The Bike Touring Pages of
Chris X. Edwards

Summer 1997 - Yukon to California
Journals - 18 August 1997


Day 39

18 August 1997 (sunny; nice; fog/haze in PM; mileage = 24.9; Usal Beach) -- X - We got up early and had a quick take down and a quick breakfast. The 1st half mile was not ridiculously steep and that was it for the day. We started climbing on reasonable dirt roads. We climbed and climbed. Then we dropped and dropped. This went on all day. We averaged about 5 miles an hour for 5 hours. We had a max speed of only 8 mph since the road was too rocky and punishing to go fast. We again had to take brake breaks on the drops. I could smell April's Coda brake pads burning. We went by some hippy houses and some California hillbilly posers. When we got to the turn off for the state park, our road had a sign on it that said "Slip out ahead." Some guy stopped and said that we could do it on bikes. We only saw about 3 cars to that point. We went ahead and a guy on a trail bike zoomed by. That was it for motorized vehicles (or humans) for the rest of the ride. So now we were on a road that no car would be on with no spare tube, going down rocky 15% roads for miles. So we tried being careful, which meant not getting to check out all of the great scenery. Many of the views were obscured by trees (which is fine). We went through a huge grove of huge Redwood stumps, "Avenue of the Giant Stumps." That would be a better tourist attraction. I was hoping to make it to Highway 1 today, but we had to rest so much (on the down hill for the brakes, too). We had to check the map every time we came to a logging road or a brutal climb that seemed unexpected. Very slow going. We finally got to the wash out and it was spectacular. It opened up the view very nicely and it was just wide enough for a bike or light motorcycle. If I could do this to all roads, I would! The road was very dry and dusty. All of the plants were covered in road dust (even though this road sees little action) and by the afternoon, we were, too. Our chains are in terrible shape. They sounded like they were completely rusted through. I was quite worried about this. We eventually got to our "big" descent that had so many climbs and brake breaks that it was quite a chore. We got to the bottom and popped out in a nice-looking campground (BLM). We rode to the beach and napped after eating lunch. All afternoon, we were entertained by dozens! of pelicans and many seals swimming right in front of us. There are 2 other tents on this large beach. The kids from one annoyed me when they tried to "help" a sick bird and one threw a rock at it. I told them to leave it alone. Then I had to tell their dad (who came over to us). The bird eventually went to the water and swam away. We had Knorr and pasta (our 4th dinner since a grocery store!). We only put the inner tent up tonight. I'm hoping the rain (which I personally control) will keep the dust and tourists down. We're only a few (6?) miles from flat pavement!
Previous Home Next
This page was created with only free, open-source, publicly licensed software.
This page was designed to be viewed with any browser on any system.
Chris X. Edwards ~ October 2000