Creme de la (organic, locally sourced) creme: Best of the California Bike Tour

A beautiful sunrise from the United Lounge, which I almost missed repeatedly trying to fall asleep sitting up.
A beautiful sunrise from the United Lounge, which I almost missed repeatedly trying to fall asleep sitting up.

At 3 a.m. on September 20, Sylva and Tyler drove to Arvada to catch a shuttle to the airport. Or at least they think they got on the shuttle, hopped off and checked their coupled travel bikes tucked away in their bags, zipped through security and headed to the United Club lounge. But it’s hard to say… it was so damn early.

By afternoon — after spending at least three hours piecing our bikes and gear together in the check in area of the Portland airport — we were ready to ride. We navigated eight miles of glass with road on it to our friend Luke’s house in an area called Woodlawn. We soon traded his sunny porch for an even sunnier table at the local corner store. Cider in hand, we plopped down to enjoy a long afternoon with Luke and his sister Alex. I have no documentation of this part of the day because I was too lazy to walk two blocks back to Luke’s house to fetch my picture-taking apparatus.

After a day in Portland in Luke’s “Ghetto Mansion,” (complete with retro bowling, doughnut eating and waiting in line at way-too-trendy but yummy restaurants that specialize in biscuits)  we rented a car and headed to Medford for some quality time with my BFFF Kelly and her hubby Jacbo. Two days later, off to McKinleyville, CA to spend the night with Jacob’s sister Bri and husband Matt, renters of Kelly and Jacob’s old but not yet sold house. Did you follow that mother’s brother’s aunt’s friends’ cat’s second cousin logic?

We dropped our car off in quirky, edgy Eureka, CA the next morning and began a biking journey that would take us the long way all the way down the coast. Four hundred fifty miles, four counties, several new biking friends, starfish, plenty of marijuana (when in Cali…) and a lot of cider later, we would be in San Francisco to stay with my uncle Brian and my bro Kyle and his girlfriend Kathy. Just to add a cherry on the top of our last Sunday of the trip, we’d let someone else do the driving — namely, an Amtrak conductor. After thirty plus hours on the train, we’d hop a light rail from Union Station, then a bus to Arvada and then get in the trusty Volvo — still intact after we abandoned it once more for multiple weeks at a park & ride — and drive back to Dillon.

Without further ado, here’s the creme de la creme of our journey in picture form:

PDX – Woodlawn (Portland, Oregon):

8 miles, mostly glass

Medford, Oregon:

Day 1: Eureka, CA – Ferndale, CA

21 miles, rolling

Day Two: Ferndale, CA – Honeydew Campground, King Range National Conservation Area

47 miles, 4900′ climbing

Day 3: Honeydew Campground, King Range National Conservation Area – Burlington Campground (Avenue of the Giants)

30 miles, 2200′ climbing

Day 4: Burlington Campground (Avenue of the Giants) – Phillipsville, CA:

20 miles, not much climbing

For now, I’ve got to be like a Redwood and leaf. But stay tuned for breathtaking sunsets, tide pools, beaches, free fruit, raccoons and new interesting buddies in the next installment…

2 Replies to “Creme de la (organic, locally sourced) creme: Best of the California Bike Tour”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s