Thursday, July 31, 2008

Saturday, July 19, 2008


So here i am, Cerridwyn, finally making a post on our wonderful blog.
I guess i am not so confident in my writing skills.
But here it goes..
Currently i am waiting for my Flickr page to complete my downloads which seems to be almost impossible at these expensive Internet cafes!
Hmmmm, yes, ITCHY!!
If you have ever had the pleasure of experiencing a massive allergic reaction that comes out through the skin then you know what Hives feel like.
An itch that never goes away and if you satisfy your urge the result is an even more unsatisfying burning feeling followed by huge welts all over the body. Not what i consider to be fun to say the least. After a night of relaxation and some good ole steroids and oral itching relief i am feeling almost at 100%.
I do feel bad for the inconvenience this has been, but it really is not under our control, at times you really just have to listen to your body and give it a rest.
On the tour as a whole, i feel great. This has been way more that we bargained for mentally and physically(at least for me). It does seem that every time i am feeling stronger something kicks me in the face and sets me back. In the long run that too will make me stronger but it is a struggle. Feeling like a drag is almost as bad as hives.
I am so glad to be back near the ocean and the trees in my home state, the redwoods the deep turquoise sea the waves the madrone and manzanitas the birds and chipalops and the interested people as well as the weirdos, it is all familiar to me and new for Maureen i am so glad that we can experience this is new way for the both of us. It has been a blast, and we still have a ways to go. Well it's off to Mendo for us, till next time, Farewell.

Pitstop on the Skunk Train

Hello from Fort Bragg, CA. We are in Mendocino County...taking our time enjoying the sights and a little R&R. A quick sum up: we met a bunch of kids in Orick, CA and rode as a posse for a spell. We had a house call in Eureka, a late start and a mad rush through the Avenue of the Giants to Weott where we reconvened with our new friends. We spent a quiet night under the massive Redwoods and rode off to Garberville in a group the next day where we had lunch and said farewell to our friends. C-dwyn and I stayed in Garberville for the night, and got a late start the next day when we headed south to Standish-Hickey State Park, just north of the great Leggett Hill. We joined some of our crew there and had some fun in the setting sun- drinking Laguanita's IPA and swimming in the Eel River. The next morning is where we started to run into some trouble. Cerridwyn had an allergic reaction to something and we had a few moments of freak out, standing around doing nothing, doping up, then hitting the most strenuous portion of the trip so far. Leggett Hill was not a super killer by any means, but it was long and steep, and narrow, and winding. Then we had a quick descent into yet another climb in Rockport, and then winding, curving hills all the way into dusk at McKerricher State Park in Cleone, CA. Definitely the hardest day so far. Morale was at an all time low, we were all tired and dirty and COLD by the time we got to camp. No one was expecting the day to be as difficult as it turned out. Our new friends, Miles and Casey were even feeling the strain of the day, and they are definitely upbeat dudes.
Yesterday we packed up and rolled down the road to Fort Bragg and set up in the Headlands Cafe and got down to the business of taking care of Cerridwyn. She found a Doc, got some drugs for her skin, got some food with Miles and Casey at Los Gallitos, said goodbye to the guys, got a hotel room, and took some major chill pills. We had a fun conversation with the Innkeeper and Owner of the Beach House Inn, Charles, then had an organic breakfast at the Cafe 1 where we met a hardcore solo rider averaging about 90-100 miles a day!

I was freaking out- yet again- feeling that this was the end of the ride. I am recognizing this personal flaw of mine where I can't seem to trust my partner. I am coming around to the idea of just taking it easy and getting as far as we can each day. The tour has morphed and changed so much every day, and I am realizing that that is just the way it is. I have to be able to adapt to it otherwise I am not able to enjoy this amazing adventure. Plenty of soul searching and Life's Lessons learned here on the Coast.

New rule: there are no rules! Seriously. I wake every morning with certain expectations swirling in my head- about the day, my performance, Cerridwyn's performance, the sights, the towns, the people we meet, the inspiration I will find...all of that must go. I am here, riding my bike, running into new people and places, and I can't block out those experiences by having a chip on my shoulder and a veil over my eyes.

Cheerio to you all from a chipper Cerridwyn and a newly relaxed Maureen!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

A quick note

We are halfway to our final destination of Santa Cruz. Our biggest climb happens tomorrow at a whopping 2,000ft high! Leggett Hill, here we come! We are spending the night in a hidden away olive grove in Garberville, CA with some of Cerridwyn's friends. Laundry, *free* hot showers, white wine, and a roof to sleep under. What a welcome little detour...
We have parted from our new tour friends, but hope to meet up in San Francisco. All is well with us, we have been out of cell phone range thanks to the wondrous redwoods we have been sleeping under, but should be in open air soon enough. So mama's and dad's, worry not! We should be able to call and connect to you soon!

