Today 17 miles, Total 4,246
Campsite: At Plaskett Creek Campground, California
Weather: Bright and sunny morning with a downpouring afternoon.
Flat tires: 0, Total 20
Falls with bicycle: 0, Total 6
Cheyenne has slept well. Having a friend with her helps her process the loss of Mr Dog. They share stories together. Thanks for being there Kai.
The kids continue their games while Amarins and Bill pack up and carry everything to the road. We're going to take advantage of having a car available. We're going to load part of our stuff into the car. This way we can travel faster and have more time to spend together. Almost everything is at the road, but the tent, when we suddenly have a cloud covering. It comes up so quickly we don't realize it at first, until we feel the first drips. We quickly herd the kids together and cover them with a tarp. For the tent it's to late. It gets drenched. Yuck.
The tent is already packed up when it starts to rain. We quickly cover the kids with the tarp. What an excitement.
The rain is gone by the time Kevin and Melissa and little Mae arrive in the car. We pile in what we can fit. Ragged Point is two miles up the hill. Easily an hours ride if we're fully loaded. We decide to meet there for breakfast.
What a difference to be riding without the hundred pounds of gear. We're climbing the hill with little stops. One hill down... many more to come...
We've left some of our load in the car. It makes quite a difference. This way we can join them for breakfast at Ragged Point (instead of lunch...).
We can barely believe it, but we make it to Ragged Point in half an hour. We were cooking! It must have been the though of a good breakfast with friends that got us here so fast.
Cheyenne and Robin.
We take a seat on the terrace. View of the ocean, flowers of all sorts and colors blooming all around. We've arrived in a paradise. We have an abundant breakfast. With omelets, pancakes, bacon, orange juice, coffee and fruit. We are so thankful that we have taking the chance to be on this journey. To find out what life has in stock for us. To feel the struggles and the pain of loss. To feel the warmth and love of new found friends. There we camp along the road side, hidden under the trees. Here we sit, feasting like no kings and queens of eons past have done before. It's good to smell the roses.
Breakfast is served.
A moment in the Big Sur with friend Kai.
Robin on the edge of a cliff...
Mae is doing a little tap dance.
It's hard to break free, but the road awaits. Tally ho, everybody on! And off we are. We climb a mile, we descend a mile. We're riding a human power roller coaster. We're playing tag with Kevin and Melissa. They're taking pictures of us as we go.
Kevin is acting as tripod. Nice to have us all in one shot. Thanks Kevin.
Each curve we take displays a new mystic scenery. Whether it's a waterfall coming from above, or a wave hitting the rocks below. It's a beautiful ride.
Hidden around a corner we find a big waterfall. Another hundred feet up the road and it's hidden once more.
The sight from up high.
With the arrival of the afternoon, so do the clouds. Six miles before Plaskett Crampground we see a familiar car. Kevin has returned from setting up camp. The girls and Amarins hop in the car. Kevin takes Amarins' seat. The men will finish today, so Amarins can set up our wet tent to dry before the rain sets in. The kids will have more time to play together too.
Jasmine is checking out the clouds that are rolling in.
The rain doesn't start yet for several hours. We can see the clouds rolling in and make the mountain up north disappear. Amarins helps Melissa set up their tent, after setting up our tent. Together we have it up in no time. We're just in time putting our gear in the tent when the rain starts falling.
The kids get to see a movie in the car while Melissa gets the fire going. The firepit is located just under the branches of a big tree, keeping it just a little dry. The rain comes and goes, but it stays wet.
We huddle around the fire, while the billy is on, boiling water and the potatoes roast in the coals. It isn't long when the men join us.
Kai is sharing his coloring book with the girls.
The rain makes for a mucky messy camping experience. When the sun sets, the rain sets in for the night. Even under the tree we get soaked, so we call it a night.
Today 33 miles, Total 4,279
Campsite: At Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park, California
Weather: Brisk around the corners.
Flat tires: 0, Total 20
Falls with bicycle: 0, Total 6
It's wet and damp, but dry from the sky. The kids pick up playing where they left off; coloring, skateboarding, enjoying the campfire. The bacon is sizzling on the grill, another billy is boiling. Breakfast is going, the bags are being packed up.
Kevin is fixing bacon above the campfire.
Robin is coloring.
Another day in the Big Sur awaits. Once more the gear is loaded in the car. Melissa and Kevin are going ahead of us to find a campground for the night. The park ranger tells us there will be one at Julia Pfeiffer, 26 miles up (and down) the road. It's a bit more then we did yesterday, but the day is still young, so we're taking it on.
The scenery is breathtaking. The road is much better then we had expected. The shoulder is inconsistent, but it's there when we need it to rest on. We're on the cliff side, so no worries about the drop offs. There are not many of those anyway. The area looks refreshed after the rain. The sky is blue and the sun is nudging us to go on.
Jasmine peeks around Bill to fill her sight with the beautiful scenery.
Robin is observing the canyon.
We try to follow the road with our eyes. Sometimes it disappears and we're left to guessing how we're going to go around the next cliff. It is good not to know what lies ahead exactly. If the road goes up, we'll work our way up. If it goes down, we'll enjoy the roll down. If it is steep, we push a little harder and rest a little more. If if is flat we let the pedals go round and round. The mystery of what lies ahead makes this journey what it is. The joy of the moment gives it it's value.
