Monday, July 4, 2016

Day 9-10: Charleston to Gold Beach. Gold Beach to Orick. Trip total: 1222km

Network coverage is going to be an issue for a while so these updates might be a little sporadic.

Two days ago I left Sunset Bay campground after having to repair a detached front derailleur cable. In the process I loosened my gear shifter and was unable to tighten it because my Allen wrench isn't long enough to reach inside the drop down handle ( I have my shifters connected to the bottom of my drop down bars, not an ideal set up but I'm used to it). My derailleur was in the right position, but shifting it to a lower gear would be a challenge until I could tighten up the shifter. Fortunately I found a bike shop 40km away in Bandon where I picked up a set of longer Allen wrenches, a backup gear cable (I frayed the end of mine trying to fix it, might not hold for the while trip) and replacement brake pads, just in case. As an added bonus, Bandon had bike tune up stand just sitting all by it's lonesome waiting for me to make use of it.

I was feeling pretty good about getting Dolores all fixed up so I stopped for lunch and to charge my phone. As my phone was charging, the screen went blank. It was still on, I just couldn't use it. It was only then that I realized how poorly I prepared for this trip. I could get down the coast with my gps, guidebook and personal notes, but I had no contact information for the people I needed to meet up with, information on the hotel I'd be staying at in San Diego, or my return flight info. I had unintentionally become dependent on my phone for all my information, and in doing so, I never took the a simple step of writing things down.

For the rest of the day I rode along the most scenic stretch of highway I've been on so far, and naturally I had no phone to take pictures, but I think some of the gopro video turned out okay. My gps and guidebook were not in agreement on upcoming campgrounds so I just kept on riding until I found something promising. I gave up at Golden Beach and just found a motel. 149km for the day.

Day 10 didn't start with the best of attitudes. I was still disconnected from the world, which in itself wasn't too bad, but I still hadn't figured out how I was going to get in touch with anyone or figure out my flight. My phone doesn't have a removable battery, and it never occurred to me to look up how to do a hard reset if the screen isn't working. I was trying every combination of buttons to get the thing to turn off, but no luck. This would have been solved if I had 10 seconds of google access.

Longer story shorter, I found an AT-T store in Brookings, just before crossing into California. The woman there took my phone, held down the power and volume down button for 10 seconds, phone came back to life and she handed it back to me. I asked if she had any idea what the problem was so I could try and avoid doing it again. She shrugged and said, 'it's a computer, they'll just do that sometimes.' Fair enough.

With internet access I contacted who I needed to and wrote down all the info. I drew maps to places off the highway I'd need to hit, and wrote down all my return flight info. All was good again.

My ride took me from the fog covered coast into the impressive redwood forests of northern California. Along the way I hit my two highest elevation climbs of the trip so far, 1260ft and 900ft respectively. The first climb, leaving Crescent City was the toughest. There was road work going on so long sections of the climb were down to one lane. I felt like I was on a race course because of the lineup of cars stopped in the other lane were all cheering me on as I slowly made my way up the mountain. That encouragement provided a much needed boost as the upward climb stretched to 8km.

After the second climb, which was more manageable, it was flat and/or downhill all the way to my final destination.

My stop for the night is Elk Prairie Campground just outside Orick.

Trees of Mystery Museum - Klamath

Elk Prairie Campground


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