Thursday, May 15, 2014

Day #10: Crazy Ass Winds

Today's Route: Chilao Campground, CA to Palmdale, CA (58 miles)
Total Trip Miles: 466

Let's begin today's blog post with some crazy ass dirty feet. These filthy hooves belong to Ruthy, a PCT backpacker who we met today while we were refilling our water bottles at the Mill Creek Fire Station.

Ruthy's filthy feet.

I was so intrigued by Ruthy's feet, that I couldn't resist asking for a photo.

(For the record, no one has yet asked me for a photo of my sweat-stained biking shirt. Nor has anyone asked to capture my three-days-without-a-shower stink in a repulsive scratch'n'sniff sticker. But I've only been on the road for ten days now. So, I'm not yet quite ripe enough to be flattered in such a manner.)

Even more crazy ass than Ruthy's feet were today's crazy ass winds. Dear lord almighty, it was wiiiiiiindy today!

There was a strong wind today, blowing at a fairly consistent 25 miles an hour or so. For us, this wind was in the form of a headwind, and so it made our climb much, much more difficult than it should have been.

What made the wind deserving of "crazy ass" status is that the already high, consistent winds were punctuated by erratic gusts. We really started noticing these gusts about five miles into our seven-mile climb.

After Alex and I were blown off our bikes the second or third time, we decided to get off the bikes and push our big rigs up the hill; it was way too dangerous to keep riding.

Quite frankly, I'm glad I had my bike to weigh me down. The extra 80+ pounds gave me comfort that I wouldn't get blown away.

Some of the gusts required Alex and me to bend at the waist and push with all our might so that our bikes could pierce through the winds. A few of the gusts caught my bike in a way such that the bike began to roll downhill. It took every muscle in my body to stop Shirley from rolling backwards, over the unprotected drop-off.

In fighting the winds, I must have cycled through every curse I know. Multiple times. Alex kept saying, "This really sucks." To which I kept replying, "It's part of the adventure! At some point in time, we'll look back fondly on these crazy ass winds!"

Oh, and I won't even mention the heat, because it pales in comparison to today's winds.

We've heard that there are wildfires around San Diego right now. The high winds and the high heat aren't serving to calm those fires. As we work our way further north over the next few days, our chances of being delayed or rerouted by fires is significantly reduced.

We were super glad that we made arrangements to stay the night with Ron, a Warm Showers host in Palmdale.

Alex, Ron, and me.

Ron is new to the Warm Showers world, and so we were his first guests. Ron is a super-energetic and super-active guy. He's big into climbing. And fly fishing. And biking. And many other other things, too. He hasn't yet toured, but it's on his to-do list. Also on his to-do list is to find the perfect place to retire in the coming years.

Ron was a great host! He made us some yummy salads, with lots of fixin's.

The dinner table at Ron's.

Ron is going to be spending some time up near Mt Shasta in early June. If our schedules collide, we hope to meet up with him as we're passing through the area.

Crazy ass winds, go away! There's no need to come back another day!


  1. From the title I thought this post was going to be about farting.

    1. My riding partner is providing plenty of those. I think it helps to propel him. :)

  2. It was great to meet you and Alex - thanks for bringing some good energy into my house on an otherwise uninspiring Wednesday night :)

    1. Thanks for your note, Ron. Great to meet you as well! Thanks for making our stay in Palmdale an awesome one! I'm hoping we can meet up again near Shasta. Enjoy your century this weekend!

  3. The food looks really yummy. The bar for the dinner I am going to prepare is going higher...


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