We've come from afar.
In Lucia we find a cute little store. A hot chocolate and home made cookies for the girls. We enjoy the sit down moment when the store lady comes out with more hot chocolate and a bag full of cookies and brownies for on the road. Thank you ma'am!
We keep following the curvy windy highway 1. One breath taking sight after another. From the Lucia lady we hear that Julia Pfeiffer Burns is for day use only, thus no camping. The next campground is Big Sur State Park, another ten miles after Julia Pfeiffer. A little later we get that confirmed from Kevin. They've been up and down the road to find us a place to camp and have come to the same conclusion. We decide to do what we did yesterday. They go up ahead, unload, Kevin comes back, Amarins and the girls go ahead. Today they cannot camp with us, they need to go back home. It's still a long drive.
Well, it is what it is. The scenery is still very enjoyable. And it is actually quite exciting to make it to the Big Sur State Park today.
Getting closer and closer.
Under the redwood canopy at Julia Pfeiffer. The wind blows straight in.
Looking down the cliff.
Bill holds the bike in a firm grip as Amarins takes pictures of the beautiful scenery.
It's extremely windy here at Julia Pfeiffer. We go a little further to find a spot to take a break. We pass a blind curve. We can't see what's behind, and we can't see what's ahead. These are intense moments. We're very thankful for the wide shoulder at this location.
What's around the bend in the road? There is no telling. We catch our breath before moving on.
We're fortunate to have a wide shoulder to rest on.
A little further is a pullout. We park the bike. Everybody off! We've gone 24 miles already and we can feel it.
A moment to rest.
Perfect timing. As we get ready to get back on, Kevin arrives. He's going to finish today with Bill. Amarins and the girls head for the park. The road to the park is very trying. It goes down a little, but then has a several miles long, incredibly steep climb, before cresting. When you get to the other side of the hill, the road goes down into a valley full of huge redwoods. A magnificent scenery. Totally unexpected. The campground is another mile through the woods.
The campground has showers and a laundry facility (quite necessary). Melissa picked us out a nice campground. When we get there we slowly start putting up the site. We left the tarp on the bike, not quite handy, so we'll have to wait for the men to arrive. The kids enjoying the time to play together. Of course riding the skate board. Even Robin and Mae are taking turns on the skate board. They like to sit or lay on it and roll themselves with their hands.
Amarins takes Robin and Mae for a ride to the front of the campground. We're on a quest for laundry detergent. As well as on the lookout for the daddies. It's been quite a while and they have not arrived yet. After a succesful quest, Amarins decides to check up the road a bit to see if the daddies can be located. After several miles we spot the big yellow bike at the crest of the hill. The men are taking a highly deserved break. The little girls jump into their arms.
As the men finish their break, Amarins leaves for the campground with the girls, the tarp and a message: Kevin and Melissa are going to stay another night! Yippee!
It's Melissa's turn to set the tent up by herself. With little help from Amarins she puts it up very sharp. Kai and Cheyenne are helping Amarins move our tent on top of the tarp. Thanks kids!
Another night camping with friends. Kai gets to sleep in our tent once more. After a while of chitter chatter, they quiet down and fall asleep. It's been another day of adventures.
Today 6 miles, Total 4,312
Campsite: With Melanie and Jon, Monterey, California
Weather: A warm spring day.
Flat tires: 0, Total 20
Falls with bicycle: 0, Total 6
A plush night in a real bed. So much appreciated. It's almost hard to get up and get ready for breakfast. Almost, but not quite. It's the daylight savings time that still throws us off. Eight o'clock comes around quickly.
Robin and Bob are coloring while we wait for breakfast.
Coloring and hot chocolate while the fire is going.
We enjoy spending time together. We're in no rush. Checkout time is noon and we're only going 6 miles or so. Thanks for being a part of the journey Heather and Bob!
Time doesn't stand still for anybody. Not for us either. There comes the time we have to get back and load up again. We're going across the mountain from Carmel to Monterey.
Devian Gilbert from Asana Cycles in Monterey is going to be our guide. He's taking us the best route. Little traffic, but still quite a hill to climb. We climb the hills as we usually do, stop and go. But this time it doesn't work so well. The chain is slipping over the rear cassette. When we start over, we have to pedal feather light to keep the chain from slipping some. It's a good thing we have Devian on our side. He grabs Jasmine's handle bars and helps us up the hills. That makes all the difference. Eventually we reach the top.
The girls love taking the bike path.
Cheyenne is on our tail.
Once over the top, it's downhill all the way. Well, untill the driveway. That is to steep to go up, so we just hop off and walk it the last 10 yards. As we enter we see the festive balloons and flags strung out to celebrate our arrival. We feel very welcome here in Monterey.
As soon as we arrive, the girls strip down. It has gotten quite warm already. They are ready for a couple of days of playing with Noah and Hannah.
The flags are out and the balloons are up. The Pedouins are in town!
We're not leaving on our own. A group of riders from the Velo Club Monterey, as well as Jon and Melanie, with Noah and Hannah, are going to ride with us
The Velo Club of Monterey is riding with us today.
Once the last pictures are taken, we're off. The route takes us to the Monterey Bay, where we pick up a bicycle trail through the dunes. Little Hannah is the fastest of us all. Her legs keep spinning and spinning. What an energy. She zooms up the dunes until she's out of sight.
