Trip Log – Day 136 – Crescent City, CA to Cave Junction, OR

Crescent City to Cave JunctionSeptember 18, 2015 – Sun, 60 degrees

Miles Today: 57

Miles to Date: 7,096

States to Date: 24

Yesterday I tackled a 1200 vertical foot climb over 2-1/2 miles to get to the Lady Bird Johnson Redwood Grove. Today that sprint was replaced by a different challenge – a 3,000-foot rise spread over a steady grade for 35 miles.

IMG_4104I started my day with a hefty bag of cheese curds from Rumiano, a famous cheese factory in Crescent City.  That fueled my ride from Crescent City through Jedidiah Smith State Park, Hiouchi and Gasquet along the Smith Rive Canyon is a spectacular one, but there is no relief to going up, up, up. I rarely needed my granny gear, but reaching false peak after false peak is a grueling game that gave me plenty of opportunity to witness my false perception of grade. When a 4% rise levels off to a 2% rise, the road appears to go downhill, so why am I still only logging 8 miles per hour?

IMG_4106 IMG_4115-1 IMG_4117

All the pain was more than worth it, as the Smith Rive Canyon is a gorgeous place, the weather was perfect, and the traffic as accommodating as a cyclist can expect on such a narrow road.

IMG_4114I stopped in Gasquet where firefighters had set up camp in the local airport. The last two days of rain helped dampen the danger, the fire warnings slipped from ’Extreme’ to ‘High’. The firefighters are an array of National Park Service employees, National Guard, U.S. military, and contract services from all over the country. I talked with a guard from Nebraska and cook from Texas who were both preparing to go home within days.

IMG_4118Beyond Smith Canyon I descended into the Illinois River Valley of Oregon, a place rich in hippie vestiges. At Cave Junction I stayed with my first couchsurfing host (as opposed to warmshowers host). Meadow lives in small conservation cooperative. She invited some of her neighbors for dinner. We enjoyed crispy rice with Portobellos, green beans with almonds, and a robust salad, along with incredible raspberry cobbler, and talk about tomorrow that lasted well into the night.

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About paulefallon

Greetings reader. I am a writer, architect, cyclist and father from Cambridge, MA. My primary blog, theawkwardpose.com is an archive of all my published writing. The title refers to a sequence of three yoga positions that increase focus and build strength by shifting the body’s center of gravity. The objective is balance without stability. My writing addresses opposing tension in our world, and my attempt to find balance through understanding that opposition. During 2015-2106 I am cycling through all 48 mainland United States and asking the question "How will we live tomorrow?" That journey is chronicled in a dedicated blog, www.howwillwelivetomorrw.com, that includes personal writing related to my adventure as well as others' responses to my question. Thank you for visiting.
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