see it, but what a sight!.It was like a mini Grand Canyon except far more spectacular colors.The colors went from white to yellow to purple to orange to red and various other shades.It was absolutely amazing. The "breaks" part refers to the canyons that are crumbling and so instead of having one huge long canyon, there are many different spires each with their own beautiful shape and pattern and colors. It is just spectacular.And the elevation was 10300; our map said we were to go to 10600.Until we got to the very top of the mountain there were a lot of ups and downs.To me these ups seemed so much harder and steep, but we finally made it and started going down.

I think we had a run of about 9 miles of straight down, but at most there was a 6 % downgrade and it was just a beautiful, long downhill with no sharp curves, no extremely fast descents and very little traffic (and what traffic there was, the people were most courteous).The road was nice and it was the best and longest downhill ride of our whole trip so far.

We had to go about another 10 miles and it was predominantly down, with a few ups.We went by many more meadows and also a huge amount of rocks, that we found out were porous volcanic rocks.But they are just lying in odd heaps on either side of the road.Really weird looking.John also spotted a woodchuck as we were biking along this gorgeous creek that we were following.

We are at another U. S. Forest campground (White Bridge) and our elevation is 8135.On John's odometer our elevation at the top read 10,590 and it has been pretty accurate with the elevations listed on signs.In our campsite, we have this lovely flowing stream right behind us.I think it's the Panguitch Creek.


Aug. 1, Thurs. 60 degrees, cloudy, 7:50 am.Miles biked†† 48.3, average†† 11.6.We keep changing our route distance because although it is quite hard to bike up these mountains, the going down is incredible.It's like you are getting free mileage. We had a predominantly 12 mile downhill to Panguitch where we did some grocery shopping.We were planning to stop at a bike shop because John's bottom bracket is developing some play in it.However he fixed it with good results but felt that it would be good to stop at a bike shop.However they went out of business; so we just continued onward.On the side of the road right outside of Panguitch we saw a dead Golden Eagle.

We stopped at a National Forest Service place and he gave us a wonderful map and had good information about camping in parks and disperse camping (bushwhacking) is allowed in any National Forest.We continued to go down slightly and then start climbing slightly.We traveled about 1100 feet up but after that killer mountain a couple of days ago, this grade was fairly painless.We went past this place called the Red Canyon.In fact just where it started, they took us onto a bike route that continued about 10 miles, all the way to the top of that 1100 foot elevation change.We basically paralleled the highway.It was great.

The Red Canyon area was so incredible.The things to see in this state are something to behold.On the road they even took you through 2 natural tunnels that they carved out of this rock.The bike path went around it.I forgot to write about this restaurant where we stopped to use the phone.They had 2 hummingbird feeders out and the hummingbirds where practically swarming around these feeders.We have been seeing a lot of them in our campsites too.They love John's red bike and the red panniers.They just zoom in and you hear this loud whirring and feel the need to duck.They go and peck on the bike, get nothing and then zoom off again.They are so cool.


After we got to the top of our little mountain, they ended the bike path and we went back on the road ready for the downhill.We had a 2 mile section of an 8 % grade decline and the rest was just a nice easy downhill grade where you go about 20 mph.It lasted about a total of 14 miles and ended at our KOA Campground in Cannonville.


Aug. 2,Friday 7:25, 71 degrees, cloudy.There had been a little spritzing rain on and off throughout the night, but it was dry as we started.Miles biked today 51.8, average 9.8.We started out heading the 3 miles to Henrieville with some ups and downs and scenery you wouldn't believe. These great beautiful cliffs of so many colors on either side of the road, and every time you turned a corner or went over a hill more and more and more would appear.Incredible.

We entered the Escalante Grand Staircase National Monument with more neat scenery but not as neat as the stuff on the way to Henrieville.And we started climbing from 6000 to 7400.It was kind of a steady climb and when I thought we were finished we wound up having to do a 12 % grade for a mile and a half.We went very slowly and stopped frequently.But for all that work we were rewarded with an 18 mile downhill that was just a nice grade, no sharp curves or anything.To make it even better, there were these canyon walls again on either side of the road.These were mostly yellow and they probably went on for about 10 miles.Again, words can't describe the sheer beauty of this place.I just oohed and aahed all the way down the hill.

We stopped in the city of Escalante and had lunch and did a little grocery shopping and noted that it could maybe rain.We had about 15 miles to go.The first 9 or so were flat to start and then going up, but at a gradual rate.We finally got to the ridge line (I was just getting really tired by now and never thought I'd make it) when it started to rain a little.We saw the sign that said 8% downgrade for 2 miles and it started raining harder.I put on my jacket, John put away the solar panel and camera and we both braked down the hill.After the 2 miles, it was still raining like crazy and the wind was wild.Actually I was afraid I would get blown off the mountain as there was only a little shoulder and no guardrail so I was riding way in the middle of the lane.Luckily, there were very few cars and they were going slowly.At the bottom; of all things, there are a couple of ups and downs and then after that we had one really major up.The grade wasn't indicated but it had to have been at least 10% and it continued to rain.At the top of that hill we see another sign that says 8% downgrade for 2 more miles.There was a lookout area, so we looked out and it was beautiful.I hadn't been able to notice.Now all of the mountains are a bright red. After we get down our 8% grade, we level off a little and start heading up, but we go through this canyon of bright red rock so high on either side and so close to the road.It was so neat.Now that we are off that hill, it is just sprinkling a little.We go to our campground, Calf Creek managed by the BLM (Bureau of Land Management). Find a campsite in the rain and now thunder, John puts up a wonderful tarp over our cement picnic table and it dries quite quickly.We are able to get all of our stuff under the tarp and since most everything is in waterproof containers, everything stayed dry.Bob is sitting under our picnic table tarp and is dry and there is a tarp over our bikes, so they're not getting any wetter.We waited till it quit raining and then rushed to put up the tent and none too soon because it started raining again.It lightninged and thundered and rained really hard for the next couple hours.My weather radio does not work in this area so who knows when it will end? Tomorrow we start the BIG climb over whatever mountain it is and I'm thinking it will again take us 2 days to do it.It's going to be a real chore to get out of this campground.


