Back in the Saddle: Going to California: 2011

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Re: Back in the Saddle: Going to California: 2011

Postby Kingfish » Fri Sep 02, 2011 3:17 pm

dbaker wrote:Bravo :D So now the questions roll out........Conventional frame? What speed will you target? Will all the weight go in the frame? Cargo bike style? Recumbent seating? :mrgreen:

Well, this really does spawn another thought and I want to hold off going into detail when I don't have all the answers for myself. Wishfully, DOT-compliant motorcycle with a 200 mph range and freeway capable. I have already started looking at ICE motorcycles to get an idea of the class and models available. My first thought was an Enduro-style, but I'm not going to do that much off-road, so it will need to be more street-friendly and not as tall. If we talk about freeway speeds - averaging 60 mph, then it's 3-4 hours on the bike.

Granted a motorcycle can carry more weight, however as we already comprehend that with greater speed, even greater power is required - hence more weight. The present hub motors can't cut what I want out of them so it's going to be a custom-motor of some sort, whether it's a standalone bolt-on replacement, or custom hub; I simply do not know at this time.

The other limitation is charging. Overnight is fine for my present rig and it worked out well enough. However if we take opportunity charging seriously then the options have to open up for faster and/or more flexible roles.

Then there is the controller: I think that will have to map with the motor, so that too is likely custom. What we need to do here is fire up the Building the Best Controller thread and get assets back into the loop so we can "roll our own" and customize it the way we want. If I stayed with the 5S1P Zippy FlightMax LiPos, then I have to double the voltage, so now we're into the 150V limit on switching devices - and that's a pretty rarefied position to work in.

I also want to build or acquire a dynamometer to test motor development in situ. Also fixtures and tools will be required for assembly. The whole vehicle also has to fit through the doorway. In addition, support for trailers would be most beneficial for extending the capacity and distance.

But – there is much to do between now and then. Mainly, I need to finish the present story, so let me get back at it :wink:

All the best, KF
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* Current ride: 2WD Disc EBikeKit (9C 2806-equivalent) / Dual Lyen 12FET / 15S6P LiPo when commuting.
* Going to California: 2011: Trip completed 8)
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Re: Back in the Saddle: Going to California: 2011

Postby Kingfish » Sat Sep 03, 2011 6:50 pm

Backfill #9: Tuesday, August 16th
San Rafael to Fort Bragg


Went to bed earlier than usual the night before, and I woke up likewise early to get a good start on down the road. By 6 AM – I was out the door and dropping off the keys through the night slot. It was cool, and overcast; I had the fleece on. It crossed my mind to get some breakfast as I was heading out but I didn’t catch anything open other than those fast-stop minimarts, so I just kept going. Taking 3rd Street west, it merges onto 4th Street before running into Sir Frances Drake Blvd. Although I was a bit confused cos right here there is a truck route to the right and then there’s the other route down Central to the left. The truck route wound up being hilly; nuttin’ wuz open, I kept going. Eventually at Fairfax the two forks come back together. There’s not much traffic at all; you’d think it was Sunday. Up and down and around this road went winding its’ way through the hills and woods; all very rural. I think it was between Oak Manor and Lagunitas that I came up to a ridge and people were parked off to the side waiting for sunrise (cue The Doors). The fog-clouds hung in close here and changed rapidly; wet one minute, then clear as a bell the next.



And then I entered Samuel P. Taylor State Park: Good grief this road is horrible! :x I think that it was made back in the 20’s and that I am riding over the original concrete. They sure didn’t figure on bicycles taking this route back then cos there is no margin; just a steep drop off to death! When not looking at the road – I did catch some of the beauty of the park. Thankfully traffic was still very light. Finally I reached the other end of the park and the road returned to something resembling this century. At Olema, SFD Blvd tees up with Hwy 1 and I stop here for just a bit, peel myself off the bike, warm my frozen figures, and wipe my nose <sniff> cos it is very cold, damp, and overcast over on this side of the hill. Venturing north, I continue on Hwy 1 for the rest of today’s journey.

Passing through Point Reyes on this Shoreline Highway I smelled a peculiar odor… hmmm, smells like – Mercaptan:
    The scent is most commonly associated with the 12 varieties of striped American Skunk, namely the odiferous secretions. From Wikipedia: [The odor has] “…a highly offensive smell that can be described as a combination of the odors of rotten eggs, garlic and burnt rubber. The odor of the fluid is strong enough to ward off bears and other potential attackers and can be difficult to remove from clothing.” This same odor is also produced by “skunked” beer, particularly beer in green glass, when beer is exposed to UV light - although more specifically it is actually caused by a recombination of a very specific component of hops within the beer. Certain beers, such as Miller and Samuel Smith which are bottled in clear glass do not have this problem because they use a hop extract that has the reactive hop component chemically removed. Being a retired beer judge I know full and well about mercaptans because they are commonly seen as defects. In Britain and other places across the globe where skunks do not thrive, the offensive odor is termed “catty” as it also appears as a component of the female cat pheromone within their spray. And yet some enterprising cretin has created a hop variety called Simcoe that strongly enhances mercaptans - now commercially available to brewers around the world. So it’s not enough that we should be forced to drink skunky green-glassed beer, but now we have microbreweries deliberately infecting their beers with skunky-squirt flavor! Alas – but there is yet one other way that mercaptan manifests, and that is within the buds of a particular pedigree of ganja grown in the Pacific northwest corner of California (3 points to the person that can name it first)!
So… I am traveling through Point Reyes early on a Tuesday morning just after 7 AM. Do I smell polecat? Most odiferous – keep moving. Then I smell another polecat, and then another, and another! My gawds – there must be people running over skunks left and right here, or perhaps it’s a slew of polecats communing with the bears, or… maybe it’s just a lot of shiny happy people in Point Reyes… at least – I prefer to think of it that way, rather than of bears. :mrgreen:

Somewhere just past Millerton and across from Seahaven there was a pullout on the left, so I inched the bike over to the ledge and took a beautiful early morning shot across Tomales Bay towards Inverness; picture-perfect and lovely! (Note: Photo missing). The road here is in good repair and has modest margins; it meanders towards and away from the shore – each time offering a slightly different enchanting view across the most active fault in California. On April 18, 1906, the ground heaved roughly 28 feet right here, causing the famous San Francisco earthquake. Gazing across the shallow Bay, the tranquility of the moment transcends all violence of that late reflection; it is impossible to imagine that the great rifting of two massive tectonic plates is the cause of this unusual setting. Backing up after the photo, I continue on north, past Macaroni and Marshall.

Breakfast
Soon I reach Nick’s Cove; there was a sign on the road ½ mile before suggesting drivers to join them for breakfast; I know the time; it’s 8 AM sharp - could they be open? After 35 miles, I am starving! The man coming out the kitchen door says so; I park the bike. Wow what a great picture this would make: There is no wind; it is overcast and damp. The old café extends out over the water, low tide, a finger of gray fog ladled in behind that, quiet waters with old mooring stumps poking through the mud, a couple of sand dabs milling about - plotting the next meal. I took two just in case… (Note: Photos missing). In I went, the only customer, and I took a seat at the table with a protected view over the water. It is so peaceful that you don’t want to leave. Ordered up some stone-cut oatmeal, fresh-squeeze OJ, ham steak… bring it on! Had time to chronicle briefly before the food:

    ‘It took me the better part of an hour (20 miles) to go from San Rafael to Point Reyes. The production is slow due to the winding road and the constant grinding which I cannot locate; this happens when I’m on the throttle, pedaling hard, and going around a corner with a dip. I can’t see how the front-part of the split rear fender is rubbing but I am prepared to remove it if the abrading noise persists.’
Food arrives. My server asks if that’s my bike out there which I affirmed, and we begin a pleasant discourse. He is a summer hire, though a student over at UCSB (Santa Barbara) which is where my brother went; I know the area well. After my breakfast, I move underneath the overhead radiant heater to warm my bones… when the server returns and presents the bill. We talk a bit more and I relate my travels and direction. Here is when I learn that I am doing this route backwards: He says that due to the prevailing winds out of the north during the summer, people ride their bikes north to south along the coast. There’s not a lot I can do about that now, but he continues and says last year he and his pals caught a ride from L.A. up north to about here and rode all the way back on Hwy 1; it took 4 days as they covered 100 miles per. Impressive!

Time to go. Paid up and remounted, the Shoreline Highway turns inland just north of here following a small stream, then up a pleasant grade to reveal the town of Tomalas. Within the space of say 2 miles the scenery changes radically from wooded inland estuary and shore to county rural plain and grass scant of trees. The road passes by many farm houses and fields before it tees into Valley Ford Road; I turn left to continue on towards Bodega Bay.

The rudest of drivers converge here in their over-pregnant pearl-white Lexus SUVs. Don’t these people have any taste or originality at all? Sorry if I am taking up too much of this ratty margin for you to pass; I am busy trying to get around a bevy of cyclists heading up and down the coast. These cyclists don’t look like the normal sort: They are all wearing a bright luminescent yellow triangle on their backsides, and they look older – as if part of an organized tour. Fingers of fog and twisty roads don’t help matters much for the gilded nouveau drivers; don’t honk! Have patience; what’s their damned hurry? Oh, I see it now: Links at Bodega Harbor, Duck Club, Bodega Harbor Yacht Club, Gourmét Au Bay… goodness, we cain’t hold you up for that now can we? Pigs! :evil:

Traffic is heavy here passing through, and I keep on going to get away from it all. The fog right beside the shore prevents any views, and indeed, for much of this section I had no idea it was there at all for several miles. Quack drivers rushing about had me pretty busy too. Once I got passed Jenner though, much of the screwy traffic diminished, returning the road over to locals. I stopped here to water-up and rest my bum, observing the collage of vacation rentals hocking their activities and competing for touristas’ attention. Hmmm… :|

Heading north, production is slow mainly due to it being a slow twisty road. There are parts where the road was recently restored by CalTrans where the heavy rains washed it away. There were steep twisting inclines. There was some wind buffeting from time to time. Occasionally the road would pop up and out of the coastal fog and award the eyes with a feast of inland pastoral beauty. Climbing up to Fort Ross was disappointing though, at least from the highway it was just a simple road to cross and not much more. Although Timber and Stillwater Coves were more interesting with some rural development; here the coast forest returned to cover the shoreline with thick canopy, adding a visual treat to the eyes – and here too the clouds pulled away to reveal the warming sun. My sunny disposition returned.

Lunch
Though the forest and out onto the bordering plains, long swathes of grass etched a narrow bead with rugged escarpments on the left, and hemmed in by the forest on the right, dodging and weaving in and around Ocean Cove, Gerstle Cove, Fisk Mill Cove, and Horseshoe Cove, threading through knots of groves before popping out at a visually-compelling and historic site of Stewarts Point. I forgot to note the time, though I am sure it was close to Noon when I pulled over and decided to lunch here in front of the canary yellow Stewarts Point Store. (Note: Photos missing). Inside, it feels like stepping back in time to 1868, when the Store was the center of mercantile activity for a town, complete with all the little things you’d need for day-to-day existence, and sporting a modest deli in the back; absolutely charming. The proprietor allowed me to exchange my acquired poundage (it seemed) of coinage for paper. Rested here for a good half-hour I suppose. A finger of fog would roll in and out to reveal the narrow Fisherman Bay which is too craggy to support any sort of wharf. You could wager the surf makes good hammering here when a storm is up.

Image
Borrowed picture of the current façade.

Heading north, full belly, sunny and warm enough, the road continues on through knots of development, ragged shore, and timber, past Sea Ranch, Gaulala, Anchor Bay, and Gallaway. I was looking forward to entering Point Arena. When I was a kid, maybe 12 years old, we came and spent I think a week here while my folks went snorkeling for abalone. I never in my life became so tire of eating abalone. First, you have to cut the foot out of the shell – and it doesn’t want to come out easy either. Then you have to pound it with one of those spikey mallets, to tenderize it into submission cos it doesn’t want to be et. It tastes like leather unless you baste it with salt pepper garlic hot sauce tartar sauce – all the implements to cover up that it tastes like leather. The texture reminds me that rubber bands are a more enjoyable chewing experience. But we were here for a week, it was cold and damp and foggy. I don’t know why I wanted so badly to come here again. But here I wuz, and there it went. Not a single café or minimart on the main drag. Down the hill into the heart, then back up a steep incline and out – just like that. I stopped to scratch: What wuz that? Is that all there is? I couldn’t find a place to lean the bike, but I was dying of thirst. Hmmm. :|

The next townnette is Flumeville. After that the road drops into a large inland estuary before passing through another townette of Stronetta before climbing out and onto a plain where I come through a visually interesting town of Manchester – at least I think it was Manchester. I pulled up next to an auto repair beside a general store; I am pretty sure it said “Garcia’s Auto Repair”. Anyways – I had to stop and water-up and take a much needed break. No sooner had I stopped than a young nice couple came over to inquire about my rig, and this soon turned into a small gathering. Well now, give me a captive audience and… Pretty soon I forgot all about my fatigue. The afternoon was turning quite warm. The gal was eating an ice cream and that me thinking I wanted one too. But then I could easily become camped out here and stop for the day. Rested, it was time to go.

Again, sandwiched between cresting shore and forest, the tread forward is mostly narrow grassy plains with nice long straights where I could develop some speed. Just before Elk, the road takes a serious switchback decline down and then a long climb back out. There was one other switchback earlier in the day as scenic as this just after leaving Jenner: Shortly after the Muniz Ranch Road peels off to the right, the highway takes a long nearly straight drop down to cross a small stream in this slot canyon; there’s a pullout on the left where beachcombers can park. The grade climbing out sports two switchbacks. On the first switchback is a glimpse of thick forest as the sun is breaking through the clouds, and off to the right high up on the side of the hill, someone built a chalet with turrets! This captures my attention; what a view they must have up there! My mind wanders and I think less about the road in front, and more about just getting to the next town.

After a bit, Hwy 1 crosses the Navarro River and tees into Hwy 128 coming from Cloverdale. Not long is the town of Albion. Crossing the river of the same name is a bit scary cos of the additional inland traffic – it is a mad dash to get across and then pull off for a quick sanity check. This is definitely going to be more wooly going forward: More golf courses and more irrational development. The one bit of humor that I take is a road called “Brewery Gulch Road”; wouldn’t that be fun to check out? And there’s a Brewery Gulch Inn as well. Well, I’m in the right spot! :D

Crossing the Big River, the sky has clouded again. The Shoreline Highway bisects Mendocino. It won’t be long now before I reach Fort Bragg. I am certain I stopped here somewhere to rest but I don’t remember precisely where that wuz. Mainly I wanted to keep going as traffic was getting heavier and I just wanted my room and a shower. Drove past Caspar and Jug Handle State Reserve, long straight stretches of road heading in towards Fort Bragg. Just after crossing the city line the highway opens up and becomes divided. It was overcast and gloomy.

With my back teeth floating I pull into a Chevron minimart having a public bathroom. I didn’t waste time and was in and out in a jiffy; when returned, there was an Orange Person at my bike touching it, and I put myself in-between. Then he decides to inquire about the bike; it is very obvious he hasn’t the marbles to comprehend how ebike works, though he says he wants one, and I try to be short and brief to answer so he’ll go away. Just a few more short miles to go… Leading up to Noyo Bay and the high bridge that crosses it, I espied Orange People climbing up from the shore; there’s a knot of them that will pass close to me; I give them a little bit more clearance – but a particularly grizzled one sees me eyeballing them, perhaps he thinks in fear. Then he jumps at me as I pass and cries out loudly trying to scare me: What a maroon; I didn’t even flinch… enjoy my dust.

    Orange People: A type of humanoid, at least – I think they are human underneath all that fur and garb. These are people, or more accurately a social cast that exists off the margins of the coastland, possibly having gypsy-like traits, such as roaming from beach to river to campsite foraging where they can, or for that matter from the can. Bathing is optional. Their clothes are layers of autumn colored, chiefly ochre and orangey; never bright or flowery. They do not wear sunscreen, thus their skin is always sunburnt-red or “orange”, with their matted black hair bleached to brown. Often they are seen hitchhiking, or accompanied by a dog tied to a rope, one end at the dog, the other around their waste (it’s presumed the dog is not a future meal). The female of the cast is a bit more difficult to identify if using the facial hair standard, although I know them to exist as I passed one thumbing a ride in my direction and she smiled at me, whereas the males are more standoffish. Being unpredictable, I pretty much steer clear of Orange People.
Fort Bragg
After crossing the bridge I pulled off onto South Street to get my bearings; it’s now about 5 PM. There’s a group of motels at this end of town, but the North Coast Brewery is 1.2 miles away; too far for me, so I scan for something closer: a Travelodge that’s 3 blocks away and I make my way there. Spotted a Napa Auto Supply; I wanted to pick up a pair of hose clamps to secure the right-side torque-arm and prevent the axle from moving (one theory on why the rubbing sound). By the time I get the room set and I am showered it’s after 6 PM and the Napa is closed. This particular motel had strange room arrangements and I had to settle on a large king bed suite so the bike could fit; $93.47 for the night. The place was booked out quickly and filled up before I left for my dinner.

EDIT: Removed inaccurate statement.

