TRIP 2017

Update #09 - May 01st
Crescent City, CA
Mission Trip 4,115.67 miles (6,585.07 km)
Year Total : 2,164.44 miles (3,463.10 km)

I'm finally in Crescent City, California. I didn't make it on my own power. A couple of days ago a new friend of mine in Grants Pass, Oregon drove to the Elk, California area (South of Ft Bragg) to come and get me because I wasn't able to keep on going North on my own power. CA 1 was closed between Westport and Leggett because of a rock slide and US 101 was closed between Leggett and Standish Hickey State Park. Even if these rock slide areas were open, I couldn't have ridden any farther North on my own power because the rear derailleur on my recumbent isn't working right. The rear derailleur should have been replaced at the bike shop in San Francisco. I have to stay put for a while because I have to get a new debit card rushed to me from my bank in Illinois because it stopped working.

Apr 18, 2017 : Gualala to Port Arena : 15.97 miles (25.55 km)
Trip Total: 4,089.29 miles (6,542.36 km)
Year Total: 2,138.06 miles (3,420.90 km)

I didn't get much sleep last night as I had really hoped to. I shut off the television around 10 pm. As soon as it shut off, I noticed a really loud high paced dripping sound. I wasn't sure whether it was inside the room or coming from the outside. There was a window above the bathtub open but when I shut it, the noise was still present. I finally traced it to the wall cavity behind the shower. I wasn't sure whether it was a leak in the pipes or not. There wasn't anything in the room that I could use to drown it out. The heat in the room came from a gas fireplace. It was loud enough that it was becoming annoying and it affected the tinnitus in my left ear. I was probably only able to get maybe one or two hours of sleep.

Breakfast wasn't going to be until 8 am so I got something to eat out of my food pannier. Instead of making multiple trips to get my gear and recumbent down the stairs, I tossed most of the stuff over the railing. I left the motel around 8:40 am.

I maybe traveled down the highway a couple of miles and then I had to stop and do some more road side repair. One of the large bungees holding my camping gear on the rear rack was going bad so I had to sew it up. I also had to sew a rip in my tent bag. I probably spent 90 minutes doing the sewing.

Because of the lack of sleep the past couple of days, I didn't feel like traveling very far today. The temperature was just in the high 50s. I took my time getting to Port Arena taking quite a few breaks along the way. I was really frustrated with the rear derailleur not working right.

It was almost 3 pm when I finally got into Port Arena. There were two churches in town (Catholic and Community Methodist). Both of the churches were small. There was no rectory at the Catholic church. There was a house next to the Methodist Church but it didn't look lived in.

It was really too late in the day to try and make it to Elk where there was supposed to be a WS member. I rode out of town about a mile and found some open land where I could possibly camp out in. I couldn't go that far into the land because there were a lot of fallen trees and also some swampy land. It took a while to find a spot that seemed to be high enough where it might not get too wet if it ever rained. I pitched the tent on a place where there was a lot of pine needle straw.

April 23, 2017 : Port Arena, CA to Port Arena. CA : 01.00 miles (01.60 km)
Trip Total: 4,090.29 miles (6,544.46 km)
Year Total: 2,139.06 miles (3,422.50 km)

I was really surprised at getting some sleep last night and even dreaming some more. It took a while packing up Alice and getting her on back on the road. I hadn't expected to be stuck in my tent in some woods about a mile North of Port Arena for five days but I couldn't get out of the woods because the all day rain that happened Wednesday caused the area that I was in to be swampy so I had to wait for it to dry out and I was sick for a few days because of a bad stomach virus. It was realy hard rationing my food and my water. I was down to one half of a water bottle.

I got into Port Arena around 9:40 am. I didn't have to wait long before people showing up for the morning service at the Community Methodist Church. There was an older lady pastor and she did live in the house next door with I guess her sister. There were mostly seniors in the congregation and not that many other people in attendance because the school system in town was on Spring Break.

I did get to share a little bit. After the service, I was given permission to stay in a back attached building that had two classrooms in it. There was a bathroom between the classrooms. The building looked like it was a preschool at one time. I had to move a lot of stuff around to open up some space because there was going to be a yard sale. I was also able to get some food at out of the food pantry. I'm hoping that it would last for a couple of days because the next place where I should be able to buy some more food is in Mendicino 37 miles away where there is also supposed to be a bike shop. There is supposed to be a bike shop in Fort Bragg but I read that it wasn't that good.

Apr 24, 2017 : Port Arena, CA to Manchester, CA : 06.79 miles (10.86 km)
Trip Total: 4,097.08 miles (6,555.53 km)
Year Total: 2,145.85 miles (3,433.36 km)

Last night was a really bad off night. I wasn't able to fall asleep. There were windows on two walls and they didn't have any really coverage over them. There was a lot of light coming into the room from the elementary school next door that went around the church building. It did take a while to clear up some space where I could move my recumbent into the room and also an area where I could sleep. I made a bedroll out of three thick blanket comforters so I didn't have to use my sleeping bag. There was a radiant heat lamp available so I could get the room warm but I had to watch out for all of the flammables. There was a broom so I could do some sweeping so I was able to take care of some ants and other insects.

