April 4, 2008

Dear Family and Friends,
    We are finally on our bicycle trip from Oregon to Arizona after a few weeks rest from our Cambodia/Vietnam trip.  Ariel is safe in Telaga, Langkawi Malaysia. It was freezing and even snow in Oregon while visiting Steve's parents, so we headed south and began our trip along the coast of Oregon and Crescent City California. 

The grey whales are migrating so many spectacular sightings along the way. 

Our first day was pumping up a hill (mountain?) for 12 miles then a 3 mile downhill to a Youth Hostel in an old mansion along the coast. 


It was a tough beginning, pulling 50 and 65 pound trailers but it paid off and we are now getting up to 45 miles a day, still not our goal but we are finding the coastal road Hwy 1 is mostly hills and many curves winding down and up through the valley's and into the interior over high mountain passes.

So far we have peddled through the Redwoods on the Avenue of the Giants and pitched our tent below these magnificent trees.




As we moved south the weather became warmer and butterflies, lupines and lilly began to appear.  









We occasionally treat ourselves to a night INN as we did in Ferndale Calif., an old Victorian town.

In Ferndale we met an old fella who built a Kinetic people powered machine that put our little Bike Fridays's to shame.

Every Memorial day they have a festival peddling these homemade machines over 30 miles in 3 days. 

We might be slow...but not THAT slow!





Then we had an exquisite night in the Hill House Inn at Cabot Cove,


were Angela Landsbury stared in 'Murder She Wrote' which put  Mendacino  California on the map.

In Garberville, a through back to the 60's, the community was in an uproar over the Humbolt county officials enforcing codes for the first time in a generation and were arresting all the pot growers.




Home made steel guitar

Gayla meets up with friends from the past


GEEZ, it's cold up here crawling out in the early AM. Good thing I had my hair dryer to heat up those bags.



Our 'Hubba Hubba' tent and new down sleeping bags are great but,


A couple nights ago we had a sniffing animal around our tent and never did figure out what it was although we were in bear and mountain lion country.

Another night it sounded like a war zone as the vineyards are full of propane 'bombs' going off at intervals to scare away the birds.   

We've, met some really interesting people.  One guy told us how to cook salmon in a dishwasher  and shrimp in a coffee maker. 
Don't forget...NO SOAP!!

We were entertained with a private concert on a home made steel guitar, ate at the Hawg Wild Biker Bar and parked our bikes next to their Harley Davidson's.  


  Feeling a bit like a foreigner we have found our fellow countrymen all very friendly, talkative, some a bit eccentric but go out of their way to be helpful. 


The food is SENSATIONAL!

  California is a healthy state when it comes to food.... fresh squeezed orange juice, whole wheat breads of which there are a bakers dozen to choose from and lots of power bars and energy boosters.

Boy do we need those! 

A typical lunch cost about $7 but with massive amounts of food, so much so we must split a meal.  

Many people are overweight, so are the pigeons, and the other half are beautiful people!


        That's California!


The coastal ride has been tough but MAGNIFICENT with the salty smell of sea air and kelp.

Then, in moved the FOG!  

We had to cut inland through the Sonoma Valley but just in time not to miss all the wine tasting stops at dozens of little private owned wineries. 


    SONOMA VALLEY                      






It was like biking through southern France as the sun was shinning and temperature rising.  


In Memory of Al Bowland

We ended up in Santa Rosa visiting an old cruising friend, Glennie Bowland of s/v Dawn's Light,
and arriving in San Francisco we visited our Japanese friend, Kanji, who just bought a new Pacific Sea Craft  s/v Blue Fantasy. 





(see Biking Boaties Japan)


He took us to the big San Francisco Boat Show where we ran into a cruising friend, from the Darwin/Kupang rally off the Norwegian boat s/v Cintra.

San Francisco Boat Show

 Small World!


Knute s/v Cintra
(see Sail
Indonesia 2007)

  Now in San Raphael California, kicking back at an old traveling friends lovely home we will enjoy a few cultural events and then head east to Sacramento starting with a peddle across the Golden Gate Bridge.

Horst & Diane world travelers

Basset Hound Molly
It has been an eventful, exhausting but exciting bike trip so far but still a long way to go. Hope to be in Arizona by June.  We will keep you posted.  Love Gayla and Steve s/v Ariel

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