Orick, CA → Acata, CA
Net Elevation gain: -10 ft. (187 ft. to 177 ft.)
Average Speed: 9.0 mph
Top Speed: 36.8 mph
Time spent biking: 3 hours 35 minutes
Total time for the day's travels: 6 hours 5 minutes
Miles biked today: 32.3
Total for trip: 4088.2 miles
After a restless night, we got off to a late start. Jenny took a shower while Brett worked on packing up. We ate some blackberries from the patch next to our campsite. We fed a few to the friendly horses on the other side of the fence. Turns out, they love blackberries like we do!
These horses loved blackberries. There were more berries on our side of the fence, probably because they had already eaten the ones on their side!
Even with our slow start, today was far better than yesterday. We were able to work together nicely, and after some snacking from our food supply and returning the key to the bathrooms at the office, we set out.
Most days we have a decent idea where we might camp for the night by estimating about fifty miles ahead, but we rarely know for sure. But when you are headed to a friend's house, it's different. It's just a matter of what time you'll get there! We knew we'd stay the night with our friend Rebecca, who we know through the UMass Juggling Club, at her apartment in Arcata.
Today wasn't a sunny day. It was bright and dry when we struck out, heading almost due south. The coast was a bit foggy, but the roads weren't, and we took our time pedaling along, knowing we didn't have to push too hard to get to our destination at a reasonable time. We passed by the little town of Trinidad, and were in the woods for a stretch, then after that on really nice roads with little traffic. We noticed that there seemed to be a lot of homes turned into places to rent a room, stay in a motel, or bed and breakfast.
When the woods opened up, we were right back on the coastline, along a really pretty bike path. We didn't go down to the water, but it was beautiful and so peaceful to gaze out over the waves and the sand. Today we saw the ocean meet the land at both expansive sandy beaches and rocky cliffs and crags.
The sign describes how sea levels have changed with respect to the land over time. It was an excellent location to use as an example and fascinating to think about.
As we rode into the outskirts of McKinleyville, we were getting really hungry for a real meal. All that was left at the corner store that we came upon was one pre-made wrap that didn't look very appealing. We asked about how far into town we'd have to go to get to a restaurant or some other food store, and were told it wasn't far. We did have to climb a bit of a hill to get up to the center of town, but we were hungry enough that we thought it would be worth it.
When we got to the main stretch of stores and restaurants, we chose a pizza shop, and we made a GREAT choice! The pizza was so good that Brett even went back to order seconds.
When we got to the main stretch of stores and restaurants, we chose a pizza shop, and we made a GREAT choice! The pizza was so good that Brett even went back to order seconds. While finishing up our meal, we checked the map on line for the best way to get to Rebecca's house from where we were. Since we had deviated from the Adventure Cycling Association route, it ended up looking more efficient to go directly south from where we were, instead of heading back down to the ocean first. We had one small bridge crossing on a busier stretch of highway, but it turned out not to be as bad as it looked on the map.
Jenny LOVES these! She pointed them out anytime we passed some on the side of the road. Sometimes it was just one, and sometimes there are whole patches!
The plants reminded us that we really were in California today. We biked passed palm trees, huge cactus plants, and many tropical flowering trees, some of which Jenny recognized from Florida, and some new to us both.
It took us a few tries to find our friend Rebecca's apartment, but once we did, we were greeted with hugs and a comfortable place to rest for the night. We hadn't seen Rebecca in years and it was fun to catch up. Her roommate Kayce was also fun to meet and chat with. Kayce showed us one of her favorite books, which Brett ended up reading the start of out loud to everyone after dinner. There was one especially funny bit when Rebecca was acting out all the crazy lifeforms Brett was reading about.
We didn't bike a ton of miles today, and the sky was overcast, but it felt so good to be in better moods and to be taken in by friends at the end of the day. We didn't have to set up the tent. Rebecca made us salad! We got to sleep on a comfortable futon mattress. We're in California, and we got here by bicycle! Life is good.