United States

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  • Day31

    A good deed, the ER and a brewery

    October 8, 2019 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 19 °C

    What an eventful day today! It started off with a big breakfast at Zac's. We took it slowly as we only had an 80km tour ahead of us. Herbert had contacted a local brewery, nicely situated in the forest and by coincidence halfway in between Greenville and Truckee, our next stop. Susan and Rich, the owners, had replied straight away, that we are welcome to pitch our tent on their property. So we left Greenville around 10am, so we could get to the brewery early afternoon.
    However, sometimes you can't really plan things. About 10km after Greenville we saw a tricycle rider in a dark, shady turnout next to the highway. He waved for help so we stopped. He was disabled and only had one arm and one leg left and had accidentally driven his remodelled trike on log, so that he was stuck and couldn't get it out. The cars didn't see him as he was kind of hidden in the shade behind a corner of the highway. And as he couldn't really walk, he was lucky that we passed on our bikes and actually heard and saw him. So Herbert and me tried to lift the trike while, at the same time, moving the log away. I then heard my back crack and felt a strong pain - it was definitely not a smart idea to lift a trike! So we stopped the efforts and I decided to stop a car instead. Luckily, a lady with a pickup stopped and also happened to have some straps in the back, so we could toe the trike out of where it got stuck. One problem solved 👍
    So now, I still had to solve my aching back. Quincy was another 30km away, but it had a hospital and some chiropractors, so we decided I'd try to cycle. The road was actually quite pretty as it led through a canyon, however, I couldn't really enjoy it with my back pain. In Quincy, people recommended to go to the ER (emergency room) for having it checked, so we went to the hospital. For checking in, I had to answer many questions about my ethnicity, skin colour, religion and if I am confronted with domestic violence. The lady also took my temperature and stated that I didn't have any fever (what a surprise...). We had a bit of a discussion if travelling on a bike and sleeping in a tent is considered as "homeless", but agreed that it is not as we are doing it by choice. (Homeless people have to get treated differently by law she explained) I was then checked in and could wait in the waiting room. They had free wifi, water, coffee and tea, so it wasn't too bad.
    After 3 hours of waiting, it was my turn to see the doctor. But first I had to sign that they are allowed to bill me. Having a travel insurance, I shouldn't bother too much. But having heard about the US health system, I wanted to at least know how much I have to expect. The lady told me that it's about 2600$ (!!!!) to get examined. I was shocked and thought she was kidding, but she was dead serious. I decided that my self-diagnosis skills are not too bad and diagnosed that nothing serious has happened and I just need to massage my back and keep it quiet (actually something that I did during my waiting time and which had already released some of the pain). So I walked out of the ER without signing or getting examined. Funnily, the doctor came out and told me outside of the hospital - inofficially - that he couldn't have done much except telling me to take Ibuprofen, put ice on my back and have a break from cycling for a couple of days. So my self-diagnosis skills aren't actually not too bad and saved me (the insurance company) some $ 😉
    I followed his advice to take an Ibu and then we finished the 40km cycling to The Brewing Lair. They welcomed us with their excellent craft beers and also had icebags I could use to cool my back. As it was already late, we were too lazy to cook but ordered pizza instead. Now, lieing in the tent, I also keep my back quiet - so I followed all the doc's recommendations 😊
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  • Day36

    Devil's gate to Mono Lake

    October 13, 2019 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 11 °C

    Another day, another canyon road. The other day I was asked if I get bored of riding. But how can I get bored when I see so many cool things and meet so many nice and interesting people?
    We left our host John and his dog Lukey after breakfast and climbed on highway 395 which led through a nice canyon along Walker River up to "Devil's Gate". For lunch, we stopped in Bridgeport in front of the grocery store. There were actually some nice old houses from the 19th century. In the afternoon, we had to climb again. Up at the summit, we were flashed by stunning views of Mono Lake and the craters surrounding it. The lake is quite special: as water levels decrease, stalagmites are getting visible. We continued cycling to Lee Vining where we tried the famous tacoes at the gas station - yummy! On the last few kilometers to our campground, we already got a "warning" regarding the next day: Steep grades up Tioga Pass. But as it's only difficult for trailers, we should have an easy climb by bike 🤔 We tried to sleep as high as possible the night in order to have an easier climb in the morning. It was pretty cold already at about 2300m. Luckily, we could warm up at Olivia's and Philippe's fire before heading to bed.Read more

  • Day56

    Sierra Cascades - Finish line

    November 2, 2019 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 25 °C

    Today, we spent the last day on the Sierra-Cascades route. We enjoyed some last views of the Sierras and had a really pleasant ride with mainly tailwinds through the foothills until we could already see the Mexican border. Before crossing it in the morning, we celebrated this part of the trip with a beer in Potrero County Park where we camp for the night.
    All in all, it took us 51 days to travel this route from the Canadian to the Mexican border. We encountered all kinds of weather conditions: plenty of rain in the North, snow at Crater Lake, heat in the high desert, crazy winds in Southern California. We had to climb A LOT and stopped counting the passes and summits. We met so many nice people who supported us with warm showers, a cosy bed, spontaneous invites, food, great conversations or just cheering when we climbed uphill again. Thanks to everyone at this point, you made the US an awesome experience for us.
    We are now looking forward to entering Mexico tomorrow and opening a new chapter of our adventure.
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  • Day38

