300 feet up on one of the many bridge crossings down the coast
The last ten days or so of my journey has taking me from the Rain Forests of Washington, past rolling sand dunes on the Oregon Coast and into the green hills of California. I feel like everyday down the coast the weather has been getting better and the hills are getting easier. After 72 miles of riding I came around a bend of the 101 south only to see Humbug Campground and the best waves I have seen in weeks. The wave was a 3-4 foot left wedge bouncing off a 300 foot cliff with pine trees and sea stacks in the background. My toes were numb, my legs were sore but after towing a surfboard through almost two full states and finally finding waves to surf I was more than stoked to paddle out. Campers and kids hooted and shouted when I got good ones and I felt like a total grom again. I surfed until my body wouldn’t let me anymore and I passed out early under the stars. Through Oregon I was able to spend time enjoying the local towns along the 101 and even stopped of at a wild animal park where I was able to play with baby lions and bears! After spending the first week around the Olympic Peninsula and Washington solo I finally started running into riders on the same path. I linked up with three kids from New York, and a real solid guy who spent 7 years in England’s Royal Navy before deciding to make the ride from Canada to Chile at 27 years old. We are all on our first bike tour so it has been great experiencing all this new adventure and adjustments with people in the same situation. The hiker/biker camp sites has been filled with laughs and tales of the road which has been a refreshing change from the loneliness of the Washington Coast. Riding into Arcata on a Saturday we were able to score a spot to set up our tents through warmcouches.com and decided to go out to diner and check out the local night life for a change. The next days 62 mile ride was not easy to say the least and with a late start we were greeted with a solid head wind for the last 20 miles into camp. Lesson learned. I later rode on the Avenue of the Giants and one of the most amazing parts of the ride. I rode through tree tunnel after tree tunnel surrounded my Redwoods taller than skyscrapers. I ended up camping in the heart of an old growth forest with trees more than 3,000 years old. The ambiance of the forest and my surrounding environment was moving in itself and truly spectacular. Being surrounded by nothing but trees and life was a much appreciated break from the logging trucks and traffic of the 101. 175 miles away from San Francisco and refreshed after a three day break catching up with an old high school buddy, I am ready to get back on the road and start searching for waves along one of California’s most beautiful and wave rich coastlines.
* Big thanks to Mountain House freeze dried foods, they have been saving me on this trip!
A view from the road that reminds you that you’re doing something special
First Fish, Lake Cresent
This is what I had in mind
Rainforest meets lake
View from my tent, Lake Cresent
Packed and ready to roll
doing laundry at Quintal Lake
I caught this trout 15 feet off the side of the 101 southbound in Souther Washington
Walk the open road
Cattle Ranch Making Cheese for Tillamook Cheese Factory
Rest Stop 101 South
This day was amazing
First Sign of an inviting coasr
I caught a few dungeness crabs off the jetty to the right
Cape Disappointment – I was feeling anything but…
Cape Disappointment – where Lewis and Clark ended their expedition
I Rode into the sunset this evening and was rewarded with this view turn after turn
Free ice cream and creese/ I ate myself sick
Its hard to keep your eyes on the rode
After months of preparation and a few interesting pre-trips that were priceless learning experiences I was finally ready to set off on my journey. I boarded the Amtrak Coastline in Santa Ana, Ca an settled in for the 38 hour ride to Seattle, Wa which passed through some beautiful places and really pumped me up for my ride. With more built up energy and excitement than a teenager about to be released for summer vacation I hoped off the Train in Seattle and began my adventure. I wanted to get as close to the border of Canada as possible so the next two days were spent figuring out my way from Seattle to Port Angeles, Wa. There is no way to sugar coat it, the first couple days were rough. I started out taking a ferry over the Puget Sound to Bainbridge Island where I was met with 90 degree heat and the realization that I definitely packed to much. Pulling 60+ pounds of weight on the trailer, including a surfboard, wetsuits, fishing equipment, and enough Mountain House freeze dried food to feed a small army I pushed uphill and across the Hood Canal bridge and on my way to the Olympic Peninsula. After the bridge I took a wrong turn on to the 19 and was forced to fix a flat in a shoulder no wider than 16” on a log trucking road. Setting up camp behind an old high school in the small farm town of Chimacum I figured out my location and was in Heart of the Hills Campground in Port Angeles by the next evening. The next couple of days I spent adjusting to the weather, fixing flats and broken spokes, and the realization that I was most likely not going to score any good surf in Washington. Leaving Kalaloch campground one week after I got on the train I was still in bad weather and still hadn’t got a fish bigger than a pound; I was starting to feel discouraged but fortunately my body was beginning to feel stronger. I rode on and arrived at Lake Quinault to sunshine and no wind and spent the afternoon washing my clothes, swimming, and fishing. It was exactly what I need and I was starting to feel refreshed. Waking up less than two feet from the lake the next morning my spirits were high and I was ready to ride. I only made it 7 miles down the road before I passed a stream that looked to good to not fish. Within five minutes I had two keeper trout and celebrated by lighting off some fireworks I scored at the Indian Reservation the previous day. I continued winding my way down the 101 South and through the Olympic National Forest, Countless historical sites and Indian Reservations, as well as some of the most enchanting rainforests I have ever seen. While taking a break in the middle of a rainforest you can almost feel the life growing around you. Everything is so green and it is truly amazing. I crossed over the Astoria Bridge and into Oregon on July 11th and have been greeted with nothing but good weather and great riding for the last couple of days. Averaging 70 miles a day I feel strong and I had an emotional moment in the Siuslaw National Forest after summiting a 5 mile climb realizing that I’m living one of my dreams and that I am really going to make it. The first week threw some curveballs at me and was challenging but I grew from it and I am now halfway into Oregon and feeling stronger than ever. I have settled into life on the road and am starting to feel like I am truly in my element. Onward to Mexico!