Finally the rain is in a stop and start every 5 minute pattern and we get out to look around a little. Our little Calf Creek is getting a little bigger and we note a sign that says on one of the campsites to not camp near the creek in case of flash flood. This campground is divided into 2 areas.Sites 1 through 6 are on the side we are on and 7 through whatever (maybe 16) have to be reached by driving on the road that crosses the usually gentle creek.The creek runs right across the road which is the reason we are camped in site 5 because we weren't going to bike through the stream, even though it was only a couple inches deep.There is a walking bridge to cross the creek so anyone is able to walk over to the other part of the campground without getting wet.

When it quit raining for 10 minutes we walked across the bridge to see what the other sites looked like.We looked at the stream and thought it was really getting higher and we walked back to the road where the creek runs over it and oh my gosh!.The water was raging across the road.It had to have been about 40 feet wide where before it had been 20 feet and now it was at least 12 to 16 inches deep with a really strong current.As we are walking back across the bridge to our site, we see an RV drive in and head toward the creek, so we race across the bridge and go to watch the RV get swept down the creek.As we are running down there, half of the campground is there just waiting to see if the guy will try to cross.He decides to wait and just backs up and actually camps there on the side of the road all night.

John trenched our tent that he never does but since there is a steady stream of water flowing trough our campsite, he did not want to take any chances if we continue to get heavy rain during the night.With trenches all around the tent we are ready for bed.


Aug 3.Saturday. The rain finally slowed down during the early morning hours and when we got up in the morning the stream is down to it's normal size and the RV guy goes across and gets a campsite.Since it is still overcast and everything is wet, we decide to spend another day here.

There is a 3 mile walk back into a box canyon that has a waterfall 126 feet high.We walk back there fairly early in the morning before it gets too hot.We see these beautiful canyons and rock formations and incredible colors in these canyons.The waterfall is spectacular.It's so cool at that area.It falls into a big pool and the kids, who started just before us and probably ran all the way there, are swimming in it.The one kid said it is pretty cold and he tried to swim over there and get under the falls, but the current was so strong that he couldn't even get to it, plus there was so much spray all around that he couldn't breathe. We told him we were glad he didn't get over there and drown.

We saw lots of lizards and hummingbirds on our walk and 1 small snake.Also lots of deer tracks, but no deer.And John found the most beautiful feather.It has an iridescent orange color on it, about 5 inches long.I'm saving it with a couple of Imperial Blue Jay feathers I found.

It's about 6 pm now and the wind has picked up, the sky looks threatening, but the sun is also out.We dried out everything and have put everything away and are ready for the rain; but hope it won't.

Tomorrow is the big climb.We have to go because we will run out of food.


Aug.4, Sun. 7:16 53 degrees and sunny.Starting at 5400 feet and ending up at 9400 today.Miles biked†† 30.9, 6.4 average.It wasn't too bad getting out of the campground, but then we got onto the main road and had a real killer hill.I couldn't breathe and I was in gear 1-2.It was not a good way to start out the day.There were a couple easier areas and then a couple more really hard hills.John made it up with Bob, I don't know how.

We were high on a ridge, we look down and see this beautiful green area.Unfortunately it turns out to be Boulder, the only town we will go through today.That means after fighting tooth and nail to get up to where we were, we had to go down to get to Boulder.John said we only went down 100 feet or so but I'm sure it had to have been more.He was just trying to humor me.We got groceries there, mailed Leslie's birthday card and called home to find out that Grandma probably had another stroke although she is fine now.The guy in the grocery store said we had about 16 miles to bike to get to the top.Bad news as far as I was concerned.

However as we were to find out, the worst part was over.It was long and hard with various type grades, but nothing like when we started out first thing this morning.The scenery switched from the canyon walls and all that rock to green forests.Since we were really high, the view was fantastic.It was like we could see forever.The wind helped out by being at our back, at times quite strong.The sun went under when it got too hot.Very little traffic, and as usual very nice drivers.


After we got to the top we only had about 3-4 miles of downhill which means tomorrow should be cool.At one point John (who is always way ahead of me on the down hills) called back on the radio to watch for the deer at the side of the road.He was so cute. He watched John zoom by and then kept eating and I slowed down to see him and he watched me go by and then kept eating.We also passed a number of cows very near the road as they can roam where ever they want.


On one of the ridges we were traveling on, called the Hogback, there were no guardrails and that is so scary.Scenery is gorgeous, but I'm too nervous to look.At least the wind wasn't strong at the time and I didn't feel like I would be swept over the side.

