Escaping Back to Summer
Once we made it to the coast, around the town of Orick, certain things returned to a familiar normality we almost forgot when we headed inland from Seaside, Oregon. For one thing, the weather changed back to Summer, with warm, sunny days, and mild nights. Of course the nights carried a great deal of sea moisture in the air, and the afternoon winds were at times stronger than needed, but once again we managed to leave the approaching Fall behind us.
Tricky Autumn on the Coast
While we thought we had outsmarted the changing season, it soon dawned on us that dusk kept falling earlier each day. Sure enough, these were the last days of October. Halloween was upon us, and in less than a week we would fall back from Daylight Saving Time, when the afternoons would turn into evenings.
Trick or Treat
With our friends in Orleans we were joking about dressing up for Halloween, and our costume of choice would be the trimmigrant zombie: backpacks and hooded sweatshirts covered in weed trimmings, and cardboard signs with scissors... shouldn't be that hard.
Only a few years ago the region was full of them. Back then all you needed to do was to hang out in front of the food co-op with a pair of scissors, and you'd get a trimming job making $200 a pound. But since legalization that has become a thing of the past, leaving only those zombie-like characters wandering the streets of towns like Garberville, where we just happened to be on Halloween.
In the end we did not dress up, neither ourselves nor our bikes, mostly due to lack of access to material. But then we saw actual, real zombie trimmigrants in Garberville, some of whom looked pretty beat up, others had a very shady vibe about them. We decided that we had no intention meeting any of these types of undead wherever we'd spend the night.
Bush-camping at the Campground
Another thing that made the changing season more than clear for us was the fact that most campgrounds were closed for the season. Benbow State Park was one of such places. As we rode across the bridge to the campground we both were aware that we might not be the only people doing so that night. And we were not.
“Hey, you guys arrived last, so you must have brought the beer!” we heard someone call out from where we saw flashlights. Bummer! And it's too dark to look for another site. Although, that accent did sound foreign...
On a closer look we saw the bicycles, and knew that we were in good company. In fact, our fellow touring cyclists that we shared the camp with turned out to be fantastic company: Beto is from Mexico and is riding from Alaska to Argentina. Anthony is Korean from Australia, and started Vancouver, planning a world tour of five continents. The two met on the road, had been riding together for a while, and for a few days the four of us teamed up. We rode together, rode separately, had breaks together and we bush-camped together. After all this, it was not a big surprise to find out that we have friends in common: our host in Seaside, Oregon had hosted also these two fellows.
A wonderfully interesting feature of the coast, especially for touring cyclists, are other touring cyclists. As we turned away from the coastal route, meeting these fellow travelers also became scarce. As soon as we arrived in Orick, however, we immediately met two ladies from France and Spain touring the coast, just like us.
As common as these encounters are, they are always filled with fun, as we all share the experience of riding the same road, the same hills, including meeting the same people. And even though we think we may never see the same person again, chances are we will, depending on our paces, and final destinations.
Even if you split up, as we did after a couple of days, we kept meeting each other on the road, at the few scattered cafes, grocery stores, and gas stations along the Highway One. Plus we met other cyclists our two friends told us about. On our last day on the coast, when we turned inland again at Jenner, we were at least seven touring cyclists we chatted with riding that route. After San Francisco, once we're back on the coast, I'm certain to see them again...
If you'd like to read my bike trip in its entirety, check out the rest of my posts in the Cascadia to Aztlan series:
- Origin and Destination
- Rolling Down to Victoria
- Starting out on the Olympic Peninsula
- Into the Hoh Rainforest
- Who'll Stop the Rain?
- Crossing Bridges When We Get There
- Lewis and Clark, the Goonies, and the Grateful Dead
- The Fun Way to Get to Portland
- Recooping in Portland
- Through the Willamette Valley
- Fewer Degrees of Separation in Eugene
- Hills and Mountains of Southern Oregon
- The High Way to California
- The Obligatory Naked German
- Finding Us In Orleans
- Good Fire Ahead
- Two Weeks on The Rivers
- A Night in Afrofornia
- Groving With the Giants
- A Halloween Encounter
- Coasting on the One
- Saying Good-bye to Horizon
- Back to the Urban World
- The Golden Gate to Santa Cruz
- Riding Solo Monterey to Big Sur
- Taking My Time Getting to L.A.
- The Last Leg Into L.A.
- Thanksgiving From Scratch
- On to New Adventures
- Living In and Among Boulders
- Desert Days
- In the City of Angels
- Looking Back at an Amazing Ride
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