Off to the North Coast Tap Room and Grill across the street from the Brewery. On the way was a brewer working next to the side entrance and I inquired about the size of the brewery: 50 bbls – impressive! At the Tap Room, my dinner selection was a tasty Flat Iron Steak along with a 12-pour sampler. I enjoy tasting beer; the sampler was a perfect way to accomplish this without drinking a pile of beer. Took notes too; would you be interested in seeing my beer evaluations? :)

Image
My Dinner with a sampler; the only photo I have of this whole incredible day :cry:

Stats:
End v = 54.3; very low!
Distance = 165.3 miles
Regen = 3.8%; Vmin = 53.0
MaxS = Buggered; says “461.”
AveS = 23.8 – yes, that is correct :(
Time: 6:55:23
Total Odometer = 1702.8 (corrected*)

*Last night I recalculated all the mileage in a spreadsheet and determined that I had misread a 2 as a 7 in my notes between SF and San Rafael, placing my total figure 50 miles over the actual. The Backfills going forward will have the corrected running total Odometers.

Up next is the trip through the Redwoods to Eureka, and the freeway! :)
Cheers, KF
Last edited by Kingfish on Sun Sep 04, 2011 6:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
* My 2WD Garden Wall
* Current ride: 2WD Disc EBikeKit (9C 2806-equivalent) / Dual Lyen 12FET / 15S6P LiPo when commuting.
* Going to California: 2011: Trip completed 8)
* Club Member: 40-mph & 101. 10k-Club: 11,218 miles-to-date, 5728 as 2WD.

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Re: Back in the Saddle: Going to California: 2011

Postby dbaker » Sat Sep 03, 2011 7:48 pm

I have pried abalone from the rocks at Timber Cove and other spots there near Sea Ranch! Numbingly cold water! The trick is to pound them just enough. Beautiful area :mrgreen: Great reading, KF :D
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Re: Back in the Saddle: Going to California: 2011

Postby Kingfish » Sun Sep 04, 2011 6:39 pm

Backfill #10: Wednesday, August 17th
Fort Bragg to Eureka


The Tap Room did last call at 9:30 PM; I was finished with my meal by that time and opted to exit for an early rise. The next morning I woke up at 4 AM when the charger had stopped, and got up ½ hour later to prep the bike. Before the light of dawn when it was still foggy, I departed from the motel and stopped for breakfast two blocks north at Denny’s, seating myself squarely between a couple of locals at the bar. Within a few minutes two more joined up. I enjoy hearing local gossip and carry-on; it’s a great way to learn about the lore of the town. The guy to the right of me bent my ear good and hard relating the economic woes of this once thriving lumber town. Without the mills though – there wasn’t much option for work, and many had left.

There was one other quirky individual that came in; he looked a bit out of place and a little disheveled. Apparently he made his living washing windows and was quite curious about the specifications of my ebike – thinking possibly that it could help him with his business. I guess his issues was the penalty of hauling his own water around; I’ve heard that California has some odd laws concerning water use, and possibly one of the reasons why the complimentary glass of water is no longer offered as freely when sitting down for a meal. Strange times. This guy though was going on a bit stranger yet; after having a frustrated conversation with our waitress over the topic of coffee fills, he decides to inspect my ebike a bit closer. I can’t see what he’s doing cos I’m inside eating. The guy next to me tells me he’s a transplant from San Francisco and been here for maybe 3 years: He says the guy has made claims to being a Vietnam Vet, and suffering from Agent Orange (I suspect he is suffering from more than that). When the weirdo returns, he starts going off about how someone could steal my bike, how someone could cut right through my wimpy ½-inch diameter steel rope securing it, and looking pretty hard at me as if to announce his intentions. Without effort I could see the gerbils spinning pot-metal gears in the void between his ears and said “That rope is for keeping the honest people honest… and the stupid from making a mistake.” :P And then I told him that the weight of the whole bike assembly is enough deterrent alone (never indicating my hidden security features). That got him flustered and he left. Big eye rolls all around. The conversations return to normal and casual.

Afterwards, I thanked my new associations for sharing and bade them farewell. The bike was unmolested. At 7:15 AM, the fog had lifted; the light of the new day was trying to burn through the gray pall of overcast with a clear road ahead. There was no wind or traffic; I headed north and into the unknown ~ as I have never been north of Point Arena on Hwy 1 before yesterday. Immediately the road dips and crosses over a small estuary before climbing back up again, and the city of Fort Bragg is behind me; this section north is more or less unorganized rural and commercial development all the way to Inglenook. Except for some tight corners to cross over small streams – the road is fairly straight and fast. I pass through Westport without incident; too early for traffic, still damp and foggy in parts, with a breeze beginning to pick up. The sun is trying to peak over the hills and burn off the clouds. Not too much later, the road turns inland.

Checking the map, this is the beginning of the slow migration towards Leggett/Highway 101. The first of two false starts after some steep twisty winding switchbacks announces the hamlet of Rockport before the long slow methodical hill up and over to the second tease where Usal Road peels off to follow the ragged shoreline north to Wheeler. My road however takes a sharp turn into the sun and begins the true hill climb in earnest up and out of the clinging coastal dampness; it’s already warming up to be a crackin’ day! :) Up and up, an easy leisurely grade with hardly any traffic; I pretty much have the road to myself, though I keep an eagle-eye on the rearview mirrors constantly checking my rearguard. Miles go by. Occasionally I am offered a stellar view back towards the coast; the fog is pulling back and out to sea. Marvelous! 8)

Not long after reaching Hales Grove I spot a road crew; it’s not hard cos they have warning signs placed fore and aft some miles either way of where they are working. This group looks like they are waiting for something; I pull off to rest and chat with the guys – my first real break since breakfast. They are just a road crew out trimming the sides of the road and waiting on others to show up, someone with the sobriquet of “Asshole”. I ask if that is the supervisor, and they humorously reply that no, he’s just a dude with an attitude, and with grins we leave it at that. :lol: They asked about my bike and I relate the saga. Big trucks go by. They told me that I shouldn’t have any issues going forward, but that this is not the road to be on after Noon cos of the timber trucks; they’re mindful this route is used by cyclists – but best not to tempt fate. Roger that loud and clear; I shouldn’t have any problems (aside from the occasional grinding that plagues my machine). Time to motor on, and so I bade them too farewell. :)

Soon I was traveling along the ridge-top following it up and up. It surprised me how much more hill there was, but then – this is the highest summit that I shall cross on the entire leg going north. There’s a lot more hill to go. It weaves as it goes, though sadly I never do get a nice opening on the left where I could pull off and take a shot back towards the ocean. The road crests the ridge, switches back again, then once more at the summit with a pullout right at the top; I’ll take that and free my bladder. I could hear heavy machinery climbing up from the canyon below heading west and decide to wait. Ahh, it is part of the road crew no doubt, and I wondered privately if that is “Asshole”; he’s pretty late if he is. Time to motor. No sooner had I started than I spot a cyclist coming up from below; smile wave hello – the obligatory gesture of universal friendship. It’s pretty steep going down so I regen as I go and try not to brake. More cyclists – this time women; h-e-l-l-o. :) Another road-crew truck steams up the hill; maybe is that “Asshole”. More women cyclists pedaling up the hill. Then some old fart struggling and wheezing on his bike; he shouts at me: “It’s tough, but you’ll make it!” With certainty, for sure. :wink:

Down one last steep decent and onto the flats, then that disappears to reveal the South Fork of the Eel River on the right; careful – it’s a steep dropoff! I cross the bridge and in quick time I am at the junction of Hwy 101 when the rear wheel makes a gawd-aweful racket and freezes up solid! :shock: Oh, this is not good. I can hold the brakes, pull the throttle and hear grinding inside the hub. My mind is racing as I am imagining that the stator must be spinning inside the hub (sic). It has to be a hub problem; crap! I try again and the sound is absolutely horrible. Then I decide to rotate the wheel; roll the bike forward cos maybe it’s the Hall Sensors miscommunicating. The racket stops and the wheel spins fine. I decide to take a closer inspection: The cabling exiting the axle is pinched between the bike frame and the Ortlieb Pannier. The cable insulation around the phase and signal wires is partly melted in several spots to reveal the wiring! Oh crap; the front hub phase wiring was upgraded, but I didn’t have time to do the rear. But it looks like only the external sheath is melted and not the actual wire insulation, so that is good. But – where the cable was being pinched, there the sheath was worn away. Is it possible this is the cause of the horrible grinding (shorting of the Halls)? I gingerly reroute the cabling and tie it off so it won’t get pinched again. Retest the throttle; seems fine. OK – so maybe that was it: Bullet-dodged. <whew!> :roll:

Water-up, eat a Cliff Bar, wait for traffic to clear, WOT to cross and head north on the Redwood (101) Highway. I had picked up about 0.2 volts from regen on that last downgrade and although I had barely ventured 60 miles, there was still more than half the pack left. The good news is that it’s pretty much downhill to the ocean from here – baring some minor ridge cuts. For the next 10 miles I blast as fast as I can go and stay right in the narrow margins on this very fast and moderately busy 2-lane highway. On one of the down-dips, just after crossing a stream and far too late to do anything about it, I pass a CHiP parked on the side of the road at 32 mph WOT and climbing. I bet he didn’t believe his radar cos he never pulled out or indicated. Oh well – motor on. :roll: More women cyclists touring on the other side of the road; they’re going the wrong way! <pouts> :cry: :) :lol: And that’s the way it went until the road turned to divided freeway and I took the first exit at #625 where Hwy 271 peels off. I had to pee and shed clothing anyways. Checking the map, Hwy 271 parallels Hwy 101 until Exit 627. Unsure if I can take the freeway – I elect the alternate route and follow 271 north, a quiet little road with a single hill climb affording a nice scenic view of Hwy 101 below. Hmmm. At Exit 627 I inspect the signage: It says “No pedestrians” and nothing else, not like other freeway signs I’ve seen where the warnings are explicit. Well – it doesn’t say “No Bicycles” so I decide to take the freeway; worst that could happen is that I get a ticket. The margins are wide and I have lots of room. No one honks at me; great! WOT. The hamlet of Cooks Valley comes and goes; there are no issues as the road returns to 2-lane highway. This is real pretty here! And then I pass the turnout for the “Legend of Big Foot” and I had to stop and take pictures! (Note: Photos missing) :cry:

After this the road divides again into freeway and as I cross the South Fork of the Eel River on a long sweeping arch bridge when the rear tire makes another nasty racket like it’s going to lock up again; shite – not here on the freeway dammit! Bounce the frame, wiggle the frame, try anything to get it to stop; tail-wagging wiggling worked – motor on! :wink: Passed through Benbow, then onward to Garberville and pulled off at Exit 639A, and parked briefly near the Hemp Connection 8) to get my bearings. A nice lady came out helped me sort it out: Continue north for 6 miles to catch the Avenue of the Giants; great! I move on down the street and park near the Napa Auto Parts to water-up and eat a Cliff Bar. More Orange People are migrating through the town here; spotted one dumpster-diving for cans or food – I couldn’t really tell and I didn’t want to stare. Inspected the rear fender for like the 100th time; I still cannot figure out what the problem is. Obviously there are several issues conspiring to create havoc for this wheel. It’s quite warm here; one more sip of Gatorade and it’s back on the road.

I retake the freeway at Exit 639B; it’s very fast, quite safe, and scenic. Itching the whole way, finally at Exit 645 – the 31-mile long Avenue of the Giants! Right about here is when I finally had enough of the rear fender and I decide to snip it off the bike and stow it in the trailer. :x A mile later – I ran into a resurfacing crew who were laying down tar and pea-gravel for the next 8 miles; just my luck! :( But – gone was that nasty scraping noise (or at least – that particular version). :) It was slow-going through Phillipsville and Miranda, but picked up shortly thereafter. A long lovely afternoon under the Redwood canopy with not too much traffic; some I could keep pace with, and others… I don’t know why they bothered to come this way if they’re just going to blast through here at high-speed. Somewhere here a butthead decides to hate me and nearly clips my front tire as he passes; right coward, how about you pull over so we can have a conversation about your intent on vehicular manslaughter. :x Myer’s Flat came and went; so did most of that traffic. Between here and Weott I stopped and pulled over along a straight path next to a tall sibling and took a few photos. (Note: Half the photos are missing)

Image
Can you see my bike and trailer? This is a “little” tree compared to some. :mrgreen:

I was in the process of walking back to the bike when a couple went jogging past. As they did the gal says to the guy “That’s dangerous to park so close [to the road]”. Dangerous?!? ‘Honey’ – I says to myself privately, ’you don’t know what Danger is! I know Danger! Lemme show you what danger is!’ :twisted: There was hardly a soul on the road after this; maybe three cars passed me between here and the north entrance – I had the park to myself, doing the speed limit at just about WOT. Redcrest flew by; here they say the elk cross. Then Pepperwood, and soon the north entrance; I took a couple more parting shots before leaving this beautiful island of old growth. In short – this was an awesome ride for an ebike! My problem though, still existed occasional grinding on a few of those dips: This has me thinking that the tire is hitting the controllers on either side, possibly from the axle moving up and down on the right side. I need to get those hose clamps affixed to the right torque-arm.

Image
North Entrance to the park; I came up from the south.

Back on the freeway heading north, either just before or right after Stafford – a maroon-red pickup truck pulls off about a ¼ mile in front of me at a turnout; the man is flagging me down to pull over. I know what he wants, so I oblige. I think he said his name was “Steve” so let’s call him that: He wants to know where he could buy my bike; he was completely blown away at how fast I was going up that last incline. I am relating the details when a CHiP pulls up behind; my gosh she is a petit beautiful blond asking if we need help <big sigh> If only I could meet them some other way… Steve just says we’re chatting, which was true, and so she motors on wishing us well. <sigh> Probably not my type; I’d bet she’d bust me and throw away the key… :roll: Soon Steve has the dope he needs, possibly an ES-convert, we shake hands, and it’s good-bye. :)

Scotia, Rio Dell, Belleview: These towns peel away without much notice. Although as soon as I cross the Eel River after Belleview the headwinds begin to pick up and grow ever stronger as the temps begin to cool down. Going through Fortuna, between that, the wind, and traffic had me pretty frazzled and I pull off onto Fernbridge Drive at Exit 691, found a tree to park under, and water-up, rest, feed my face. :? Not much farther to go – maybe 15 miles. Got back on the freeway at Exit 692 heading north; let’s do this! :wink:

The next time I pulled off was just after the freeway returned to 2-way road after crossing Pound Road at Exit 702, about a mile north into the parking lot of a Kragen/O’Reilly Auto Parts. Snagged a pair of 1.5” hose clamps for about $3, watered-up, and got my bearings. It’s now about 3 PM. Heading into the center of town, I checked out three different motels before going back to the Travelodge with hesitations. The room is $87.99 and is a royal pain in the arse to navigate; a small double queen with a stupid planter box right in front of the doorway. :x The only way I can snake the bike in is to park it backwards into the room; what a nightmare! The motel attendant said the reason that there are so few rooms available was because this is the busiest week of the season with the county fair and families moving their kids back into school (college). Figures. Anyways – I got the room secured by 4 PM, Started recharge at 4:15 PM, S, S, & S. I’m off to the brewery! 8)

Lost Coast Brewery that is. Here methinks my publican took smitten on me as we hit it off just perfectly! :D In fact – this place is loaded with ladies! No sooner than I am setup with another fine taster than three nice ladies from Susanville take a sit/stand beside me. The conversation starts up somehow… I forget, but soon we are talking about where we came from and where we’re going. They like my story, so let’s hear theirs:

    “We’re here for training”.
    “Oh really; what kind of training?”
    Probation Department, regulations, that sort of thing”

    Yikes! :shock: And so I spill:
    “Listen ladies, honest – I don’t drive to the pub anymore, no… I WALK, honest injun, I’ve been r e a l good!:wink:
And that had them in stiches; the truth is always more fun. Soon they get their table and we – sadly – have to say good bye.

Bubbly barmaid returns with my meal: Steak and Fries. She hands me an error-pour on the house; can’t beat a deal like that! :D Guy next to me is about to get his steak and I pass over the fixins. He scarfs his down PDQ and is away, only to be replaced by another lovely lass; what a pretty thing! She and the barmaid are pals and we have a right good chat. Two, maybe three pints later – it’s time to say good-bye to this charming heartbreaker. Back to the motel for the Sandman cometh early.

Stats:
Start V = 63.4; End V = 55.2
Distance = 141.8; Total Odometer = 1844.6 miles
Regen = 3.9%; Vmin = 53.5
MaxS = Buggered – says “360.”; AveS = 25.7
Trip Time = 5:30:24

Corrections:
I incorrectly stated that the first Travelodge told me they were booked up cos of students returning to college, but checking my notes – this was the explanation given here in Eureka and not in Fort Bragg.

Tomorrow I cross into Oregon Country to visit Rassy!
Cheers, KF
* My 2WD Garden Wall
* Current ride: 2WD Disc EBikeKit (9C 2806-equivalent) / Dual Lyen 12FET / 15S6P LiPo when commuting.
* Going to California: 2011: Trip completed 8)
* Club Member: 40-mph & 101. 10k-Club: 11,218 miles-to-date, 5728 as 2WD.

