98 km out of 1900km so far
I woke up at the bike shop’s backyard and realized that I had set my tent in a small BMX track. How cool that the guys at Revolution Cycles let us sleep there for nothing. Arcata has been such a welcoming town.
I spent some time at the near by supermarket/cafe to access the internet and buy some supplies, as there aren’t many services further south. Almost everyone was at the same place having their breakfast, talking about their plans. Once again we separated. Most of the people would just cycle to the next town, before they would go through a long section of back roads towards the Lost Coast. My plan for today was to continue on the main road and get into the Humboldt Redwood national park.
Right after Arcata, I went through some back roads to go around the lagoon, through Samoa and then Eureka. The nice flat road and a touch of tail wind was enough to get me going fast.
Eureka seemed like an interesting place. Not as laid back as Arcata, but it definitely had some character, with all these nice buildings. As I started my day relatively late and I had a long distance to cover, I didn’t stop for much. I only stopped to eat some bagels sandwiches I had packed with me earlier. My lunch spot was right by the water at Field Landing.
The majority of the ride was not that interesting, as I had to stick on 101 for the most part of it. At that area, 101 is a freeway, without many points of interest on the way. At least the generous shoulder space, the smooth tarmac and the tailwind, kept me going fast all the way through.
I finally got to the area I was looking forward to. I exited the 101 and joined the old highway, which runs through the forest. There is a good reason it’s called the Avenue of the Giants. The trees are just enormous and cycling under them was mind blowing. It was already 5pm, so the forest was rather dark and cycling through such a remote area by my self with barely any cars on the road, made the whole experience a little spooky, but definitely fun. The plan is to take a day off tomorrow and explore the forest.
On the Avenue, I went through some tiny little towns, with just about a few hundreds residents each. All of them looked rather old and they had managed to maintain their original look. Just 10 kilometers before the campground, there were indications about road work. I risked it and luckily in the end I did manage to push my bike over the other side of the excavator, so I avoided the 5 extra kilometers for the detour.
It just got completely dark as I arrived at the campground. I set my tent and then I had my dinner together with a new group of cyclists. I had already seen a few of them the day before, but we had never talked. It’s very interesting how I left one big group of cyclists this morning, just to meet another one on the same day.