Caution: This post contains adult language and discussion. This was originally posted on our bike blog “Barely Functional Adults” on May 27th.
Our time in Arcata staying with Belle and her roommates continued to be awesome. We were able to hit up a Redwood Curtain Brewing company and get kind of shitfaced. They are a new brewery but had some delicious beers. We kept up our normal pattern of getting a flight of beers and then having a full glass of each of our favorites… except this night we got two glasses each. Our metabolism is pretty high so we get drunk pretty quickly.
We left the brewery and drunkenly biked back to Belle’s place, except first we stopped by the local store to get noms. Biking drunk is not smart. Sometimes we are not smart. When we got back to the house we realized we forgot to buy more beer so Anna and Hans went back to the store, which was only a few blocks away. I took this opportunity to drunkenly comment on Facebook and offer to send pictures of my penis to anyone on Snapchat who wanted them… there were several takers. Some people requested it after I sobered up but I didn’t send those, not because I am opposed to it but because I kind of ran out of time and energy. Don’t worry snapchatters, there will be more opportunities. (Sidenote: if for some reason you want a picture of my dick my name is pneiger on Snapchat. I don’t even care if I know you… it is just a penis, no big deal).
While I was getting out some of my exhibitionist tendencies Anna and Hans were having their own little adventure. Their drunken trip to the store involved being hit on by a couple of guys, which Hans loved, and not-so-subtly stealing malt balls from the bulk bin. I’m sure they thought they were stealthy but were probably caught on video camera and a number of customers and avoided a meeting with the police due to the laziness of employees working late night on Saturdays at grocery stores. The cashier was less than amused by the drunk cyclists checking out for a second time in less than 30 minutes. Maybe he was jealous…
Anyway, Anna and Hans got home with the beer, etc but Anna and I decided we wanted to bang. We set up the tent in the backyard to have a little privacy. We actually don’t care about privacy that much (I mean, we went to the Orgy Dome at Burning Man a bunch of times and have no problem just being naked) but even though our hostess was pretty sex positive we didn’t think she would appreciate us going at it on the couch, at least not without a heads up. We were kind of interrupted by her roommate’s, friend’s dog who went outside with the roommate’s friend to use the bathroom. I wish I could say she didn’t know what was going on but the unstaked tent was definitely rocking and we were both too drunk to be quiet or care. Also, interrupting sex should be like interrupting someone while they are eating, maybe not perfect timing but certainly not a big deal. It is just sex. So, we had some vigorous, long, drunken sex and it was wonderful. It made my piercing hurt the next morning but it is still worth it… damn, I hope this piercing heals completely soon, I’m tired of having a sore dick after heavy sex.
The next day we joined Belle, her boyfriend, her roommate, and her roommate’s friend (ugh, I should have given them all fake names) at the Kinetic Sculpture Race. Okay, so Belle, the Beast, Elsa, and Merida (also not sure why I’m using Disney characters) were at the Kinetic Sculpture Race and we joined them. Of course, we got separated about 4 minutes after leaving the house but we move slow so that is expected, we caught up with them eventually at the first check point. The race was a lot of fun and we had a bunch of gin and ginger ale in our water bottles, so we got daydrunk. It has been a while since I have been daydrunk and I remembered too late that it tends to put me in a grumpy mood if I can’t nap. I’m not really sure what is going on with me lately, I’ve been kind of grumpy often. I think it is because I am introverted and haven’t had a lot of alone time, we have all talked about how we need to find a way to recharge alone and pair off occasionally to reconnect with each other. Oh well, just another thing to think about and figure out in this new lifestyle.
Unfortunately, we had to leave Arcata the next morning. Our hostess was fucking awesome… such an amazing person, I hope she is in our life forever. I know I say things like that a lot, but the truth is there are so many amazing people in this world. My favorite thing about our trip is getting to meet them and count them among my friends, and thanks to the wonderful technologically advanced society we live in I don’t have to lose them just because we live far apart.
We took off fairly early Sunday morning and headed north again towards Crescent City, which is the next place we planned on having a multi-day break. We got about 10 miles out of Arcata before we stopped for a quick break in McKinleyville. During this break Anna and Hans went into a store to get some stuff while I stood outside and watched the bikes when I was approached by a guy named Paul. He was wearing kind of dirty army pants and carrying a duffle bag and he started asking me about the bikes and such. After a short conversation he asked me if I knew anything about the McKinleyville area. I told him I didn’t and that we were just passing through, that is when he gave me a history of the area.
It turns out that McKinleyville has never been featured on the History channel because there is a secret military base 90 miles underneath the city. The only way to find the base is to look at the small stones scattered across the city that have numbers engraved on them. He showed me a few of the stones he had been collecting that day. When he emptied his pockets there were about a dozen stones, two quarters, and two caps that usually go on the containers that heroin is sold in. He later told me he collects the caps to keep them away from kids.
