Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Decision Time

I had thought about this day a lot starting a month before the trip at least. Back and forth went the decision making process. Should I stay in Cave Junction or ride through to Happy Camp over the little used backroad from O'Brien.

Since it was an extra 10 miles past the turnoff to Cave Junction and I had not figured out where to camp there, I decided to go for Happy Camp. The mileage was a doable 75 miles but there was 7500' of climbing which was far and away the most of the trip.

It did not help that morning that I had a headwind all the way along 199. It is a narrow road right next to the Smith River. This is where the middle and north fork of the river come together.
Raft race? Sounds fun!

Now, I cross back into Oregon for a little while.

Bridge about 8 miles outside of Happy Camp over Indian Creek
I tanked up on sorbet, iced tea, and other surgery liquid things in O'brien which this picture shows in entirety. It was hot now - the hottest weather of the trip at probably around 90 degrees. I turned off on the road designated by my google instructions. My Garmin was still useless just showing a location on its map but not the road I was on. My instructions said to make a left, right and another left onto the road to Happy Camp. The last left did not materialize where it was supposed to so I flagged down an approaching car who looked a little suspicious of me. I told them my dilemma and they just smiled and laughed a little and said I was on the road and "just keep going", "keep going a long ways up and then down". Sounded a little ominous but at least I was on the right road.

Then I climbed and climbed on one of the weirdest roads ever. It never went down and you could never see valleys and it seemed like a never-ending ridge line with the summit around the next corner seemingly forever. I made the summit around 4 pm and started down. There was never I sign I crossed back into California or was going to Happy Camp.

Resting by Indian Creek around 5:30 pm I realized I was dehydrated and in a good bonk. I downed some Goo and Cliff bars but my body was done for. I could not imagine pedaling another 8 miles, setting up a campsite, bathing in the Klamath since there are no showers at the Curly Jack Campground in Happy Camp and then pedaling 4 miles back into town to eat. So, I GOT A MOTEL ROOM  across the street from the market. I ended up buying bacon, eggs, peppers, onions and made a giant scramble in the efficiency kitchen. Then I started in on my dessert which was a sherbert swirl and tonic water. After 3 glasses of this I found a soup bowl that would hold the rest of the half gallon of sherbert and the bottle of tonic water and ate it all.

Even though the air conditioning did not work real well it was comfortable enough to sleep alright. After all the climbing up the river into a headwind and the heat and climb out of O'brien I was spent and collapsed into a too soft bed.

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