West Coast Ride – Day 18

I was up and making the last of my oatmeal for breakfast while the guy across the road decided that was a good time to chop up firewood. Didn’t seem to wake the boys.

Soon three park patrons started wandering down to the beach with an inner tube-like backpack and wetsuits. I asked our neighbors if they were gathering abalone. They said yes, but there are a lot of bureaucratic rules, can’t start until 8:00, only three per day, have to clean at the beach ( not at campground) must be 7 inches … I asked if it was for the meat or the shells, he said the meat, he slices the meat thin, pounds it out, dips it in saltine crumbs and fries them. He said he likes to free dive (no SCUBA allowed) but on low tide periods like today, you could just wade among the rocks and find therm. His woman friend was planning to do that.

There were a dozen people trying their luck, maybe more. You can see a few making their way to the rough, rocky shoreline.

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We had positioned ourselves at this location because we knew we had a big climb to Legget. It is at 1700 feet but there is another steep climb leading up to it. We also knew that we’d be heading inland and the temperatures would climb. So we fueled up good, took on lots of water and started out. The climbs were long, but not too steep, for the most part, and through a canopy of redwoods. By noon, we had made it Legget and my computer showed 3000 feet of elevation gain. We earned our lunch.

Now the bad news, about twelve miles after we set off from Legget (skipping the Drive Through Tree), Brian noticed a wobble in his tire. Closer inspection revealed a broken spoke. Worst yet, rear wheel, drive side. Bicycle mechanics will know why that sucks. Bob had spare spokes and they looked to be a close fit but my cassette cracking tool could not budge his cassette (operator error probable). First bike shop listed no longer does repairs, next town shop, no answer. We took all Brian’s great and spread it among the other three to lighten his load, I loosened the spokes on each side of the broken one slightly to take out some of the wobble. We rode several more miles, ran into some other bike tourists who had a chain whip and cracker, but we still could not get it off. We positioned ourselves close to the town with the shop which supposedly opens at 10:00. We’ll see in the morning what can be done. If all goes well, we’ll get to The Avenue of the Giants and explore the huge redwoods. If not…

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