Last night as we were getting ready for bed and it was getting dark and I saw this thing move and it was a beetle.A huge beetle. Like about 3/4 of an inch wide and 2 inches long.John took it's picture so we had to keep pushing it off it's course and it would actually make this funny noise.Then this morning, when I picked up my front pack; it's that black kind of heavy material; but anyway there was something on it that looked just like a little baby scorpion.John brushed him off.


Aug 5, Mon 51 degrees, cloudy at 7:10.Miles biked today†† 67.4, average 12.4.John set a new land speed record for going downhill with Bob, 51.7 mph.Incredible.I did 37 and was nervous.

We left the campground this morning, thinking (hoping) that it would mostly be downhill.The route for the whole day was downhill but we had a lot of little up hills to contend with too.


We went through the Capitol Reef National Park today. We stopped and looked at the visitor center. Capitol Reef is an awesome place. It's amazing that one state can have so many incredible sights in one area. Capitol Reef is an eroded jumble of colorful cliffs, massive domes, soaring spires and twisting canyons.(That's what the brochure says and it's all completely true).To make it a little nicer, it was almost all downhill and we were able to coast most of the way through it. On average it's about 5 miles wide and 100 miles long. We went through about 12 miles of it.

As we were biking through the area called Fruita Historic District, there wereabout 6 mule deer just quietly grazing and watching the people go by.They have huge orchards there of plums, apples, pears, peaches and apricots.We didn't stop to get any, but apparently you pay a small price for a bag and then you go and pick however much you want.

After Capitol Reef, it began to get kind of desolate, but there were still alot of rock formations only not as grand and spectacular and C. Reef. John has a new procedure for taking pictures.Instead of stopping every time, which was getting to be quite frequent, he now carries the camera in his pocket and takes it out on the fly and takes pictures as he is biking along without stopping.It is a little tricky to look through the viewfinder and focus while biking but he hasnít crashed yet!

We are camped at a private campground here at Hanksville, the Red Rock Campground.It is very nice.It was a long hard day today.At times the wind was in our face, then pushing us from the side, sometimes behind us and sometimes not around.This is a strange wind state. And according to thermometer on John's speedometer, it got up to 101 as we were biking.


Aug. 6, Tues. 7:10, 75 degrees, cloudy with wind.Averaged 8.4 today, miles biked 54.5.When we got up this morning there were swarms of mosquitoes everywhere.We were in a well watered grassy site and I guess that's the price you pay for grass.It was worse than the Boundary Waters.We got out of there fast and into the wind.At least 20 mph with gusts up to 30.It lasted the entire day in our face. We traveled about 18 miles uphill which was just hard and then we went about 15 miles downhill.But since it was so windy and our time was so bad, we pedaled really hard to make up that time.After that, we had continual ups and downs and there still remain tons of canyons, domes and steep walls.

We were headed toward Lake Powell; the place where everybody goes to vacation I guess. We were going specifically to the Hite Recreation Area within the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area.As we were going along, there was a sign for a scenic overlook which we biked into.Only to get there you had to go about a quarter of a mile uphill and I just couldn't do it.I was beat.However we decided to take all the gear off of our bikes and bike up that way.We left the panniers and trailer along side the road and biked to the top and it was a beautiful sight.You could see the marina and campground area (where we would be going) and the bridge we had to cross over the Colorado River, all the buildings over by the Hite Recreation Area and the road and it looked so flat from up where we were.We got to go down an 8% grade as we left that scenic vista and I got up to 40 mph.That's a record for me. I was so tired I wanted to get there fast. We still had about 7 miles to go and it never dawned on me that we would have to climb up out of the Colorado River valley before we got to our Hite Area.Once we finally did that, it was 2.2 miles downhill to the campground (which meant that in the morning we'd be climbing out of there).

Since this was our 3rd really hard day in a row, John asked around to see if anyone with a truck could take us to Blanding but we had no one offer. So we had to pay a $10 fee just to be in that area and then we had to pay $6 to camp in a primitive campground.They did have water and flushable toilets, but no showers.Since it was primitive you could camp anywhere you wanted, but the closest you could get to the bathrooms was about 3 blocks away. All in all I hated that place. It was made specifically for people with RV's and obviously people with boats.I'm sure they love it there.


Milesbiked so far are 2765.Our problem for tomorrow and the next day is that it's about 27 miles to the next campground (Fry Canyon and it's all uphill) and the next place after that is Blanding and it's another 55 miles. Plus Fry Canyon will be the only place we will be able to get water.


Aug. 7, Wed. 7:15 and 77 degrees, clouds and sun and some wind.Miles biked 11.5, average 6mph.We biked out that 2.2miles from our campground to the road and then continued upward on a 10% grade.The wind was much better today, it would come and go and in different directions.


John decided that I should bike about a quarter of a mile behind him, so that when a truck went by, I could tell him on the radio and then he would stop and flag it down and ask for a ride because they were obviously going in our direction.It took a while for any cars to come by as that is a really desolate area.But it worked!!.These 2 Native Americans came by in a pickup and were glad to give us ride.And what a ride!We put all the gear in the truck and then sat back on their box next to the cab of the truck and held onto our bikes for dear life so they wouldn't fall out and hoped we wouldn't fly out too.Luckily they stopped at a rest area so we rearranged everything so we got to sit in the bottom of the truck which was much more safe and comfortable. They stopped to get gas and John paid for that and a 6 pack of Bud Lite and they dropped us off at our campground here in Blanding.

