Arcata, CA → Myers Flat, CA
Net Elevation gain: about 143 ft. (177 ft. to about 320 ft.)
Average Speed: 12.0 mph
Top Speed: 42.4 mph
Time spent biking: 4 hours 47 minutes
Total time for the day's travels: 8 hours 40 minutes
Miles biked today: 57.4
Total for trip: 4145.6 miles
It was a novelty to cook breakfast on a real stove this morning. Jenny made a scrumptious omelet with goat cheese sprinkled on top, while Brett put the laundry in to wash and did some writing. We hung out with Rebecca for the morning, and were off to a somewhat early start, by 10:00.
Only a few miles down the road we stopped to buy some food at the Wildberries marketplace before leaving town. Wildberries is one of those amazingly overwhelming, huge, local health food stores, where you just want to buy everything because it looks so delicious.
After walking around the store in a sort of daze, we decided to pick out some foods to eat right away from the prepared section, so that we wouldn't be hungry and would be able to then make better decisions about what to get for future meals. Our food choices after we had eaten ended up being: sausage, olive bread, hummus, carrots, beans, a peach, a large hunk of cheese, smoked salmon, salami, avocado, chocolate trail mix, and coconut dates.
By the time we left Arcata it was nearing noon. We had some good riding along 101, with the wind at our backs and food in our bellies. The scenery was mostly blah highway, but we had some prettier riding when the sun came out and we passed the larger city of Eureka.
We took a break by a marina in the outskirts of the city so that Brett could make a few phone calls for work. Jenny spent that time watching the pelicans. The little marina had a ramp that went out over the water and it was a perfect place to stand and watch the boats and the wildlife. Besides the pelicans and omnipresent seagulls, we also saw two seals! Jenny felt that she could have stayed there all day watching, particularly for the pelicans.
Jenny could have stayed here all day watching these birds!
For lunch we stopped in the small town of Scotia, where we found a picnic table and snacked on food we already had, even though there was a store right there.
By mid afternoon, we made it to the Avenue of the Giants! This stretch of our trip was truly amazing. Nothing compares to slowly biking along the quiet roads that weave into the forest and around these humongous trees. Although it runs basically parallel to Highway 101, the Avenue of the Giants sees far less traffic, and certainly lower speeds. Ideal conditions for viewing the redwoods while biking.
Not long after starting along the Avenue of the Giants, we were passed by an interesting cyclist. He was in all the garb of a fancy biker out for a day ride, but he had a semi-large backpack on. When we talked with him later in the day, we learned that he was a touring cyclist, too, but doing things completely differently. Al got this (crazy, but fascinating) idea in his head to try to make it from Seattle to San Diego in less than two weeks. He is averaging about 130 miles per day. Yes, averaging. He is staying in cabins and motels and his wife is helping to arrange things from back home. He seemed really nice and down-to-earth, but boy is that a different way to do things!
A pleasant surprise along the road this afternoon was a farm stand. We pulled over and bought a few delicious tomatoes, some green beans, and a cucumber. The owner was really friendly, and after chatting for a while about her organic produce and our trip, she gave us a free tomato for the road! We love fresh food, and it always feels good to buy it right from the farmers.
Tonight we got to camp right beneath the redwoods! Burlington Campground in Humboldt State Park is a beautiful spot. There were a few other cyclists at the campground as well, but we had our own site because the one that the others were sharing was full. We cooked an incredible multi-course dinner, starting with bacon, which we ate as soon as it was cooked, then soup, made with fresh sausage, beans, potatoes and carrots. For dessert we had coconut covered dates and a peach. This meal made us feel as though we were eating like kings!