Taking a drink on top of the dunes, with Monterey in the background. Hannah has raced us all to the top. Hard for daddy Jon to catch up while pulling Noah in the trailer.
We're on our way to Marina, where we'll make a stop at the REI. We just want to personally say thank you for all the help we've received.
Store manager Brian of REI in Marina, has been fantastic helping us with anything from clothing to a new tent as well as a new tracker.
Once we leave the REI, the Velo Club riders continue their journey with Melanie. We continue further north. With the help of Dennis we find our way back to the bike paths. The path leads us to highway 1, where NBC from the Bay area catches up with us as we're taking a break at a taco stand.
Channel 11 from the San Francisco Bay area is doing a story on us before we arrive into town. Cheyenne is telling them the states we've been through. NBC11 doesn't put their videos online, so we don't have a copy available.
We take the frontage road along highway 1. We work our way northward, bypassing the highway until we can't any longer. The highway is so busy, there is no way to cross it. We have to ride the opposite shoulder for a little while, until we arrive in Moss landing. Here we go through town. At the end of town we have the same problem; busy traffic on the highway. Fortunately we find an opening that is just big enough for us to safely cross. Now we're going to be riding on the wide shoulder for a while.
Dennis has to turn back. He leaves us with detailed maps on how to get up the coast. They turn out very helpful and show us the road to take, so we can bypass the highway again.
Going down a farmroad. The road is a bit rougher, but without heavy traffic it is certainly much better.
We keep on pedalling, take several breaks. Once a couple stops to take a picture. A little while later they are back; with a sixpack of ice cold coke. Thank you!
Fields full of produce. Quite a patchwork over the hills.
A speedy lady rider comes our way on San Andreas road. It's Kathleen, our host for tonight.
We're finding our way into Aptos with the help of Kathleen.
Farmland makes place for hills. The hills take us to La Selva Beach. A good place to stop and get acquainted. Also a good spot to see some giant black dolphins in the water. Amarins and Cheyenne spot them quickly, as they're now quite the experts at spotting mammals in the water. The little snort spout gives them away, before we even see their bodies.
Robin is singing a song. Waving her hands.
With her bare feet on the handle bars.
From the beach, we climb back into the hills. We're quite relieved we finally make it to Aptos and to Kathleens home. We can pitch our new tent in the backyard. Tonight we have the opportunity to use the hottub of neighbour Mary. We'll most certainly accept that gesture.
Figuring out the new tent.
The tent is super tall.
Here it is, tent number 3. It even has cutesy windows in it.
The tent is quite easy to set up. It has a mixture of our first and second tents. When it's set up, we don't feel this tent is an improvement over the first two. It is extremely tall, has 40% of mesh, no doorflies and two cutesy windows that decrease privacy. Further it's more square then rectangle, which doesn't improve the space in the tent. It'll do for now. Tomorrow we'll talk to Brian, he can probably help us find a tent that suits us better.
While we were setting up camp, the girls were swinging on the tree swing. Kathleen has been fixing supper.
As the girls settle down for the night, we get ready to make use of the hottub. It's a great feeling to our muscles.
Today 26 miles, Total 4,406
Campsite: Half Moon Bay State Park, Half Moon Bay, California
Weather: The first chilly spring day, with strong winds.
Flat tires: 0, Total 20
Falls with bicycle: 0, Total 6
We load our gear and head for the restaurant... We're being treated on a complimentary breakfast, provided by the Costanoa KOA.
They have all our favorites, from hot chocolate, orange juice to coffee, from pancakes to bacon, to eggs and skillet fried potatoes, and not to forget the yoghurt and fresh fruit to tip it off. Delicious.
Robin lets neighbour Alexis braid her hair (quite a novelty), while Jasmine and Cheyenne play games with her sons.
We wave goodbye to the people we've met at the campground and head for the last stop before San Francisco; Half Moon Bay.
Half Moon Bay today. San Francisco tomorrow!
We've been talking about the Golden Gate bridge and San Francisco. Robin asks when we're going to see the bridge. They're so intune to where we're going. Especially Robin loves looking at the map. She has a little map, and several times she'll aske where we are and which road we're taking.
The Pigeon Point lighthouse has been in action since 1872 and is one of the tallest in the US.
Today we celebrate the Spring Equinox. It is officially spring! We can't really tell by the weather, it's quite chilly with a brisk wind.
Happy Spring Equinox! Enjoy your treat from the French bakery in Monterey!
We have no scheddule to keep, just a destination to get to. We stop as we please, wheteher it is a potty break, just for fun, or to grab a snack. The scenery is inviting. There is little traffic, making it an enjoyable riding day.
Taking a break alongside the road, across the San Gregorio State Park. Coming up next, a long and steep hill. So refuel before starting.
The map we received from Dennis has an elevation chart on it. We knew in advance of this climb, so we're taking advantage of the knowledge. Once rested we conquer the hill. To be rewarded by a magnificent view.
An extraordinary view from the top of the hill.
The downhill brings us within reach of Half Moon Bay. No more spectacular hills, just a spectacular view with a spectacular head wind.
What is there to say about a field of flowers...