It is by caffeine alone I set my mind in motion.
It is by the beans of Java that thoughts acquire speed.
The hands acquire shakes, the shakes become a warning.
It is by caffeine alone I set my mind in motion.
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Re: Back in the Saddle: Going to California: 2011

Postby Kingfish » Tue Sep 06, 2011 5:54 pm

Backfill #11 – Part 1: Thursday, August 18th
Eureka to Gold Beach, Oregon


Power Management
I would like to take a moment here to address a process that I developed over the past two days of coastal riding. The battery pack has a functional personality:

  • Typically I start out at 63.3 to 63.4 volts. I call this the “bloom” of the pack for it is quickly blown off below 62.5V within the first couple-three to five of miles which reinforces that it’s kinda pointless to charge it any higher – even with my large capacity. It would be lucky if I was able to get 25 miles down the road and still have 61.5 volts left – which often was a private goal.
  • The next range I liked to call as being the “top of the fat” between 61.5 to 59.0 volts. Here is the first useful segment of production where again if I am lucky I can pick up another 40 miles. Between 58.0 and 59.0 is privately referred to as the “happy-side” of the first half of the pack :) , whereas 57.0 to 57.9 volts is the “unhappy-side” :( . I coined this phrase when beginning the ascent up Mount Hood and quickly discovered I’d reach the unhappy side before the summit unless a place could be found for opportunity-charging (which is true if you recall the two girls selling lemonade). Happy-side/unhappy-side: A dichotomy at the halfway point of any journey, and if the unhappy side was reached before going halfway then I became very sensitive about power management, often dropping the cruising speed to extend the range. :|
  • The actual miles produced between 57.0 and 57.9 is rather large – and probably the fattest of the single-volt ranges. In truth I think the middle of the pack is probably closer to 57.2 V. The 56 volt range is no slouch either; even when the running voltage is pulled well below 55.5 volts, the pack will recover when given a small 5 minute rest and pop back up to middle 56 volts through what I call “bounce”.
  • Worry enters my brain when I am well into the 55-volt range and I still have 25-35 miles to go. The 54-volt range is for the last hurrah; guaranteed to provide 20 solid miles in nearly all conditions (privately I call it "head to the barn!" :shock: cos yer almost out of dependable power). I do not trust 53-volts and below; based on last years’ experience the voltage sage will be too close to the LVC and inhibit hill climbing.
Thus – the mantra during the day of any ride is to try and get to the hallway point before the happy-side is burned off. Problem: I was optimistic in my planning for the return route and did not account for headwind, or possibly other factors – like the thick marine air or the twisty-winding roads. Both were a factor in the previous two days, though it has generally remained unmentioned. On both days I started out strong, only to drop speed and try to squeeze 100 miles out with only 57.8 volts left; both days also had significant hill climbs in the first half of the day – resulting in a bit of skewing on the interpretation of production. This is part of my process, to weigh out in my head how far I can go, and if I can make it.

Thursday Morning
The night before I left the pub about 9 PM plenty bushed and hit the sack immediately. I had developed a habit since Hollister of putting on the earbuds and listening to music of the dumbphone if the charging was in the same room; can hardly hear a thing that way. I was out like a light before the first song had finished – though in my subconscious, the whole album had been saved for recall the next day for enjoyment when On the Road. I slept right on through the night hard and didn’t rise until 6 AM; guess I needed the rest. Got the bike prepped and walked around the corner to Denny’s for breakfast. I changed up my normal and decided on French Toast, eggs and bacon, with a large OJ. Locals gossiped and gushed about their pugs (dog breed) and even shared their images with me; I surmised that it a local patron thing to own the same breed. Fueled up and fed, wrote down Rassy’s information to paper in case I wouldn’t have connectivity (having a history of unreliability when needed most). Before leaving I added the two hose clamps to the right-side torque-arm to prevent that side of the rear axle from sliding up and down. This resolved part of the grinding with the rear tire engaging the controllers.

Left Eureka at 9 AM with 63.4V and headed out northeast on US 101 which quickly turned to freeway. Plainly I am grateful the law allows me to ride in the margins, especially here after fretting for weeks how to get around Humboldt Bay to Arcata if using the side roads. Traffic was heavy, the sky overcast though quickly burning off, it was cool, and there was hardly more than a breeze; good riding weather.

Just before reaching the Arcata Marsh and Wildlife Refuge there was a pedestrian walking smack-dab in the middle of the margin. I saw him from a distance, but I also espied a long series of rigs in the right lane coming up coincident, meaning I had no room to move over, nor was there room to pass right; squeeze-play. He was wearing the oddest garb: The red-and-black striped trousers and boots reminding me of a buccaneer or better yet – a rogue, especially his dark coat, and the manner of his pack with a bedroll horizontal across the top. Long bushy sun-bleached brownish hair topped with an undistinguished cap (not a ball cap), he had this jangly kind of walk… oblivious and probably stoned. I was reminded somewhat that perhaps he was hitchhiking from one Renascence Faire to another. Above the roar of traffic – there was no way he could hear my “people-bell” and I was upon him nearly equal at the shoulder when he exclaimed “JEESU…!” not hearing the full word as I passed. Well – maybe he should walk a bit more to the side. Unfortunately, I could relate cos often the edge of the margin is not the safest, and there just isn’t a lot of room if there is a margin at all. In a remote way though, part of me snickered in a delightfully-sinister way as he probably pissed his pants. :twisted:

In McKinleyville, I took the Central Avenue exit which is the Business 101 route; I forget the reason why I did this, although possibly it might have been to rest and review the path forward or possibly to remove my Seattle Jacket. Maybe I just needed a break from the freeway. Regardless I stopped around the intersection of Railroad Drive briefly. The road continues forward, up a low grade past the airport on the left and then merges back to the freeway a couple of miles later. Crossed over the Little River and it reminded me of the easy-rock band of the same name; one of their tunes pops into my pointy lil’ head and kept me entertained for a few miles as the Redwood Highway makes it way north through the coastal woods.

Image
Borrowed image of Arcata Bay looking north with Arcata in the foreground and McKinleyville along the north beach before the mountains. The lagoons are on the other side.

Some miles north of Trinidad I pull off at a rest stop for a break, probably around 10:30 AM as rest for a good 20 minutes. Weather was kinda funky here; can’t decide to be sun or damp and cloudy, but I am sweating heavily; do I risk it and pack away the fleece? Here too had I continued to modify how the trailer was packed, where I could stow or retrieve items much more quickly without extensive effort. The fleece I could stuff on one side and the jacket on the other, and beneath each of them I could reach my shaving kit (First Aid, sunscreen), or the knapsack (journal, quick tools). Quick access without effort.

Back on the road and over this small mountain pass, the sun had reeled back the clouds to expose the Big Lagoon; exquisite! I often waved at cyclists heading the other way whenever possible. Most were touring, but a few looked like they were on a speed-run or had a sag-wagon (I came across one not far from here); most of these folks barely acknowledged. Though I think overall the percentage was tilted towards women more than men, sometimes traveling in knots separated by a ¼ or ½ mile which had me thinking they were part of group rides. I also waved at pedestrians off to the side, possibly waiting for a ride. One such was a youthful dark-haired gal with dark sun glasses and she gave me one of those surfer-hang-5 kinda gestures which I presumed meant that “I was cool”. She was dressed contemporary for her generation, possibly a student at Humboldt, who’s to say. A least I got a smile and that’s enough.

Image
Borrowed image of Big Lagoon in the foreground, with Stone and Freshwater Lagoons over the next ridge. The arc of the shoreline ends at Crescent City, although you can see into Oregon farther north.

Winding around Stone and then Freshwater Lagoon, the 2-way undivided highway crosses Redwood Creek at Orick and widens out to support local traffic; a long strip of local businesses on either side of the road. And as I am passing through this section, with whom do I see – but the rogue, walking north too close to the road again, back facing me, heads-down, maybe twisting up another spleef? It crosses my mind to dive-bomb him… :twisted: but – I have plenty of room to move left into the lane and decide to pass by widely and play nice. <ding-ding> I never saw his face. Not long after I pull off at next to a “Community Center” abutting a farm. Actually I drove past it – but was struck by the sheer beauty of the landscape and returned to stop, rest and take a picture. Quite fatigued; I needed to rest. Imagine a 2-lane country road; long well-aged farmhouse structure with split-wood fencing on the left, vineyard on the right, and straight ahead the road goes a short distance towards the thick woods before turning left up some mountain grade. Picture postcard perfect with the indirect light of overcast and few shadows. I took a second one with four small children crossing over towards the farmhouse on the way to a music lesson. Alas – all photos of this day are missing. :cry:

Scenic Parkway detour
As with the previous day, I elect to take a side trip parallel to the highway and take the Newton B. Drury (Redwood) Scenic Parkway through the Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park. This 10-mile bypass bisects an elk prairie crossing before diving deep into unspoiled old growth forest. I have the road nearly to myself! There is one slight grade to climb and the road is a little narrow and becomes twisty near the north end, though still worth the adventure! :wink:

Rejoining the Redwood Highway, a short time later I cross over the Klamath River over a long bridge. Somewhere between here and the Del Norte Coast Redwoods Park I stopped to rest, though the map does not give the name of the place where there is roadside development; north of Requa near Redwood Drive. I just needed 5-10 minutes. Regroup, and head onward, past the Trees of Mystery, past False Klamath Cove, on and up begins the first serious hill climb of the day through Del Norte. There is a lot of traffic and I had to pull over once to let them by. At the top I peeled off and watered; we’re above the clouds here and it’s quite warm. Then the descent begins and it is long, winding, narrow, and steep! Blast as fast as I dare can, yet traffic is passing to get around me faster still! A couple of hair-raising tight turns near the bottom, regen all the way! Then bomb out onto the long straightaway and enter Crescent City under slightly gloomy skies about 1:30 PM.

...more, KF
* My 2WD Garden Wall
* Current ride: 2WD Disc EBikeKit (9C 2806-equivalent) / Dual Lyen 12FET / 15S6P LiPo when commuting.
* Going to California: 2011: Trip completed 8)
* Club Member: 40-mph & 101. 10k-Club: 11,218 miles-to-date, 5728 as 2WD.

It is by caffeine alone I set my mind in motion.
It is by the beans of Java that thoughts acquire speed.
The hands acquire shakes, the shakes become a warning.
It is by caffeine alone I set my mind in motion.
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Re: Back in the Saddle: Going to California: 2011

Postby Kingfish » Tue Sep 06, 2011 6:12 pm

Backfill #11 – Part 2: Thursday, August 18th
Eureka to Gold Beach, Oregon


Lunch
Consulting the Google Maps oracle, there’s a Subway up ahead; sounds good to me. When I stepped inside I nearly fell over from the warmth and heat. Ordered up a sandwich and milk; that chocolate chip cookie looks good too. Time for a quick post on ES to let Rassy know where I am. Fed and rested, the sun has graced us with its’ presence, warming up the afternoon. Lovely! :)

Heading out, the Redwood Highway jumps from US 101 over to US 199 northeast towards Grants Pass, but we forge on ahead on this big wide well-maintained bit of road with large margins northward. There’s a covered bus stop on the side of the road, and I espy the dark-haired girl with sunglasses; as I pass I point to her as if to say “It’s You! Look how far we’ve come!!” :D She flashes me a big wide smile and waves back! Kindred friends on the road.

Nearly straight ahead over a gentle rise and then down again to cross over the Smith River, the scenery is of vast tracts of inland farmsteads bordered by lazy forested hills. Beautiful weather for a ride with only a slight breeze. The path towards back towards the sea and then north, parallel to the coast, then just past Pelican State Beach after a small rise I cross into Oregon Country at 3 PM. It wasn’t very picture-worthy, though I stopped post it on ES, resting for just a moment to water-up. It’s warm! The road becomes aptly named as the Oregon Coast Highway, and travels along an elevated plain that is mostly straight with wide margins and well maintained. Farmers use this road too; there was more than one rig going down the road here, slowing up traffic.

Image
Borrowed image of the Smith River, seen from the Hiouchi Trail

Entering Brookings was a little treacherous and frustrating with local drivers not minding themselves. One smoggy turd in an old sporty car with a blown muffler and likely blown subwoofer, on his cellphone, couldn’t have the decency to do the speed limit, was too busy to see me, and made a right turn without signally. :x This was right after another idiot in a small light white truck passes me with centimeters to spare; I don’t get it: Am I taking up too much room? :P I don’t want to stop; shake it off and keep going.

The road returns to rural with gentle grades, being most pleasant and scenic with sea stacks dotting the coast. I am optimistic because there is a short distance to go and the pack is solid on the reserve, holding well in the 56-volt range. With about 30 miles to go, I could open up the throttle and make some great time on these straightaways! Pretty soon though the hills begin to steepen and the winds pick up; I’m hot and ready for a good break so I pull off at Whalehead Road leading to the Beach Resort with 18 miles to go and making good time.

The Wind
It’s a long climb up into Samuel H. Boardman State Park with some crosswind, but the bike climbs well. Down the backside, some headwind – but nothing serious. Climb and descend, pass close to the shoreline for incredible sea stack views and crystal-clear coves; gosh if there’s was an easy way to pull off and snap a photie I’d have done it, but the road is busy. The last hill following Mack Arch Cove though it begins to really get windy and I have to drop gears to climb it. As I crest, I am met head-on with serious buffeting and have to throttle to get down the hill. The buffeting is absolutely horrible as I reach the flats. :x The cyclists going south are struggling to maintain balance. I am at WOT and barely doing 12 mph. Had my rig not have so much mass, I would have been blown over; for once I was grateful to be heavy. The worst was yet to come: Crossing the Pistol River Bridge was the dangerous wind experience I have ever had, and I am absolutely thankful no cars tried to pass me cos it was everything I could do to keep the bike pointed forward and stay away from the guard railing. If I had to guess – the wind exceeded 35 mph with gusts on top of that. Once on the other side of the bridge, the bluff to my immediate right deflected some of force. I stopped at the first pullout to rest where the Pistol River Loop connects. This was a nightmare! :( Caught my breath and continued on for another mile, pulling off at Meyers Creek Road to rest. Maybe it will let up after Meyers Cove. Driving up the slope and away from the shore through Cape Sebastian State Park, the buffeting reduced, though I still had a terrible headwind.

Image
Borrowed image of Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor and Cape Sebastian, South Oregon Coast - looking south.

Crossing Hunter’s Creek, I stopped at the wye and checked the map; damned dumbphone can’t zero in on my position and I’m left to guess if I’ve made it or not. Studying the maps, I haven’t seen an airport, so it must be ahead. At last there is development on both sides of the road; this is it – Gold Beach. The highway rides a bit high on the side of a rise and I can see a good ways off to the left. I am now parallel with the airport, so out of a lark, I take an opportunistic left when the traffic is clear and head on down to Airport Way and take a right, then a left on Oceanside Drive (that’s the one I need to find), go to the end and it wraps around; there’s the RV park of the same name. OK, gravel entrance <deep breath>, go slow… I see the numbers, head towards the end… and I hear Rassy call me out! :D

Image
Borrowed image of Gold Beach, Oregon. The RV park is on the south corner where the Rogue River exists to the sea.

Gold Beach
It’s 4:30 PM. In the last 8 miles I had lost 2 volts off the pack fighting the wind, which was – impossible! :cry: I don’t know how I could have made the original goal of Port Orford which is another 25 miles away. I’ll have to rethink my plans going forward in a most serious way. :(

Rassy is a perfect host, and I am welcomed into his camp with his long-time friends! Eating outside though was a complete chore; it reminded me of being on a Destroyer in rough sea and trying to eat with one arm wrapped around the plate, holding your drink, and the other arm trying to feed your face between the surges and swells and chop. :lol: The plates would blow away, the beer would get knocked over, and the food was at risk as well. <sigh> Still – it was great to be welcomed. :)

Charging was easy enough; just plug right into the power post. Rassy thought it would be wise to cover the bike/charger with a tarp to redcue the risk of dewy moisture in the morning – so we did that and covered the bike. The wind blew the tarp all night. I took some really neat shots of the recently renovated bridge over the Rogue River from a couple of different perspectives. I also took a panorama of Gold Beach at sunset when the orangey rays were hitting the windows of the city, and again after sunset – with just the city lights. All these photos though are gone. :cry:

The original plan for Rassy I think was to take me out on the boat and go fishing. Unfortunately the wind was so fierce that their attempts earlier in the day were aborted after about an hour. If the wind didn’t let up then the trip was a bust. Rassy has one of those camping vans and I was set up nicely and most cozy. Inside with his laptop over wireless, he consulted NOAA and it appeared the worst of the wind was here already though would last another day. Weekend traffic would start tomorrow. I decided to find a way out and back inland to get away from it. Instead of heading to Lincoln City or Newport, the route to Florence would be a better choice with Reedsport and a fallback if conditions get mighty worse. From there, Rassy picked out a path north to McMinnville that sounded quite reasonable. Glad to have his friendship and experience! :wink: :D

We called it an early one for an equally early morning rise.

Stats:
Start V = 63.4; End V = 54.3
Distance = 140.4; Total Odometer = 1985 miles
Regen = 1.0%; Vmin – 52.7
MaxS – 41.2; AveS = 28.1
Trip Time = 4:59:57

Will I make it to Florence? Stay tuned… KF

PS: How am I doing? Too long-winded? This was the only day without any recoverable images. :(
* My 2WD Garden Wall
* Current ride: 2WD Disc EBikeKit (9C 2806-equivalent) / Dual Lyen 12FET / 15S6P LiPo when commuting.
* Going to California: 2011: Trip completed 8)
* Club Member: 40-mph & 101. 10k-Club: 11,218 miles-to-date, 5728 as 2WD.