**Big Thanks To Mountain House Freeze Dried products for supplying me with great food for the trip!
I have been married for 5 1/2 years but have yet to actually change my last name to Engle. I get lost every time I have to venture off the 5 fwy. I attended UCSB on a soccer scholarship … Continue reading →
Little Harbor Campground to the left, Shark Harbor to the right
Brought over in 1924 for a Zane Grey Western Film the buffalo play a unique role in the Catalina scenery
Cross roads at the airport, happy to be going down hill
Routes 1, 4 , and 6 to the backside, routes 6, 4, and 1, to Avalon…Enjoy
With a bigger trip planned for the future and a little spring break time off, I figured the seemingly endless hills of Catalina would be a great place to explore and put in some tough miles. Starting Tuesday, I hopped on the Flyer to cross the channel with my fuji clyclecross, two fishing poles, and enough supplies for three days of backside exploring. The elevation changes from 0 to 1602 ft from Avalon to Catalina’s Airport in the sky, and I learned first hand that it is a ride that will make your legs cramp, your lungs scream, and your heart smile. You pedal up a 2.4 mile, 10+ grade hill, cursing last nights decision to have that final beer only to be greeted by the salty yet cooling breeze and the view of the Pacific Ocean to your left and your right when you reach your the tallest peak of the trip. That’s when you remember you’re on one of California’s most pristine Channel Islands and only a couple miles away from a famous buffalo burger. From the airport to the backside of the island and Little Harbor, where I planned to stay for the night, was a six-mile gravel road ride that was filled with herds of buffalo and some downhill speeds that can really push your comfort level. Once on the backside, I locked my bike up and dedicated my time to hiking and fishing the most productive spots in my vicinity. I decided to wake up early Wednesday morning and make the trek East to Cottonwood Beach where I knew there was some decent rocks to fish of off. When I arrived, the tide was dropping, the wind was picking up, and the ocean was looking mean. Time for battle! I had high hopes and low expectations but taking a minute to assess my situation, I started thinking like a fish in this rough environment and came out strong. Finding a special bait in the rocks, I let the artificial lures take a break and started hooking up on some great coastal fish. I spent the day fishing and arrived back to camp at sunset with just enough time to sashimi up some sheapshead and enjoy it with some freeze-dried pad thai with a truly sunburnt smile on my face. Thursday’s sunrise woke me up and I couldn’t help casting out a couple more lines in front of Little Harbor. With a few calico bass and a surprise 3 lb. opal eye on the lure, I had just enough energy to make it up to the airport by mid morning. On the ten mile, relatively downhill ride to Avalon, I had enough time to take in the views of the deer and California sage brush that cover the interior of the island and finished with a Buffalo Milk at Descanso Beach to send me home on a great note and make me realize how special this Island really is to me.
Toes on the Nose is Proud to release our new “Cold Front” and “Barrier” Wetsuit tops.
Kai Sallis testing out the cold front wetsuit top on the North Shore of Oahu
The toes wetsuit top is mental!!! Thin warm flexible. What more do you need? -Darren Eudaly
2 mm body and 1 mm sleeve piecing. Pull-over wetsuit top with black zipper for easy fitting. Elastic cord detail to attach to your board shorts for better stability, elastic cord with toggle to secure waistline.
2 mm body and 1 mm sleeve piecing. Full front-zip wetsuit top with elastic cord detail to attach to your board shorts for better stability, elastic cord with toggle to secure waistline.