Day 21: Clam Beach County Park – Redcrest
Distance: 68.82 miles.
Average Speed: 9.3 mph.
Today was a day to get back on track. John left early, cycling into McKinleyville for breakfast, before getting a lift further along the route, as he was short on time. Leah and I were hoping to make it to Burlington Campground in the Avenue of the Giants. Conflicting figures for the day put the total at at least 70 miles.
We cycled along cycle paths and back roads, skirting passed McKinleyville, to Arcata, a pretty little town with a nice central square. There we stopped for brunch at a cafe on the square.
Heading into Eureka we hit some residential streets and skirted the centre and the marina before passing out the other side. Soon we were back on pleasant farm and agricultural land, before encountering a closed road near Loleta.
Sneaking passed, we continued to the amazing little town of Ferndale, stunning wooden buildings with painted signs, saloons and all.
From Ferndale, we set off on Grizzly Bluff Road. For seven miles the road was dead flat and we were aided by a tailwind, and then the road went straight over several very steep climbs. I worried we might not recover for the rest of the ride, but Leah was insistent, we’d be continuing, as long as there was light!
Returning to the highway at Rio Dell, the climbing continued, and eventually we left the 101 at Pepperwood, entering the Avenue of the Giants. The sun’s final rays were high in the trees and the road was empty, it was a perfect time to be passing.
A sign showed 10 miles to go, and it was now quarter to 9, and getting dark fast, so we were delighted to chance upon an RV park in the trees. It was expensive, but almost empty, and we didn’t really have a choice, so we quickly set up the tents and would wait until morning to see what the charge would be.
Tomorrow, Leah and I will part ways as she doesn’t need to reach San Francisco, for her charity ride, for 9 or 10 days at the earliest. I’m still roughly a day down on schedule, after the Orcas Island fiasco, but keen to make up the distance.