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Re: Back in the Saddle: Going to California: 2011

Postby Rassy » Tue Sep 06, 2011 7:24 pm

How am I doing? Too long-winded?

Hey, I am enjoying it KF. Of course I am biased, having met you on this segment of your ride, plus being quite familiar with your route from SF up into Washington. Too bad about the missing pictures, but you found some pretty good substitutes.

Anyway, I am glad you worked in the Gold Beach stop. Enjoyed meeting you, which makes the sixth ES'er I've met in person so far. All good experiences.
-Rassy-
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Re: Back in the Saddle: Going to California: 2011

Postby dbaker » Tue Sep 06, 2011 7:37 pm

The detail you provide distinguishes your work :D Your thread; make it yours :mrgreen: I am very much living vicariously through your prose... :)
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Re: Back in the Saddle: Going to California: 2011

Postby Kingfish » Wed Sep 07, 2011 6:22 pm

Backfill #12 – Part 1: Friday, August 19th
Gold Beach to Florence


Departure
I was awake long before dawn. There was no wind outside; I couldn’t hear the charger nor the tarp flapping. A good solid sleep filled with colorful dreams. Rassy stirred and got up for a walk; I made my bed and got ready. The sky was clear and the early rays were just beginning to penetrate and change darkness to twilight; beautiful still calm. A bowl of cereal offered by my great host fills the void temporarily and it is enough to launch me on my way about 6:30 AM after a grateful stay; I say my good byes (for now). :)

Threading up back to the highway, Rassy told me of a shortcut and it was good stuff. Up over this historic bridge: Crossing the Rogue River before sunrise – I wonder if Rassy could see me? There is no traffic. The view is spectacular! On to the other side, the road bends left towards the ocean though with a small hill climb, and then trends right and up over the ridge – going north once again.

It is a long straight course for several miles and I make the best of it whilst the wind is low. But there is a pestering rubbing sound that kills my joy. What is it?!? :x I pull off at Ophir just before the hill climb and re-inspect the bike. For the life of me – I cannot figure out what is rubbing, but I redress and tighten the zip-ties which pull the controllers away from the rear tire, re-inspect the trailer tire to insure it is not the cause, and check the panniers to see that they are not rubbing or conspiring in some other manner. I swear to myself that the next creation will avoid all of these nasty pesky nagging issues. :x For the briefest moments I am reminded of my pestering ex-mother-in-law, and strangely – a smile grows across my face cos she is after all, my EX. :twisted: hehe

Back on the bike, head up the hill, plodding on past Sisters Rock State Park and Prehistoric Gardens, the sun begins to break and illuminate the sky. The coastal mist (not fog) retreats. Climbing up over Humbug Mountain State Park, I am reminded of another place named Humbug Valley southwest of Lake Almanor and 4 miles west of Butt Valley Reservoir in California; a beautiful meadow nestled in the woods, whereas I am on a beautiful forested mountain road. Humbug stays in my head for a while…

Image
Borrow image; early morning light on the beaches of Port Orford, Oregon looking south from the way I came.

Descending back down to the coast, and following it all the way around the arc of the crescent – I finally reach Port Orford after some 25 miles. Rassy said the best place to eat is Paradise Café near the other end of town on the left, so I keep my eyes peeled for it: There it is, right between 18th and 19th Streets and before the Camp Blanco RV Park. It’s tight quarters with the bar at the entrance, but I found a spot vacated just as I arrived, and drop my stuff. As I was arriving, three older cyclists were making to leave; I heard the gal geek about Ortliebs and figured a hook on how to start a conversation. Then they saw my ebike: What is THAT?!? So it begins… another happy dog-and-pony show. As a tease, I related to the gal how Ortlieb changed the Classic Pannier features for this year versus the last – and sure enough, like a hooked salmon, she was fighting all over to check it out and just geeked-away! (It was fun and we had a good laugh). :lol: They were actually headed… oh go on… guess which direction! Naturally I had to hear that I was going the wrong way, but then I have the Electric Bike, I have The Power, thus they named me “a stud”; well – with a sobriquet like that – one has to pose, right? :wink: Great for a laugh! I think we made some new ES converts. Once on their way, I took my seat at the bar. Cute waitress with good carry-on took my tall order of French Toast with Ham Steak and Eggs; it’s going to be a long day.

Fueled-up, I left Port Orford about 9 AM. There is a slight breeze picking up now under a bright clear sky, though the road north is decidedly inland, crossing over a pastoral estuary. Three or four more small rivers go by; lots of quiet rural development, up and down gentle grades – nothing too challenging except for the wind which is slowly building. I keep my speed in check now and drop a gear, trying to find the right mix where I can set the cruise to about 25-27 mph, yet still feel like I am making headway. I am aggressive about dropping a gear lower on each hill climb to reduce the power consumption as well, developing a new technique as I go. The roads are good repair, though a few miles north, I see why: There is road construction; ‘tis the season for it. At the Flagman, I let others go before me so I can head up the rear; a habit I developed since that nasty construction business at Montara. The part I enjoy about the trick is that I will have about a 10 minute window without traffic up my backside each time the Flagman stops traffic and I can take over the lane instead of riding the margin.

Coming into Bandon about 10 AM, there is a modest hill climb with wind before descending into the town good and proper. I am beginning to hate this wind. The highway then bends east for about ½ mile; here for the first time in I don’t know – maybe a thousand milesI have a tailwind! :mrgreen: The other noteworthy milestone is that I have now explored a segment of Hwy 101 between Crescent City and Bandon that had not been covered before. With exception to the final 50 miles of US 101 on the east side of the Olympic Mountains, I have now covered the entire length of the Pacific Coast Highway from San Diego at Tijuana, to the tip of the Olympic Peninsula at Hood Canal. :D It is with hope that the final segment of US 101, the one between Hood Canal and Olympia will be completed in 3 days.

Recollections
My short tailwind ended ½ mile later when Hwy 42S headed east and US 101 turned north after a steep rise up onto an embankment where I could catch a glimpse of the Coquille River Estuary. Many years ago, gosh – it might have been 10 years by now, I drove down to Bandon to meet up with my Cousins and Uncles and folks for a few days of fishing and crabbing. They had already been here for maybe close to a week, and I bombed on down for a fast 4 days; left right after work from Redmond, drove until I could hardly see into the middle of the night, parking in some coffee shop lot for a couple of hours near Eugene, and at twilight, snagged breakfast, then continued on to Florence, then south to Bandon – arriving just after the guys had made their afternoon haul of crab. There was so much crab that they were still eating yesterday’s catch! I was pretty crispy-fried from the mad dash and vegged that first ½ day. On the next though, they took me out on the boat:

Image
Borrowed image of the Coquille River Estuary north of Bandon looking northeast.

My Uncle near Greenville has a large pasture against a huge mountain. The hang gliders liked to land there – frequently. As it turned out, one in particular became a regular. This guy made his living fishing and crabbing right here in Bandon. The story goes that one day when there was a big storm, all the crabs came into the estuary to seek shelter. The ocean-going crabbers could not get past the narrow breakwater; tides and undersea ridges prevented their passage. This guy was the only boat inland; he drops it into the estuary with his crew working double-shifts and in 3 days hauls out enough crab to pay for his boat! For vacation, he hang-glides. As buddies with my Uncle, he extended a welcome any time to come and fish with him on his boat. I think this was like the third annual trip in a row, and I got to go. :)

So – I am on this boat. For the last 3 days no one has caught a thing; crabs though are flowing. With every plickety-type boat out there – big ones, small ones, and people on the shore casting away, we set out 9 pots, and as we do my other Uncle and I are rigged/trolling for salmon. It’s a sunny breezy day. All the pots are out and the Captain (our friend) tells us to reel in so we can recheck. Reel, reel, reel… hmmm – I’m stuck. “Hey Unc, I think I’m caught up in yer gear”, but he says no, couldn’t be as he pulls his tackle out of the water. Hmmph! “Well, I must be stuck on a log on the bottom then” as the rod bends over, so the Captain, he slows the boat – and then his mate says “That’s no log; you’ve got a fish!” And what a fish it was! :shock: I am there fighting now, and the whole rest of the gang begins to work for and with me, watching for it, with nets and hooks and grapples, the Captain trying to keep the boat at station in the current and wind, with the fish dodging under the boat and out again. Feel the fish, “Feel the Force Luke; let it flow through you!” Um yeah, right… :roll: Fight, reel, let it out, reel in, pulling hard, oh – let some out, reel in – pick up the slack, gawd how long is this going to go for? Then the fish pops out of the water: It is a whopper Coho Silver Salmon; big splash! Oh man ~ what a fighter! OK, we’ve got him reeled in close now next to the boat and the mate is ready with the net; he slips it under the salmon and is starting to lift – when the fish flips out and takes off! “Don’t Lose Him!” they cry out in unison! The Captain fights to get the boat back where we can track him down, I am strapped into my seat – ready to hand the pole off if I could, and I have to fight this fish all over again. Another 10 minutes goes by, fish pops up again out of the water, reel reel reel, I am so tired – but then so is the fish now coming up to the surface, hardly able to dive, and slowly, methodically, we try to net him again. At last; he’s in the boat. I tell the mate to be kind to him, can you stick a knife right behind the eyes, maybe put him out like that… but no, he picks up a big pipe and clubs him twice, smashing the head; bloody mess. :|

As it turns out – I’m the only one on the boat without a fishing license! Quickly, we measure the length: Uncles take a quick photo of me with the fish next to my leg and with the tail touching the deck, and the nose comes up past my beltline by 4 inches; a little over 3 feet! Without hesitation, the mate guts and fillets the fish on the spot, whilst the Captain is busy heading for the pots; “Get these pots in!” and as soon as we do – we are outta there! Back at camp, my cousin sets up two gas grills. One fillet we pack in ice and it goes home to my folks. The second fillet we cut in half, with each being separately cooked on a grill. My cousin tells me: Add squeezed lemon, cook it on medium-high for 11 minutes and wait for the meat to lift off the skin. I have never in my life had fresh salmon like that before less than an hour after catching it, and it tastes like steak, not fishy; mouthwatering as I am able to cut it with a fork! :D

This fun recollection pops into my head before the view of the estuary is replaced by the view of the long bridge. It is gusting and I need to pay attention. There’s a spot on the road with an embedded sensor for cyclists, and if I can run over that spot – warning lights will flash to indicate to drivers that cyclists are crossing; at my speed I barely hit the marker – there is a delay, but then… the lights begin to flash! This old steel bridge is the source of many backups.

Image
Borrowed image, Coquille River just after Bandon heading north.

…more, KF
* My 2WD Garden Wall
* Current ride: 2WD Disc EBikeKit (9C 2806-equivalent) / Dual Lyen 12FET / 15S6P LiPo when commuting.
* Going to California: 2011: Trip completed 8)
* Club Member: 40-mph & 101. 10k-Club: 11,218 miles-to-date, 5728 as 2WD.

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The hands acquire shakes, the shakes become a warning.
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Re: Back in the Saddle: Going to California: 2011

Postby Kingfish » Wed Sep 07, 2011 6:51 pm

Backfill #12 – Part 2: Friday, August 19th
Gold Beach to Florence


Coos Bay
Blustery, but not impossible, crossed safely and rode on past Bullards Beach State Park where we had camped. Within a short space I am back on top of brand new pavement; no lines yet drawn, though the pavement extends clear to the margins – and it is with awesome smoothness I continue forward on the best of beds. This perfect track continues up and over hills and down again all the way until the Coos Bay-Roseburg Hwy 42 merges in. I find a place to pull off around Millington to rest up before heading in to Coos Bay proper for just a few short minutes. Then it’s pretty heavy traffic all the way into town, but as it goes the speed limit drops low enough that I can now take over the lane and travel with the cars. Arriving at 11 AM, US 101 joins up with Newport Avenue bending left, crossing over some inlet channel, then trends right/north and divides into one-way streets. I am starving; just after the Fred Meyer I spot a Subway; always a safe place to eat. Peel myself off the bike; stiff, achy. Wait for the blood to equalize.

I have been doing a lot of poverty-pedaling trying to save energy, and yet - I’ve only covered 80 miles and I am well into the unhappy side of the pack. Time to rest; food, milk, cookie, post status on ES, check NOAA. It is warming up though with a good breeze; not stiff – though certainly providing resistance. I think I took about a ½ hour break here before moving on with 50 more miles ahead.

This is the first time I have seen Coos Bay in broad daylight; it has been overcast or gloomy the past times coming and going. All very pretty today! Despite the traffic, it is not problematic, and as before when crossing the bridge there are warning lights notifying drivers that cyclists are crossing. Brilliant! :wink: The road north is straight, level, with good margins, and light traffic; it is simply easy riding with exception for the wind which is a constant reminder to be miserly and judicious with the throttle. The scenery is easy on the eyes. Though I pass right beside great fields of high dunes, it is difficult to tell from this forested roadway, although the road cut geology strongly indicates compacted sand; precursor to sandstone. The town of Lakeside comes and goes uneventfully. Gentle inland lakes offer up splendidly lush views: Eel Lake, Teal Lake, and Clear Lake. After a light incline the road crests and I can see clear out to the ocean; there’s a pullout – and I take it for want of a break.

Always it seems when I pull in where there are people, my bike becomes the attraction. :) I am a little bit fatigued fighting the wind to play along though, and now I just want to be a pedestrian and take my break. Snack, drink, stretch, view, and take pictures. It is a remarkable vista overlooking the Umpqua Lighthouse State Park and the triangular jetty where the Umpqua River terminates. There is a vessel, large freighter, heavy in the water, plowing ahead, fighting current, waves, and wind as it carefully navigates the narrow channel to get clear of the breakwater. The collective, We the People, watch as it slowly turns south. I figured it was doing about 14 knots, bumbling along methodically. (Note: Photo missing) A couple of people inquire about the bike and I oblige the customary request with delight.

Image
Borrowed image of Reedsport looking west. The triangular jetty is near the top-left.

Reedsport
The pullout though was a bit dangerous to cross and it takes a few minutes to wait for the proper interval being on the top of a rise and nearly a blind corner in both directions. I need to go north, and I cross both lanes WOT, then down the quick slope to Winchester Bay, and ultimately into Reedsport about 1:15 PM, carefully crossing over the Umpqua River; the lights did not trigger this time but traffic was light. Not so earlier in the day, especially around both sides of Coos Bay with weekender racing to get to their destinations. I wouldn’t say that any particular driver was rude insomuch as to say generally they were all annoying to some degree with impatient urgency; but no single assholes today, possibly because there were too many to count. This tone decidedly changed once north of Reedsport and it was a pleasant experience riding along the warm north bend of the River through Gardiner. I took another short rest and pulled off ever so briefly at the Old Lower Smith River Road before the hill climb. Beautiful and quiet. The blood and feeling return to my hands. Two constant issues with riding cross-country: Hands and wrists, and saddle soreness. I’ve probably mentioned this before but no matter how comfortable the seat is – after 50 miles they are all uncomfortable. :roll:

Moving on, the climb up the grade was easy and straight before bending sinuously northwest through shaved forest tracts. But that wasn’t a distraction: The meadowy bogs filled with colorful water lily pads to the left and to the right, followed by the sublime Tahkenitch Lake – oh, I had to stop! Ahh – boat ramp up ahead; perfect! Incomparable richness of color and contrast, vivid blues and greens and sky, surrounded by rainforests of Sitka Spruce with mossy lichen delicately hanging from the trees. So tranquil and peaceful – except for wind and occasional traffic, I could just sit and stay. :wink: Took a panorama and one of a nearby meadow (photos missing). Two elderly men were coming back in from fishing. I inquired about their luck but the one crusty fart heading for his truck just groused about wind; well – I could relate to that. He wasn’t very good at trailering either; couldn’t get the trailer centered on the boat ramp. I didn’t want to watch anymore and decided to move on.

Image
One of two images that I have of this day. The old guy in the truck (behind the sign) is trying for the third time… :roll:

More picture-perfect postcards: Perkins Lake, Lost Lake, Carter Lake, and Loon Lake. Less than a mile on the left just over the visible hump was the wild surf, and on the immediate right hemmed in was the thick forest, and right here, right beneath this very road was the narrow transition between both of these worlds, and it was richly diverse! 8)

Florence
The End-Game was afoot. Passing Westlake which idly sits beside Sitcoos Lake on the right, then high dunes of the JM Honeyman Memorial State Park on the left, a patchwork of rural development and partial clearing reminiscent of Lake Tahoe presages the next large settlement of Florence, delineated on the south by the Siuslaw River and bridge. Traffic is moving pretty thick here and I can’t wait to get out of it. At 2:15 PM, I pulled off at 2nd Street to get my bearings. Memory is a little fuzzy here but I bet that by hook and by crook there were only 3 places I could stay, and I didn’t much care for the Old Town Inn. All the other rooms were too far north and away from the center of town. I decide to take a chance and stayed at the Lighthouse Inn right next to the highway. They had two rooms, modestly priced – but only the third was large enough or of the correct orientation to accept my bike; I had to take the king bed facing the road, Room #26 all the way at the end for $103.40 (beggars can’t be choosers; this was the most I ever spent on a room for the entire trip). Had to goose it to get the tire over the hump into the doorway, and rearrange chairs and dresser – but I spooned it into this old historic, maybe ancient inn of another era and started charging at 3 PM. Got my shower, shaved the 3 whiskers off my chinny-chin-chin, polished the single tooth in that my pointy head of mine, and with a dab of Deet for protection, made my way into the Old Town for a bit of socializing. Whoo hoo! :wink: :lol:

Night Life
The manager of the Inn highly recommended the Waterfront Depot (5 stars) as being the best deal for those on a budget <wink, nod, nudge>. I decided to do a walkabout the Old Town; it’s not large and took only ½ hour to canvas it enough. Near the end of Bay Street towards the east is a fish & chips place (2 stars) with a gal out in front handing out samples of chowder. Tempting, and trying her best to get me to come in like one of those used-car sales people that was a Carny-hack before that – I had to defer to my gut feeling; the chowder wasn’t that whelming – so I begged to pass until I had reconnoitered the whole shebang. And as I said, it didn’t take long; less than ½ hour.

