The following was originally published August 4, 2008 at
"Beep-boop-bop-beep," sings Noah from the back of the tandem, calling Dana on his imaginary cell phone.

"Ema's All-Natural Metropolis Market," answers Dana from the back of her tandem bike.

"What's your definition of natural?" questions Noah.

"Local and organic," she responds.

So maybe our living local while traveling is getting noticed. We got Misty Meadows Wild Blackberry Jam outside Bandon (the huge sign on the road said JAM in three-foot-tall letters) to put on our Bandon Bakery sunflower bread. Found Point Arena lemon cuccumbers at an organic market and truly French pastries down the street (at Frankie's Bakery and Ephemera). In Mendecino we ate homemade ice cream (Noah got root beer float and it really did fizz a little in your mouth).

We notice the regional changes. We were getting chocolate milk made by the Humboldt creamery (which we actually rode by, up and over almost, as it was next to a big bridge) and now it is Clover creamery on the milk and yogurt. Some farms even have signs out front stating which creamery their milk goes to. We visited the Loleta cheese factory (unlimited samples, we bought a garden pepper jack), and have stopped at farm stands (one we could smell the strawberries even before we stopped).

Cycling 4 hours a day makes us hungry, so we're sampling local fare and enjoying that northern California has been more cows than cars. (Outside of the Redwoods, I mean.) Besides, we're stretching our bodies to the smell of licorice - wild fennel seems to grow everywhere along the roadside here - so that reminds us to eat well too.