We give our host Len a call as we enter the city limits. The campground is still a little further. He meets us halfway, on Kelly Avenue and we follow him to the camp site. His tent is up, a kitchen cabinet is set up with cooking supplies, a fire is going, chairs surrounding it. Len is prepared!
The girls see the beach. Definitely something we want to check out. They arrive with shoes, socks, long pants and jackets. All of theat soon comes off. There needs to be running, jumping, cart wheels and flips. Holes need to be dug, tunnels need to be build. This is a great beach to do it all.
Return from the beach, after spending an hour digging holes and building tunnels in the best sand ever.
For supper we go to a restaurant where everyone gets something they like. Jasmine and Cheyenne split the fish and chips. Cheyenne has become quite the fish eater too. Robin passes on the fish, but devours the french fries.
We're all pretty wooped when we get back to the campground. The wind has taken it's toll. Bill enjoys the fire with Len, as Amarins tucks in the girls and falls asleep...
Today 27 miles, Total 4,433
Campsite: With Derek, San Francisco, California
Weather: Spring is here.
Flat tires: 0, Total 20
Falls with bicycle: 0, Total 6
We can hear San Francisco calling! Or is it the sea gulls? Amarins gets up to find out and finds the sun glistening through the trees.
Mystic sunrise over Half Moon Bay.
Len is already up. Bill takes the girls to the rest rooms, as Amarins starts packing up the sleeping gear. The normal camping routine.
Host Len keeps the fire going, while boiling eggs, bacon and water for coffee. The table is set with fresh fruit, orange juice and nuts.
Len has checked out the route we're taking today. There are several steep hills, one very dangerous one, without shoulders. He offers his help to get us across Devils Slide. As the name says, this is the dangerous one. We still load up our trailer as usual. Amarins wants to try something with rearranging the gear in the trailer. In the hope it doesn't rub the wheel this time. At the bottom of Devils Slide we'll load everything in the car, until the other side in Pacifica.
Robin is bundled up, as the wind blows fiercely from the north, making the flag stand out straight in the background.
At the bottom of Devils Slide we find Len aiting for us already. We load everything we can in the car, thus the quicker we can make it past this part. One more breath and off we are.
We're gearing up for Devils Slide. The Kiewit construction crew is working on a tunnel, that will eventually cut off the Devils Slide area. For now, the tunnel is not yet ready.
The road narrows distinctly in the distance.
First section completed. So far there still is a shoulder to ride on and to take breaks on.
Devils Slide is a very narrow piece of road, without shoulders, without extra space. On top of that the incline is incredible steep. The dangerous part is maybe only a hundred yards long, but enough to be paying full attention to what the cars are doing. Do they see us or do they not. They see us, and we're safely making it to the top. With only once having to put the chain back on the rings. We're very thankful Len took it upon himself to check out the route and to offer his help.
We meet Len at the top of the hill, where the bridge to the tunnel has already been completed. We're not loading up yet. We'll do that in Pacifica. Len is following us down the winding road, until we're safely through. Thanks Len!
We stop at the Starbucks in the shopping center. As we take our break and get ready to load up, we meet Mike Sugarman from the CBS channel here in the Bay area.
Mike Sugarman of CBS channel 5 here in the San Francisco Bay area has done a great story on us. To see the clip, follow this link: to see the CBS5 video, then use search term "kentucky family bicycle alaska". It should come right up.
Jasmine enjoys an icecream, as Cheyenne catches a ride back with Jim.
From here Jim takes over. He's going to guide us across bicycle paths, to avoid the highway. The steepest hill of today we can not avoid though. It is longer and seems steeper then Devils Slide, but goes through a neighbourhood with little traffic.
From Sharp Park to Palmetto Avenue, from Palmetto Avenue onto Skyline. From Skyline, well, nowhere fast, this is the steepest hill.
The chain is slipping again. To much weight and to steep a climb.
Change of set up. We've attached the trailer to Jims bike. This should help us with the climb. Why didn't we think of it sooner?
Skyline drive, the road that keeps on climbing. Eventhough the weight is off, we still slip from time to time.
Cheyenne is keeping the spirits high.
And also to this hill comes an end. No matter how hard and frustrating the climbs sometimes are, there is always this big reward at the top. Whether it's the view are just the down hill ride. That's why we keep climbing, we keep going, it is so worth it.
We see the Golden Gate bridge! the girls almost jump off the bike with excitement.
After a Subway break, we ride the final miles by ourselves. It's downhill mostly, a result of that incredible climb. We arrive in the city limits and just catch the sign that says so. No big todo on this road.
Arrival in San Francisco!
As we're finding our way to the Golden Gate Park, a young man comes riding beside us. It's Derek, our host in town. Without a problem we find our way now and park in the garage. It fits perfectly.
We roll down the hill all the way into town on D street, to the other side. We've covered 9 miles in an hour and 15 minutes. That's pretty good! We arrive at Pizzicato Pizza, where a warm Pedouin pizza awaits us!
We've received a heart felt welcome on our arrival to Petaluma. We look forward to spending time here to rest, to update the website, and to swim at the Club One.
Jasmine just got a very special treat!
A special Pedouin pizza! Only available at Pizzicato! We tasted it and it tastes good!
We need to get back to the other side of town to arrive at the home of Carolyn and Tom. Once we're there we can settle down for a while.