Image
The second image of this day; this is looking down Bay Street east in the Old Town section of Florence.

Back where I started in front of the Waterfront Depot, I entered into this small establishment that was packed to the gills, reservations-only, but there was a seat at the bar, so that’s where I went. If memory serves me correct, I had the Lobster-Crab-Shrimp Linguine with a Widmer Hefe (no lemon). A couple of older ladies nearing retirement took a seat to my right, both locals and filled me in on the lay of the land; nice gals – quite charming… they probably would have adopted me had I asked – all in good fun. :) Afterwards I walked “the walk” which is about two blocks long, before crossing to the other side “to walk”, and well – I was attracted to the Beachcomber Pub, a venue more kindred towards the working-class of all sorts. Ponied up to the bar and ordered up what a local had suggested (NOT Rogue! for some obtuse adverse reason). I don’t rightly recall what it was – though I didn’t mind the beer nearly as much as her selection of a “Jager Bomb” followed by her favorite “yellow beer”: beer glass filled with Red Bull, followed with Jagermeister in a shot glass & dropped in, then followed by MGD. Why do I think the social elite pass on these things? :roll: What the heck; at least the publican is cute as can be. :wink: Somewhere here I answered ES questions, and then left when it became dark; it was a pleasantly warm walk back to the room. Fun little town; good hang for a Friday night.

Stats:
Start V = 63.4; End V = 55.1
Distance = 129.1 miles; Total Odometer = 2114 miles
Regen = 0.4% - can you believe it! :( Vmin = 53.5
MaxS = 40.7, AveS = 26.5
Trip Time = 4:51:51

Tomorrow, the road inland and up to McMinnville, KF
* My 2WD Garden Wall
* Current ride: 2WD Disc EBikeKit (9C 2806-equivalent) / Dual Lyen 12FET / 15S6P LiPo when commuting.
* Going to California: 2011: Trip completed 8)
* Club Member: 40-mph & 101. 10k-Club: 11,218 miles-to-date, 5728 as 2WD.

It is by caffeine alone I set my mind in motion.
It is by the beans of Java that thoughts acquire speed.
The hands acquire shakes, the shakes become a warning.
It is by caffeine alone I set my mind in motion.
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Re: Back in the Saddle: Going to California: 2011

Postby Kingfish » Thu Sep 08, 2011 6:33 pm

Backfill #13: Saturday, August 20th
Florence to McMinnville


Image
Borrowed image of Florence, Oregon looking west with the estuary below.

The River Estuary
Slept well; the charger finished up about Midnight or so; I heard it click off and dutifully unplugged it. Next time I climbed out of bed was about 5:30 AM. Wrapped up for bear, left the motel with just a hint of daylight on an otherwise darkly overcast dewy morning, up the road north about ½ mile just past the Safeway (Starbucks? – no; closed) to the Kozy Kitchen. I was maybe the 2nd person to sit down as they opened at 7 AM; Biscuits & Gravy with Eggs and Bacon. Food came quick. I was on the road by 7:35 AM, pulling straight out of the parking lot onto Hwy 126 heading east towards Eugene. Good road, wide margins, little traffic, low light still; overcast and rising fog from the inland river estuary painted beautiful early morning portraits over and over again! The problem with this is how do you stop to capture it: I’m up high on the seat; if I pull over to the side, it will be lower and I’ll have brush and foliage in the way, or maybe the moment is lost. Maybe I just need to describe it:

Image
Borrowed image of the typical boats found at the Port of Siuslaw in Florence, Oregon.

Immediately leaving heading east, the Florence-Eugene Highway follows the north side of the Siuslaw River and bordering inlets, all affected by tidal action, so in a sense – it’s an estuary. The water being at one temperature, and the air at the other conspire to create local climatic foggy mist that rises from the water, though dissipates as it does, creating a unique soft-lighting gradient. The width across is nearly a mile leaving town though slowly narrows over the next five miles to about half that by the time I reach the Coast Marina & RV Park across from Duncan Inlet. This is a visual treat as fishermen in their modest sized silvery-white river boats are slowly departing the docks one-by-one, outriggers upright, barely moving, possibly with just river current, and completely backlit by the rising light of the – albeit obscured sun still behind the mountains. The gray shadows and light contrast against the sharp vivid greens across the bank which are catching better light, with modest one- and two-level stately homes somewhat near the rivers’ edge. Oh to have a home here, with a small dock running down to the water, able to rise and relax with the tide. By the time I could have pulled over to get a shot of it, the moment would have expired. Light is changing fast, as is the imagery as each turn and curve of the road produces another unique splendor.

I hadn’t noticed it much before, though shortly after leaving town the railroad crosses over the river and on to the high-side of the embankment to my left; it is like a companion as I think I hear engines far off in the distance hauling their freight through the canyons. Maybe it’s just in my head. Upon reflection, this railroad is the same one that parallels US 101 between Hwy 42 north of Bandon – originating Coquille, up through Coos Bay and to Lakeside, before cutting inland – jumping back once at Reedsport, and through a mountain before crossing the Siuslaw River at Cushman. From here, it travels east and connects up to the central network at Eugene. Strangely, there is not another coastal rail link south until Arcata-Eureka, and that particular one parallels US 101 for the most part, with one spur splitting off at Willets running out to Fort Bragg, while the other end terminates at Windsor just above Santa Rosa; it is an isolated line. Maps indicate these rails went much farther, yet the economics must have curtailed their use. Boom times when logging was king. I have lived near rail lines a good part of my life, and so I have a polite interest of their utility and service, particularly now when one considers mass transit – the related cousin, to moving heavy freight. :)

At the moment, there is not a train in site. About 11 or 12 miles out of Florence the road tees off, with Hwy 126 veering right and east towards Eugene, or left onto a smaller and less traveled Mapleton-Junction City Hwy 36 which initially heads north. The overcast has completely lifted and sun is shining on the forested peaks high above though I am still in the illuminated shadow with the river flowing from the direction of Hwy 36. Rassy suggested I might enjoy going through Mapleton more so than taking Hwy 126. They both lead towards Eugene, however even though Hwy 36 is more circuitous, it should be far less busy.

Crossing the Coast Range
And so it was, from the moment I crossed over. Friend-railroad was on the left, narrowing river continued on the right, with traffic left behind. Mind you – it wasn’t that busy, though this route was vastly far less; I had the lane to myself! Good thing too as there was little margin. The grade following the river and railroad was naturally easy, and could barely perceive that I was climbing at all - with few exceptions. About a mile up the road the river appeared no longer affected by tide, and the historic force of nature and rapid runoff could be appreciated in the way it carved itself out of rock, with telltale cobble and pothole signatures.

The first hamlet was Brickerville, maybe 3 miles in, followed by Mapleton and then Swisshome; here the railroad crosses Lake Creek – a fork in the river, and continues up a narrow slot sinuously carved by the Siuslaw, ultimately rejoining Hwy 126, and onward towards Eugene. On this short river plain where the two waters meet are simple basic homesteads, some eeking out a natural rural life in the narrow margins between the river and the road, dotted with small gardens and greenhouses. Hwy 36 though continues north and east following Lake Creek. It’s a little bit curvier with mild inclines; I’m enjoying it. 8)

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Borrowed image of the Siuslaw River at Swisshome looking west.

A couple of cars go by, and I hardly noticed they were behind me. Soon I pass through Deadwood: Somebody I ran into prior suggested that there was this Deadhead festival or zombiefest in Deadwood; I didn’t catch it all though the name of the place stuck in my head and I just had to stop, so I did at the general market. There were two entrances: The west was paved and I missed that, so I began to pull into the east – and it was gravel; almost lost it! Pull in, rest, water-up, peel off the layers, stow the gear, go in and buy something. The Community Board hanging outside was managed by the Counsel of Greenleaf <snicker> and announced various notices, etc. It crossed my mind to take a picture of this; who would believe that I am in Deadwood, a place managed by Greenleaf. :)

The hills here are not very high, yet they border in the narrow pastoral river- or more aptly creek-bottoms. I bet in the rainy season though the creeks become rivers as there is evidence of heavy flow. I motor on east up through one of these now as it opens up slowly towards Greenleaf, passing through a narrow notch in the hills, then again another pleasant plain before narrowing again. Right here there are two small parks: Lake Creek Recreational Area and Triangle Lake Park. These are right on the creek-side and well-shaded under this canopy. Just past this is Triangle Lake. The west and north sides of this local watering hole are lined with docks, evidently very popular with kids of all ages. I pulled off to use the public facilities near the northwest corner at the boat ramp. The temperature was coming up from cool, and yet there were plenty of kids having fun! It looked like a great place to bring the family. :) Eagle Camp Cove is located at the southern corner near the outlet.

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Borrowed image of the northwest corner of Triangle Lake looking west.

Image
Borrowed images of the Rock Falls below Triangle Lake.

There’s a bit of dichotomy here with the steep old-growth forested hills and the beautiful lake acting at the drainage at the toe of a large and differentiated plain that appears to be mostly rural farming or grazing land. Hwy 36 wraps around the north side of the lake and continues eastward, bisecting the fingers of each furrow, passing through Blachly, before reaching the end, and now for the first time climbing steeply by Blachly Mountain State Park and cresting over Low Pass Summit (just over 1000 feet). The backside wasn’t very steep, though I could feel the temperature begin to pick up as the next 5 miles dropped away from the hills and out onto the flanks of the Willamette Valley. This had been a pretty dang good ride; maybe 20 cars passed me if I had to count. Hats off to Rassy for suggesting it. 8)

About the junction of Territorial Road South I came upon a truck weigh station that was unmanned, yet active – so out of a lark I pulled onto the scales; it looked like the scales weighed only the axles and not the full length (I wasn’t sure having never weighed myself before except to drop stuff off at the county salvage). The scale had a crude resolution of 50 lbs. and determined that I and the bike weighed 450 lbs. Now - I know that my weight is about 145 to 155 lbs., and the batteries weighed about 100 lbs. therefore the bike, trailer and supplies must weigh about 200 lbs. That seems a bit heavy to me. Well – maybe these scales err positive for revenue. :wink:

Willamette Valley – Part 1
Drove on to Cheshire, accidentally passing Territorial Road North, though pulled off opposite the Dari Mart to check with the Google Maps oracle. A group of loud bikers were assembled on the other side in the parking lot generating deliberate cacophony over who’s going to leave first. This switched me off on using the store, though I quickly figured out that I had to head back a ¼ mile, and waited for traffic to clear before doing so – and escaping from that gathering of Saturday drivers at the same time. Right turn on Territorial Road North, and straight into headwind; hadn’t noticed it was there till now. Dang. :? More or less a straight road bearing north, come what may, over hill and over dale. I don’t think I went more than two miles up this route before I heard the loud and rancorous roar of those Saturday bikers; the first one dive-bombed me, with the next couple-three passing close, looking back to see my reaction: I didn’t flinch. :P Those that followed left me alone. Whatever: Thank you for fulfilling my low expectations as knuckle-draggers. :P

The land here was mainly used for farming, although I think there were a few orchards here as well. Over a wooded rise I passed a golf course on the left, then down the back side – and before I knew it, was entering the town of Monroe (privately: That went fast). Crossing over to Hwy 99W, I continued on north with a slightly better road and a very long - dare to say - monotonous straight path. Actually – I didn’t mind. Fields were for the most part here flat as flat can be, but the crops seemed to change. Some were being plowed, some were left fallow, some had crop, some were left to dry, some were being harvested. There was activity of all sorts if one looked hard enough. And never far away were the green forested hills or the knots of Oak lending shade… it was warming up. Just after Finley Road, where the road passed next to the foot of a small wooded hill on the right, there was shade at the driveway leading up to the mini-mansion carved out midway up the side. I pulled off here and gave myself a break and water-up before heading into the next asphalt jungle.

With about 5 miles to go, I motored on in to Corvallis; a college town spooned in between the Willamette River and the Coast Range. Arriving about Noon, I begin the hunt to find a place to eat, and didn’t waste time: Found Papa’s Pizza Parlor just before crossing US 20; a pie sounded mighty delicious! :wink:

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This is my only image recovered of this day: Papa’s Pizza Parlor in Corvallis. Notice the electrical outlet directly left of my bike!

Lunch
Ordered up a small Canadian Bacon, Pineapple, Olive, and Tomato pie and ate nearly every slice but one. It was a good break as I rested and watered up here for a good hour. When I was 21 years old in college I took a part-time job as a bartender at a pizza parlor at the urging of my high school pals; their family ran one particular store of a chain and invited me to help them out. My work-ethic had dramatically improved after the Navy and I applied myself with diligence to make that dull brass bar as shiny and bright as my former engineroom. Within two weeks, my boss pats me on the back and says “I just want to you know I’ve given you a second raise!” I didn’t know I had earned a first raise. :roll: Minimum wage sucked back then, so it was good news. Four months later they promoted me to Day (Assistant) Manager, meaning I was now the boss over the friends that had asked me to work for them. (I’ll leave out the dynamic). Anyways – for a year I worked at this pizza parlor, and within a short time I grew tired of pizza. But then we became creative, and I learned how to barter my pizza away for trade with other food outlets with employees equally bored with their food, thus developing useful persuasive sales and marketing skills. I also figured out how to make a most-tasty pie which in turn built clientele, and it began with creating exquisite crust: A two-day process involving water, flour, malt, salt, yeast, shortening, and a lot of TLC. When the dough was right, it felt like velvet in your hands and rose beautifully in the hot-fired ovens! This memory I relate to manager after lending my generous complement of their well-made pizza just before departing: Good memorable pizza is hard to come by! :D

Willamette Valley – Part 2
At 1 PM, I motor across the highway and head north. It had decidedly warmed up over my hour break. I don’t think about though, not right away. Gestating, I moved right on through Corvallis without much thought, pleasantly full and happy. The road passes directly beside the foothills of the coast range for the next few miles and there are some inclines and dips, nothing to write home about though. The next big town is Monmouth, about 20 miles north. Somewhere here I am passed by a carload of stupidly young college students and as they pass by me one screams out the window at me; I can’t hear it due to my speed and headwind and Doppler-effect, maybe one syllable that is unintelligent. A kid in the back seat howling with guffaw turns back to see my – unflinching, steady, and uncaring expression, as I plod along; the snot’s face turns to frown as I stole the moment (Ha!) :P The passage along the valley takes me a little over an hour, arriving in Monmouth about 2:15 PM, and I am fatigued from the heat, actively looking for shade where I can pull off and get a break from this overbearing sun.

As I pull up to the signal at Main Street - which turns green as I approach, I pass between a black car and the curb; the guy looking out the window see my bike and exclaims “WHO MAKES IT?!?” and I shout back “I MAKES IT!” He motions the driver to tail me, and then flags me down; I pull off to the side and tell him to follow me up a block where we can pull off under the tree. I am nearly red with exhaustion, and under the shade of the tree I relate the details of the bike and how to find out more about it online at ES. They need to leave but thank me profusely. Not happy with my shade as there’s no place to lean the bike, I motor up another block and found the Napa Auto Parts just above Powell Street where I pull in and park against the north shaded wall. As I am peeling myself off the bike, a Napa sales guy pops out and has to know about my bike. As I am relating the details he motions me inside where it is refrigerated: AC! Oh, this is very nice; I could get spoiled real quickly! 8) I take my 15 minutes to water-up and rest… probably longer than I should have. Finally the sales guy gets all the dope he needs (cos he still has to answer phones and stuff) and I have my grateful cool-down. :)

Heading north again I am now overtly looking for shade trees and there are not a lot on this road for a good long way. Pass through Rickreall; this should have been a no-brainer but I find myself tired and overtly looking for a shade tree but there’s none convenient. Pass over the top of Hwy 22; to the left it goes out west towards the Coast, and to the right it heads east into Salem. I go north. Knots of Oak-forests left and right, but none next to the road for ol’ Kingfish. :oops: Over a rise then down into a dip, just as the road climbs out there are tall trees on the other side casting a long-enough shadow that crosses over to my side; that’s it – I stop in the triangle of shade and grab the water <chug chug chug>. If I can just keep hydrated I will be fine. Five minutes pass and I do feel better. Next town is Amity; there’s shade on both sides if I pull off. I pass a school on the right, and at SE Amity Road, there’s a bench in the shade on the corner with a public fountain. I pull off here and rest maybe 10 minutes and water up, watching traffic stop and go at the 4-way. It isn’t far now, only 5 miles.

