Today we woke up in our lovely trailer park to a 360 degree view of dead grass and decommissioned vehicles. We were lucky to be able to wake up on our own time, not setting any alarms. The morning was slow and easy as we drank coffee, rambled about our neighbors, kicked around the soccer ball with our football field sized camp site.
A topic of special interest over breakfast was our neighbor Chuck. Charles approached and greeted Luke immediately upon Luis’ abandoning Luke at the campsite for the emergency trip the previous night. Charles told Luke about literally everything in his life. His wife was a “five-foot-three, blonde, ‘hundred-fourteen pound ball of fire.” Back in the good ol’ days, Deputy Charles yanked a fully grown man’s arm out of its socket; “that was a good day” (southern accent). For two hours straight, Charles sucked on an Atomic Fireball candy (stopping every few sentences to catch his breath) while describing his stories to Luke (who was staring off in the distance). Chuck had been living in this trailer at the park for three years, and he was humbled to hear Luke’s story on Cycle for Charvat.
After breakfast, we played real-life Tetris with the van. Since today was a break, that meant we had to fit six guys into the van, and break out the massive bike rack we’d bought: the Yakima Fulltilt 5-bike rack. Before we proceed, you should know we’ve decided to name the van “Rex”. This name was inspired by the #nosidedoors and raw power under the hood, which we thought comparable in both aspects to our favorite dinosaur T-Rex.
Once Rex was packed to perfection we piled in…through the front doors, adding an actual David Juergens calculation of 1000 additional pounds to poor Rex. With everything locked and loaded, and 5 bikes yanking down on Rex’s hind legs, the trailer hitch sat about an inch off the ground. We pulled the van out with extreme caution while David stood outside to see if we could even go anywhere without plowing the road. On shallow road dips, the bike rack would swing up and down coming within a fraction of an inch to the ground.
We pulled out onto Highway 101 at a blazing 35 miles per hour. Our first idea to help Rex’s situation was to just pump air into the tires, “because that’s what you do if you’re towing something, right?” We hit one of those gas station air compressors to find our tires were all at about half the maximum pressure, so we cranked those bad boys up. Next, it actually crossed our minds to go to an auto-body shop and inquire about a suspension upgrade. The single mechanic with an above average sized mustache, had little to offer for us. “Looks like there’s a lot of weight on that ve-hicle,” he said. Thanks captain obvious.
We drove about 30 feet past the auto shop and parked to figure out how we could get the hitch higher off the ground. After a few minutes, Milan had a lightbulb go off: Using David’s ratchet set to tie a line taught from the roof rack to the bike rack, lifting the hitch higher. The duo Macgyvered another two inches lift for the hitch. After testing the clearance on the gas station drive-way (and failing), we called it good enough. Highway travel was the next test for Rex’s suspension upgrade. We started slow, but ended up cruising at 50 mph steady. About three miles later, David began searching for his phone, we decided to pull over so he could get out and look beneath his seat. After no success, his heart sank: “Last time I had it I put it on the roof.” In one rapid motion, DJugs lifted himself out of the car and sank back in with the phone in hand – Rex had taken care of it. The boys. Went. Wild.
The next stop was McDonalds in Brookings, Oregon for a much needed lunch at 2 pm. They were advertising a 10 dollar bundle, consisting of an absurd amount of McStuff. We split the bundles in pairs, except Gabe. “My body is in a severe calorie deficit.” So Gabe’s new mission in Gabe vs Food was to finish six burgers and 20 chicken nuggets for lunch. He got real close, and got even closer after we heckled him into eating all but a few bites of his last burger. He sat for about three minutes and decided he needed to visit the toilet for a tactical McPuke. The rest of the boys listened while Gabe the Mighty Dragon spewed his fire into the glory hole. He literally sounded like a screeching dragon echoing through the door and into the dining area. His efforts proved to be useless, as he ended with spit halfway up his arm and no puke in the toilet. After some questionable looks from the regulars, the boys decided it was time to leave.
Highway driving proceeded smoothly until the California border crossing. We were asked if we had “any fresh fruit on board” by a patrol agent, replied “not really sure,” and overconfidently floored it out of the station. We bottomed out on sweet California concrete for about ten feet, but this was the only time our system would fail. California, to be honest, looked worse than Oregon on sight. Smoke everywhere, vision was horrible, no beach babes in bikinis; the boys were underwhelmed to say the least.
We cheesed it right to the campsite, missing the turn and doubling back. Upon arrival, it was a consensus that this is the coolest place we’ve camped yet. The Crescent City KOA campground was tucked away in a Redwood forest, providing us cover and beautiful scenery. We explored, finding a stump 20 feet in diameter with a hole big enough in the middle to set a tent in. We found a playground where Milan and Cesar played in the C4C Tetherball Championships where Milan took the gold home after ten minutes of a hard fought match. We found a community room with arcade games and ping pong, so we relaxed and charged up devices.
When nightfall came, we made the biggest fire we’ve had yet and got some dawgs barkin’ loud (#getthesedawgsbarkin). After dinner, we cleaned our bikes to make sure they were ready for the next day. We got into the tents and through conversation among the tents, we found out Luke speaks fluent Dutch. Naturally, we asked him to please to Luis to shut the hell up in Dutch when he kept everyone awake later. “Luis, godsferdomma.” (If you’re fluent in Dutch writing, sorry if we misspelled that).
Tomorrow the boys will have a 52-mile day with a lot of hill climbing, through the Redwood National Forrest. We will end the day at Big Lagoon County Park.
Hasta luego. #nosidedoors