Thursday, September 30, 2010

September 29, 2010. Crescent City to Arcata, CA. 80 miles.

Dianne and I got a very late start this morning. We were on breakfast and cleanup duty, part of our last day of cooking.Yay! We are done! But this was not a good day to start out late. Highway 101 is called Redwood Highway in this area, for obvious reasons. After reading about them all my life I finally got to see the ancient giant redwoods. It is truly awe inspiring to ride among them.

We rode along the ocean for the first 20 miles, in and out of the redwoods and up and down some very impressive hills. I stopped around mile 8 of the ride when I heard a ticking sound, and found a large staple sticking out of my rear tire. I held my breath and pulled it out----and it did not go flat! Life is good!

I went ahead of Dianne on a very long climb, leaving her with Ross, our sweep for the day. She caught me on the downhill of course.

Ross pulled ahead of us at about mile 18. We stopped at the drive through tree outside Klamath. I'm not sure if this is the very same tree that was pictured in my 5th grade Social Studies book, but close enough. I remember reading about the giant redwoods and wishing I could see them some day.

I had a flat tire around mile 25, and Dianne caught up to me and stuck around to help me change it. Of course it was the same spot where the staple had been earlier. We decided then that we had better stick together the rest of the ride knowing we were the last ones out there.

We turned on to Newton B Drury Parkway at about mile 26, and I was speechless with wonder at the majesty of the redwoods. I actually had tears in my eyes as I rode through the trees. There was little traffic, so we were able to gawk as much as necessary. The photo below is for the grandkids: look at the little grandma on the great big tree!

While on the parkway we passed through Elk Prairie, and there were many signs warning us to keep our distance from the wild elks. We did not see elk in the park, but as soon as we left the park we did! How cool is that!!??

After the parkway we were back on highway 101, and it was more treacherous than before. There was little shoulder and much traffic. At one point I felt very threatened by a large truck and opted to go off in the gravel. Unfortunately it was very soft gravel and I went down, scraping my knee and hurting my pride. It was there that I took the photo below.

Dianne and I stopped in Orick for a sandwich and a much needed break. It was almost 3:00 and we had only traveled 40 miles! The waitress told us that the others were only about an hour ahead of us, and that was welcome news.

We got off the highway again at Patrick's Point Drive, which meandered up and down right on the coastline. There were sea lions barking on the rocks, and breathtaking views of the ocean, unobstructed by guard rails.

We went directly on to Trinidad Scenic Drive in Trinidad, without getting back on 101. There was a scenic turnout at the top, where there were painters painting the ocean views, and one clever man who painted a painter painting the ocean view!

The route after Trinidad Scenic Drive was very confusing... we were on a bike path, then off it, and back on several times. There were bike route detour signs and we stopped to ask directions a few times. It was getting near dark when I figured out where we were and where we had to go.... it involved getting back on the freeway (101 had been freeway for quite some time by then) and I was afraid to be on the freeway on a bike after dark. So we called and got a lift from the van into our camp.

After a very quick shower we met up with the rest of the group for a dinner out (thanks Ross for coming back for us). This was a wonderful and terrible day. It is the most spectacular ride I have ever done on my bike. But I could have done without the flat tire and fall in the gravel. Oh well, tomorrow is another day, and a rest day at that!


Joni said...

so glad you guys are having fun. Even though it's pretty rough at times. It's even rough driving in a car or on my harley on those roads let alone a bicycle! More power to you. Those redwoods are amazing! Well, enjoy the rest of your trip and peddle safely. Again it was nice meeting you in Eugene. Say hi to Dianne. greetings from Diannes cousin Joni

Derek said...

Gorgeous pictures! Enjoying the narrative as well! I'm trying hard not to turn green with envy :)
Stay safe!