In the restroom there was a bathroom scale. I was surprised at finding my weight down into the upper 170s. It hasn't been that low in a long while.

The thing that threw me into a loop of not sleeping was finding a large lizard in the room with me. It must have been between eight and ten inches long. I found it in the small hallway to the restroom. I used a broom to shepherd it under the door to the other classroom and then I put some stuff at the bottom of the door to keep it from coming back into the room that I was in. There was no way that I could know if there were any other lizards or salamanders in the room with me under all of the stuff that had been collected for a sale and also the stuff from the old preschool.

It was good having something hot to eat for supper for a change because I had gotten a can of microwavable ravioli from the church food pantry that was in the old garage. I also had a small can of fruit cocktail for dessert.

I couldn't get my mind in rest even with doing some chanting of prayers. I spent most of the evening and early morning watching videos on my netbook. I tried several times to falling asleep but I wasn't able to. When the sun finally came up around 6 am, I found the sky to be overcast and it was lightly raining. There was the distinctive noise of rain going through the gutters and downspouts. I was told yesterday morning in church that it was supposed to have been dry today with rain coming into the area tomorrow.

Because of the wet and cold weather, I was hoping to be able to stay over for at least today but that wasn't the case. I was concerned about getting sick and stranded in my tent someplace in the woods next to the highway again. Around 8 am, the pastors' sister came by to tell me that I had to leave because of the elementary school next door. People were only allowed to stay around the church between the hours of 6 pm and 8 am.

I quickly got packed up and left the church a little before 8:30 am. At least, there was just a light mist in the air. I stopped at the Catholic Church because there was a lady standing under the porch of the fellowship hall. She told me that the priest did live next to the church but he also took care of the Catholic Church in Gualala that was much bigger and he spends most of his time there. I did talk with some other ladies. They were setting up for a weekend sale in the fellowship hall so there wouldn't have been any open space inside for me to use. I was told that there was also an Assembly of God Church in town but they were between pastors. One of the suggestions would be for me to ride to at least Manchester and see if I could get some help at the KOA that's on the way to Manchester State Beach.

The ride to Manchester went okay. For most of the way the road was pretty flat. There were a couple of hills to climb up but nothing that I wasn't able to ride up. I got to the KOA campground around 10:30 am. The person who I was told to contact wasn't in today. I told the lady at the counter what I've been doing and what happened in Port Arena and told her that I wanted to see if I could rent out one of the Komfort Kabins at a discount. I told her that I could spend at least $20 on the cabin. For some reason my Mastercard couldn't be used. I knew that the card worked last week in Gualala when I bought a few things at the local supermarket. Instead of turning me away, the lady at the desk gave me the keys to one of the cabins up front and told me that not to worry because the churches in Port Arena would be contacted to see if they could help out.

This month is the slowest and least traveled month for me. I've only been able to spend 4 days on cycling. The biggest block of non-riding days was in the beginning of the month when I was in San Francisco. I've traveled less than 200 miles this month. I've still got around 290 miles to travel to Crescent City. I've still got a little over 57 miles of Coastal CA 1 left before I to take the 25 mile detour through the Coastal Mountain Range to get to US 101 because of the rock/mudslide between Westport and Leggett. I was told that CalTrans is having a hard time repairing the damage done on CA 1 because of the weather and the damaged area is getting bigger.

I'm looking at not crossing into Oregon until at least Friday, May 12th.

Apr 25, 2017 : Manchester to Elk : 18.57 miles (29.74 km)
Trip Total: 4,115.67 miles (6,585.07 km)
Year Total: 2,164.44 miles (3,463.10 km)

I had a sort of good afternoon and evening in the Komfort Kabin. There was a small space heater that kept the cabin warm. The only real problem was that the smoke detector went off because the battery in it was going bad. I had to go to the office to get somebody in maintenance to replace the battery. This took about 20 minutes. I was able to get on the internet for about an hour for free. I didn't have any extra money. I was able to check my bank balance and saw that I had sufficient funds in the account and there were no strange withdrawals. The bank card should have worked. I sent an email to one of the bankers at my old bank in Savannah, IL to see what was going on.

I spent most of the day working on the photographs that I took since leaving San Francisco and I watched a couple of movies on my laptop. The cabin did get dark and I did sleep some but lightly. I don't remember having any dreams though.

I woke up around 6:30 am. I turned the key in around 8:30 am. The ride North to Elk went okay even though there were quite a few hills to get over. There was one spot where I went downhill in several large switchbacks and then I had to climb up on the other side. I did do some road walking. There was another long downhill run and climb right before Elk.