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Borrowed image of countryside around McMinnville

McMinnville
Hot as a skillet, I feel like I am a melting ice cream bar lying on the black asphalt, sizzling away. Someone flip me please so the other side and fry too. :oops: I had just crossed over the McMinnville Bypass and am now standing at the intersection of SW Baker Street at 3:30 PM waiting for the light to change. My brain is baking and I am suffering from heat exhaustion: Indecision reigns. There are two motels here. I can’t find shade. Google Maps says there’s no motels in the center of town; only inns. I decide to check it out. Does the asphalt seems gooey – or is that just my perception? I drive two miles in and take a right onto 3rd heading east. Some shade here but the Inns don’t look that appealing for my needs. Dang – this place is hoppin’ with activity and I would surely like to be here tonight. I motor on down to the end of the busy part and turn right on Johnson. Meh – this sucks. I know 2nd Street will be slow, so let’s just get on down to 1st and get back to the highway and fetch a room at the Motel 6. Somewhere I see a temperature reading at a bank and it says 96°F. By 4 PM I have a room for $71.99, the AC is running full-bore, and I am soaked to the bone in sweat. After my shower I washed all my sweaty things for the last time and hung them out to dry over the fence; it looked pretty hillbilly – but in that heat they would be dry within an hour, and they were.

Off to my dinner. Google says there’s a Carl’s Jr. or a Subway. On the corner of SW Baker Street (SW Hwy 99W) and Nindels was an old diner called McGee’s Bar & Grill; I go check it out. Doesn’t look appealing – but then I didn’t want to walk two miles into town either, so I made do with Steak & Potato with the works; I nearly licked the plate. Stuffed and fed, not much to do except listen to music, so I did that for a while and finally fell asleep.

Stats:
Start V = 63.4; End V = 55.8
Distance = 140.5 miles; Total Odometer = 2254.6 miles
Regen = 0.9%; Vmin = 54.2
MaxS = 40.7; AveS = 25.8
Trip Time = 5:26:45

Tomorrow I will aim towards Centralia for the second time. KF
* My 2WD Garden Wall
* Current ride: 2WD Disc EBikeKit (9C 2806-equivalent) / Dual Lyen 12FET / 15S6P LiPo when commuting.
* Going to California: 2011: Trip completed 8)
* Club Member: 40-mph & 101. 10k-Club: 11,218 miles-to-date, 5728 as 2WD.

It is by caffeine alone I set my mind in motion.
It is by the beans of Java that thoughts acquire speed.
The hands acquire shakes, the shakes become a warning.
It is by caffeine alone I set my mind in motion.
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Re: Back in the Saddle: Going to California: 2011

Postby Kingfish » Fri Sep 09, 2011 6:46 pm

Backfill #14: Sunday, August 21st
McMinnville, Oregon to Centralia, Washington (2nd time)


Departure
Early rise; didn’t mark the time – but got right on it packing away and stowing items to make way for a twilight-morning departure. At 6:10 AM – I was free and flying down Hwy 99W through the heart of McMinnville with just a squeak of daylight breaking the sky. Run hard, run fast – I want to beat the heat, wind, and traffic: The three T’s of Trouble. Scouted for a place to eat on the way out of town, didn’t find anything appealing – although I still had ample fill from last nights’ huge meal. Figured on stopping around Forest Grove for breakfast. The lights through town were pretty much green-to-go the whole way through; maybe caught one or two reds – but it was all easy going with superlight traffic. Passing a bank, the temperature reads 57°F. Just on the other side of the city was the cutoff north onto Tualatin Valley Hwy 47.

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Borrowed image of Carlton.

Up a short climb, maybe one car passed me before reaching Carlton. The sky is brightening and I can see from horizon to horizon that it is going to be a breathtaking day! At Carlton, the road jogs left then right; there are extra signs to help unaware drivers which helped me plot a course through without much hazard. Glad I am doing it now; the meter is running; pour it on! Lazy hills left and right as I continue to climb a low steady grade. The road is in good condition, however the margins are a bit scary and drop off really steeply; I try not to imagine wrecking – though it is a bit difficult to avoid. At least traffic is almost non-existent. Yamhill comes and Yamhill goes without much ado.

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Borrowed image of Carlton-Yamhill countryside.

I know this area well from having lived in the Portland Metro area back in 1992. One of my pals had a homestead in Sherwood, and another just northwest of Yamhill and I was out this direction many times being quite familiar with the ins and outs of traffic. Hwy 47 is by far the fastest route to get through, or that is to say – around the Metro, and I’ve picked the perfect day and the perfect time to do unimpeded. :) Dang near forgot about that sharp right corner at the north end of town; this road is in superb condition and looks to be recently repaved too; previously it had been a mess, so I am grateful for the upgrade. Taking the sharp left and heading north, daybreak arrives to the tops of the peaks. It is almost effortless snaking through the forested hilly grove before dropping into the Tualatin Valley. I come upon Gaston; more of a hamlet than a town: The intersection of Main Street looks like a good place to stop for 5 minutes and let the blood flow back into my arse and hands. Water-up.

One solo cyclist on the right up ahead, and one solo jogger heading reverse; there is no one else on this wide open road with huge margins. Lots of farming here so I wonder if the margins serve the farmers to move machines as much as they are a helpful boon to bikers. Personally – I think the Tualatin Valley is one of the most picturesque in all of Oregon. Some changes have been made since I last passed through here, namely the number of vineyards and wineries; it’s becoming a little Napa Valley.

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Borrowed image of the Tualatin Valley (it doesn't really do it justice).

The highway takes a curving eastern turn as it bypasses Forest Grove where the general flow merges east onto Hwy 8. I kinda hate to backtrack into town for grub, however Hillsboro is up ahead so let’s just motor on. I am riding straight into the rising morning sun; not the best experience. Traffic is very light on this divided section of highway. People are just now moving about; some are waiting patiently at covered bus stops beside the road. There’s no sidewalk, so a pedestrian is walking in the bikepath/margin; I move left into the lane to avoid hitting him and a light truck slams on his horn behind me to get out of the way – passing within inches: :x Hey you know what? The speed limit here is only 35 mph. There’s a whole other lane being unused; I guess they must be blind too!

Breakfast
Arrived into Hillsboro quicker than I thought at 7:30 AM although misread my scheduled turn. Pulled into a parking lot next to a coffee shop at SE 10th Avenue and asked directions on a place to eat; two guys suggested a Shari’s down the road 2-3 miles. Hmmm. I continued to follow the highway but became circumspect after a block and consulted the Google Maps oracle. Nope – I was already too far east and needed to turn north, so I took a left at SE Maple Street and followed that east to SE 24th Avenue, took a left heading north to Main Street, then right up two blocks and left and north on SE 28th Avenue up toward the Portland-Hillsboro Airport. Just before where the road jogs left was an iHoP; that’ll work! Been a long time since I ate at an iHoP, and they had a mountain of good food available! Famished, I ate heavy. :)

Already having covered 36 miles this morning, I leave about 8:45 AM. The iHoP was filling fast with early church people (so it seemed) as brood and after brood flooded the entry; I could hardly get cashed out as it quickly became a madhouse. :roll: The traffic also changed and I could feel the heat picking up as I elected to strip off and stow the fleece and jacket. A sign outside a local bank says the temperature is only 62°F though it must have been reading shade. Heading east on NE Cornell Road now, passing the airport on the left, then Intel-Hawthorn on the right, on up to Cornelius Pass Road where I took a left heading north. Less busy here, but traffic still moving fast, I push on hard once past the US 26 interchange, climbing gently through a winding rural hills. Reaching the summit was easy crossing over Skyline Blvd at about 50 miles from McMinnville. It quickly becomes a very steep and twisting descent for the next 4 miles to the Columbia River and US 30. I made a lot of regen on that one, probably 0.2 volts! :mrgreen:

It’s moderately busy at the intersection, though at least there’s a signal light. A single cyclist is waiting ahead of me; I don’t think he notices my setup although I let him lead off, and after we make the left heading northwest towards Astoria and the ocean I ramp up the throttle and pass him cleanly. Absolutely grateful that there was little wind here at all and therefore could motor on at WOT. The other item worth mentioning is that I had forgotten that Portland is not at sea level; the tides might affect the river – but the reality is that I am heading downhill albeit a very slight grade. No complaints. Like the frippen’ wind I arrive into Scappoose about 9:30 AM; a sign outside a bank says it’s 78°F ~ yeah and I can definitely feel it! The only break I take is at the stop light. A few miles up the road at St. Helens though the temperature had dropped to 72°F; there is still no wind – and I am WOT hauling butt at 32 mph! 8)

Up over the grade and the drop down into Columbia City. Fire trucks and ambulances are going the other way so I pull over and wait for them to pass; that counts as a break. Motor on. I forgot that this is a 10 mile long stretch without services and my back teeth begin to float. Anxious, at last I arrive at the mini mart store oppose of Longview before the bridge about 10:30 AM and 48 miles since the Cornelius Pass summit; there’s a Pacific Pride here and I stop at the this same place to rest up as I had done on the southbound leg of this journey and pulled up next to the wall with the outlet. It crossed my mind to do an opportunity charge while I rested up and watered although the pack was in good shape and it wouldn’t have been worth the hassle.

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Pacific Pride could be a viable source for opportunity charging :wink:

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Looking northwest towards the Longview Bridge over the Columbia River (taken when heading south on July 27th).

Crossing into Washington
About 10:45 AM, decided to make my way across the bridge. The climb up was good, not too breezy and the car behind me gave me plenty of room; no pressure. I bombed it though coming down the other side, and why not? :twisted: But then I stumbled through Longview: Instead of following the truck route which had few lights, I went through the heart of town which had a light at every block! Arrrg – I am chewing through my pack! :oops: Quickly I cut over two blocks to get off the main street where there are stop signs instead of stop lights; at least I could creep through those without completely having to stop. Oh regrets – my mistake; I should have taken the truck route. Will I ever learn? Probably not… :roll: Eventually I get sorted back onto the correct path and heading north on State Route (SR) 411 following the Cowlitz River; the road is good and traffic cooperative.

About 10 miles later I pull off at the same Texaco/Four Corners General Store as before on the way down just beside Castle Rock to rest and water-up. It’s 11:30 AM, and I have now covered 100 miles this morning. It feels good too! :) There is a light wind out of the west and the temperature is again beginning to pick up, although there is more humidity with it; the air feels thicker. As I am posting my status on ES, some young dudes pull up in a ratty car asking if I know where there’s a place on the river where they can go drink beer. It never occurs to me that they may be under-aged or perhaps soliciting to purchase… though I interrupt their discourse cos the truth is I couldn’t really guide them as I am not from these parts, pointing to my rig and helmet as evidence. They kindy say thanks and move along. Reflectively, I looked at my belly and it occurs to me that I need to lose some inches there. :roll:

The past 50 miles between Scappoose and Castle Rock have pretty much been a retracing of the route that I took south. This now changes as I follow SR 411 north through town. It jogs left onto Huntington Avenue heading north, and just after cross over I-5 the highway is redesignated as SR 504 Mount St. Helens Way. Oh – I don’t want to take this! Quickly I find that I have missed the frontage road and retrace back to the freeway and head north on the Old Pacific Highway, a very easy ride on a well-maintained road with little traffic. When it crosses over I-5 again the road changes names to Barnes Drive and continues as a leisurely wooded path through mixed forest; I am grateful for the shade. A few miles north I come to the intersection of Rogers Road. Pulling into Gee Cees Truck Stop under the shade (it’s very warm now) I consult the Oracle of maps and sort myself out. Back out – and head over I-5 on Rogers Road; this tees into the southern terminus of Jackson Highway and I take that heading northeast.

This too is well-maintained and follows the Cowlitz River before teeing into SR 505. It’s all very pleasant country. I go left and through townette of Toledo, climbing up and out of the river bottom. Almost right away there’s an odd intersection requiring a slow-speed right-left jog to continue northeast on the Jackson Highway as SR 505 peels off northwest; very confusing split. The next section that is treeless, though in return offering drinkable vistas of snow-capped Mount Rainier in the distance. I am beginning to feel fatigued from the ride and heat; to be expected I guess as the wind is starting to pick up too although nothing serious… yet. From the dry plain, the road plods north through partly-deforested land, though there is enough occasional foliage to provide shade. Modest hill climbs then a descent into a drainage that was likely filled in by an ancient lahar. Then up through the woods again as I pass through Lewis and Clark State Park.

Explorers
There are a number of places named after Lewis and Clark in Washington State even though they never set foot in this realm: L & C came down the Columbia from the Snake River and setup camp near present day Astoria nearly 100 miles away. Not a mile north of these woods is the Jackson Court House State Park, and beside the road here is Jackson House: This well-preserved 1848 cabin served as the home of an early pioneer John R. Jackson and was the first "white-man" house north of Vancouver. Now we know why the road is called Jackson Highway, a path which roughly follows what became an extension of the Oregon Trail for those wishing to venture farther north.

Immediately north of Jackson House is the intersection of US 12 at what is called Mary’s Corner. There’s a Chevron mini mart here. I pull off at 1 PM for a much needed break to water-up and stretch. A father and son inquire about my bike and I provide them with the short story. There are three Honey-Buckets here; must be a busy place. It is humid and warm, and all my water is warm. I know it’s not long now, less than 15 miles to go. Back on the bike, I continue on north. In two miles after crossing over SR 508 and I am again retracing my steps back towards Chehalis and Centralia, although time seems to go faster in this direction than when I went south. Very pretty here. Coming through Chehalis, the bike performs strongly, keeping up with traffic. There’s hardly a mile between the two towns before I am in Centralia. Having the map in my head, I know where I am going, and it isn’t long before heading west on Main Street, then up Harrison (Old Hwy 99SW), passing underneath I-5, and then pulling into the parking lot of Country Cousin (where I ate previously when heading south) to check for directions. The Motel 6 is hidden up near the outlets.

Arriving at 1:40 PM, I fetch a room at a miserly and thrifty rate $43.95 using my Corporate discount (I yam after all, an LLC). I swear this is even cheaper than the last time I stayed in Centralia! Hot, starving, stinky, and thirsty: Which of these shall I address first? :roll:

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Motel 6 in Centralia. The sign says $39.99 but I think they misspelled “person”. :lol:

Stats:
Start V = 63.3; End V = 55.4
Distance = 143.0 miles; Total Odometer = 2397.6 miles
Regen = 2.0%; Vmin = 53.7
MaxS = 42.1; AveS = 27.3 (I blame Longview)
Trip Time = 5:05:44

Olympic Club
After putting on the charger and shower, decided I didn’t want to hit the pool after all; kids and chlorine. At 3:15 PM, I picked a new endeavor and decided to walk two miles back to the center of Centralia to the Olympic Club having never been inside. I am dying for a cold draft of fresh Ruby which is made from Great Western Premium 2-row Malt and massive pounds of Oregon-grown Raspberries. It is in my mind the very first and the very best American Fruit Ale since the rebirth of craft brewing in this country, and I thirst for it! :D

Single-mindedly, the walk goes quickly, although by the time I reach the pub about 4:30 PM it feels that I am due for another shower. At least it is cooler inside – though not by any means air-conditioned. I better have another pint, this time choosing “Old John Brown” which is a seasonal; a delicious brew, it was supposed to be a pale ale derivative but reminded me more as an English-style Bitter on draught: Very mild, round, bready with a nutty finish. Ordered up some food to go with the hydrology. :wink: Neat place, neat patrons, and equally neat staff: Snapper soft tacos – very spicy and very good! Later I followed this with Sweet Potato Fries with Chipotle Sauce. Life is good! 8)

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Da beer! Fresh Ruby ~ Mmmmmm! :idea:

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Da Pub! At the end, go right and it opens up into a large pool hall. The brewery looks to be a small 5-bbl system.

Decided to exit about 6:30 PM. On the way out I was trapped in the foyer by a beautiful maiden whose name is…?? Anyways ~ I told her about the ebike, ES, and under pain of death… anything else she needed to know. :wink: She quickly found the GtC thread and was blown away! Plant the seed and let nature do the rest. Nice gal. Cooler now, the walk back was enjoyable. I am back at the room by 7:45 PM. Too tired to go eat some more, I put on some music and fell asleep listening to "The Dub Side of the Moon" by the All Stars; a Rastafarian version of the Pink Floyd epic ~ Ja! 8)

One more day to go - and then I am home.
Zzz, KF
* My 2WD Garden Wall
* Current ride: 2WD Disc EBikeKit (9C 2806-equivalent) / Dual Lyen 12FET / 15S6P LiPo when commuting.
* Going to California: 2011: Trip completed 8)
* Club Member: 40-mph & 101. 10k-Club: 11,218 miles-to-date, 5728 as 2WD.

It is by caffeine alone I set my mind in motion.
It is by the beans of Java that thoughts acquire speed.
The hands acquire shakes, the shakes become a warning.
It is by caffeine alone I set my mind in motion.
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Re: Backfill to KF's Backfill

Postby Rassy » Fri Sep 09, 2011 8:44 pm

As I read about your travels through Oregon, lots of random thoughts came up:

Just North of Gold Beach you mentioned Sisters Rock State Park. This is a recent acquisition by ODPR, and they intend to keep it pretty much as it is. What they don't tell the public about is the neatest feature there. The largest rock has what looks like a large cave up about 20 feet on the East side. It's a fairly easy climb into the cave, which turns out to be a tunnel at sea level that goes clear through to the Ocean on the West side of the rock. At low tide you can climb down to the small beach just inside and look out several hundred feet to the ocean.