    Hiking in the Valley

    October 15, 2019 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 17 °C

    We woke up after a cosy night under the stars. Luckily, there were no bears (we got an instruction from the park ranger that all food has to get stored in the bear boxes provided) and no law enforcement ranger who came to tell us that we actually had to STAND in the line and not SLEEP.
    We got our campsite assigned and decided to use some other muscles for the next two days. So today, we hiked Upper Yosemite Falls trail which starts right behind our camp. We stopped counting the turns going up, there were just too many. But when we got to the top, we were surprised by some nice pools and great views of the valley and Half Dome. At this time of the year, there is almost no water in the falls, so the hike was more about the views rather than the waterfalls - still very pretty. We climbed a little higher to Yosemite Point before descending again to the camp and taking a "shower" in the river. Back at the camp, we met a Swedish couple who are experienced bike tourers, so we exchanged some bike touring advice.
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  • Day48

    Very nice Sonoma Wine Country

    August 9, 2019 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 26 °C

    The right call!!! 😍 all turned out right!🍷🤩
    We relaxed and walked around the very nice area of Francis Ford Coppola Winery. ❤️🍷

    Genau richtig gedacht!!!
    Mega Landschaft und seeeeehr leckerer Wein 🍷 für uns in der Francis Ford Coppola Winery. ❤️ so kann der Tag weitergehen.Read more

  • Day28

    The waterfall route

    October 5, 2019 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 12 °C

    The weather was beautiful again today, so we had an early start after some waffles, yogurt, blackberries and a cappuccino for breakfast. After about 30km, we took a side road to the Highway 89 (which we are going to follow for the next few days) and visited McCloud Falls: Lower, Middle and Upper Falls which are actually quite nice but mostly ignored by tourists as there's the more famous McArthur Burney Falls in the area.
    Back on the highway, we had to climb on a rolling road (meaning up and down all the time) until we got to Dead Horse Summit, the highest point of today's ride. But after a climb comes a downhill - again on a rolling road and with a view of Mt Lassen, our next destination - to McArthur Burney State Park to see the waterfalls. We also decided to stay for the night and pitched our tent on the hike&bike campsite. Before going to bed, we were able to go for a swim in nearby Britton Lake, so could wash the sweat off 😉
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  • Day32

    The back repair story

    October 9, 2019 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 9 °C

    Today getting up wasn't that easy after the couple of beers last night (we tasted many IPA's and all of them were very delicious 😁).
    After breakfast and some travel advice for Patagonia from the brewery staff, we cycled to Truckee through beautiful Sierra Valley. Luckily, we had tail winds most of the time, so the climbing sections were not too exhausting. In Truckee, we looked for a chiropracter to get Meike's back "repaired". On the second attempt we found the right specialist for her issue. It took only 30min (including waitimg time) and 70$ to get all vertebrae into the right position again. All people in the waiting room were very interested in our travel story. One couple even invited us to stay at their home tomorrow night.
    After the treatment, we cycled around Truckee and Donner Lake before riding to our hosts for the night, Anne and Forest, a well-traveled couple with their 2 sons who were great company over an awesome dinner.
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  • Day35

    Cycling to John in Walker

    October 12, 2019 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 15 °C

    This morning, we decided it was too cold and windy to cook breakfast at our campspot. So we cycled to Markleeville and had yummy breakfast burritos and lattes instead.
    Our route then took us along the last stretch of highway 89 - probably also the most beautiful one: Monitor Pass. It was actually quite tough with an average of 8% climb over about 14km. But we really enjoyed the views. At the summit, we could see into deserty Nevada - and again, it looks like a different world. The diversity is what we like best about cycling in the US: You climb a pass and behind, there's something new.
    The rest of the day was an easy, very fast downhill until we reached highway 395 which then led to Walker, where we stay with our host John.
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  • Day30

    Mt Lassen National Park

    October 7, 2019 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 17 °C

    When we woke up, again everything was cold and wet. As we pitched our tent next to a lake at an altitude of 2000m, this wasn't a surprise to us. But we were indemnified by a beautiful view on Mt Lassen.
    We had to climb another 600m to get to the highest viewing point of the vulcano. During the downhill ride we stopped at several spots to catch some nice views into the valley.
    After a long ride we arrived in Greenville where we stayed with Zac, a very pleasent guy who made an awesome stirfry for dinner for us.
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  • Day3

    Fun in San Diego

    September 1, 2019 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 23 °C

    It’s now Sunday morning. So I must record our doings before it all disappears into a muddle of times and days! We have been quite active since our arrival Friday morning. On Friday evening there was a party at the Beach Club - a reunion of all the 8 families (including Michael and Lisi) who went to Africa - Tanzania- for an amazing holiday in June. So of course we were included, we knew some of them from before. Probably good for us to be animated and socialise having arrived at 6 am that day, stopped us from falling asleep! Got to bed around midnight I think.

    Woke about 8 Saturday. This household still asleep as it often is on weekends, so Amr and I set off for a walk down to La Jolla village, had a coffee at a favourite coffee place, and I walked back (quite hot and sweaty - it was cloudy when we left but that all burnt off and it was sunny and hot...) while Amr stayed and had a haircut at his favourite barber, and a swim at the high school pool!

    A nice relaxed afternoon then we left at 5.30 to go to Bayside Summer Nights - San Diego Symphony’s equivalent of our Symphony under the stars - lovely event, perfect weather, and a Tchaikovsky spectacular programme! Lisi is a VIP of the symphony being on the board and donors etc, and she had organised a table for us near the stage where we ate dinner first, then sat back for the music!! Perfect. And it was an Australian conductor!!! Great night, great food, great music and I will show photos. To bed again around midnight, so we are getting well acclimatised.

    Now Sunday, and this afternoon Ben (cousin of Michael, Paul and Cathy), his wife Jeannine and their new baby are coming over, and also Peter F. That will be next report!
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