Today 30 miles, Total 4,525
Campsite: At Safari West, Santa Rosa, California
Weather: Good to be back on the road.
Flat tires: 0, Total 20
Falls with bicycle: 0, Total 7
We're packed up and ready to roll once more. It's hard after this week of excitement, pampering and so many experiences. Thank you for the warm hospitality Tom and Carolyn. Thank you for the friendship Scott and Susan. Thank you Petaluma, we won't forget about you.
Time to leave Petaluma. Tom helps us up the first hill.
We're heading for Safari West today, just east of Santa Rosa. We have several riders with us. They've either contacted us via our website to ride with us or they're part of the Petaluma Wheelmen. The route takes us paralel to highway 101 on Stony Point Road. Nice shoulders and relatively flat. It takes us by the Washoe House.
The Washoe House served as a stage coach station.
It's a beautiful day. We all enjoy the ride. The rest has done us well. Especially the massage has done Amarins wonders. "Hey Bill, you can touch my legs again!" We're rolling through the country side and before we know it we're in Santa Rosa. Time for a break.
We find a little shopping center. There is a Starbucks there. From experience we know they have some great oatmeal (thanks Eric!), a good snack. We meet a couple of police officers. The girls know exactly what to ask for: stickers! When they see all the police sitkcers on the bike, especially the one of the Golden Gate Bridge, they quickly round up some stickers. Robin is napping through it all, she'll be surprised when she opens her purse.
(The other) Bill knows a bicycle path that will take us out to Fulton road. It's a good thing Bill is with us. We definitely would have missed the turn.
On the trail with the Bills.
We're amazed at how quickly we arrive at the turn to Safari West. It's a bit out of our way, but certainly worth the extra miles for the extra excitement. Before we head up the road we stop at Big Boys Buns and Burgers at the Larksfield shopping center. Time to refuel. Owner George hangs out the window when we drive up. He's seen us in the news paper. Late lunch is on him! Thanks George! The girls get a tour of the facility. It's as if they've worked there forever.
Ice cream anyone?
We're enjoying our break, when Dianne and Alex from Safari West drive up. They're going to take our luggage up the road. The road is steep and windy and doesn't have a shoulder towards the end. Without our luggage we'll be faster and will reduce the time on the road tremendously. By 3pm we arrive on the premises under the applause of staff and visitors. Our tent is ready for us. It's more a house tent then anything. We bring our things inside and head for the jeep. It's time to go on a safari.
Up close encounter with a Masai giraffe.
Robin on safari!
We ride through 'steppes' filled with antelopes and giraffes. A close encounter with the rhinoceros' shows us they too need to go potty from time to time (and how!). A ride through a big mud puddle is an adventure by itself. We're out of luck spotting the zebra's, but see the wildebeast and water buffalo's in the distance.
We're so fortunate to be on this incredible journey full of adventures. It's become our lifestyle to be traveling and have plentiful experiences. It's good to stand still from time to time and count our blessings and realize how privileged we are to be on this journey. We took that leap of faith. We're taking the chances. We're enjoying the fruit of our labor.
The girls are enjoying the comfort of our tent-house.
After a small rest and a quick shower (yes, our tent has a shower too!), we head for the dining area. A welcome flyer puts the icing on the cake for our warm welcome. Supper is served in several stages. We start out with finger foods of several cheeses, crackers and fruit. Next comes the soup and the salad. The main course is your choice of potatoes, vegetables, mac 'n cheese, and different kinds of meat. Cream puffs with a strawberry syrup and some whipped cream tips it off. Wow. What a gourmet supper!
Today 0 miles, Total 4,525
Campsite: At Safari West, Santa Rosa, California
Weather: Mist turning into steady rain.
Flat tires: 0, Total 20
Falls with bicycle: 0, Total 7
Oh me, oh my. How horrible. It is misting and it is steadily turning into a heavy rain. What a wonderfully fortunate event! We're staying another day at Safari West!
The morning starts off with a tour behind the scenes. This means we get to feed the birds special treats. We're also going to have a tete-a-tete with the giraffes.
Early morning rise and shine for a special surprise.
Close encounter with a crane. The crane is after the special treat Jasmine holds in her hands.
Feeding the duiker. The duiker is a small antelope species.
Time for a snack!
Robins carrot dropped on Amarins' arm. Dozer finds it and picks it up with his tongue.
After this memorable early morning event, we slide in for breakfast. An abundance of choices makes it easy for each of us to find something to our liking. It's nice and warm inside, a good place to hang out on this rainy day. When breakfast is done and preparations have been made, it is time to help the easter bunny.
Helping the easter bunny.
Eggs, eggs, eggs.
Cheyenne put together a tiger egg.
From helping to coloring to playing in the rain with the other guests, the girls are having a blast and are thankful that the rain has provided us this extra day at the Safari park. In the evening we once more enjoy a gourmet supper. The girls join their new friends at their table and eat better then they would at our!
Suppertime with friends.
Weather looks up tomorrow. Hazy perhaps, but it looks like we're riding again!
A little drury and a bit cold, we need to make clothing adjustments within the first half mile. Robin wants her tights on after all. We know right where to stop. We find the rest room at Big Boys Buns and Burgers, get changed and are back on the road again. But not empty handed. As we pull out to go, George brings us a container with fresh soup. It's a bit hot now, but will be just right for a later break. Thanks again George!
