(Day 4–9) Olema to Jenner up the 1

alex hays
6 min readAug 19, 2017

Since the first day kicked my ass so much I decided to plan a harder route this day to make sure I wasn’t psyched out at all. Half didn’t expect to arrive at my destination because of the hills and my lack of physical ability (biked up the coast on the 1).

Got up and packed my stuff, talked to some of the folks around me asking where I was coming from and going and all that, but was too sleepy to properly engage them in convo and felt bad about that later. I need to be more outgoing and engaged on this thing at the expense of general life energy.

sleepy life

I have about 45 miles ahead of me, and holy hell there are a lot of ups and downs. Although it was a harder ride than the first day I think my legs were more used to it by now, and it was a hell of a fun ride. The ups were very up which made the downs very down and it was fun as hell flying around these winding roads. I saw a car turned over on one of the sharper corners and that really sucked, everyone seemed ok though as they were standing around (with fire truck and police).

I saw a bunch of vultures on the ride and it was really unnerving.

After 2/3 hours I came across a little town so I got coffee and stocked up on cliff bars. I had about 2/3 hours left and the worse hills were still to come. I was super hyped up by kanye and kendrick so things were good.

Cut to a couple hours later and I end up at the place I thought my campsite was at. Spend 5 fucking hours planning and show up to this, what the hell Alex.

I ask some people if they know where a campsite is and they said back like an hour, so i was like lol no. I called brad and asked him what an ‘environmental campsite’ was as there was one of those on the map at the entrance to this trail I’d arrived at. He calls me back and he can’t here me and I can barely here him but I hear he says its fine to go there just take water, and the call cuts out right after I hear that. I saw a town called Jenner that was only 15 mins away from me so bike down to that. I took a wrong turn so this ended up being a 30 min ride which after biking up and down hills for 6 hours really isn’t one of those happy mistakes. I got this cool pic though from the wrong road so it was all worth while.

I get into town and see a gas station and an Inn. I ask how much the rates were and if they had spots and the lady was nice and was like ‘well I can give you a discount, its usually $450, its still going to be expensive though’ and laugh and am like thanks but lol. I ask if there is anywhere with wifi (hadn’t had signal in a while at this point) and she said there was a coffee shop across the street.

I head there and its open for another hour. They serve food and i’m starving so I get a sandwhich and hot chocolate (that sounded super good for some reason). I ask the person working there if they know of any spots I could throw up a tent as the environmental campgrounds were a good distance away and I was dead by that point. I expected to arrive at my campsite about an hour ago and the days plan was already to push myself hard, had went a bit farther than i’d planned to.

She asks an older person working there and she mentions a campsite just 2 miles back, and gives me directions. I draw them on a napkin and immediately lose it. I have this downloaded maps app (maps.me) and saw there was an Inn half a mile down the road so thought i’d check it out before going to the camp site. The lady working at the coffee shop yells at me as i’m leaving as she has my wallet for some reason and she’s like “I have no idea” so that was lucky she noticed.

I get there and ask about rates as they had a ‘vacancy sign’ (a shower and bed was sounding nice at this time) and it was like $230 for a night so i laugh again and ask if I can grab a drink at the bar and stand on their balcony. I get a double whiskey on ice which was like $20 and realize I’m in some weird twilight zone where everything is super expensive but nobody has wifi or cellphone reception. There were payphones everywhere.

I stand on the balcony appreciating the subset smiling at how everything was lovely and someone (Bob and Joe and his daughters who’s names I forgot) asked if I could take a pic of him and his family. I get chatting to them for the next ~45 mins and it was super welcome human interaction after a couple days of convo’s that were only like ‘where am I’ or ‘thanks for this coffee’.

It turned out one of his daughters lived down the street from me in mission but she just recently moved (along with me) so we were neighbors for along time without knowing it. Crazy small world stuff. Super good chat and super inviting family and wish the best to them, I don’t think they know how much I appreciated shooting the shit with them for as long as we did. Really needed a healthy dose of proper human interaction after the last couple days.

I bike over to the campground before it gets dark so I can set up. Although its an ‘environmental campground’ (this one wasn’t on any maps I looked at, it was a heads up from the coffee shop lady), it still had designated spots and they were all taken. I set up camp in between two spots and made a sign to designate spot 1 1/2 so if anyone gave me hassle I can be like idk dude there’s a sign what more am I supposed to look for.

I’m actually glad I lost signal because its made me buy a map and properly feel this trip, I think this is how I should have been doing it so far. Shifts your brain into a different way of being.