I got into Elk around 10:30 am. It took a little bit of time but I was able to find out that my WS contact was actually the post master at the post office in Manchester. I was able to get in contact with her. She actually lived with her father about six miles North of Elk. I had to continue North on CA 1 for about 5 miles and then I had to walk up a steep hill for about a mile to their place. Instead of staying in the main house, I'll be staying in an old rv trailor that has a roof covering it. The problem is that it's not that clean inside. The bedroom that I'll be staying in is probably the cleanest room. There is a guy staying here who has a cat. The bathroom in the trailor doesn't work. There is an out building close that supposedly has a shower and a toilet.

I got some good news. CA 1 is open between Westport and Leggett. They have one lane open through the rock slide zone which is 300 feet wide. There is controlled access through the area. That means that I'll not have to try and make the attempt over the Cascade Mountain Range to Laytonville on Brascomb Road. From what I was told, this road really wouldn't be a good road for cyclists. I've got around 65 miles left of CA 1 before I can get to Leggett and US 101. I also didn't know that there was also a rock slide on US 101 North of Leggett between the town and Standish-Hickey State Park. This slide area just reopened today. To get around this rock slide area, people would have had to travel South on US 101 clear to Redwood Valley and then had to travel on CA 20 to Williams and then travel North on I-5 and Redding and then travel west to Arcata on CA 299. This would have been over a 300 mile detour around the 600 feet long slide area.

Apr 26, 2017 : Elk, CA to Elk, CA : 00.00 miles (00.00 km)
Trip Total: 4,115.67 miles (6,585.07 km)
Year Total: 2,164.44 miles (3,463.10 km)

I had a sort of good evening. I was able to get some rest. Around midnight, the rain started and lasted through the rest of the night. Around 8 am, Judy came by to check on me and told me that it would be okay for me to stay over. She also told me some bad news. US 101 is closed again between Leggett and Standish Hickey State Park. The mountainside through the rock slide area fell again. Most of the repair work was lost. Now people have to make their way East to I-5 to travel North to Redding and then cross over the coastal mountain range to Arcata before they can travel North again up the Coast That is over a seven hour detour. She also told me that they had closed CA 1 again between Westport and Leggett because the area at the rock slide is unstable.

I sent several emails to my new friend Robert in Grants Pass, Oregon to see if he either knew of somebody who I could turn to for help or whether he could come and get me. I got an email back from Robert in the evening telling me that he will be coming to rescue me. He is supposed to be here Friday morning. Robert will take me to Crescent City.

Apr 28, 2017 : Elk, CA to Crescent City, CA : 00.00 miles (00.00 km)
Trip Total: 4,115.67 miles (6,585.07 km)
Year Total: 2,164.44 miles (3,463.10 km)

I had a sort of good evening. I was able to get some rest. Around 8 am, I moved all of my stuff out of the trailor and made a pile near the barn along with Alice. Robert arrived around 9 am. I put all of my stuff into the second row of seats in Robert's Jeep Caravan. Robert fastened Alice on the back of the Jeep with a lot of rope. He did have a bike rack.

We got on the road around 9:30 am. Instead of heading back to Ft Bragg to get on CA 20, we took a different route to Ukiah. We took CA 128 to Boonville and then we got on CA 253 to Ukiah. This section took me up and over two mountain ranges. Between Boonville and Ukiah, we went through road construction where there was a small rock slide. It was a 51 mile ride to Ukiah. We got on US 101 between Ukiah and Calpella where we got on CA 20 for the ride to Williams. The ride to Williams was 71 miles. Between Williams and Redding, we zipped Northwards along I-5. In Red Bluff, we stopped for some lunch.

We got into Redding around 4 pm. We wasn't sure if we were going to make it Westward to Arcata on CA 299 because there were rock slides. Along the way to Redding, we rode passed Lassen Volcano National Park and got glimpses of snow covered Mt Shasta. CA 299 was the Trinity Scenic Highway and we rode through the Trinity Mountains. Seventeen miles West of Weaverville, we hit the first of four rock slides. We hit the slides just as the West bound traffic was able to go through the one lane roads work areas. One of the work zones was almost 400 feet long and the highway had been taken down to the dirt. There would have been no way for me to go through this zone. There were three other work zones between the small town of Helena and Burnt Ranch. A lot of the ride along CA 299 was downhill and along a river. There were some people riding the rapids.

It was almost 7 pm when we got into Arcata. We then got on US 101 for the 71 mile ride to Crescent City. The ride North went okay. We got into Prairie State Park around dusk so I wasn't able to take any pictures of the Redwoods and the elk. we did see some herds of elk. Between Klamath and Crescent City, we hit four work zones where there were rock slides. We got into Crescent city around 9 pm. It took a while finding St Paul Episcopal Church in the dark.

I'll be staying in the fellowship hall till I get a new bank debit card and get Alice fixed at the local bike shop. The ride by car was 460 miles. If I would have been able to ride to Crescent City on my own power, the distance would have been around 260 miles.

The next update will be posted between May 08th and May 15th.



Bicyclist in Sunset



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