We're staying nicely off the 101 highway. The Old Redwood highway takes us to Windsor, where Healdsburg Avenue takes us into Healdsburg. Several times we're pulled over for pictures, a chat or a donation. The stories in the Petaluma newspapers has reached a lot of people! In Healdsburg we plan on taking a break, but find nothing that catches our eye. We head for the northern part of town in hopes of finding something there.
Bill is putting the masterlink back in the drive chain.
We don't find what we're looking for, but find something else instead. Somehow the masterlink on the drive chain opened up and we're freewheeling. Bill quickly stops the bike. Fortunately we're able to find the links back. They're a bit warped but Bill can reuse them and connects the links back together.
We decide a picnic on the sidewalk is just as much fun. With the soup, fruit and other treats from the panniers, we're having quite a feast. As we sit there it allows Brad and Trinidad to catch up with us. They're going to ride with us to Geyserville.
It's a beautiful road we're on. Little traffic, gently rolling hills, an abundance of flowers all over.
A field of lupines.
Trinidad enjoys the ride in their Burley trailer and sings song after song. Robin is very excited to have a playmate her age. We stop in Geyserville where we have a pizza lunch break. The restaurant is pretty full, but the bar suits us just fine. Weaponed with crayons and paper, the girls go to town.
Lunch with Brad and Trinidad in Geyserville.
After lunch it is time for Brad and Trinidad to head back to Healdsburg. We continue our route north through the grape fields. From Geyserville Avenue into Asti Rd onto Cloverdale boulevard.
Trinidad decides she wants to share an orange after all. Thanks Trinidad!
We're playing tag with the rain. We're in the outskirts of Geyserville when we need to put on rain coats. The rain coats seems to warn off the clouds for a moment. As long as we can stay ahead we'll be fine.
Trying to stay ahead of the rain. It's breathing down our necks.
The initial sprinkles don't last. We're keeping it dry to Cloverdale where a welcome party awaits us. With the help of our new live tracker they knew exactly when we'd be arriving.
The Cloverdale welcoming committee!
We're staying in Cloverdale tonight, with Sher and Steve. Sher heard Bill on the KZST radio station on Friday, when he was doing an interview with Brent. She acted upon her feeling and invited us into their home. Thanks Sher! Now we're in the final miles to their home.
Steve and Sher await us at the beginning of their road. It's not to far anymore, but very steep! When we eventually reach the driveway, we know exactly what to do: push...
Robin helps us push the bike the last 100 feet up the drive way.
In the evening we join the entire family for an early Easter supper.
At 9 sharp we settle ourselves around the breakfast table at Vintage Towers. We start off with coffee and juice. Soon a basket of fresh baked muffins joins us on the table. When they disappear, a yoghurt parfait with strawberries is presented. Layer after layer we fill up with the delicious goodies. To tip it off with a Dutch baby pancake...
Mary baked us a Dutch baby pancake. Don gets to serve us with the delicious treat.
Will it rain or shine? Perhaps even both? It's dry with a shine, then wet with a sprinkle.
After an authentic stay at Vintage Towers we're ready to dodge the rain and see if we can make it to Hopland.
When it looks like it's going to stay dry for a spell we head out. Only to pull over under the underpass to dress up for rain. California certainly doesn't have a drought anymore!
Once again the rain coats chase the rain away. We keep them on, just to be sure. We don't have to be on highway 101 yet. We're taking the River road into Geysers road. It takes us a bit out of the way, but is oh so much more fun to ride on. Less traffic, more energy to enjoy the scenery.
We find these giant pine cones alongside the road. You'd think they come from giant trees, but to the contrary. The trees are quite puny.
Geysers road eventually leads to the 101 in Mendocino county. A wide shoulder provides ample space for us to ride on.
All of us!
We're a couple of miles before Hopland when the sky breaks open. Not to show the sunshine, but to release all the cropped up rain. It isn't holding up anymore. We can see it coming and quickly pull out the tarp. Amarins covers the trailer and the girls. Bill will have to stand strong in the rain to keep the bicycle up.
Honk honk; who's there? It's Sher and Steve. We rode off this morning without a chance to say goodbye to Sher. She's decided to catch up with us. They stay with us, chatting with Bill, until the clouds break up after about half an hour. Then we're off again to Hopland. Destination Solar Living center.
Fleurtje the Iron Woman.
We park our bicycle, cover everything with the tarp and head for town. We enjoy a good lunch at the Bluebird Cafe. The rain has made us a bit chilly. It's nice to warm up a bit.
Plans change quickly. Bill has decided to stay in the straw bale house at the solar living center. The girls (this includes Amarins) are going back to Cloverdale to spend the night with Sher and Steve once more.
At 8.30am we leave Cloverdale to cover the 15 miles to Hopland. What takes us over half a day on the bicycle, takes us less then half an hour by car. Bill is already waiting for us. He's slept well and has managed to stay dry in the half finished straw bale house. We load up. Now Sher can finally say her goodbyes. And so can we. Thanks Sher and Steve!
Little Stella got to go on the ride.
We follow the Old River Road. Through the vineyards, alongside the Russian river. It's sunny with a morning chill. No rain on the horizon today!