Unfortunately John is feeling terrible.†† I think he has been working too hard for the last 3 days plus he thinks it is dehydration and a lack of calories.He has a lot of muscle cramping a headache and nausea so it could also be the fact that we are now at about 6100 feet, coming from about 3800. We may take another day off tomorrow while he recuperates.

We are at the Kampark Park and it is a nice place with showers and grass (we hope no mosquitoes) and trees for shade.


Aug 8, Thurs. 8AM, 72 degreesbiked 26.3 miles today and averaged 7. John decided he felt fine plus this was supposed to be a short day anyway. We were both tired and just took it really slow. We did a lot of ups and downs with a gradual rise to 7000 feet.The main event of the day, was as we were almost to Monticello the wind picked up and really started blowing hard pushing us but at the same time I saw stuff blowing across the road right in front of us.Then John yelled "look†† a dust devil on the left".And there was this really cool dust devil that must have lasted at least 3 minutes. It rotated in a 20 or 30 foot diameter and must have been at least 100 feet tall. Really neat.

We stopped at the library and did an update and we stayed at the Mountain View RV park. All of these towns are really hurting for tourists.There were probably at least 4 motels in this place with very few people at any of them.




Aug 9, Friday 64 degrees at 7:40, sun and wind.We biked 65.4 miles and averaged 10.3.Started out with quite a few nice downs and some ups; the map showed it to be predominantly no elevation change.Near the end we encountered more up hills, but it wasn't bad, it's just that we biked so many miles today.

We were surprised to see so many fields, huge fields; not what you think of when you think of Colorado.After the first couple of miles we crossed the state line into CO.We saw lots of those cute prairie dogs.They always scramble for their houses when they see or hear someone.One time me and this prairie dog were both going in the same direction, like we were in a race but he found one of his holes and dove in.We also saw a red tailed hawk today.

Southwestern Colorado is a lot like Nebraska in that it can be very cool in the morning and then after the sun comes up it can get really hot. It was getting really hot in the sun and we were passing through the tiny town of Cahone and John noticed a shaded area so we stopped there for a rest and it was the Senior Center.So we each took one bench of the picnic table and took a nap when after about 45 minutes this lady showed up.She was the lady who did stuff with the senior center and unfortunately I didn't get her name but she was so nice.We talked for a while about the area we were in (sparsely populated, small towns, the senior center in Cahone was the hub for seniors like in a maybe 50 mile radius). She was just extremely nice and let us in to use the bathroom and get water.

We had traveled about 35 miles and still had 25 to go.It was a long day and near the end we had to climb about 400 feet so that we could go back down as we coasted into Delores.These towns are funny in that they are so long. They may go back about one block but they seem to go on forever. We stopped at the Cozy Comfort RV park. It was very nice, the bathroom being about 10 feet from our site (that's a good thing).


Aug 10, Sat. 53 chilly degrees with sun and wind at 7:40.We biked 25.2 miles and averaged 7.6.We started at 6936 feet and ended up at 7795. All we did was climb all day. According to the map we thought it should be mostly uphill, although at a gradual rate.But we were happy to find out that in fact we had quite a few down hills.However starting out that darn wind was in our face.We'd turn a corner to the left it'd be in our face, we'd turn to the right, it'd be in our face. After we got out about 5 miles it finally stopped.We traveled the whole way with the Delores River on our right hand side.It was very beautiful with little rapids all over the place. There are a lot of cabins and homes sprinkled here and there for the entire distance to our campground.

We were both tired today after that strenuous ride yesterday and have stopped at the Priest Gulch Campground. Of course it caters mostly to RV people but it's a big place, meaning expensive.Our site cost $20+ and we had to enter a security code to get through the gate into the campground.Our site was at the very end of the campground, past the bathrooms, over a bridge (crossing the Delores River) and then past a whole long road of RV's back to our cute little site at the very end of the road.John called it the size of a postage stamp.But it is in the evergreens and our picnic table is sitting overlooking that neat Delores River.Tomorrowmore climbing to get to either the top of Lizard Head Pass or awfully close to it.Height of about 10,000 feet.

John just tightened his bottom bracket again and cleaned his bike and now mine needs to be cleaned and oiled as it has been squeaking in gear 1-3 today.And I'm sure I'll be in 1-3 tomorrow or maybe 1-2.


Aug 11, Sun 37 DEGREES!!, sun (thank God) at 7:30.We biked 48.8 miles today and averaged 8.1.Heading for Lizard Head Pass at 10,020 feet, however still having some down hills and flats with the way being predominantly up. Nat's CO. Biking map said that there should be a 4.9% grade, which was probably true, until we hit one area near the top and that seemed somewhat steeper.

We had stopped inthe city of Rico for some groceries; a neat little town with very nice people.

As we were on our way up the mountain, a young guy (about 20 years old) passes us, a little later a gal (about 20) passed us, and near the top an older couple on a tandem passed us after we talked with them for a while.When we got to the top of Lizard Head, all 4 of them were together and they were a biking family; they came to the top of Lizard Head to do some mountain biking.We chatted for awhile and took pictures for each other.

