Monday, August 17th – Westport Union Landing State Park, CA – KOA Campground in Manchester, CA
Another very cold morning indeed – I had a hard time waking up this morning and getting myself dressed because it was so cold. I figured, who cares – I’ll get up and dressed when I feel like it. My alarm went off at 6:30 and I slept till about 7 on and off since the alarm. I got up and left the campground around 8:30 but had to pack the tent up wet again because of all the dew which was a little frustrating. I hit the road and about 8 miles into my ride, I met another cyclist, Adam. He claims he started in Tennessee. He didn’t seem like a normal touring cyclist though, so I’m not sure whether or not I believe what he told me. He said his BOB Trailer with all his gear, digital camera, etc. was stolen from him in Arcata, CA. I’m not sure if that really happened – he didn’t seem to know the lingo for touring or cycling at all, so I think he was just telling me that. His style looked more homeless, but a cleaned up homeless kind of looking guy. He rode behind me for a short bit – he had bike issues with his derailleur so I helped him get the chain going again and then I took off ahead and tried to lose him. I did. I had a slight feeling he might not be the type of person I wanted to bike with or be near him, so I just listened to my gut and took off and got far enough ahead that he was no longer in sight.
Once in Fort Bragg (20 miles from the start this morning), I found a nice and warm place to hang out – Starbucks. I figured I’d just wait there for a bit and hope he didn’t see my bike and find me. I really didn’t want to explain why I took off, other than I’m a faster rider. But I hung out there and updated my journal entries from the past days and talked with a lady who was just potentially diagnosed with leukemia. Her report is a bit confusing, but she’s going to another doctor at Stanford for another opinion. While sitting and trying to update my blog, this guy with a beard comes in and asks if I’ll watch his backpack – I said sure if he wanted to put it next to my bike. So while blogging, I watched over my bike and his backpack and eventually he came back and sat down right next to me and wouldn’t shut up. He kept talking non-stop and it was obvious that I was trying to do something. It was so incredibly annoying – I tried to not show any interest in him or his conversation, but he didn’t get the hint. As I was trying to do work, I told Farrah about this crazy guy who wouldn’t be quiet – she said to put earbuds in and listen to music online. I tried that and he still kept asking me questions and talking to me. This guy didn’t know how to get a hint at all and it was pretty obvious I didn’t want to talk to him anymore. I was at Starbucks for 3+ hours and barely got my stuff done in that time because of him.
Finally, around 2:45pm I left Starbucks in Fort Bragg to set out for the rest of the day’s ride to Manchester, CA where there would be a state park with showers (hopefully). The ride sucked as the fog never lifted and it was pretty dense in areas. I didn’t enjoy riding on Hwy 1 because it was narrow, windy, and there were no shoulders in some areas and traffic was at times heavy, especially the first 15 miles out of Fort Bragg. Finally, traffic lessened but the fog was still there. I just hoped that all the cars would see me. I was freezing cold all day because I had to wear my bright orange shirt for visibility and only had my long sleeve shirt underneath and was wearing my biking shorts of course. I even had two pairs of socks on and long-fingered gloves to try to stay warm. I looked hideous – it amused me to say the least. I felt kind of like a hippie with the hiking socks way up, the long-fingered gloves, and the goose bumps on my legs. It must have been around 50 degrees and just really damp and wet with the fog, therefore really cold.
At last, around 7pm I reach Manchester and the campgrounds. It turns out the KOA and the state park campground are on the same road, so I go to the state park to see if they have showers. Of course not… so I talk to the host and he said to try the KOA campground to see if they’d let me pay to shower there and camp at the state park. While I was standing and talking to him, a woman that was with him gave me a sweater and told me to keep it. It was ugly, but who cares..it was warm. I went over to the KOA to find out what their hiker/biker rate was and was pleasantly surprised to find that they charged only $9 and that included showers. I set up camp and then one of the nice ladies here brought me some clothes to change into so I could wash all of mine – all my stuff was so damp and wet, I figured I’d just wash my clothes and all, even though I’m only two days away from San Francisco. I now am washing everything and wearing so hot blue stretch pants and a funky fleece sweater thing – but who cares? It’s warm at least.. now if I only had a hair dryer to dry my hair.
I just made dinner – penne with alfredo and it was pretty good. I was able to cook outside in the kitchen area and use a stove, so I didn’t get to try my rubbing alcohol tonight either… haha. Bummer.
Now to finish up laundry and maybe hit the sack early or upload this update via my first 30 free minutes of internet.