Thursday, October 7, 2010

October 1, 2010. Arcata to Stafford, CA. 48 miles.

This was meant to be a very short day--just 27 miles from Arcata to the Humboldt County Fairgrounds in Ferndale. Alas, the best intentions sometimes go awry...

Since it was meant to be so short we decided to take it easy. Dianne and I had not gone into Eureka yesterday, so we took a quick tour of the Historic District. We saw mansions built by lumber barons in the 1800s, and murals on many of the walls in the Cultural District.
After riding through those areas we ended up on a gravel bike path, which took us back to highway 101. Dianne and Jenny and I were riding together by then--see Dianne below in her fancy reflective vest.

Shortly after getting back on the freeway we came upon Pat, sitting helplessly at the side of the road with a flat tire and the wrong air pump (or so he thought). We each did our part to get him back on the road.

The four of us then continued on the route--here is a direct quote from the Adventure Cycling map: "Turn right onto Hookton Road, Cross US 101 and
turn left on Eel River Rd. So we did just that (see below). After we CARRIED our bikes across the barriers and CROSSED US 101 we saw that there may have been an easier way. Oh well.

We stopped at the Loleta Bakery and had a wonderful break! The coffee was super, the carrot cake bread pudding was divine, and Dianne's chicken pot pie was out of this world. How can a town of 800 people support such a fantastic establishment? And it was busy the whole time we were there!

Pat left us to go to a nearby off-route bike shop and Jenny, Dianne and I continued on the route. On State Route 211 we saw these very large, very realistic cutout billboards painted by a local artist. We all thought they were very cool and had some fun with the second one (man handling hay bale).

When we got to the fairgrounds, high fiving each other about the ease of the day and the fun we had not being in a rush, we found a note from Ross taped to an ACA triangle. Uh-oh. Seems the fairgrounds camping facilities were not up to ACA standards and he went on ahead and found us another place to camp--20 miles up the road!
So we ate lunch. Poppa's place in Ferndale was in a building from the 1800s, and the original bar is still in place. The food and ice cold drinks were great, and thus fortified we contiuned on our way after Jenny called Pat at the bike shop to warn him of the route change, thus saving him an extra 30 miles of riding.

We passed a couple of very cool terraced cemeteries on the way through Ferndale. We did not find out why they were built that way--Dianne thought perhaps because the hillside was not grazable land for livestock? There were indeed a lot of cattle and sheep ranches there.

Our new camping spot was Stafford RV Park, a church camp nestled in the redwoods. I pitched my tent under the redwoods for this night. What a great day!

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