We're enjoying the ride tremendously. The road is windy, slightly hilly, but basically without traffic. There is little wind to speak of, allowing us plenty of chance to talk together (when we're not going uphill). The girls point out the flowers along the road side. Cheyenne has learned how to spell vineyard. We observe the vines that are already budding verses the ones that are still far from it. The temperature rises slowly but steadily. It's really got a warm feel to it.
A sunny break.
Robin points out the American flag. She spots them most of the time.
Ukiah is our bicycle riding destination for today, but not our final destination. We've been invited to spend the night at the Little River Inn, a mile south of Mendocino, on the Pacific Coast. To ride there on the bicycle would have taken to much time; with all the rain, we do feel the pinch of making it to Port Angeles in northern Washington state by the end of May.
As we enter the outskirts of Talmage, we see an interesting sign. A sign that leads to a further investigation by the Pedouins...
Entering the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas.
A little detour, but one we can't pass up. Peacocks roam the property, making their weird mewing sounds. There is a temple on the property that has 10 thousand buddhas inside. You'll have to go see for yourself (and count if you want), because pictures are not allowed to be taken.
From the temple we cross the freeway into Ukiah. We have arrangements to park the bicycle at the municipality. Bill drops the girls off at Applebees. A donated giftcard will assure a fine lunch.
We're finishing our lunch when Cally from the Little River Inn comes in. The girls immediately take to her. They're not afraid of strangers. Strange is their new normal. We meet new people every day. We still have quite a ride to do. By car this time. The girls are no longer used to riding the car. We're afraid that the squigly mountain roads will make them queezy, but we're in luck. They all survive the trip and are excited to see the ocean once more.
Amarins is enjoying the sights from the balcony of our room at the Little River Inn.
We settle into our beautiful room. The sliding glass doors provide a stunning view of the ocean. We're not enjoying it for long though... As the girls watch a movie, we're taking the opportunity to take a nap. It refreshes us for supper.
Waiter Jesse takes good care of the girls.
Once again we're treated to a gourmet supper. The girls enjoy fish and a whole lot of strawberries. Robin of course goes straight for the french fries. Bill chooses the salmon. Amarins goes for a brie appetizer, a salad, spaghetti, and last but not least a chocolate mouse dessert. One more bite and they'd have to widen the doors!
Today 25 miles, Total 4,621
Campsite: At Willits KOA, Willits, California
Weather: Another sunny California day!
Flat tires: 0, Total 20
Falls with bicycle: 0, Total 7
Sleeping in? No way. We set the alarm so we can hit the road at 7am. We have a forest to explore. Thanks for letting us enjoy the pleasure of the Little River Inn! We'll be back to make that special delivery!
Just a small part of the Little River Inn. Cally's grandparents started the inn in 1939. The main house was build in the 1850s.
The road is even windier then the one Cally took on our way to the Little River Inn. We eat breakfast in the car; bananas, strawberries, granola bars. But we're not so sure it's a good idea. Apparently neither of us are steadfast with Cally at the wheel, driving the roads like an expert.
We are so happy to arrive at the entrance to the Montgomery Woods. Land ahoy! The fresh air does all of us well. After a quarter mile walk we arrive between the giants.
Its sheer size is hard to grasp. We believe this one is the tallest one in the bunch.
Tremendous beauty, just around the corner. Thanks for taking us here Cally!
Another sunny day when we arrive back in Ukiah. We're a little queezy still, but give it a view miles and we should be as good as new. We follow State street out of town. Once again we're in luck and can take the opportunity to stay off the freeway. Just before we enter the freeway we meet up with Tom and Colleen. They're going to set up a surprise for the girls a little ways up Willits hill.
Thanks Tom and Colleen for taking the time to share your knowledge with us and the girls!
Several miles after our geology class, we reach the Rattlesnake summit. The road was a very gradual climb with a wide shoulder to ride on most of the time. We keep on going and are looking forward to the downhill ride.
Winter is still lurching around the corner.
We grab a quick bite in Willits before going through the Gateway to the Redwoods.
Arrival in Willits; Gateway to the Redwoods.
Another mile and a half and we enter the Willits KOA. Like most KOA's this one is very kid oriented. A petting zoo, two playgrounds, a midget golf course, there is so much to do, we don't know where to start. Except of course with setting up camp.
Camp Pedouin. Home sweet home once more in our familiar tent.
The midget golf course is a hit. Our tent site is right next to it. It's just waiting for us to come over and play. At the camp store there are golf clubs for all sizes. We're having a blast and enjoy the course for almost two hours.
Robin is working hard to get the ball across the miniature golf course.
Cheyenne is going straight for the hole.
Jasmine encounters the rearing horse on the obstacle course.
With the setting sun, it's time to enjoy another night in our tent.
The road gently takes us further up in the hills. The scenery is breathtaking. Mountains covered with coniferous trees, as far as the eye can see. From afar it's hard to tell whether they're redwoods or not.
Into the redwoods.
We're dressed warm, but it isn't really necessary. Only on the down hill rolls it can get a bit nippy. It feels so good to have the sun on our backs. We've forgotten how good it feels. The further north we go, the more rain we expect. Thus even more reason to soak up the sun.
Robin checks out what mommy has to say.
