Day 19: Harris Beach – Klamath
Distance: 58.98 miles.
Average Speed: 10.1 mph.
This morning started early, when the Park Ranger came to evict me from my tent. I’d filled in the campsite self-registration form with Hiker / Biker instead of the number of the pitch – as I’d been instructed to do at another campsite – so the Ranger didn’t think I’d paid. Luckily, Leah who had the pitch next to mine was up and able to fight my corner, I had paid the princely $5 fee.
Leah was heading into Brookings for breakfast so we pedalled in together, the coast shrouded in pre-Californian fog. There we met another cycle tourer, Kyle from Victoria, Vancouver Island. Kyle had arrived late at the campsite the previous night, as he’s pushing 80 mile days from Victoria to San Francisco. The three of us had a leisurely breakfast, basking in the early morning sun.
Kyle was pressing on, so he got back on the road, but Leah and I each only had vague aims for the day, so we cycled, more or less, together for the rest of the day. She’s a video editor, originally from Toronto, but living in Los Angeles, who hopes to spend a few days in the Redwoods National Park before heading on to San Francisco to start a charity ride to the Mexican border at the beginning of June.
The major notable feature of the day’s ride came shortly out of Brookings, when we encountered the State Border of California, it felt like a huge landmark and almost unthinkable a few weeks ago. My total mileage to the Californian border is 911 miles.
Shortly after the Border, we left Route 101 and followed Oceanview Drive over pleasant rolling hills and farmland for an enjoyable 20 miles. The agricultural land was particularly striking as it had been absent for much of the journey so far.
Heading into Crescent City, we met the couple from Rhode Island again, and rode along stunning Pebble Beach Drive, before they headed off to find accommodation for the night.
We lunched at a Hawaiian BBQ where I discovered that 12 ounces of Orange and Pineapple Chicken is definitely enough food for a hungry cycle tourist.
Out of Crescent City came the biggest climb of the coast so far, up and over 400m, but we had entered Redwoods National Park and I thoroughly enjoyed the peace and solitude of riding with these sleeping giants all around.
Having descended to Klamath, after almost 60 miles, and with another big climb to come next on the route, it seemed as good a place to stop as any, and we were recommended a nice campsite beside the Klamath River.
Tomorrow, I’m looking forward to continuing through the Redwoods National Park!