We started down, with a pretty good grade.It was nice except we came upon 1 really nasty hill.Very steep.As we started going up this hill, a young 25 year old girl (give or take) was zooming down.Shortly thereafter, she was next to me, stating she lived right there and biked here frequently and she sure met a lot of people out here biking.So as I am struggling to get up this killer hill, I'm also trying to talk to her (Heather). She did at least tell us what was ahead.

After that hill, we may have encountered one more lesser hill but continued downward to Telluride.It was 3 miles off of our route, but John needed a bike part and they had a campground.A really cool city.Like Aspen or any of those skiing towns.They even offered free gondola rides which we took to see a beautiful view of everything.On the gondola ride back, we were sitting with these 2 guys who were quite familiar with the city and told us about Bridal Veil Falls which was not very far from our campsite.

John went to the bike shop and the guy (Brian) actually put a new bottom bracket in for him.Then John decided to go check out Bridal Veil Falls while supper was cooking.And who should he meet out on the trail but Brian?So they biked a little together and John got a picture of the falls, but didn't get very close to it.


Aug. 12, Monday 7:1535 DEGREES and sun.It is getting incredibly cold.Miles biked†† 46.8, aver. 10.5.To get out of Telluride, we had to bike up a little way and since we were kind of in a hole, with mountains all around us, the sun wasn't reaching us for the first couple of miles.When we finally did get some sun, we just stopped and let it radiate into our bodies, mostly our fingers.We both had on little gloves plus our biking gloves plus every other item of clothing we owned, but were freezing.Then once we got on the main highway we started down.Down is usually wonderful unless you are freezing to death.However, we were on a narrow road with tons of traffic (most of it coming our way, not too much going with us).So that danger factor kind of warmed me up, plus the sun was shining more now down where we were.

We traveled down about 16 miles to Placerville, changed highways and then started up the Dallas Divide.Telluride was 8700 feet, Placerville was 7000 feet and we were going back up to 8970 to cross the Dallas Divide.After about 200 feet of going up I finally warmed up and we both started taking clothes off.The climb up was not bad at all and when we hit the top, we traveled back down again to about 7000 feet.Another really nice ride down.We stopped at Ridgeway for groceries and to use the library.However after waiting about 30 min. for a computer, John found out that they were incapable of getting AOL, so we left, found a neat city park and had lunch.

Five miles down the road was our campground, Dutch Charley State Park, a neat campground. They have a marina here and a beach but both are closed because they just haven't gotten any rain in so long and it is terribly dry.We reached our campground none too soon because in another 100 feet we would have run into road construction.Maybe if we get up early enough tomorrow we can avoid it.


John saw 2 woodchucks today, and we saw 3 llamas, and a bunch of beaver dams but no beavers.


I forgot to write about this morning.We frequently run into these signs warning us that we are in bear country and to put your food in your car.We always hang our food, but we get so hungry at night, that we have been bringing 2 granola bars into our tent at night.Well this morning, this guy told John that last night his tent was shredded by a bear.They had food in their tent and a mama bear and her 2 cubs wandered over by their tent and started looking for the food.We don't know if the people were in their tent then or what, but they called the ranger and he came and he fired 2 shots to scare them, but the cubs ran up the tree.Apparently the bears finally went away, but we won't be having any granola bars in our tent any more.These people were in our campground, only back a little farther off the beaten path than we were.


Aug. 13, Tues. at 7:10 46 degrees with sun and wind.We biked 47.6 miles and averaged 9.5.Another cold day starting out, actually I thought it was as cold as when it was 35 degrees.It just takes a while for that sun to get over the top of the mountains and shine down on us.

We encountered the construction farther down the road, they didn't have a flag man out, but we had to drive through a bunch of gravel which was quite unpleasant but didn't last very long.We're traveling on 505 and it goes from a 4 foot shoulder to a 2 foot, to 2 inch and just changes whenever.It was all downhill to Montrose, about 22 miles.Montrose has about 8000 people and we stopped at McDonalds.From there we had to travel up 2000 feet in 15 miles.Unfortunately for John, I was feeling so tired so he volunteered to take my load so it wouldn't take all day to get to the top.Even at that, I remained tired but he got everything up there doing a fantastic job.The top was Cerro Summit.He gave me my stuff back because we were going downhill for 5 miles and everything would be piled too high for Bob to respond well.On the way down, we started right out with some more construction.The flagman just had a "slow" sign and we were biking on a single lane where the road was all torn up and quite ugly.Luckily that didn't last very long plus there weren't very many cars. After that it was a continuous downhill, on a sometime terrible road, but little traffic. We arrived at Cimarron and are camped at the National Park Service campground.A very quiet place.Our scenery wasn't too scenery full today.We're seeing lots of scrubby bushes and some scrubby trees and that is what our campground looks like, but it's neat.

While I took a nap, John biked several miles down to look at the Morrow Point Dam.It's like 400 feet high and 700 feet wide at the top.It's like a little baby Hoover Dam.The canyon walls are so high that the water just gushes out of there.

They also have a Narrow Gauge Railroad Train Engine on display here with some trains on the tracks. The railroad operated from 1882 till 1949.Then the dam was put in and some of the track was under water and the railroad went out of business.The farmers wanted the water for irrigation and that's why the dam(s) [total of 3] were put in.


