The Great Pacific Coast Escape

Day 12: Please turn off the fog machine!!
(Brookings to Prairie Creek Redwoods, California)

date: Friday August 16, 2002
daily miles: 75 miles (121 km)
total miles: 962 miles (1,548 km)

I didn't look at my clock this morning as it was still on the handlebars of the bike and I didn’t want to go get it before falling asleep last night. Eventually I would get up as soon as the fog lifted I figured this morning. After going back to sleep multiple times, I decided to get up and check the time. It was 11am!!!! There was still fog!

So I rushed to pack and get going. All I could see is fog around me. I headed out of Brookings and into California. More fog for miles. The city of Crescent City was covered with even more fog. The Redwood Forest itself?? Yup -- even more fog!! Visibility at times was down to five feet. With the poor road shoulders (or non-existent ones!) -- it wasn't fun riding for large sections of today. No serious problems though – is my BOB trailer with my American flag waving so proudly off the back causing people to give me a larger space while passing? I think it must be true in comparison to some other stories I’ve been hearing from people – and none of them have trailers. Also there were some MAJOR hills to climb through the redwoods -- and the road construction didn't make the fog and road shoulder problems any better. I seriously considered parking my butt somewhere until the fog lifted -- but who knows when that will be?? If I remember right, this area is in perpetual fog historically and is why the redwood trees themselves thrive so well here.

Eventually I just pedaled through it all.


My bike is in there somewhere...

I finally found my turnoff for the Prairie Creek Redlands State Park. It is a truly incredible road (tough first mile though as it feels almost vertical to climb) that meanders for miles via a scenic tour of the redwoods trees themselves. With the fog and the low light (remember the late start today?), I got a couple of pictures of the bike in an old tree -- we will see what actually turns out. Also I wonder if I ever warmed up today at all. Dressed with everything I had and I was still freezing at times (and the resulting shaking that goes with it because of the cold). Even when climbing, I pared off a few layers to stay somewhat cool and didn't get too soaked from sweat -- but being so close to the coast with fog today -- let's just say that it wasn't pretty and I wasn't in my prime riding mode today. I need a good 100-degree day to do that - and hopefully it will appear again soon.

I need to found out how to get out of here in the morning. My poor map is about seventeen years out-of-date. Hopefully I can head into the valley and then south to 101 again -- else I will have to climb through the seven miles of 6%+ grade that I partially descended to get here.

Note: Considering that climbing isn't my fore on the bicycle -- I have lots of witnesses to that throughout my life (right Kenny!) -- I have gotten pretty dang good at keeping the bike and trailer going uphill and at times at a pretty decent speed while I’m doing it. (Can you hear a slight glimmer of hope here for myself??)

Amazed that this is already day ten of the Great Pacific Coast Escape. It feels like I just left two days ago. I didn't even realize it was Friday either -- amazing how simple it is to fall off the face of the earth in regard to what's happening and in regard to time...

Sweet Dreams -- I hope there are no black bears around here tonight -- I'm not in the mood to deal with them.

Mark

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The Great Pacific Coast Escape
Introduction time
Two weeks before - Welcome to "BOB"
One week before - Panic time!
The trip begins! (Bellevue, WA to Sequim)
Awesome sights to be seen (Sequim to Sapho)
The longest day (Sapho to Ocean Shores)
Casual cruise to pavement pain (Ocean Shores to Raymond)
I survived the bridge!! (Raymond to Ft. Stevens, Oregon)
I talked with a real bicycle tourist! (Ft. Stevens to Cape Lookout)
Hills, hills and more hills (Cape Overlook to Newport)
It was slow going today (Newport to Florence)
Kickback, relax and just surf (at Honeyman Camp in Florence)
Time to escape the convention (Florence to Bandon)
Sputter, misfire, detour... and a new direction (Bandon to Brookings)
Please turn off the fog machine!! (Brookings to Prairie Creek Redwoods, California)
Keeping it simple (Prairie Creek Redwoods to KOA in Arcata)
Enter the 'Avenue of the Giants' (KOA in Arcata to Weott)
Running on empty (Weott to Leggett)
Back to the Pacific Ocean (Leggett to Van Damme SP at Mendocino)
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (Van Damme SP to Stillwater SP)
Just another simple day (Stillwater SP to Samuel Taylor SP in Bodega Bay)
What were you expecting -- Baywatch??? (Samuel Taylor SP to Half Moon Bay SP)
There actually is sunshine in California (Half Moon Bay to Sunset Beach in Watsonville)
Sleeping in late means a late start huh? (Sunset Beach SP to Pfeiffer-Big Sur SP)
Riding above the clouds (Pfeiffer-Big Sur SP to San Simeon SP
The ranger told me that I probably wouldn't want to camp here (San Simeon SP to Oceana SP)
I see cracks!! (Oceana SP to El Capitan SP near Goleta)
Are we there yet? (El Capitan SP to Leo Carillo SP near Malibu)
The “City of Angels” in one day (Leo Carillo SP to Doheny SP at Dana Point)
The end has arrived (Dana Point to San Diego)
Equipment Reflections
Personal Gear Review
Review -- Planning and Maps
Would I do it all again?