The Great Pacific Coast Escape

Day 17: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
(Van Damme SP to Stillwater SP)

date: Wednesday August 21, 2002
daily miles: 78 miles (126 km)
total miles: 1,271 miles (2,045 km)

First the Ugly. Today on the road just past the town of Elk, I had problems with a logging truck for the first time this whole trip. The driver was being a jerk. Eventually he ran me off the road -- his right side wheels were over a foot into the dirt after he dived at me. I was pissed though and slightly bent my front wheel rim because of diving through the ditch to save myself. Story doesn't end here though. Logging truck driver than spins out of control after diving at me -- and ends up in the oncoming lane -- and at the same time coming over the hill from the other direction is an old red Subaru station wagon. The Subaru dives across towards me in the ditch trying to miss the logging truck in its lane. The Subaru fortunately hits the logging truck's rear wheels and slams into the ditch – barely missing me. I see a big cloud of smoke come out of the Subaru -- at first I was thinking it was airbags -- but in reality if was because people inside were "stoned" and still smoking... (Their trip wasn't that great huh??)

Mr. Police Officer eventually arrives -- love my cell phone and calling 9-1-1 at those opportune times -- as well as the tow truck for the Subaru. I tell the cop about the stupidity of the logging truck driver and show him all the skid marks on the ground and his theatrics with me. Then I go into the Subaru details. Since I'm 'out of state', this will be my final and only statement – so I made sure the officer got my story right. Logging truck driver wasn't too happy because I guess with this incident he loses his drivers license and commercial drivers license too... oh darn.... plus he got a little ride with the police offer then…

The Bad. Stop at an old burger joint for late lunch. First no service at first -- the old lady who owns the place is eating her lunch and I have to wait until she is done!! Normally I would bail immediately -- but I was starving and with my luck lately there wouldn't be food for twenty more miles. I don’t like riding down the road running on empty…

Eventually my order gets taken. Then two Austrian gals (who are driving a rental car) behind me get theirs orders in also. We are chatting and awaiting our food. In comes an UPS driver and two truckers and they order about five minutes after we did. A couple of minutes later and I hear the old lady shout at the cook to take my and the Austrian's burgers and fries and to serve them to the UPS driver and the logging truck drivers. Reason being is that they are "regulars" where we (the Austrian gals and myself) are TOURISTS. Nice huh??? Wish I hadn't paid for my meal until after getting it....

The Good. It starts bad though. Stop at a small vista park that the state has along the route. It was literally a small parking lot with a glorified outhouse (building is redwood instead) and a hiking path to a viewpoint of the Pacific Ocean. At this one, there was some twenty-something punk kid smoking a joint on the far side of the parking. (I have seen more drugs in Northern California -- not a good sign now is it??) I should have vacated immediately when I had a chance and had that bad vibe feeling.

Go into the outhouse to do my business. Everything is clean so I think no problems. At least that was until I heard this buzzing sound coming up beneath me. Seems I had disturbed a hornets next and they aren't all that happy. Out of the outhouse I burst -- cycling shorts barely on and jersey/jacket in hand -- I'd rather look stupid than get my ass stung. Punk kid outside is on the ground rolling with laughter -- funniest thing he has ever seen....

I was beyond pissed and realized it was all a setup. But play it cool Mark... just play it cool...

Got the punk kid into a conversation and found out he had found the hornet nest in the damp morning and "smoked" it before moving it. He had put it into the outhouse three days before. Then he spent the next three days sitting where I saw him getting stoned and getting his jollies from other peoples expense...

Somehow he let it slip that his old motorhome was up the road where he was staying. Arizona plates and lots of "Dead" stickers... I leave and head up the road to the campground he described. There a couple of motorhomes there with people around and an old POS one with Arizona plates and lots of "Dead" stickers and bumper stickers promoting marijuana use. Hmmm, I think I found it!

The GOOD about this story??? I had the valve-stem cores from all his tires here beside me tonight -- including his spare too!!! =-) (I am tempted to call this trip the Great Valve-Stem Core Caper at the rate I'm going!!!)

This was the last night with Steve (from Georgia) as company in camp. We've been traveling the same route and meet up each night. Same nice guy that I met that first night back in Oregon. I will be truly sad not to see him around the campground in the evenings. Tomorrow he detours off on his route back to Colorado.

Note: Steve -- you know how to get a hold of me. My door is always open if you are around. If interested in any adventures, feel free to ask. It was good having you around. Thanks!!!

Time for this kiddo to get some sleep!


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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?