Today's pictures start here.
I slept better than I had thought that I would last night. It was kind of cold, and most of the other campers were not there for cycling but for the coho run; thus, they came in late to clean fish, and got up early to go catch more.
The Log Cabin Restaurant had just opened when I pulled up on my bike, so I got a short stack and bacon and was back on the road by 8:30 am. There was another long climb a couple of miles down Hwy 101, then a short descent, and then I turned off on the Newton B. Drury Parkway and climbed some more.
It was worth it.
The road was quiet and lovely, with huge redwood trees all around me. The grade up was pretty mild, and the way down was even more mild -- I think that I just coasted along at 15 mph for about five miles. As I rode happily past cathedrals (or "cateederdoodles," if you're Irish) of young and old redwoods, the few cars that passed did so with respect and calm, obviously enjoying the reverence of this beautiful place as much as I was.
I returned to Hwy 101 for a bit, passing thru Orick. This town has a little more going for it than Klamath, and I stopped at the grocery for a drink and some candy bars. On the way out, I noticed bicycles in front of the town diner, and saw some of the riders from yesterday. I considered stopping again, but they looked as if they had just sat down to eat and I needed to press on.
At this point, Hwy 101 rolls along the edges of the Humboldt Lagoons. It would have been very nice, but traffic was getting a little hectic. At one point, I came across a semi truck that had taken a curve too fast and rolled over. Police were directing traffic around it, and this gave me a series of decent openings going south. I hate to take advantage of anyone else's misery but ...
Past the lagoons I started another climb, Hwy 101 remaining four lanes all the way now. Most of the cars moved over, and since the shoulder was sometimes "iffy" I stayed in the right lane for most of the way up. Near the top, I passed a ghost bike dedicated to a cyclist who died this year. It makes you think ...
My next stop was Trinidad, after a long easy descent past Patrick's Point. Stopping at a cafe there, I got a sandwich and coffee, then used their wifi to upload pictures and yesterday's blog. There were two young men also hanging out there with two puppies, and they were trying to get somebody to help them fix the flat tire on their car. A couple of the locals lent a hand and got the tire repaired, but the guys seemed to be trying to also find somebody to let them couch surf there for an indeterminate length of time. I could understand the desire -- it was a lovely town -- but eavesdropping on their conversations when nobody else was around let me see that their motives and methods were kind of sleazy.
I went out via the harbor to see more of this pretty town, and on the way back to the route saw a couple of the cyclists who I had spotted in Orick. Turning around, we chatted and then headed out on Trinidad Scenic Road -- a lumpy, iffy lane that was quiet and had gorgeous views.
The riders -- Jude and Val from Iowa City -- were strong, and we cruised along this road and back to Hwy 101 briefly, then took a series of multi-use trails by McKinleyville and Arcata. Parts of the path were not paved and steep, making for a bit of a challenge, but eventually the route turned onto all-paved sections that joined with quiet roads and a great pedestrian bridge to get over the Mad River.
Jude and Val were also going to Eureka, but staying at the KOA campground before town. Thus, when I lost track of them on the road out of Arcata, I didn't worry too much -- I'll probably see them tomorrow, after all. Instead, I headed into downtown Eureka to check out the hotels and find a bike shop.
The shop I picked was Henderson Center Bicycles, which ended up being a good ways east of Hwy 101. The guys there were worth the trip, however, as they immediately put Sparkletini on a stand, lubed everything, and tweaked the brakes and a few other items. They admired the setup, of course, and we talked titanium, tires, and spoke-lacing patterns. I always love a good bike shop.
After a quick stop at the bakery next door, I headed to the nearby Quality Inn to do laundry and grab a fast-food dinner. Tomorrow, I'm probably going to get back to my real route, but with a little extra. If it all works out, don't expect a blog as I'm going to be spending the night in the middle of nowhere.