Aug 14, Wed. 7:20, 33 DEGREES and sun.We biked 51.3 miles and averaged 9.2.Darn it's cold here in the morning.Today I found more clothes to wear.I was still freezing and after 3 miles we ran into more construction, 2.5 miles of it. What amess.We went through about 4 different flagmen.They were widening the shoulder which is a good thing for us bikers.There are quite a few times when we end up with nothing for a shoulder.

We climbed from 7000 feet to 8740 today.The climb was medium tough.We got to the top and stayed at that level for a while.Then we went down a little and had to go back up again.All this time we are seeing the Gunnison River way down at the bottom of the canyon.It is so beautiful.As we start coming down for real, we start to see all the lakes from the reservoir.Absolutely gorgeous, that blue green water.It's so sad that the water is just incredibly low.There are very few tourists throughout most all of CO that we have seen so far.Even in way cool places like this.The whole reservoir area is about 20 miles long.

After that we pedaled maybe 10 more miles to the Gunnison KOA.The wind was at our backs and we remained pretty steady at about 7600 feet.It was nice.Tomorrow we climb to about 8300, gradually and then get ready for the next day when we cross Monarch Pass.I felt quite good today.

We stopped at one of the National Park visitor Center's and there were just a ton of prairie dogs there.They are so cute.I haven't written yet about all the dead animals we see on the side of the road.When it gets so hot out (even though it's 35 in the morning, it gets easily to 80 in the afternoon), you usually smell them before you see them.A lot of deer, skunk, rabbits and even a lot of birds.


Aug 15, Thurs. Early this morning when we got up it was 31 degrees and we had frost on our tent. It was 57 when we left at 8 AM.We biked 37.7 miles and averaged 8.5.

Today we saw deer, bison, white elk, prairie dogs and 3 beautiful red tailed hawks, flying together.They were at such an angle that you could see how red their tails were.And hummingbirds.There are so many hummingbirds out here.The other day John had on his red jacket and one flew up to him and checked out his shoulder, then his back, his arm, his collar and then flew off.

We had a fairly easy climb today to get to Sargents, CO. We stopped at "the last place to get food, gas or drink before Monarch Pass".The guy let us take as much water as we wanted and told us it was 10 miles to the top and that there was a campground about 3 miles up the mountain, which is where we spent the night.It was the Agate Campground and it was free as it wasn't really a campground, but it was way cool.We had the whole place to ourselves.It's called disperse camping and if you get off the road at least 100 feet, you can camp wherever you want in the National Forests in Colorado.

Since we were there, we took about a 2 mile hike into the woods to find Agate Creek and finally did.There were beaver at work there, but we never see any beaver.John bathed in the stream.††† We had a wonderful quiet night all to ourselves.


Aug. 16, Fri. 7:37 temp a warm 41 degrees.We biked 43.7 miles and averaged 11.2.As soon as we got back out onto the main road we started the second part of our climb to the top of Monarch Pass.Yesterday we climbed 3 miles of it at a 6.4% grade and today we finished the last 7 miles at the same grade, although there were times when it flattened out a little bit.††† It wasn't too bad at all.The Utah mountains were much nastier, although not as high.We crossed the Continental Divide at 11,322 feet in a little less than 3 hours from leaving camp that morning.

Then the cool part.I don't always like these down hills but this one was great.The road was nice, it was a 6% grade going down (for 10 miles!!) and no super sharp curves or anything.And to make it even neater, as we were just starting our descent, there was a huge truck that had hay on it, practically stacked to the sky and he was going soooo slowly.Like about 25 mph.So John just zoomed past him.I slowed down a little and then I zoomed past him too.Since this was such a huge truck it was quite apparent that none of the cars could get around him because we didn't have any cars passing us for at least 7 or 8 miles.

After that, we continued coasting for another15 to 20 miles although not as fast; only about 20 mph.At Salida, CO, we stopped at the Chamber of Commerce to ask where a library was, but John was able to use their computer to check his email.All the towns we passed through were on a downhill slope and it was great.We finally ended up in the city of Howard, CO where we are camping at the Sugarbush campground. Elevation of about 7000 feet.††††


Aug 17, Sat. 7:30 and 50 degrees with sun.We biked 45.3 miles and averaged 9.2.

Today we biked with the Arkansas River immediately on our left and great huge walls of rock on our right.It was predominantly downhill and would have been perfect except for the Colorado wind that always blows from the west except today it was blowing from the east right in our face.However we just took it easy and it wasn't a bad day at all UNTIL, at about mile 34, we came to a sign that said "South Rim of the Royal Gorge".

There was one person around who worked with one of the rafting services there so we just asked him about it.He told it was beautiful, a 1500 foot gorge and you could go over this suspension bridge to get to back to the highway.A 7 mile loop.So I thought since it had really been a fairly easy day, we'd only be going a few extra miles (our destination was about 5 miles down the road).Plus as we looked at our highway you could see there was a definite incline and the guy said if we took this scenic back loop we wouldn't have to climb that hill (on the main highway).So we took the scenic loop.


