Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Day 13 & 14: Crossing over into California

Well, we finally crossed the border into California!  Actually, we crossed in on Monday (10/8), but by the time I rolled into the hotel, lugged my bags and bike to my room, got showered, and had dinner, I was too tired to post an update to my blog.  We've now reached the midway point of our trip and the routine of riding every day has gotten a bit easier. My riding skills have improved and I can feel myself getting stronger. The hills continue to be a challenge and I frequently find myself having to walk my bike to the top, but with total elevation gained between 2000 to 3000 feet most days of the ride, I think the occasional walking of the bike is forgivable. I don't know if I will ever learn to like climbing hills, but I do love the screaming descents!!  So far my top downhill speed has been 35 MPH.     

With only 2 weeks left to the ride, I'm thrilled that my fundraising efforts have brought in a total of $8,100 (includes both online and mailed donations). If you're reading the blog and haven't donated, I invite you to join the more than 90 other individuals and organizations who have contributed generously to this worthy cause. Askwali (thank you)!!! 
With an 81 mile ride from Crescent City to Eureka, CA a dozen of us opted to shorten the ride with a  20 mile "bump" to Klamath Valley. That it coincided with the part of the ride with the steepest climbs was a bonus! Not to worry though, we still had our share of miles to peddle and hills to climb. 
Our "bump" to Klamath Valley took us to the Pem-Mey Fuel Mart owned and operated by the Yurok Tribe.

Next door to the gas station was a drive-thru cafe, Kee-ya Espresso, owned and operated by the Yurok Tribe.  There I got to chat to Jaymelynn, a tribal member serving up an amazing pumpkin spice latte. I was pleasantly surprised when she asked me if I was a tribal member. I told her no, I wasn't Yurok, but that I was Hopi. She kindly gave me the tribal member discount on my latte and then we chatted for a few minutes about the Hopi Reservation, its people, culture and traditions. She's never been to the southwest and it was difficult to describe a landscape so different from the homelands of the Yurok with their many rivers and majestic redwood forests.    
The Yurok Economic Development Corporation located across from the  Pem-Mey Fuel Mart.

We were told we might see Elk, but I was still taken by surprise to see this herd grazing in an open field along side U.S. 101.   
Several of us stopped to take pictures, but after spotting a few bucks making what we thought were gestures of warning, we quickly peddled on.
This shot of the California coast was taken about 20 miles north of Eureka.  
Another shot of the beautiful California coastline

And another....
And another...

And yet another....
Below is a map of our route for the past two days.  The ride from Gold Beach, Oregon to Crescent City, CA was a short 55 miles, but the ride from Crescent City to Eureka, CA was a grueling 82 miles.  A good number of the 31 women on the tour have taken a bump at one time or another, but there are a few who have peddled very single mile. What makes this even more amazing is that the average age of the group is 63, with at least 4 riders in the 70s! It isn't too often I get to feel like a "youngster," and even though I am one of the younger members of the group, nearly all of these women can outride me even on my best days. Truly an inspirational group of women!  

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1 comment:

  1. It sounds like you are doing just fine with the hills you have been dealing with. Just think how far you have come since Santa Barbara..... After riding the hills, you will find the flats boring.


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