Day 4 - Woodson Bridge Recreation Area to Manton

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April 18, 2002 ( ~ 61miles)

I recall feeling unmotivated on this morning. It was cold when we woke up, but because I had bought fixings for omelets I insisted that we make omelets (or actually what turned out to be scrambled eggs) before we left. This turned out to be a bad strategy. We later found that it was much better to have a little snack before leaving for the day and then ride 10 or so miles before having a big breakfast, preferably waffles.

We rode for 10 or so miles and had strawberry waffles at Sue's Place in Los Molinos. Sue was extremely chatty, which I enjoyed but Ryan totally did not. She told us all kinds of things. Ryan hid in the bathroom for awhile. She did this really cool thing that everybody that we talked to on our trip also did. She put herself in our place and kind of estimated whether or not she would be able to go on a trip like ours. I could tell she was thinking that she could, which is neat. People seemed excited to think about their biking abilities.

After breakfast I went to the pharmacy next door and got some lip balm because Ryan's lips were looking gross. This helped a lot, but still they were so burnt that after three days they all peeled off and he had new lips.

We then proceeded on this road to Dales Station that I didn't like all that much. It was mostly orchards in that area, but the houses were more closely placed and it seemed like there was a lot of traffic.

When we turned up at Dales Station to head into the mountains the traffic problem definitely stopped. A headwind problem then started. I felt worried about this headwind, but Ryan was optimistic, happy to almost be at his mom's house.

I am CONSTANTLY concerned that I haven't eaten enough, because OK, I have had some bad bonking incidents in the past. So with this headwind, and obvious vertical nature of the rest of the day, I decided to eat a bunch of food. Ryan ate yet another Cliff Bar and was ready to go. I was just getting started on my snack and refused to leave. Ryan then totally falsely accused me of bonking. He tried to take a picture of me to document this alledged bonk, but as he was backing up he tripped over my wheel and scraped up his ankle and my wheel. I'll just reitterate that I was not bonking and move on.

So, bottom line, the whole rest of the day was climbing, climbing, climbing against a headwind. We went so slow. It took so long. Ryan's butt hurt and my knees hurt. Sue back in Los Molinos told us that there was a restaurant where two roads met, and I was looking forward to that, but when we got there it was closed. Over the course of the afternoon we ate almost all of our food. At the end, a few miles from Ryan's mom's, we resorted to eating a bunch of these nasty dried pineapple chunks Ryan had brought all the way from home. I will never eat those again.

At least the scenery was nice though. I think it was on this day that we made up our cow herding game that entertained us so much for the rest of the trip. Mountain cows are much more skittish then valley cows, and Ryan scared one as we slowly pedaled by. This freaked out the whole rest of the herd and they went running off. We thought this was pretty funny. Later, we rationalized this game by figuring that pasture cows are just waiting to be slaughtered and if they run around and get some exercise they'll be much less likely to be sent to the big house.

When we finally got to Ryan's mom's it was 6:00 and we were starving. Ryan's mom and his stepdad Lloyd had not arrived from work yet, so we drove Lloyd's giant truck up to Shingletown, where Sue told me there was also a restaurant. We went to the pizzeria, thinking that would be the fastest way to get food. We sat down at the adjacent bar to wait. That's when this guy told us we would be waiting for awhile, that the pizza people would just be getting started on the dough. Oh no!

So we got to talk the Shingletown locals. They were very friendly and interested in our ride. We talked about the local economy, guns, trucks, wildlife, traveling, lots of things. If I lived in the Shingletown area, the thing to do would be to ditch my bike, buy a F250 truck, carry a .22 on my person and a .44 in my truck.

Finally our pizza was ready and we devoured it, got a big thing of ice cream, and went back to Manton to say hello to Ryan's family.