The first 3 miles were hard, we were going into that darn wind that is just always in our face and it was a gradual uphill.But then we hit the big time hills.And as we were just starting there was a sign that said "CAUTION†† no buses, trucks, campers or any vehicles hauling trailers allowed", nothing about bicycles.I determined it was because of the wind you might encounter on the bridge.John thought that maybe the size of those vehicles would be too heavy or wide to fit on the bridge.Well at about the 3rd mile we came upon what had to have been at least a 16% grade that just went on and on and on.How John ever made it up that hill is beyond me.I was even forced to go into my 1-1 gear which I hadn't done the whole trip yet.And believe it or not, it got worse.We just went up forever.Then we did have a marvelous downhill.And of course some more just nasty ups.After about 5 miles, we came to another huge hill that said "2 miles to the admission gate".Again we somehow got up that monster hill and after about a mile and three quarters started to coast down the hill, we started braking and braking and there it was.A $17 admission per person to get into this "park", which for us meant $17 per person to get across that blasted bridge or bike all the way back to the highway.

We begrudgingly paid the money and then went and observed the Royal Gorge.It was quite incredible.They had a tram but we didn't want to wait.We got on our bikes and biked across the bridge.There were mostly just pedestrians crossing the bridge although there were also a few cars that were crossing.It was a wooden plank bridge.It was pretty neat.When we got across we decided to take the incline tram (free because it was included in our admission) It went down to the bottom of the gorge and you could get out and walk around down there on the platform and then get back on the train to go back up to the bridge.We took a few pictures and rode the tram back to the top.

We left and still had to go about mile before we finally got to go down.We coasted down right to our campground; which was very nice. We're at the KOA Royal Gorge, about 8 miles from Canon City.


August 18, Sunday 64 degrees, sunny, a little wind and 7:35 AM.We biked 63.8 miles and averaged 10.4.A hard day today.It was quite hot, John said his thermometer read 107, but he didn't want to tell me.I was still tired from yesterday, but I was probably also dehydrated because when I started drinking lots of water I felt much better.

Our first 17 miles or so were big hills, but predominantly downhill and it was great fun coasting.After we hit Penrose we turned North off Hwy 50 onto 115.115 was a nice highway except that wind was in our face again.The weather radio said the wind would be out of the south and west and we were going east and north and the weather radio lied.We were going into a relentless headwind.At one point we stopped for a minute and I felt the wind behind us just for a second.We quickly took off and for about an hour or so the wind did change directions and blow the way it was suppose to.When we got past Fort Carson and just into the outskirts of Colorado Springs John spotted a Safeway and we pulled off to find a phone and make a reservation for a Holiday Inn.In the meantime a thunderstorm came up with cool lightening and thunder.We ate lunch out of the rain at the Safeway and the rain quit by the time we were done with lunch and we got back on the road to find the Holiday Inn.The wind changed direction and was in our face again but after we got over a couple hills it was flat the rest of the day.It was also a beautiful route.We went through the busy part of the city (which wasn't too busy as it was Sunday).We went through a very nice residential part, then we got to the more industrial part, and then to the slightly seedier part of town.As we got almost there, our road (Nevada St.) automatically turned into the freeway I-25.We got on the freeway at exit 48 and only had to stay on the exit lane as we were getting off at exit 49 and it would have been simple except that they were doing construction and there were lanes closed and big barrels everywhere but we somehow managed to get through all that without getting killed and easily found the Holiday Inn.We biked almost 20 miles further than planned because we are now fairly close to Pam and Eddie's, (Johnís cousin Pam) whose house we will be staying at Monday night.It should be an easy ride there.I hope.


Aug. 19, Mon. 11:15 am pretty hot out.Before we started out today, John went out on his bike to check out a trail that we heard about that was supposed to parallel I-25 and go all the way to Monument where Pam and Eddie live. He found the trail and we took it the whole way there. We biked 20 miles and averaged 8.3.The trail was called the Santa Fe Trail and was a gravel trail.For the first couple of miles, there were many ups and downs, although they were very short.I am just not a good mountain biker (yet) and had some trouble on the ups.But John said to just put it in a higher gear and stand up to bike.So I found that 2-3 worked very well for that.However if there were 2 ups in a short distance I had trouble getting my breath to stand up for the 2nd hill.After a while it turned very flat and you could see that it was an old railroad bed.Part of it also went through the Air Force Academy grounds.

We stopped at a bike shop in Monument as John needed some of that Teflon oil and then we went on Pam and Eddie's house.We were lucky because they live close to the freeway.They have a beautiful home and it looks over a lake but in the background are all the mountains.You can even see Pike's Peak. We were treated to a wonderful dinner consisting of guacamole,chips, a cheese spread, steak, shrimp, corn on the cob asparagus, potatoes and a fruit salad.Later in the evening we all had some Ben and Jerry's ice cream as we sat around a gas fire pit that Eddie built on their deck.Eddie put some bricks around it and so it is just like sitting at a campfire.You can put your feet up on the bricks, but since it runs by gas, it makes everything so simple (turn it "on" and it's on, turn it "off" and it's off).It was so cool.We sat out till 11PM by the fire and had a great evening of catching up on old times.


Aug 20, Tues. 7:40 and 68 degrees with clouds and sun.We biked miles 57.8 today and averaged 11.1.John got up in the morning to say good bye to Pam and Eddie while I slept.They leave around 6AM.

We got down to the road that leads to the freeway along with 8000 cars, but managed to get across the street and we just snuck alongside of the cars and got on the freeway without a problem.However once we got out on the highway we found very little shoulder and cars were screaming by.There was a frontage road, so we just rode over the grass to get onto the frontage road.When the frontage road ended, we got back on the freeway which was much better this time because there was a decent shoulder and it was downhill so we traveled a total of about 24 miles on the freeway and then turned off onto hwy 85.

