Saturday, August 29, 2009
Sorry to leave you in the dark . . . I will now overcompensate
Okay, okay, so I’ve gotten a little behind and now it is too great a task to catch up, which doesn’t make me very motivated to start. SO, we made it in time to put on the Trinity River on Aug 2 with my family and a whole bunch of Jen and Damon’s friends. Eric and I started in the Mini-Me with my dad and a friend named Matt, but it soon became clear that jumping ships was a common theme. Some people abandoned rafts all together, opting to float on a Poco-Pad instead. It was toasty and with all our stops along the way managed to kill the entire day floating about 7 miles. Since I have abandoned my blog, I also had a birthday! I am now 28 years old! I don’t recall that we did all that much, but we had a great breakfast out and a giant salmon dinner followed by a party made complete with mint chocolate chip ice cream and hot fudge over a chocolate cake. Carrie knows what I’m talking about. We played Yahtzee, Dice, Up-the-River Down-the-River. The usual assortment of red vines and smartees were also plentiful. I love birthdays. The next morning, Aug 4, needless to say, I had a bit of a sugar high. I got up early, begged Eric to go for a jog with me (which he almost did!!!) and ran for about an hour in the Arcata fog. We then decided to go biking in the redwoods on the Ossagon Trail (20 miles), which toured the famous Fern Canyon. Once my fam joined us we followed the ride with a 6-mile hike through the big trees. That’s right, it was a three-sport day for me. By the end, I was pooped. On Aug 5, we journeyed to the Lost Coast for a day at the beach collecting neat rocks, shells, and sea glass. We saw sea lions in the water and sun bathing on rocks. I was a bit sore from the previous days adventures, but looking at the sand and walking at a snails pace was a-okay for me. Our turn around point was a light house where we snacked on rainbow Twizzlers and other assorted snacks. My collection now lives in a small ziplock baggy in the motorhome waiting for a more permanent establishment to call home. On Aug 6, we decided to celebrate Jen’s birthday (usually occurs on Aug 11). I mean, who wouldn’t want to turn 30 five days earlier than scheduled? We biked in the local community forest with Jen and her dogs Lily and Joule (which you may have noticed hung out with us a lot during our stay in Arcata). This involved one solid climb to the top of the CF and several short single tracks linked all the way back down. For more fun, we went to the theater and saw The Hangover. I laughed very, Very hard. Highly recommend. Later, we headed to the local Brewery for dinner where we listened to live music and met even more of Jen and Damon’s friends (they really are the most popular people I know!). To complete the birthday, we headed to the Plaza (town square) for ice cream. Jen had the most amazing ice cream sandwich I have ever seen. They smash whatever kind of ice cream you want between 2 chocolate wafers and finish it off by rolling it in smashed Oreo cookies. On Aug 7, we said “Good-bye” to my folks, packed out of Jen and Damon’s house and headed South to Shelter Cove. This small community boarders the southern part of the Lost Coast that we visited earlier. After some off-roading in the RV, we parked at a cool little campground up in a forest away from the beach, but close to the Paradise Royale Bike Trail. That’s right, hikers yield to the bikes. We arrived in time to get established in camp before catching the sunset. We played cards for a short while, but the wind picked up and the air really wasn’t all that warm, so we all headed to bed early. The next morning, Aug 8, we awoke ready to ride. After a leisurely breakfast, with multiple rounds of French pressing, we (Jen, Damon, Eric and I) took off on the PRBT. It started with a cool twisting decent through leaf-covered ground and small whoopties. Our major climb followed and lasted, mmm, quite some time with a false summit or two before heading down our major decent. The trail widened and had many options for lift-off. I mostly kept my tires glued to the ground, but Eric and Damon took flight on several occasions. The last bit climbed back to camp, which we find it hard to do, because you know that all the fun is behind you. We grunted it out, made a dinner complete with hot dogs and tortellini. Eric and I found Juliet and Wes to be friendly and spent a couple hours past everyone else’s bedtime chatting around the camp fire with them. We broke camp in the morning, saying Good-bye to my Bro—Matt and his dogs Kilo and Bullet and drove back to Arcata to reconfigure the motorhome, take care of laundry and sort out our camp gear from the rest. It took so long, we ended up staying the night of Aug 9 in front of Jen and Damon’s house in Arcata. The next day, Aug 10, we drove out of the fog and into the sun to Kimtu Park in Willow Creek. From there, we road about 7+ road miles to our climb up to the Tish Tang Trail. This trail involved looping back up the road to hit the next section (which there were 3 sections). There were no trail markers and I think Jen and Damon may be the only folks who know the trail exists because even when physically riding on the trail it is nearly invisible. I think I called Jen 12 times and Damon twice to figure out how to ride each section. We hit the bottom section about the time we finished our water. Only seven more miles of road riding in the heat of the day to get back to the home! In all we road over 30 miles and over 8,000 vertical feet!! This was by far the most vertical we had climbed in a day. Needless to say, we were exhausted!