When I checked the forecast last night, rain was expected all along the route. I made it a point to get up early. The rain probability went up as the day went on. However, it did not hit above a 50% probability until around 1 pm. Just before I headed out, I did a rendition of California Dreamin. The guy at the motel office heard me and asked questions about my ride. I told him my itinerary and asked how far the next real town was. He told me Brookings would be the next town of any significance and it was 25 miles away. It did seem to me that most of these towns that I needed supplies from were always around 25 miles down the road. He told me that the reason they are spaced out about 25 miles apart is because that is as far as a stagecoach could typically travel. That was how a lot of these towns became settled. I was on the road by 7:15 am.
The motel manager had warned me about a big climb I would have as I left town. He was accurate. I went at least 2 miles uphill before I finally got a downhill. That translates to almost a half-hour of hard pedaling. I was once again rewarded with some pretty views of the ocean although the skies were overcast. I wanted to take a lot of pictures, but I knew I was racing against time and the rain. I kept telling myself stay moving and stay dry.
At one of these photo opportunities, a couple on bikes that were lightly loaded with panniers raced pass me. I would see them farther down the road, miles after a brief breakfast stop. They must have stopped as well, because they were going much faster than me. I made as few stops as possible the rest of the ride. I had to do a photo opportunity at the border crossing to California. But other than that, I was careful about when I did a photo opportunity, as I couldn’t afford to waste any time.
About 13 miles away from my destination, Crescent City, I hopped off of 101 onto an empty county road. This final stretch of road seemed to be the only level pavement I had seen on this entire trip! It was a welcome sight because I didn’t need to do any more climbing at this point. I had stayed dry up to now. In fact, I was within 8 miles of Crescent City when I felt the first raindrops right after my final bio break. From there on, I road as fast as I could. The farther I went, the heavier the rain fell. I made it to the hotel at 1 PM. Over almost 6 hours, I had only been off the bike for an hour and a quarter! That included all my photo stops, bio breaks, and short breakfast stop. Since the motel my starting point in Gold Coast did not offer anything in the way of breakfast, my first breakfast was simply a cliff bar, banana, milk, and yogurt. I needed to take a little time for that short breakfast stop.
When I stepped into my motel room, everything I had on was soaked. After my own shower, the first order of business was cleaning all the wet clothes, towel drying them, and hanging them so that they will be dry tomorrow. I’ve stated many Motel 6’s. This one is the most Spartan I have ever been in. It has no refrigerator, no microwave, and not even a hair dryer to help get the clothes dry. I feel lucky that has a heater. The towels are very thin. I have better towels that I use to clean up our dogs. In spite of all that, at least it’s not camping!
After taking care of the major maintenance duties, I walked 3 blocks in the rain to a grocery to pick up Cliff bars, a banana, yogurt for tomorrow, and a salad and beer for tonight. I broke down and got a Little Ceasar pizza on the walk back. On my way to the ice machine, I met a group of motorized bikers. I struck up a conversation about my ride and gave them the rest of my pizza. With no microwave or fridge, I didn’t even want it for a bad breakfast. I asked how the dog travelled with them. They answered, “she rides in the sidecar and hunkers down when needed. She stayed drier than the rest of us!”
In spite of being soaked, it was still a good day. My expectation last night was that I would be wet for 30 or 40 miles. As it turns out I was dry for 48 miles, and only got wet on the last eight. More importantly, I am now clean and dry and should be well rested for tomorrow’s ride. Today’s ride summary is here.
The Lone Rider