This was probably one of our least favorite days so far in our trip down the Pacific Coast. Not only did we need to climb the highest hill for the entire trip, we had to endure several more up and down hills along the coast on PCH. The only saving grace was that we are reunited with some more familiar faces in camp.
Pests in Standish Hickey
We started the morning at 7AM when Sang Hyun’s alarm went off. We did our usual thing of packing up and was out of camp an hour and half later. Portlan had left about an hour before. He actually prefers riding on his own to power through the day with his own thoughts. The one thing I forgot to mention about the Standish Hickey Campgrounds was the posted warnings of tick infestation. I was definitely more conscious about it everytime I moved in and out of my tent. Luckily nobody was effected by it even though Portlan did see one while setting up his tent the day before. Getting out of the camp site brought a sense of ease to our minds as we crossed the street to the local market and grabbed a breakfast burrito and coffee for the ride.
Long Way Up Before Riding Through a Tree
We quickly reached the corner of the 101 and 1 highway where we were suppose to change our path towards the coast on the 1. We also saw a sign for the world-famous drive through Chandelier tree in Leggitt. We couldn’t pass up on this opportunity so we rode an extra mile to check it out. It was a great treat as we followed a group of 1930 cars. We then thought it was smooth sailing on the 1 highway until we hit the biggest hill yet. It was a steady climb for a good 6-8 miles up and great descent down. We practically rode about 20 miles before we got to the coast. There were 2 high climbs which the weather went from sunny to misty in a matter of 2 hours.
Misery on the Coast
As we made it to the coast, we thought the worse was over. Unfortunately, as we rode past Westport, the hills got steeper and frequently with no shoulders. Motorized vehicles were very cautious around us for the most part. There was a logging truck that nearly took us both off the road. Really scary moment but we survived. We finally got into the town of Cleone where we looked for the Mackericher State Park. Following the ACA map lead us to the back side of the campgrounds which was poorly signed so we missed the turn off. We would have been in better shape if we stayed on the 1 for a few more feet. I was thoroughly frustrated and just stopped at a open picnic table to snack while Sang Hyun continued the search. He finally found the campgrounds and we were reunited. We found Portlan at the hiker / biker site. He had been there since 12:15. We got into camp by 2:40PM.
What made this day difficult was the constant hills and the lack of services between Leggitt and Cleone. We didn’t grab lunch so we had to buy hotdogs to prepare. We were starved when we got into camp. We also noticed another tent in our hiker / biker site which we recognized. Believe it or not, it was the tent of Yves and Linda, the French-Canadian couple. They were out at Fort Bragg for lunch. Later in the evening another gentleman joined us. It was a guy Sang Hyun and I met on the day we rode into Florence, Oregon for our rest day. His name is Dave and he was pedaling down to San Francisco as well for his first bike tour. He was originally biking a loop around Washington and Oregon but was injured so he decided to ride down the Pacific Coast instead. He actually did the Lost Coast too! Not too bad for a first-time bicycle tourist. Roberto also showed up to provide some funny stories.
It just goes to show you that no matter how bad your day is on a bike tour, you’ll always have people who understands your pain and will spend time to talk to you about it. My night was so much better. Let’s see how we do tomorrow with more rolling hills into Manchester Beach State Park.