Hwy 85 wasn't too good, or too bad and we traveled another 20 miles or so to Chatfield State Park, by the Chatfield Reservoir where we camped for the evening.†††††


As I am typing this John has just returned from about a 15 mile ride as he went out to find our trail for tomorrow.We'll be taking the Greenway Bike Trail that connects with the Platte River Trail that goes right into downtown Denver.And then who knows what we'll do??


Aug 21,Wed. leaving at 7:40, temp is 69, cloudy and windy.Traveled40.8 miles and averaged 10.5.John found the Greenway Trail yesterday that we needed to get to the Platte River Trail.We had to bike about 8 miles around Chatfield Reservoir to get to the start of it.On the way we saw a hot air balloon take off.Then we got to see him up pretty close as we were biking and he was getting ready to come down.We could hear the sound of the gas as he was trying to inflate the balloon more.Actually I thought he was going to put it down right on I-25, but the ending point for the balloon ride was just a little past the freeway, back by the reservoir.†††††††††††††

There were also some free roaming cows that were right by the side of the road as we were biking to the start of the Greenway Trail.John started making "mooo" noises and there was one cow that was following us, but luckily he stopped after a short distance.

We got on the start of the trail and headed toward Denver.This trail followed the Platte River. It was a quite beautiful and wonderful trail.The great part is that for every road that you would normally cross over, they made an underpass for it and we never had to stop for car traffic. Actually I think 1 time we had to cross a road and watch out for the cars.The trail was made of cement too. And it was quite flat.

The trail went right by REI so we stopped because we were having major problems with our MSR stove and we got a brand new one because they couldn't fix the old one.We also bought a biking map to help us get through the rest of Denver because the trail we were on would have taken us more toward the center of Denver and we needed to go more west and north to get up to Fort Collins.

A few miles North of REI we got off the trail and started biking west.We stopped at the Holiday Inn in one of the Western suburbs (Westminster).It was somewhat of a nightmare getting there as we had to go through a couple of major intersections involving one of the freeways. But we made it.There was also a problem getting a room at the Holiday Inn, but John just called the reservation number; they said they had rooms where we were, so they had to give us a room. The manager there said that we would have to wait till 6 PM to see if there was a cancellation, but after John called the toll free reservation number and went back to talk to the manager, we had a room within 5 minutes.John convinced him it would be easier to honor the reservation than it would be to transport us, our bikes and trailer to another hotel at his expense.

We went down to a mall that was a couple blocks away and saw "Men in Black II".It was good.Then we got to walk home in the rain. (and they were saying ďIt never rains in Colorado this yearĒ)


Aug. 22, Thursday 7:35 AM, temp ?, We traveled 65 miles today, average 10.5. John figured out a good way to get out of where we were so we wouldn't have to deal with all that traffic as we did when we came in.It worked out well, but we did have some hills to travel.Darn.Afterabout 12 miles, the cable to my front derailleur broke.It was the same problem one that I had in California.John had saved the other 6 inches of it and he magically spliced them together so he didn't have to take the whole thing apart to put in a new one (which I have been carrying, just in case).It worked great.

On we went, finally out into the country although still encountering a home every quarter mile. The Colorado biking map we were using wasn't entirely accurate and we stopped every now and then to ask directions and people are so helpful and kind.At about mile 25, I got a flat rear tire.The tire failed because of wear and there was a big tear blown in the side wall allowing the tube to be exposed and it punctured.John patched the tube and put on the spare tire we carry for just such situations.I now have a new rear tire.


When we got to mile 45, we had to decide if we were going to go left 5 miles up into the mountains and camp for the evening or go straight ahead 20 miles to Nat and Andy's house. We decided since it was only 2 pm, we would bike on to Fort Collins.Also the weather was looking quite threatening toward the mountains and we hoped that we could out distance it if we headed to Nat's.A few miles down the road, John got a flat tire on his rear tire.Surprisingly enough, he found the culprit (a thorn) and patched it without having to remove the wheel from the bike and we continued onward with no more problems.It never did rain on us.

Aug 23, Saturday.No biking today, but Tracey, Nat, Leslie, John and I and the dogs, Tela and Jezebel, walked from the house up to Horse Tooth Reservoir.It is a LONG walk up to the top and then once we got to the top, we walked down to the water.The water level is so low, but they are renovating the dams and I think Nat said it has been down for 2 or 3 years now as they are working on it.There are 4 dams associated with this reservoir and they are mending them all.†† After cooling our feet and legs in the water, we had to hike back up again to get out.This time we went up to the road and took the easy way out, walking on the highway.

Andy flew into the Denver airport from his conference in San Diego on Saturday night.John and Nat went to pick him up.John, Nat, Andy and Leslie went out to play some pool and have a few beers, (Leslie turned 21 on the 8th of August).Tracey and I stayed home to get some sleep as we would be the first drivers in the morning to head back to Minneapolis.


Aug. 24 Sunday. We left at 5 AM Sunday morning for the long ride home and arrived in Minneapolis around 9:30 PM. It was an uneventful trip; quite a lot of construction going on but not a huge amount of cars out and about.

It was an incredible summer. I'm happy to be back, but I'm ready to do it again.It was an adventure of a lifetime. Ö Pat