I’m writing to you while working on a guava kombucha and hummus vege wrap, obviously we are still in California. We haven’t had internet / cell service for awhile, so sorry about the delayed update. A lot has gone down since Petaluma. I will start with our Petaluma departure…
Wait no, I’m going to start with our breakfast before departure. My aunt Laurie made her famous cinnamon rolls with fresh eggs from my uncle Jody. Ale and I both had a piece of her chocolate cake before breakfast even began and then each ate 2 rolls and three fried eggs. It was fricken delicious!
After the brunch we slowly made our way out the door. It was very difficult to leave the Stevens’s warm beautiful delicious food filled house, but we did. Key fact about Petaluma roads. The are literally just rocks. Bumps and ditches and loose gravel everywhere. My advice for those that plan to bike around that area: wear the tightest sports bra that you got, I promise you wont regret it.
Anyways, that day we didn’t do that much mileage. We started super late, so we just road out to Bodega Bay and camped there. We faced some pretty strong headwinds / side winds going into Bodega. Almost got knocked off the bike a couple of times. It was quite exciting. Ale and I went slow and screamed at every big gust. It was actually pretty fun. We had to pedal downhill to go anywhere, which was a sensation I had yet to experience in my life.
Once we got to Bodega bay we found a campsite and Ale and my dad pitched the tent while I went to investigate the shower situation. I returned dirty and informed everyone that we would be showering with baby wipes tonight. The showers were a mile down the road (in heavy winds) and required 6 quarters. In Ale’s words, “forget that shit.” The baby wipes were pretty effect and we just had time to change into our wool night outfits before the little Ericksons came to join us. It was soooo nice to see my little cousins and aunt and uncle! They brought spaghetti, salad, and garlic bread. Another delicious meal! My family definitely spoiled us these first couple of days. We had smores after dinner and everyone huddled together around the fire, attempting to stay warm (the wind was crazy).
It was definitely squishy in the tent. My dad has what looks like an 8ft sleeping pad so he had to go in the middle, while Ale and I inhaled the side of the tent and attempted to fall asleep in contorted positions. When we got up in the morning my dad announced that last night was the longest he had been in a vertical position without actually sleeping. agreed. nice. yay day 1 of camping.
We packed up the tent and headed up highway 1 hoping to reach Gualala camping site. The ride was absolutely gorgeous! We stopped a bunch to take pictures and enjoy the view. We met some other bikers at one of the vista points and they told us we were crazy that we were going UP the coast and not down. One asked if he could take our picture because otherwise his friends wouldn’t believe him. awesome. Ale and I were laughing pretty hard about this because Ale told me multiple times that she was sorry but she just wanted to do the absolute easiest route, and it turns out she picked the impossible. haha o well, i guess it will just take more time than expected.
We continued on 1 for the rest of the day with one brief stop at a gas station deli for lunch. The lady working the station was possibly the meanest gas station lady I have ever met (and I have met a lot). We politely asked for sandwiches and she rolled her eyes before making them (good start). I am always worried about people messing with my food, so I tried to be extra nice to make sure she didn’t sabotage the goods. no dice. This girl was determined to hate us. She took about 20 minutes to cut the meat and put it in bread, then she handed us the naked sandwiches. She told us to put the toppings on ourselves. Unfortunately, there was no more of the lettuce, tomato, and onion. I knew I shouldn’t have asked, but I was just too hungry. I asked if it was possible to refill the bins and she rolled her eyes again and said, “I’m NOT cutting any onions!” Ale then offered to cut all the veges and restalk the self serve bar herself. The girl didn’t even respond. She just angrily started slicing tomatos. We got our tomatos and lettuce and got out of there. But before we left, my dad went back to ask if we could get tap water for our water bottles. She first said the water was not drinkable, then changed her mind and charged us $2.50. So much for the small town friendliness.
We got back on our bikes and continued on our way. The curves and slight uphills and downhills were pretty fun to ride. It was awesome when you got in a rhythm. It was even more awesome when the rhythm matched that coming from my ipod amplifier. I have already mastered a couple of dance moves on the bike and Ale now has a mean Harlem shake. My dad is working on the body roll, but it definitely still needs work.
We were pretty stoked by the time we got to the Gualala food store. There were some great options for food, but we settled on the grocery store.
My dad watched the bikes while Ale and I picked out dinner. We were super excited to have our first real camping meal, so we went all out: top ramen, beans, cous cous, hot chocolate, and trail mix.
We met some awesome bikers at the hiker/ biker campsite and shared stories and hot chocolate with them. One went to my dad’s high school, so that was special. O and we also all got to shower, which was incredibly exciting. Unfortunately, I had a slight mishap in there. The shower worked for a certain amount of time and if you put in extra quarters it goes a bit longer. So in an attempt to save money Ale and I decided to shower field hockey style. We were all business and yelled when to switch and when to get ready to switch and such. We were super efficient and got everything done in time, but then I got a bit over confident. I wanted to get extra clean so I lathered up one more time and the water shut off. I put in another quarter thinking it would turn back on. wrong. We were one quarter short of taking another full shower, and now my dad had one less quarter that the shower machine ate. woops. so i stood there super soapy and ale just laughed and was like, “maybe wash off in the sink?” (the sink meant walk outside naked and wait for a bathroom stall to be open. not ideal.) I ended up pretending my soap was a lotion and i just rubbed it in / off with my hand towel. great success.
Thankfully, we slept much better the second night (it’s amazing how fast you adapt). We did have one scare in the middle of the night. We heard something / someone in our campsite, so my dad got out to check. It was some kind of animal looking for food, so he scared it off and we went back to sleep. nothing too crazy. but I now sleep with my pepper spray in my reach.
This morning we each had 2 oatmeal packs, mocha (instant coffee mixed with hot chocolate) and a bagel with almond butter. and we still got hungry about 15 minutes into the ride. i don’t know what we would do without bars. Forgot to mention, last night Ale and I decided to “do laundry.” This consisted of us dumping all our dirty clothes in a trash bag and mixing in water and soap, then shaking it around. We then rinsed and rang out each article of clothing and hung them up on a rope to dry. The cleaning part went really well, but unfortunately the drying part didn’t happen as magically as we predicted. Ale and I both road out this morning with damp shorts and shirts, but those quickly dried in the wind, so the problem was resolved. Live and learn. Don’t expect things to dry in less than 12 hours in a cold dark area. might have been common sense for most, but we were a bit delirious when we came up with this brilliant idea.
The wind today has been absolutely insane. We have been drafting off each other, but we are still moving extremely slow. You know when you drive by a runner or biker and their face looks like they are in hell and you think to yourself, “that looks miserable, I’m so grateful I am in a car”… that is what every car that is passing us is thinking.
That is all I have time for, but hopefully I will have another update soon.
Love to all!