Love to you all!
Cerridwyn and Maureen

Monday, July 14, 2008

Birds, Bees, Butterflies, and Bones...

....These are the many things we have seen on the side of the rode. Oh yes, and Bicycles! We stayed in Eureka, CA last night and are still kicking around town today. We emerged from the great Redwoods Forest with new experience on camping in Bear and Mountain Lion country, and with a gaggle of new touring companions. We stayed in Elk Creek State Park and first solo rider, Richard from Arizona, rolled in. An hour later, Susan and Eric from Portland, landed, and an hour after them, Miles and Casey from Portland showed up! We had quite a time talking, laughing about the bear situation, sitting by the fire, and planning our next day. We all woke together and rode into Orick, CA as a group. We posted up at the Palm Cafe for greasy spoon breakfast, then we headed on to Arcata as a group. Richard dropped off for some hiking, and Dan from Canada joined our posse. We rode almost 58 miles yesterday! What a day for Cerridwyn and myself! I think it was inspiring and fun riding with a laid back group of cyclists. We climbed many hills and made many stops, rolled into Arcata and had some pizza and coffee, then buckled down for the last 10 miles of the day into Eureka. I had a blast!
Cerridwyn's sister, Rhianna, was our gracious host last night, and we all charged up (electronics and our bodies), and we all hope to meet up again tonight in Weott, CA (another 50 mile day!).

I can't believe I am out here doing this most days, and I am having the time of my life! I am also very excited to get home and get back to it! I miss you all and wish everyone of you were experiencing this with me!
Love to you,
Cerridwyn and Maureen

Monday, July 7, 2008

Meltdowns and Makeups

What an amazing and emotional ride this has been so far! I knew it was going to be a challenge, but my every sense and nerve has gone through the ringer these past couple weeks! Teamwork, solidarity, activism, feminism, compromise, homesickness, weather exposure, aggression, fear, adrenaline, lust, and whimsy are only a handful of emotions we have felt and had to bat off of others. It is a big deal to ride on sometimes measly, haggard shoulders of a highway, along a rocky cliff, over a rough and ice cold ocean. It is really intense having RV after bus after truck accelerate past us, sometimes buzzing pretty damn close.
I wouldn't change a minute of this ride though. I simply remind myself why we are having aggression tossed our way. Envy. This is a feat not everyone can accomplish. We are being tried. We are going to make it only as far as we can, but that is still further than most in this world. We had a few days of fun in Eugene, and an amazing woman named Celeste told us a mantra she has been living by this summer. We have decided to adopt it a repeat it to ourselves often. (* Warning: Hippie Jargon!*) The phrase is, "I AM THE CREATOR OF MY OWN UNIVERSE!", said as loudly or as often as needed. That helped us get over the scariest, longest, highest, narrowest bridge I have ever conquered. The phrase got us through two blowouts and a broken spoke yesterday. The phrase is carrying us through the windblown town of Northbend today, Humboldt Mountain tomorrow, Brookings the following days, then into CALIFORNIA!

...slow but steady is our other mantra for this trip.
Love to you all from a comfortable Comfort Inn in Norhtbend, OR. Our joints were softened in the hot tub last night, we slept on cushy mattresses, and we were able to spend a night out of the wind. We feel gloriously rested today and ready for a challenge!
Missing you all.
Cerridwyn and Maureen

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Lincoln City, and Yachats, and Florence, Oh my!

Well, so much has happened in the past three days. We have met beautiful, amazingly positive people riding the same route as us. Matt and Erin were our coffee and campsite pals the first two days. Stefanie and Fabrece are our new french friends whom we met in South Beach,OR, and we warmed our toes by the fire with Eric, the lone wolf from Cali, last night in the Carl G Washburne State Park. We had a big blow out in NewPort, then a big heart to heart and we have reworked our goals for the trip slightly, and have found a new lighthearted perspective to our trip. We rode strong yesterday and today and are having a blast! NewPort is my new favorite Oregon town. Cute, quaint, beachy town. We had awesome pizza and foccaccia bread from Panini Bakery. Yachats is the cutest and most scenic point on the coast so far. We had fantastic burgers, "Bicycle Bob's Veggie Burgers" from Grand Occasions Deli, and met a friendly and accomodating man from Florence. People seem to be so excited by two young women on bikes, obviously carrying their wordly possesions from town to town. Many friendly faces and well wishes! It's awesome! Old Towne Florence is sweet and touristy. It is on the Suisoux River and we had coffee at the local roaster, and a yummy snack and beer at a bar and grill. ( I am spacing on the names of these businesses. I will go back and edit in the info when I collect it!)

Next stop, inland to Eugene through the Fourth of July! Stay tuned for new pics and new posts.

Love to all,
Cerridwyn and Maureen