As I talked to him about government conspiracies, hidden treasure maps on the rocks, Bigfoot’s home at the top of redwood trees, the ancient Mayan engravings on the rocks, and several other things I realized that Paul was harmless, though not completely on the same level as most people. It is easy to laugh or dismiss him as some “crazy homeless guy” but really he is a result of the policies we, as a society, decide to allow. A drug war that would rather criminalize addiction instead of treat it. A country that lacks mental health help for those who need it. I don’t know if Paul could clinically diagnosed with something, I saw nothing more than some paranoia and conspiracies coupled with at least moderate drug use, but that doesn’t mean any of us should ignore the people in our community that need help.
Anna and Hans eventually returned from the store and the three of us got on our way. Paul gave me a stone with a Mayan bird engraved on it by extraterrestrials and waved us off. We knocked out another 15 miles or so before we came to College Cove in Trinidad. College Cove is a clothing-optional beach where we took our first biker butt photo for our GoFundMe donors. We are not really sure if nudity is allowed at the beach or merely tolerated but that didn’t stop us. The cove was absolutely stunning, probably the most beautiful beach I have ever been too, but everyone on it was clothed… it was kind of chilly so that is justified I guess. We waited until we had a little relative privacy before setting up the shot, dropping our pants, and taking the picture. We all really love to be naked and enjoy environments where that is supported or allowed, and we plan on many more similar pictures in the future, even if they are just for us. In fact, we took another booty shot in the middle of the road on a mountain pass just for the hell of it.
That night we camped at Patrick’s Point with a couple other hiker/biker’s travelling the coast. One of the couples was probably in their 50′s and travelling the 1500ish miles from Astoria to San Diego. Man, people like that inspire me. I don’t know if they are lifelong adventurers or just decided not to let age be a factor but seeing people who continue to rock regardless of age is incredible. There are so few legitimate excuses to not live your dreams.
We left Patrick’s Point onto a very misty Highway 101. The weather was wet and kind of cold… almost creepy as we coasted down the hill out of the forest. On the side of the road was an all too familiar site, a bicycle painted ghost white to mark where a cyclist lost his life. It is always sobering. Up in this area it was likely an adventure cyclist like us. There aren’t a lot of daily commuters or weekend warriors riding the misty highways through the mountains. The man who died was likely someone who knew the risks, and died doing what he loves. I guess that is a question we all must ask ourselves, are we willing to risk our lives in order to live? I know I am, though I don’t really fear death. I don’t know what happens afterwards, my best guess is that my time dead will be similar to the billions of years before I was born… but maybe not, maybe one of the religions or spiritual practices is kind of right but I’m comfortable with that too. It is probable that we will all die eventually, though I am still a transhumanist anarchist (neither death, nor taxes)… I think that humans can live without coercive government and will find a way to eliminate the disease of death, maybe even in my lifetime.
Our ride continued over some moderate hills and beautiful environments (we even saw live Elk chilling by the road) into Klamath, a cool little river town with a strong native American presence. We ended up staying at Klamath’s Camper Corral. At first we thought we were getting a good deal, the manager (Roy) lowered the price for us and told us that there really weren’t a lot of options further north. He lied to us. When we left the next morning we saw at least a half dozen camping areas within 5 miles. The thing is, if he had told us the truth we would have stayed with them anyway. People like that, people who will be dishonest to make $25 are part of the image problem business people face, he put making a profit over being a good person… I guess it is possible he didn’t know there were other campgrounds further north, but given his 8 years living in the area it seems doubtful. Fuck you Roy.
We left Camper Corral fairly early today (Tuesday) and hit the road. We knew we only had 20 miles, but one big fucking hill, before arriving at Crescent City. Because of the circumstances Hans faced today (cold weather, fairly windy, sweaty from bike riding, and no bra) she has declared a new weekly holiday, Nipple Tuesday. She encourages everyone to let those nipples and areola’s show every Tuesday (or really any day) in solidarity. No shame in showing the nips.
The hill today was kind of tough but we allotted a lot of time and now are resting easy in the St. John’s Church in Crescent City. This wonderful church is on WarmShowers and they have a full kitchen, sleeping space, bathroom, and wifi for travelers. They’ve had over 50 people come through this year alone and it is a great resource for those passing through. We are actually here with four other people (two groups of two) so we are making friends. Our plans right now are to spend two nights here so Anna can work, we can restock, rest up a bit, and get some bike maintenance done. Then it is just over 110 miles over some mountains to Medford, Oregon to visit my brother-from-another-mother. I can’t wait.