The ride takes us slowly up towards Laytonville. A wide spot along the road provides a good spot for a break. A concrete slap in a field of grass will be our picnic table. The tall grass will be the playground. Jasmine finds the tiniest little white flower in it. Cheyenne enjoys jumping over it. Robin is observing it all to figure out her way in it.
Tiny white flowers grow with this water-lilly-like leave in the tall grass.
The girls enjoy running around in the tall grass.
As we're having our break several cars pull up. One couple is from Petaluma and are friends with Tom and Carolyn. Another couple lives a bit north of Laytonville and offers us their barn to sleep in. The universe works in mysteries ways. We'll never understand it, but we'll accept it in all its goodness and greatness.
Laytonville is still another eight miles. Anything under 10 is a piece of cake, no matter what the hills. There is no threat of rain. The sun provides us with warmth. We have a place to stay tonight. What more do we want. Life is good.
We're enjoying the sun to take a break at the Snack Bar in Laytonville. Thanks for the hospitality ladies!
Josh has been anticipating our arrival. We find the home of Rhonda and Kosta with ease. The barn we get to sleep in is not a building filled with straw. It's an actual apartment! A bed, a couch, a pull-out couch. More then enough room for all of us to sleep.
Enjoying the trampoline with Josh.
Cheyenne and Josh can't believe it! Uncle Ros and Jasmine just scored!
Bill is right at home in front of the wood stove in the work shop.
Thanks for inviting us into your home Kosta and Rhonda!
We've been playing musical beds all night. Robin just loves to be right in the middle, or at least be with one of us. Evnthough it doesn't wake her up really, it sure does us.
We load the bike before we enter the house. We're having pancakes for breakfast. The girls are right at home. Dog Patch is quite a hit when she does some tricks for Kosta.
Dance Patch, dance!
We're enjoying the morning with the family. We don't have far to travel today. We'll be staying at the Drive Thru Tree, just 20 miles up the road in Leggett.
Rhonda has paint in the house, to the delight of the girls.
It's hard to peel ourselves away, but we manage to do so eventually. Thank you so much once more for your warm hospitality!
The rest in Petaluma, the relatively short days, it's all working wonders. The pedalling goes easy, whether uphill or down. The bike is doing well. We've gotten so used to its quirks they don't surprise us anymore.
Time for a break at a rest stop. A fresh loaf of cranberry-pecan bread from the Schat's bakery in Ukiah is a delicious treat.
The rest stop is at the perfect halfway point to Leggett. The girls climb the fence and enjoy the sun on their bodies.
Robin and Jasmine enjoy the break in the sun.
We've been on the shoulder of the highway sofar. We keep it until we see the turnoff to SR-271, the old highway. Off we go again. It gradually takes us down towards the river, but never quite there.
Robin checks out the woods.
Several miles before Leggett we pull over to chat with a resident. He has a clubhouse here and invites us to share the view and some strawberry ice cream. After the initial urge to go on passes, we decide to take another break. Why not. The day is still young and why would we want to pass up another unique experience.
The girls are checking out the clubhouse. The truck horns are the best part of it all. After bringing them up to pressure with an aircompressor, they all get a chance to honk the horns. The sounds echo through the valley. Robin quickly covers her ears.
Cheyenne and Jasmine inside the keyhole; cut from a huge log.
we're glad we stopped to get acquainted with Marshall. Thanks for the invitation!
We continue our path to arrive in the park of the Drive Thru Tree. We'd figured our trailer would stick out one side and the nose of the bike the other side, but no way. We totally disappear in the humongous tree.
In and out of the Chandelier tree.
Its sheer size cannot be grasped in a picture. It has to be seen with your own eyes. Dear Gays Mill Loop family, we wished you were here with us to share in the experience!
We don't have to ride much further. We're staying on the premises. Thanks John! And we're having supper delivered too!
Today 22 miles, Total 4,851
Campsite: Village Camper Inn, Crescent City, California
Weather: Keeping the sun behind us.
Flat tires: 0, Total 20
Falls with bicycle: 0, Total 7
After these two super days in mileage we're glad we're only going for a little ride today. Destination Crescent City. The final point in the sixth leg of our journey to Alaska.
We're up early. We still need to ride to Klamath. But not after Cheyenne has had her second chance to climb up to the platform high up in the tree.
In Klamath we say goodbye to Mario. It's drizzling just a bit, but we're hopeful the weather will provide a dry day. Dry or wet is now all part of the journey. How to deal with it is a work in progress.
Mario is holding the dog-without-a-name.
It's Saturday morning. There is little traffic on the road. The road takes us along some lagoons. From the Trees of Mystery into Del Norte Redwoods Park.
It's a rocky coast.
We're chugging up a six mile hill. Every time we come around the corner there is more hill to climb. The thought of getting to Crescent City pushes us on. We know that we're just a days ride from Oregon from there.
The girls on a rock.
We meet a cool state trooper on our way up who shares about his own ventures with his son. What an encouragement we are to him to live large.
Officer Depee of the Highway Patrol.
We gleefully coast down the mountain, chilled by the air over our sweaty bodies. Into the warm reception of Crescent City. We stop at the Fishermans Restaurant for a celebratory lunch.
Thanks for inviting us to lunch Fishermans Restaurant!
After this wonderful lunch (we're stuffed to the hilt) we have several more miles. We're on our way to the Village Camper Inn where we can camp tonight.