Humbug stays in my head for a while…

You posted a borrowed picture looking South from Port Orford right after the above statement. The small rounded mountain on the left in that picture is Humbug Mountain. There's a three mile trail to the very top. My trikeing buddy from Medford and I hiked to the top about a week after you came through. Local lore, if you can't see the top because of cloud cover, rain is on the way. Pretty acurate, since rain is always on the way around here. :D

I liked your story about the big crab haul from the Coquille at Bandon (do you know about what year?). I often crab there by the lighthouse and often get some huge ones between the jetties. Not unusual to limit out the boat in the fall.

That pullout before Reedsport that overlooks the triangular jetty where the Umpqua River terminates is a favorite stop for me when driving South.

Likewise, the boat ramp at Takenitch Lake is a favorite stop when heading North. And yeah, having grown up on a dairy farm where backing up trailers started at age 8, it's hard to watch a totally inept backer upper, especially when it's your own fishing buddy.

Slight town name glitch. Hwy 36 starts at Mapleton and your ...Brickerville...Mapleton...Swisshome... should maybe be ...Brickerville...Rainrock...Swisshome...

As you exited the little town of Monroe (Oregon) there was a brick schoolhouse on your right. That's where I taught high school math classes for four years, 1963-1967.
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Re: Back in the Saddle: Going to California: 2011

Postby Green Machine » Fri Sep 09, 2011 8:52 pm

Hey Kingfish,

I wonder if you had any near misses with cars on your trip?

What was as scared as you got? Was there any period of your ride you were just riding scared of getting hit?

Did you feel safe in general in your travels?

My biggest problem with doing a trip like that is having cars pass me constantly.

I am afraid of getting hit from behind.
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Re: Backfill to KF's Backfill

Postby Kingfish » Sat Sep 10, 2011 2:17 pm

Rassy wrote:As I read about your travels through Oregon, lots of random thoughts came up:

Just North of Gold Beach you mentioned Sisters Rock State Park. This is a recent acquisition by ODPR, and they intend to keep it pretty much as it is. What they don't tell the public about is the neatest feature there. The largest rock has what looks like a large cave up about 20 feet on the East side. It's a fairly easy climb into the cave, which turns out to be a tunnel at sea level that goes clear through to the Ocean on the West side of the rock. At low tide you can climb down to the small beach just inside and look out several hundred feet to the ocean.

Humbug stays in my head for a while…

You posted a borrowed picture looking South from Port Orford right after the above statement. The small rounded mountain on the left in that picture is Humbug Mountain. There's a three mile trail to the very top. My trikeing buddy from Medford and I hiked to the top about a week after you came through. Local lore, if you can't see the top because of cloud cover, rain is on the way. Pretty acurate, since rain is always on the way around here. :D

I liked your story about the big crab haul from the Coquille at Bandon (do you know about what year?). I often crab there by the lighthouse and often get some huge ones between the jetties. Not unusual to limit out the boat in the fall.

That pullout before Reedsport that overlooks the triangular jetty where the Umpqua River terminates is a favorite stop for me when driving South.

Likewise, the boat ramp at Takenitch Lake is a favorite stop when heading North. And yeah, having grown up on a dairy farm where backing up trailers started at age 8, it's hard to watch a totally inept backer upper, especially when it's your own fishing buddy.

Slight town name glitch. Hwy 36 starts at Mapleton and your ...Brickerville...Mapleton...Swisshome... should maybe be ...Brickerville...Rainrock...Swisshome...

As you exited the little town of Monroe (Oregon) there was a brick schoolhouse on your right. That's where I taught high school math classes for four years, 1963-1967.

Coquille at Bandon: October 2004, between the 8th and the 13th. I found the email where it was discussed. My Uncle reports "There were 15 of us... We caught 67 crabs and ate 'em all. [Kingfish] caught the only salmon weighing in at about 18 lbs. We ate on it for two days. [KF's Pa] caught another big salmon but busted his line when it jumped outta the water... The weather this trip was not nice at all but on those days the sun did shine is was really nice."

Rainrock: I vaguely remember that now, although the map doesn't show it. I was quite happy with that beautiful segment! :)

A most humbled thank you for hosting :D
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Re: Back in the Saddle: Going to California: 2011

Postby Kingfish » Sat Sep 10, 2011 2:41 pm

Green Machine wrote:Hey Kingfish,

I wonder if you had any near misses with cars on your trip?

Every day without fail. There is always one rotten apple in the barrel. Probably the total worst days were leaving Renton on the first day, entering Portland on the second, Montera before SF, and Bodega Bay.

Green Machine wrote:What was as scared as you got? Was there any period of your ride you were just riding scared of getting hit?

The first two days were the most challenging, especially the last 10 miles coming into Portland on US-30 as there was little shoulder; I didn’t have room to pass cyclists with constant oncoming freight running beside me. This is where Portland needs to take overt action and fix it before someone gets creamed. When the situation became thick, I’d pull off and rest for a minute and calm my nerves. I never gave up. Therapy: Colorful euphemisms help. :wink:

Green Machine wrote:Did you feel safe in general in your travels?

Generally, yes. The assholes though really pissed me off cos there’s nothing you can do about it, although I am thinking of inventing a neutering-gamma ray cannon… :twisted:

Green Machine wrote:My biggest problem with doing a trip like that is having cars pass me constantly.

It is with hope that the “Diametric Coriolis Inductive Regenerator” would supply enough comic relief to garner extra padding when folks would pass – and I think that was quite effective, especially on busy Hwy 41 heading down into the Valley where it received a lot of “thumbs-up” feedback. :D

Green Machine wrote:I am afraid of getting hit from behind.

Install a brake light! They make 12V LED lights that are easily adaptable to your electric brake. I used a microswitch instead of a Hall Effect to complete the connection, but either will do. :)

Best, KF
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* Going to California: 2011: Trip completed 8)
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Re: Back in the Saddle: Going to California: 2011

Postby amberwolf » Sat Sep 10, 2011 3:42 pm

Kingfish wrote:
Green Machine wrote:I am afraid of getting hit from behind.

Install a brake light!

Perhaps you forgot who you are talking to...this is the man that wants to make such things illegal on bikes. You certainly wouldn't catch him with one on his bike, over his dead body.
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Re: Back in the Saddle: Going to California: 2011

Postby Kingfish » Sat Sep 10, 2011 10:47 pm

Backfill #15: Monday, August 22nd
Last Day: Centralia to Redmond


I commemorate my 1500th post to the tell the story of the last day of this most-epic road trip :mrgreen:

Breakfast
Slept well. Excited, awake, couldn’t wait, got up and prepped the bike for the final time. Rode over to the Country Cousin for breakfast; I was sure they opened at 6 AM, but I think they said they were open at 5 AM. Hmm – I could have started earlier! :lol: Pork chops and eggs with homemade applesauce for breakfast; yum! This was going to be a great day… The waitress asked where I was headed and I gave her the accounting. Happy with that… until that is when the waitress uttered the evil four-letter word that begins with R and ends with N; “yep”, she said, “I think that was they forecasted this morning” D’oh – I don’t want to hear it! Cover my ears… :shock:

Optimism remained though and I left Centralia – for the second time at 6:30 AM, heading northwest on Harrison Avenue (Old Hwy 99SW) with overcast skies, light traffic, and cool though humid. I don’t even begin to think about words that begin with R; bad juju, sacrilegious, nasty jinxing, superstitious… where’s my good luck charm, my lucky penny, my rabbit’s foot, my binkie? :lol:

Heading out
Harrison roughly parallels I-5 for about 5 miles before Old Hwy 9 peels off to the left heading northwest, and Old Highway 99 SW heads directly north. I am going to make my way via a string of back roads so as to bypass Olympia and head on up to Shelton – a place I’m never been. Crossing US-12, this cluster of buildings is called Grand Mound; it’s not a town per se but a “census-designated place” (CDP) according to Wikipedia. Hmmm. Traveling one whole block north, the main road takes a hard left (although one could continue north on a smaller street) and becomes 196th Avenue SW. About two blocks down I take a right onto the diagonally-oriented Sargent Road SW which I use as a shortcut to Littlerock Road. It is pleasantly rural and thickly wooded as my mind wanders. At the intersection of Littlerock I had my antennae switched up and took a left instead of a right and went the wrong direction for about a mile before my internal conscience rebooted and confirm my path. Turn around – head northeast; I’ve got it correct now. All good – motor on. There is a nice river bottom to my left and mixed forest on my right for miles as the road trends north up to the hamlet of Littlerock. I take a left here onto 128th Avenue SW and cross the narrow bottom, less than a mile wide, up the hill and tee into Weddall Creek Road. Going right/north, this route should parallel I-5 although doing so following the base of a low set of interesting mountains, the highest of which is unsurprisingly called Capitol Peak.

These roads are poorly marked and my dumbphone cannot get a signal; maps are not available and it is frustrating my production. :? I come to a tee that is completely unmarked other than naming the road that I came from. Great. :roll: It looks like a well-travelled route. Do I go left or right? Going right might take me off-course to Olympia. I start to go right, but have second-thoughts and end up going left. About 1.5 miles in there is an RV park on the left that looks like a small racing course for quads. Then the road narrows; oh this is not good. Another mile up the road forks, one becoming gravel and the other narrowing again and depositing me into a campground. Nope; wrong turn again. :oops: Turn around and go back. In retrospect and consulting the maps, I was on Sherman Valley/Noschka Road which is a dead-end unless I want to take the Capitol Peak (dirt) Road (no thanks).

Back at the original tee, I keep motoring on forward and this route wiggles its’ way northeast past Lake Lucinda – which is a misnomer cos it’s just a small lily pond. At the next junction is Delphi Road and this I remember even though there is still no connectivity. It’s getting to be around 8 AM; I haven’t travelled very far mile-wise, but the sky is brightening up and there is hope despite being dribbled on from above. I tell myself “It’s just a coastal effect – nothing more.” Delphi Road passes through some very nice countryside and it is relaxing and calming. There is more traffic on this segment; I must be reaching some development. Hmm, tidal flats on the left, then up a grade and under the freeway – the road pops out and intersects with Mud Bay Road; my goal! I am at the direct western limit of Olympia; one block east and I would be in the city proper. I goes left onto Mud Bay Road and cross over the tidal flats of the same name.

Image
Eld Inlet/Mud Bay, taken from the bridge looking north: The tide is out.

Mud Bay Road changes names to Madrona Beach Road and acts as a frontage to US-101 and access road to businesses and residences hemmed in on either side. I have many beautiful views of the inlet before reaching Schneiders Prairie (perhaps another CDP?). Locals are out and about; one lady gives me an awe-struck surprised and happy smile as I drive by; I nods back like a knight on an electric steed. Charming. 8) At the intersection of US-101 there is a small minimart and I stop for a break and grab some Gatorade. Early this morning before leaving I had remounted the rear fender assembly, this time affixing the ends above the pivot instead of below – and now I recheck and tighten those ties making sure everything is in good order.

Fun as this rural path is, I am also consuming my pack more rapidly that I wish due to the hilly nature of the road. Here I elect to forego alternate paths and proceed directly onto US-101 freeway heading north. The sky has opened up and I can see billowy white clouds and blue sky in-between. Neat! :D I am making great time now, but there is also a bit of crosswind too though I am not yet worried. The freeway climbs over a large rise and down, then passes left of Oyster Bay, and then Little Skookum Inlet. The highway here is designated as the Pacific Coast Scenic Byway, and I can attest that terrain is certainly different than expected. Coming in towards Shelton, I decide to save time and stay on the freeway which bypasses the town on the west, although I don’t get much of a view of Oakland Bay this way.

Kitsap Peninsula
There are three exits to Shelton; no sooner do I pass the second that I noticed the sky has darkened and the wind is picking up. Hmmm. :( The freeway ends and becomes a busy 2-lane highway. Another mile and the road is wet. Another mile and though it is not <sigh> raining, my feet are wet. It’s beginning to look real nasty. :cry: Found a place to pull off and lean the bike against a pole next to a residence and I put on my wet-weather gear, then consult the NOAA website. There is a strong wind advisory and a powerful thunderhead cluster directly north of me passing west to east through the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the Olympics. Oh gods – this is not good; my path takes me right into it. In a moment of indecision I plot out an escape route - just in case. The dumbphone can’t provide me with my precise location although I think I am closer to Skokomish than I actually was.

The fallback plan would essentially have me head northeast up the Kitsap Peninsula and take the Bremerton-Seattle Ferry across the Sound, rather than follow US-101 up for the next 50 miles to SR 104 where I could take the Kingston Ferry to Edmonds. Two roads head east up the Kitsap from my position: Purdy Cutoff and Brockdale. Hmmm. It’s a long ways to Bremerton, and I convince myself that it might be just as easy to continue on, and so I do. Down the road I go. The darkening sky is just beginning to cut loose with midgey rain when a semi-truck blows past me – and in the wash, covers me with gritty road grim. That’s it! White flag; I bail. This is not going to be fun, I won’t get to see the mountains when I can hardly see 500 feet down this road, and I really hate touring in the rain. :cry: Then – as I made this decision, Brockdale Road appears on the right; this exit has my name on it! Going east now, I can’t really say this is rural countryside; it’s more like humans shaved off the forest here and there, leaving stubble behind as nature struggles to figure out the next recovery. I would hesitate to call it pretty and even less inclined to admit I belong to the same species that did this to my planet, but that’s the way it is on the peninsula. :|

My plan now is to get to Johns-Prairie Road which will cut over to SR 3 which will take me to Bremerton. In hindsight, it probably would have been faster and safer to take Webb-Hill Road north to SR 106 which would have been much prettier along the Hood Canal (inlet) than through a bunch of clear-cut eyesores. But I didn’t. It crossed my mind to take the McEwan Prairie Road instead of Johns, but when I came upon it – the road was dirt and gravel. At least I was in a rain-shadow and the wind was more or less behind me rather than in front. Still, my sense of adventure was diminished; it’s literally not the way I wanted to finish. Backtracking almost all the way to Shelton, I took a left onto moderately busy Johns-Prairie Road which weaves through rural development and of all things… open-pit mining, at least – that’s what it looked like. The road tees into SR 3 at a scary intersection; I’m stuck here for 5 minutes timing traffic; it’s only a 2-lane road albeit a fast one. A break! I pull out and punch it heading east.

Not a mile goes by when someone pulls up beside me to ask about the bike; I find a pullout next to the tidal flats at the end of Oakland Bay and the guy and his wife animate their interest. :) I give them the details and point them to ES. I’m a little cold and a little wet, thinking about food; maybe it showed. They offer up their place just a mile up the road where I could rest up and get fed; nice to offer – though I politely decline. It’s so close - I just want to get home. Really nice people though! 8)

I can’t really say SR 3 was pretty though. As I stated before – there is a lot of clear-cutting and misguided development. But I was unmolested the whole way. It is hilly and it gave me a workout as I passed over the constant ups and downs. Reaching the Case Inlet I came into the town of Allyn and pulled off at the “Port of Allyn” building; I think it might be a community center. Anyways – I stopped to rest when a guy in his red pickup truck pulls up and inquires about the bike, and we have a long friendly conversation. :) The guy says this road will pretty much take me all the way to the Ferry docks. We say good-byes and I motor-on. This is about the halfway point across the peninsula and there’s still a good ways to go yet.

Bremerton
The road crosses over the hill and SR 106 from Skokomish joins up on the left where I get a brief glimpse of Hood Canal before passing through Belfair which is but a collection of businesses with a stop light before climbing up the hill and out. My back teeth are floating. Just after the McDonalds there’s a Napa Auto Supply and I pull up to park. I am feeling pretty hungry, but I don’t want fast food so I grab a Cliff Bar at this time. Shaking off the need to use the bathroom, I tell myself that it’s just nerves. Get back on the bike and head on past the Bremerton National Airport and other ugly development – like a golf course right next to an open-pit mine. What’s with that? Then boom, down a hill and into Gorst, the Sinclair Inlet is right in front of me as I espy the Naval Shipyard and Port of Bremerton.

Image
Borrowed image from Bing-Maps: Bremerton, Washington. North is at the top, aircraft carriers are in the center, and the ferry docks are just below the bridge on the right point southeast. I came up from the lower-left following the inlet.

There are four aircraft carriers moored here: USS Independence, USS Kitty Hawk, USS Constellation, and USS Ranger. I have personally steamed along side the last three when I was but a young squidly pit-snipe (just don’t call me a swabby mister or I might put you to work scrubbing the bilge, arrr :lol: ). I dig ships, but I don’t miss the make-work. Then I reflect upon the poem “Sea-Fever” by John Masefield (1878-1967).

    I must down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
    And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by,
    And the wheel's kick and the wind's song and the white sail's shaking,
    And a grey mist on the sea's face, and a grey dawn breaking.

    I must down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
    Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
    And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
    And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.

