May 11 – 13
Paul and Natalie’s wedding was so wonderful! It was a great week spent in Connecticut with friends and family. Now, back on the road! After flying back to San Francisco we picked up our bikes and went to Casey’s house where we spent one last night. Casey has been so great and I hope we can repay her one day if she comes to the east coast. For the night we made sure our panniers were packed and ready for biking. However we couldn’t leave early in the morning. Joe was waiting on a package and my camera was getting a sensor cleaning at the local camera shop. The next day my camera wasn’t ready until 3pm. We knew we wouldn’t get too far, but it was time to get out of San Francisco! That afternoon we rode about 30 miles just before Dublin, CA. We were heading to Yosemite for a few days, but it’s going to take a few days just to get there. It’s about a 200 mile detour off the pacific coast route. A pretty big detour and hopefully worth it…we know it will be worth it. So, like I said, we almost made it to Dublin before dark but ended up camping next to a church. Jay, who lives next-door, let us camp in front of his house.
Thursday morning is was super foggy! The night before we could see the city lights of Dublin from our tent. In the morning we couldn’t see past the hill we were camped on. Realizing that we had no water to cook with we went straight into town to the nearest grocery store where we bought a little milk and ate our granola. There was an REI right next door so Joe went to replace our NEW pot set. The sides are made out of silicone and the second time I used it there was a tear in the pot. REI was closed, but that store is so awesome…the shipping guys out back gave us a new pot set and returned the old one. I was so happy we didn’t have to wait around until 10am when the store opens. Now we can make some headway! The riding was GREAT. We had a tailwind and beautiful weather. It was the first hot day in a long time. The coast has been freezing from the wind coming off the ocean. I’m sure Joe was in a slightly different mood than me. He got 3 flats! As we went through a town called Pleasanton we got stopped by 2 people near the BART station. Not sure why they were stopping us, but quickly learned that it was Ride your bike to work day! They gave us each a bag of goodies that had snacks, stickers, a headlight, and all sorts of good stuff.
The rest of the day heading into Modesto was easy. We called Tom (from warm showers) and he said we could camp in his backyard. Sweet! That’s all we need. Tom rode his bike to the end of his street to welcome us. He is an awesome 70yr old guy that has done many bike tours and is doing a 200 mile trip over the weekend. I want to be like him when I’m that age! Tom mentioned to us that he wouldn’t be able to hangout with us too much due to a family dinner. However, he arranged dinner for us at a cute restaurant called Harvest Moon and paid for it! Yes…he was not eating with us, but somehow paid for it already. How awesome is that? He planned this for us before even meeting us. We planned to eat rice and beans so we were extremely grateful. Lori, Tom’s friend, would be picking us up and joining us for dinner. I told Tom how badly I got sunburned and he mentioned it to Lori. When she got to the house she introduced herself and asked us where we were from. Joe said he’s from Connecticut and I said I’m from Charleston. Then Lori holds out a bag and says welcome to California. The bag had sunscreen and aloe vera haha
Friday morning Lori came over early to bike with us out of town. Tom joined us as well! They took us on a bike trail through almond orchards. I didn’t expect them to ride 10 miles with us considering Lori had to go to work in the morning!
To sum up the day it was very hot. Mostly biking through a valley and it was over 80 degrees with no clouds. I had a long sleeve top on because of my sunburn and I was dying! Our plan was to camp in Mariposa which 40 miles from Yosemite. We ended up going 10 miles past Mariposa and camped on the side of the river. It was the only spot on the side of the road that didn’t go straight down into the water and had enough room for a tent. Hanging out by the river was so nice and peaceful. I sat on a rock and did some writing. Watched hilariously as Joe tried to take a freezing cold shower in the river. Before we went to sleep we had to keep in mind that there are bears in the mountains around us. However, we had raging river on our left and semi busy road on our right. Stashed the bag in some rocks away from our tent just in case. Tomorrow we will be in Yosemite 🙂