PCH Tour: Lost Aunt Cindy in Klamath

Cannon Beach Oregon

Day 31 – I Woke up in Mystery Forest and packed my stuff like a mad man. I could see that Russ and Cindy already had a head start. I swear Russ is up packing at 4 in the morning. It’s impossible to get a head start on him. We were all about ready to go and Cindy said she was going to the bathroom. Russ and I both thought she would start out ahead of us for a diner in Klamath.

We hit the road for a 5 mile ride into town. Klamath was tiny. There was a gas station with a chicken and espresso place on one end and the Log Cabin Diner on the other. We didn’t see Cindy’s bike anywhere, so we figured maybe she was riding around town looking for us, or was still behind us. We sat and had coffee waiting for a while, but she never showed up. There was no cell service in Klamath, which meant no way to contact her or anyone back at camp. Eventually we decided to eat. I did pancakes and sausage again. It seemed to help me up the mountain the day before. I hoped it would do the same with the climbs to come.

We finished and hit the 101. Just across the river we ran into two hikers on the side of the road. They were pointing to tiny water bottles and screaming at us, “do you have any water?” Russ had his earbuds in and pretended not to hear them. When I rode up, I said, “sorry I need all the water I’ve got for the climb coming up.” It was strange to me that they were asking for water, when the were in site of town. As I passed them, I noticed that the one guy was the “blessed and beautiful day” guy from back at Safeway the day before. We couldn’t shake the guy!

Another 500 ft up the hill we saw three kids sitting on the side of the street. One was holding a t-shirt that said, Arcata, on it, and when I went by they asked for food. I said, “there is a town less than a mile down the road.” The kid said, “no shit,” with surprise. We quickly got to the top of the hill and started down. I saw a sign for the Pacific Coast Bike Route to the right so I went for it.

Instantly, I started climbing another big hill. I was thinking, maybe I made a mistake and should have stuck to the 101. But most of the time the harder route seemed to be the more scenic route, so I pushed on. The climb wasn’t bad. It was a slow ascent and it didn’t even seem to last long before we were heading down again. Giant Redwood groves surrounded us as we shot down the mountain. We alternated between cruising through the trees, taking in the sites, and stopping to grab photos. The descent seemed to go on forever. It had to be one of the most enjoyable parts of the trip so far.

Near the end of the forest we ran into the French man again, and learned that his name was Boris. A littler further down the way we stopped at a visitor center where we caught up with Torrence Frank. No one knew where Cindy was, and we still had no service. We hoped that the hikers didn’t grab her coming out of Klamath. Several miles up the road we ran into a heard of elk, just hanging out on the side of the road, munching on some plants. They didn’t even flinch at the gathering crowd of gawkers and photographers. There was a big buck that stared down Russ as he took some up-close and personal photos.

The road got tougher than expected up ahead. There were some ups and downs and some windy passes. At the Big Lagoon, Boris and Russ stopped ahead of me. They were taking photos, and I pulled out my camera and grabbed some shots of the fog moving in over the water. Then they pointed out some more elk in the weeds down near the water. The area was chalked full of elk!

Boris powered up ahead of us and after a few more miles Russ and I decided to try and find a place to stay in Trinidad. When we arrived we soon realized that there were no cheap hotel rooms with good wifi. We were still searching for a place to catch up on our posts. We decided on staying at an RV camp, when we ran into Torrence Frank and Boris at a convenient store. Frank said he was tired of being tied to his online journal, and that he was going to go to Clam Beach. A spot that the Hammock Guys picked out the night before with no showers, but supposedly excellent beach access. Russ and I decided, screw it, we’d go there too.

We both grabbed some beers and food and hit the road. When we arrived at Clam Beach, Frank and Boris were no where to be found. The Hammock Guys weren’t there either. We asked some of the people camping there if they saw any loaded bikers come through. One guy thought he might have seen someone. Soon a couple of different half drunk guys started talking to us about other places to camp, and towns to avoid, and on and on. We couldn’t get away from them. Frank and Boris never showed up, so we decided to get the hell out of there and head to an RV campsite in McKinleyville.

The woman at the RV office came out to greet us, and she turned to yell at her dog, “Shut the f*ck up!” Russ and I looked at each other, both thinking that this wasn’t going to go well. But soon the woman warmed up to us and we couldn’t get away from her. We set up our tents and got ready to shower when Frank and Boris rolled into the site. They had a similar experience at Clam Beach, and decided to get the hell out of there.

That night we made contact with Aunt Cindy. Aparently she waited for us after we had already left camp. Then we got separated and she got out ahead of us. She was going to make a go for Eureka, when she got a flat and ended up at a hotel in Arcata. We all decided to meet for food in Arcata the next morning. What a long crazy day. Let the adventures continue.

(Repost of my 2014 Pacific Coast Tour Instagrams)

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