Monday, May 26, 2008

Camping and Biking @ Russian Gulch State Park

I like to go camping on three-day weekends. But you have to book the camping something like 6 months in advance to get a holiday weekend and I don't always remember. But this year I booked this Memorial Day holiday weekend at Russian Gulch State Park, which is about 2 miles north of Mendocino and right on the coast. This was my first visit to Russian Gulch but I've camped at other parks in the area. This is also the first time we've gone camping with bikes so we set up our tent and then took the bikes for a spin.

The weather was on the chilly side so I had on a few layers of clothes. We rode down a trail in the park and just explored the campground. I think we rode about 3 miles in all. Anyway, after cruising around for a while we went back to camp, cooked dinner and made a fire before heading off to the tent for a chilly night's sleep.

On Saturday we got up and made our typical camp breakfast. It's the only time I eat bacon and I'm sad to say I ate A LOT more bacon than I should have. But it was good. So off we go on our bikes to check out the area.

The road up and out of the campground was steep! I can't believe I made it up, especially after eating a too-big breakfast. Down the road from the campground a few miles we found a lighthouse. We rode around the grounds near there and the surrounds were just beautiful!

After the lighthouse we rode back to camp for lunch. We rode about 9.4 miles in all. And I realized I need to get over my fear of hills. Of course there are hills I can't make it up but I need to be willing to try, not just look at the hill and say "oh no, I can't make that."

After lunch we decided to do a hike and bike trail nearby. You bike a mile or so and then lock up the bike and hike to a waterfall. It was a really fun ride! The waterfall wasn't huge but it was still a beautiful area.

After our falls hike and bike we went back to camp and called it a day. On Sunday we rode on The Old Haul road, a flat, paved road that follows along the shore in Fort Bragg. The weather was nicer, the sun was out, and I just took in the view!

We decided to go out to eat for lunch instead of going back to camp and making sandwiches. We drove to Mendocino and parked our car and rode around town in search of a lunch spot. We found a little cafe - I had a chicken tamale and a rice/cranberry salad with a cookie and latte. I don't even want to know how many Points was in that meal.

After lunch Miguel wanted to go on another ride. To be honest I was feeling really tired and a little grumpy. I think the volume and calories (and fat!) of food I was eating was just too much and it was making me sluggish and tired. I really just wanted to go back to the tent and take a nap! An afternoon nap is always a bad sign for me. I agreed to go on the ride.

The ride was a little over 15 miles on an almost completely flat fire road. It followed Big River just across 101 from Mendocino. It narrowed at some points and there were a few obstacles but mostly it was not technical at all. I felt pretty tired during most of the ride. On the way back my left leg started to hurt. I'm sad to say the grumpy, tired feeling never really went away. Can you tell I'm feeling tired? The scenery was gorgeous but I was so happy when the ride was over.

Back to camp for a nice big fire and a light dinner. We packed up this morning and came home. All in all I had a great time and bringing the bikes added a lot of fun opportunities. I added up our riding over the weekend and we rode over 40 miles altogether! Next time I go to the area I definitely want to Kayak that river.

The only thing I'm dealing with now is the food issue. I had a gain last week and all the crap I ate this weekend might mean another gain this week. It's true I got a lot of activity but calories are calories and I'm pretty sure I put in more than I put out. Worse, I'm not feeling very motivated to change anything. If anything I just want to run to the store for some ice cream! That's not good. I just gotta get back on track with the eating routine tomorrow. It still hasn't gotten back to what it should be since the surgery. But one thing I've learned on this journey is that I'm not always going to be super-motivated. The trick is to mitigate the damage during low points and wait for the fire to come back.


  1. Sounds like a great weekend!! And it looks like the weather was gorgeous too. How great.

    I just noticed that sign on your sidebar, your life/not an option, where did you find that - I love it....

  2. Wow, amazing! I think I would have been tired just from absorbing so many new sights and places! I know that grumpy feeling so well, and sometimes I just have to give into napping in order to mitigate it. It's especially hard when routines are turned upside down.

  3. Sounds and looks like a beautiful weekend, Michelle. Glad you're back on the bike.

  4. The scenary looks beautiful, what a great way to spend your long weekend.
    I'm sure your body is still adjusting to getting back into a routine. Keep at it and things will get easier again!

  5. Just seeing your pics makes me want to have a little camping/biking get away with my husband. Hmmm... Something to think about!

    I always love your pictures.

  6. Hi Michelle, Your week-end trip camping looked like fun , but hard work.. My body would give out too quickly... I need your inspiration to get myself back on track again..I had lost 56 pounds and kept it off for 2 years, but now I have gained back 20 pounds....I hate myself and feel bad.I know that I can do it again, but it is so hard to get back in control..any help from you that would kick my butt into action.. Hugs,


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