    I must down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
    To the gull's way and the whale's way where the wind's like a whetted knife;
    And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover
    And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick's over.
Oh I have been bitten by the sailing bug again: Maybe I’ll convert my cargo trailer into a kayak-hauler – with a sail, and, and… and an electric motor powered by LiPo when the wind blows wrong! Yeah, that’s what I want! :D

The Ferry
The highway here joins up with SR 16 out of Tacoma and is freeway. I take it north for a mile and peel off at Charleston Blvd/SR 304 ogling the whole time over the boats in the water. The town of Bremerton is nice enough and pretty I think in this spot; they did a good job! The road climbs up a hill then turns right/west and climbs steeply even more. Not much room for bikes so I have to take the lane. Down the backside and then at the end is a hard right and down some more to the Ferry terminal. I pull up to the ticket booth and the officers are all smiles as they ask what I have. I tells them it’s a 2WD electric bike, drove it to California and back. They are impressed! I asks how much to take the ferry and they tells me “For you, it’s free!” Ha! Can’t beat a deal like that! :D I must be special (well – the truth is I’ve been special since my Dad dropped me on my head when I was a toddler… but that’s another story). Coast on down to the line; there’s not much of a line – maybe two rows. Hmmm. Maybe I’ll pull up to the front cos I think bikes are special like that, and I wuz right. :wink:

Image
Bremerton Ferry Docks; arrived after 99 miles.

Image
Other blokes like me.

There’s a concrete barrier so I pull up next to that and peel myself off after traveling 99 miles this morning. There’s one other guy here resting with his back to me; he rode in on an old vintage BMW that looks like it survived Vietnam. So does its’ rider. I start up a conversation with a provocative statement that gets him to laugh and we end up talking about motorcycles to pass the time. I arrived here about 11:45 AM. The next ferry is at 12:20 PM. More motorcycles show up, each with a different personality in more ways than one. Pretty fun now geeking out with this select group. With a blast of the horn, the ferry announces its’ imminent arrival. Ferry workers pull in close to facilitate unloading and loading; one sees my bike and I tell him it’s electric and that gives me special (there’s that word again) access ahead of all the riders. This is going to be so cool! 8) I pulled all the way forward and parked the bike against the side of the metal framework. Ferry worker instructs me to use the rope and tie it down; secured/looks good. I’m off for a wander.

Image
Me bike all stowed away with a little rope barely lashed down. The seas aren’t any more higher than a ripple, though it’s a good practice nonetheless.

Image
‘Nother view from the deck above.

Didn’t feel much like eating this food from the cantina; it’s kind of a madhouse anyways – so I head outside. We’re already pulling away from the dock so I grab a few shots. Ferrys are cool! 8) Sent off an update to ES. Time for more pictures. Off to the north is the eye of the storm; it looks pretty dark and nasty. Back towards the Olympic Mountains though it appears the rain has moved off – though it is still pretty dark. I am guessing I made the right decision though; no need to put myself into harms-way like that. Back to the front of the boat – Seattle is coming up close; I better get ready.

Image
Looking back west towards Bremerton as we’re leaving. I came up from the south which is on the left, and the Olympic Mountains are shrouded in clouds on the right. This is a wide shot stitched from two.

Image
Iconic Mount Rainier to the east: The largest single mountain & volcano as measured from base to tip in the Lower-48.

Image
Looking north at the eye of the storm! :shock:

Image
Approaching Seattle. The plane in the sky is the Boeing 787 Dreamliner; first time I have seen one in the air, it is making an approach towards SeaTac. 8)

Image
The Emerald City of Seattle, although today it’s not looking so. The Space Needle is out of view to the north (left). The Smith Tower is the tiny white building with the pointy top all the way to the right; it was the tallest building west of the Mississippi after the San Francisco 1906 Earthquake. The Columbia Center (tall black building) to the left of Smith Tower became the tallest at the time of its’ completion in 1985, although today it is the 4th – yet in the Pacific Northwest, it remains the tallest.

Back to the Barn
I wuz thinking of getting some food here in town, but as the ferry docked at 1:10 PM – all I wanted to do was to leave. I know the path well, and with exception to the safety of others I takes it WOT. The wind is blowing pretty good here although it is mainly behind or as a crosswind as I’m heading east. Nothing to stop me now. Damn the torpedoes, I blast across the I-90 floating bridge WOT. The weather becomes blustery and begins to spit big-drop rain. In Seattle, we have over 200 words to describe rain, but less than 10 to describe sunshine. :roll: Though not a cold drench, wet is wet and I want to get out from under it. From the Interstate I travel north on Bellevue Way to 112th Avenue to Main Street east, across I-405 to 116th Avenue north up to Northup (no, seriously) going east before taking NE 24th Street to link up with the bike trail when the ebike suddenly dies! WTF? :x Get off, inspect, looks fine, wiggle the harness, get back on; it works! I guess the gremlins just had to pull one last stunt before calling it a day. I’ll be damned if I know, but motor-on up the hill and onto the bike path.

It’s Monday just after lunch. I fly on by the Microsoft Studio complex; Softies don’t know what they are looking at as I tear across the intersection WOT taking the sidewalk ramp as a jump! I am being reckless; keep it together – hold steady. Past the Microsoft Red-West complex, I bomb down the bike path into the heart of Redmond proper and around Redmond Town Center (the faux center of town; actually it’s pretty well done up). And then at last - it’s up to where my saucer is embedded into the side of the hill and through the secret hidden urban bat cave. I made it home, arriving at 2:28 PM in the smiting rain.

Stats:
Start V = 63.3; End V = 56.3
Distance = 118.1 miles; Total Odometer = 2515.7 miles to California and back again.
Regen = 3.3%; Vmin = 54.5
MaxS = 39.6; AveS = 27.1
Trip Time = 4:21:22

The unloading of batteries and cargo went surprisingly quick and just in time before the sky began to chuck it down. Once inside, I proceeded to separate the trailer, though the hitch was left attached. After my shower after the shower I put on the gators and headed off to my local watering hole to enjoy a fresh crisp draught of Trumer Pils.

And so it is at The End, I must say:
Cheers to all my hosts for their fine hospitality, cheers to all the drivers that passed me safely, cheers to my family and friends for putting up with me, and most of all – cheers to myself for making it back alive! :D

A long humble bow to you and yours, KF :mrgreen:
Last edited by Kingfish on Mon Sep 12, 2011 9:55 am, edited 2 times in total.
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* Current ride: 2WD Disc EBikeKit (9C 2806-equivalent) / Dual Lyen 12FET / 15S6P LiPo when commuting.
* Going to California: 2011: Trip completed 8)
* Club Member: 40-mph & 101. 10k-Club: 11,218 miles-to-date, 5728 as 2WD.

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Re: Back in the Saddle: Going to California: 2011

Postby dnmun » Sun Sep 11, 2011 12:36 am

your total mileage is my round trip back to colorado from here. but i can leave colorado at 6:30 and arrive here at 11 pm. did that extension cord help? amazing that you did not have major electrical failures considering the time and distance. and you were at the wrong end of the bathtub curve for the run in of your new design. your boss would wanna know why you took such risks with a new system.
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Re: Back in the Saddle: Going to California: 2011

Postby Kingfish » Sun Sep 11, 2011 1:45 am

dnmun wrote:your total mileage is my round trip back to colorado from here. but i can leave colorado at 6:30 and arrive here at 11 pm. did that extension cord help? amazing that you did not have major electrical failures considering the time and distance. and you were at the wrong end of the bathtub curve for the run in of your new design. your boss would wanna know why you took such risks with a new system.

I used that extension cord about 2 hours after leaving your place on US-26 when I stopped at Lemonade Stand with the two little girls and picked up the first of many opportunity charges! I didn’t need it when in the motel rooms, but just about every place else – it was a godsend! The knife I used once in a bar fight. Just kidding! :lol: I did a stupid thing and shorted one of my battery leads – and that’s when I used the knife to cut away the melted bits. I am truly thankful for your tremendous wisdom! :D

As for risks? Life is a risk. We don’t get to test drive Life or the choice of being born. Some things are best tested in situ; my bike was one of those. I had faith and trust that I could make it through nearly anything, and well – with exception to stormy rain, I did. I wuz lucky! I had a guardian angel. I had sunny weather, lots of wind, but at least it was sunny. I kept to a routine, honing it every day; that was my system. It was by no means a perfect system; I relied on a dumbphone which was useless whenever I was out of range, and it killed off half of my precious images. Maybe there’s an application that stores the maps locally – I dunno. We learn from experience, and I have... well, 28 days of it.

Next year will be better. Next year I will raise the ante. The challenge will be greater and farther. I hope I will have better technology. :wink:

OT: I will be posting the unique stats and maps of the routes in the coming hours/days.
Best, KF
* My 2WD Garden Wall
* Current ride: 2WD Disc EBikeKit (9C 2806-equivalent) / Dual Lyen 12FET / 15S6P LiPo when commuting.
* Going to California: 2011: Trip completed 8)
* Club Member: 40-mph & 101. 10k-Club: 11,218 miles-to-date, 5728 as 2WD.

It is by caffeine alone I set my mind in motion.
It is by the beans of Java that thoughts acquire speed.
The hands acquire shakes, the shakes become a warning.
It is by caffeine alone I set my mind in motion.
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Re: Back in the Saddle: Going to California: 2011

Postby Kingfish » Mon Sep 12, 2011 11:34 am

MAPS!

In this next section I will post the general route maps; these were created from MapMyRides.Com. Each Map will have accompanying stats and hyperlinks to previously posted information. The exact mileage and elevation differs slightly from Bikely, as well as from my CAs; in truth I place more trust my own reporting far more as I periodically evaluated the calibration of the units many times over the course of this long journey.

Small note – last year I used Bikely.com but after the first road trip I found that they became unreliable afterwards for future planning because I was unable to connect consistently and dependently. This year I’ve decided to go with MapMyRides – although additional steps have been taken to produce my own maps in order to retain content control.

I haven’t decided yet whether to make the links to the maps public though: Out of privacy, the precise locations of hosts, friends, and family are undefined. Would it be useful to be able to zoom in farther to see the actual streets?

Enjoy! KF
* My 2WD Garden Wall
* Current ride: 2WD Disc EBikeKit (9C 2806-equivalent) / Dual Lyen 12FET / 15S6P LiPo when commuting.
* Going to California: 2011: Trip completed 8)
* Club Member: 40-mph & 101. 10k-Club: 11,218 miles-to-date, 5728 as 2WD.

It is by caffeine alone I set my mind in motion.
It is by the beans of Java that thoughts acquire speed.
The hands acquire shakes, the shakes become a warning.
It is by caffeine alone I set my mind in motion.
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Re: Back in the Saddle: Going to California: 2011

Postby Kingfish » Mon Sep 12, 2011 11:45 am

Corrections:

Let’s begin with the entire route map.

Image
The original was created by compositing using Bikely.Com. Changes are in Red.

  1. The original plan was to head south from Redmond to Enumclaw, follow SR-410 over Cayuse Pass at Mount Rainier National Park which becomes SR-123 and US-12 heading southwest to Randle, then SR-131/NS-25 to Swift Reservoir, south again on NS-90 to Carson, then east on SR-14 to White Salmon/Hood River, spend the night, then take Hwy 35 and connect up with US-26 near Government Camp on the flanks of Mount Hood. After a discussion with dnmun, I went to Centralia-Portland over two days following the Seattle-to-Portland (STP) bike route, and then US-26 out from Portland.
  2. The second change was on the return leg and originally had me cut back towards Portland at Lincoln City via McMinnville, spend the night, do the McMinnville-Centralia route following more or less the STP path, take US-12 east to Morton, SR-7 north to Lagrande, SR-161 north but cut over to Orting and take SR-162 back to Enumclaw, and then reverse back up to Redmond via Issaquah. This would have me bypass all that metro traffic.
    However, because I had switched to Centralia-Portland on the outbound leg I decided to travel up the entire length of the coast to Astoria and then on to Aberdeen via US-101 before jumping over to Shelton via US-12/RS-8/SR-108, then coming up the Hood Canal north on US-101 about 60 miles to catch SR-104 east to Kingston, and take the Edmonds-Kingston Ferry across, and head back to Redmond via Kenmore. Unfortunately due to the heavy winds preceding the arriving storm system this too changed.
  3. The leg back was altered as: Florence-McMinnville, McMinnville-Centralia (previously planned), and then Centralia to Shelton, up US-101 following the Hood Canal to SR-104 to Kingston to Edmonds to Redmond. But – as we know, this didn’t quite go as planned, and I had to abort at Shelton, take SR-3 up to Bremerton, cross the Puget Sound on the Seattle-Bremerton Ferry, and take I-90 back to Bellevue, then up to Redmond – in the rain.
  4. There was one other alteration where my brother and my pal discussed the path from Fresno across the Coast Range, and we switched back and forth on the best way. Ultimately though, that route stayed as originally planned, although the difficult day concluded in Hollister rather than Santa Cruz and contributed to the nearly 2-hour delay reaching San Francisco the following morning.
Checking my notes from the planning stage, I had three revisions – all going through the Mount Rainier-Hood River route before leaving with the total trip miles estimated to be about 2440. When I finally departed on July 26th, the revised plan was essentially the STP, the California loop, and then back through Aberdeen; this would have put my final miles at 2402. It is only by circumstance that the 2500 milestone came about; the original goal was to go about 2200, or 4X farther than last year.

Regardless – I am proud of the distance however achieved. :wink:
~KF
* My 2WD Garden Wall
* Current ride: 2WD Disc EBikeKit (9C 2806-equivalent) / Dual Lyen 12FET / 15S6P LiPo when commuting.
* Going to California: 2011: Trip completed 8)
* Club Member: 40-mph & 101. 10k-Club: 11,218 miles-to-date, 5728 as 2WD.

It is by caffeine alone I set my mind in motion.
It is by the beans of Java that thoughts acquire speed.
The hands acquire shakes, the shakes become a warning.
It is by caffeine alone I set my mind in motion.
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Re: Back in the Saddle: Going to California: 2011

Postby Kingfish » Mon Sep 12, 2011 6:47 pm

MAP: Tuesday, July 26th, 2011 Redmond-Centralia

Image

Departed at 11:15 AM (the actual time after fussing about); Arrived at 8 PM
Distance = 108.1; Total OD = 108.1
Start V = 63.3; End V = 57.0
No regen stat; Vmin = 56.2
MaxS is buggered though it might be 39.9; AveS = 24.5
Trip Time might be 6 hours.
Room at the Ferryman’s Inn for $49.44

Apologies – I hadn’t quite developed the reporting routine.

Weather was cool, rainy until about Renton, eventually turning warmer though mostly cloudy with some sun breaks. Scariest part was traveling down the East Valley Highway between Renton and SR-18 near Auburn: I wasn’t used to the bike-trailer yet and there were no bike lanes. Within the first 60 miles I was worn out, though kept pushing on. At Tenino, after 78 miles – I was just about ready to park it except there were no motels here; I was very fatigued at that point, but had to push on for another 30 miles. Mentally – this was one of my hardest days. That night I balanced the cells using the 6-way harnesses. I forgot to unplug two batteries and fried one of the arms of the harness; sparks were everywhere! Good thing I was wearing my hat.

Originally posted status here, with Backfill here (there’s several days of summary in one post).

~KF
* My 2WD Garden Wall
* Current ride: 2WD Disc EBikeKit (9C 2806-equivalent) / Dual Lyen 12FET / 15S6P LiPo when commuting.
* Going to California: 2011: Trip completed 8)
* Club Member: 40-mph & 101. 10k-Club: 11,218 miles-to-date, 5728 as 2WD.

It is by caffeine alone I set my mind in motion.
It is by the beans of Java that thoughts acquire speed.
The hands acquire shakes, the shakes become a warning.
It is by caffeine alone I set my mind in motion.
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Re: Back in the Saddle: Going to California: 2011

Postby Kingfish » Mon Sep 12, 2011 6:52 pm

MAP: Wednesday, July 27th, 2011 Centralia-Portland

Image

Poor-quality notes I’m afraid.
Departed 11:15 AM; Arrived close to 6 PM.
Distance = 111 miles; OD = 219.1
Trip time is about 6 hours
Hosted by dnmun

Weather was partly cloudy, pleasant though gusting across the Columbia, fought cross-wind into Portland, but then it was just plain warm after that. Two scary parts: The last 10 miles on US-30 coming into Portland, and the butthead driver that cut me off on MLK that caused me to spill the bike in the middle of rush-hour traffic. Huge thanks to dnmun for helping me fix show-stopping issues.

Originally posted status here, with Backfill here (there’s several days of summary in one post).

~KF
* My 2WD Garden Wall
* Current ride: 2WD Disc EBikeKit (9C 2806-equivalent) / Dual Lyen 12FET / 15S6P LiPo when commuting.
* Going to California: 2011: Trip completed 8)
* Club Member: 40-mph & 101. 10k-Club: 11,218 miles-to-date, 5728 as 2WD.

It is by caffeine alone I set my mind in motion.
It is by the beans of Java that thoughts acquire speed.
The hands acquire shakes, the shakes become a warning.
It is by caffeine alone I set my mind in motion.
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Re: Back in the Saddle: Going to California: 2011

Postby dnmun » Mon Sep 12, 2011 6:53 pm

that was the 27th of july when you came by? i still had all that wood piled up out front or had i moved it then? i thought your trip was pretty neat. it would be great if we could organize a network of places for people to crash and charge while making these trips on a more regular basis.
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