There’s a lot to see out here on the coast, but its covered in a very thick fog most of the day. Yesterday we rode for about an hour in 1/4 mile visibility and threw in towel for several hours because we lost the will to ride. Also it’s rather dangerous to ride in those conditions. We managed to shore up our courage for a bit more riding and dropped anchor in Arcata for a rest day. It seems everyone in this town is as transient as we are, which is how I picture California in general. After encountering no end to really friendly yet suspicious looking people in Oregon I’m trying my best to not judge people on appearance. Sometimes I forget how terrible I look myself; clearly I’m not in a position to be judgemental.
Let’s try a speed update: whoosh! Since last we talked at length I met with Megan, relaxed in Seattle, got a frame swapped in, traveled down the Oregon coast, “detoured” to Crater Lake, and made it back to the coast. Oh, and lost my cell phone. On a trip that never takes the straight route or the easy way (ok I intentionally bypassed Logan Pass over the Tetons Range) there is never a dull moment.
A brief update so you won’t worry. Megan and I are slowly traveling down the Pacific Coast and enjoying most of every minute. There’s much to see so sun up to sun down we’re busy. We haven’t taken much explicit down time so I haven’t had a chance to upload photos. Does anyone really want to read about me riding bikes and looking at the ocean without photos? I think not. Know that everything is going well and the coast is as spectacular as the last time you visited.
In the long term we’re heading towards San Francisco, but starting tomorrow we’re taking at least a week long “detour” to Crater Lake. We hear it’s beautiful but it’s inconvenient. I’ve found that the best places tend to be the most difficult to access, so pack your bags we’re heading inland!
On the road south! Megan surprised me in Seattle a day early and we squeezed inside my one person tent in the back of a strangers yard. Seeing her did a lot to help me out of my funk, as the support of you all, and I’ve been feeling much better. Seattle is a great city and we explored as much as possible on foot while I waited on my replacement frame. As for the bike it’s not the same, but it’s close and I got it on close out so it wasn’t that expensive. We’ll stick to smoother roads and try not to do anything stupid until I either get the first frame fixed properly (maybe) or find something a little burlier. I suppose if I’m going to kill a bike riding it too aggressively off road is an acceptable way to do it. We’re beat so I’ll leave you with some trolls that we found near Ravenna Park in Seattle.
Under three year limited warranty,
I was up with the sun eager to get to the city and have my frame looked at. The ride in was a bit confusing but not terribly taxing so I made great time. I dropped my bike off and got some lunch. It wasn’t long before I got a call from the shop to tell me that the damage was far more extensive than I thought.
I rushed back to the shop to see it with my own eyes. The dropouts are cracked in several places (in addition to the longitudinal split that is intentional. It’s hard to explain but there are several hairline fractures). We talked through all the options, but it became clear that there was no good fix. Action Potential is dead and I killed it. It’s just a bike but it’s pretty heartbreaking all the same. I have a similar frame on order but it’s not the same model. July has been a low month indeed.
Back in the United States after a month in Canada; back in the saddle with working muscles. This is the nice time of year to be in Pacific Northwest and I’m hoping to find that legendary tailwind as I head south. First though, a stop over in Seattle to get my frame fixed and to meet Megan.
Thoughts on Coastal BC. Forests deep and dark. Owls. Riding alongside Bald Eagles. Sky high humidity. Tidal swings several meters high. Ferries upon ferries. Wasps!
I’ve been fighting exhaustion for a few days. I replaced my drivetrain and I hope that helps. Otherwise something needs to change, but I’m not sure what. I’m heading over to Vancouver Island today and I’ll probably take the day to plan what it is I hope to accomplish there.?Mostly in looking for dirt roads to take me through the middle of nowhere. The terrain there is wicked so I need to get my strength back.
There’s a huge music festival (Pemberton) down the street from Whistler this weekend. The entire town is flooded with jerks and it killed the vibe for me. Also it’s hopelessly expensive there. So after two consecutive nights dodging bears and camping in the disc golf course I decided to pack my bags.
If you do find yourself in Whistler and you want some culture I highly recommend the Squamish Lil’wat Culture Center which celebrates the history of the Squamish and Lil’wat people. Incidentally, around here the term for indigenous peoples is “first nations”. Or you know, the given name of the individual.
I’ve been fighting a bad mood for a bit and a change of surroundings seemed prudent. In addition to constantly crossing mountain ranges I’ve been fighting a the wind since arriving in Canada. It hasn’t left much energy for being pleasant. I turned south down BC-99, the Sea-to-Sky highway. It was exhausting but I am more or less on the Pacific Coast now. Took a while to get here.
I’m so close to the coast I can practically smell the salt air! The trip from Kamloops had its ups and downs, emotionally and topographically but I managed to crawl into the first coffee shop in town. Now I’m deep in the woods in the hills above Whistler. Mountain bike trails criss cross the forest and I’ve already seen a pair of black bears. Bears are the BC equivalent of white tail deer.