After packing up and insuring we followed our Warm Showers host’s checklist for checkout, we got on the road around 9:15 am. Fog had rolled in over the ocean shore in Crescent City. It was relatively easy ride out of town the first 2.5 miles, but then we started a more than 1,000 foot climb through the Redwoods National and State Park. My rule of thumb is if I climb 100 feet in one mile, I will know it and feel it. In the next 2 miles, we climbed 400 feet. In another 6 miles we got 800 feet more. You can see the whole profile by looking at the analysis section on Strava here.
The fog came and went as we climbed through the woods. The one thing that was consistent was it was thickest near the breaks in the trees overlooking the ocean. Of course this is where the viewpoints are! Typically, there are 2 lanes for the uphill traffic and one for the down. The shoulder can get narrow at times. It is especially exciting when you get a combination of narrow shoulder, next to a guard rail, with side by side vehicles passing you in fog. It was right after I passed a “Share the road with Bicycles” sign, that I had 1 of 2 close encounters with a large truck. I don’t blame the truck. When I checked my rearview mirror, I only saw the truck starting to give me room by moving to his left. Unfortunately some bozo in his car chose that moment to pass him. So now all 3 of us are squeezed together and I have nowhere to go. It does give a nice backdraft to help climb the hill.
It is hard to capture how big the Redwood trees are. Hidalgo is almost 6 feet from wheel tip to wheel tip. Some were easily 18 to 25 feet in diameter. Defintely too big for any room in my house.
When we finished our first climb, we were stopped by road construction to repair damage from landslides. The roughest section was only 1/4 mile long and we were first in line to go through. When we made it to the other side, we waited for our traffic to go by downhill. When they let the uphill traffic go through the other way, we had the road to ourselves for a period while we flew downhill to the water breaking on the shore.
We were 20 miles and 1300 feet of climbing when we got Klamath. Ron briefly revisited childhood memories with Paul Bunyan at the Trees Of Mystery. We were hungry again and stopped at the Log Cabin Diner for a 2nd breakfast of oatmeal. Service dogs in training greeted us as we left. We couldn’t resist making a donation.
The famous hollowed tree where could drive your car through was only .25 miles away, so we paid our $1 admission to the nice lady that owned the property. It was less a challenge to get a bike through the passage.
Miles down the road we broke off 101 for a beautiful ride through a different section of the Redwood Forrest.
Before we left the Forrest, we came to a line of cars stopped in front of a park ranger’s truck. When we got to the front of the line we got a better look at the reason for the backup. Everyone was careful as 10’s of elk crossed at their own slow pace.
We finally returned to our friend Highway 101. Along a short climb we caught sight of a few more.
The audio for this video can’t adequately capture the sound of sea lions or seals barking and calling from the rocky islands below along Patrick Point Road.
It was our latest time of arrival at our hotel, when we rolled close to 6 PM. Then we had to make a 5 mile round trip to get dinner. There was a 30 minute wait for indoor seating, as we found some shelter from some light rain outside. By the time we finally made it back to the hotel in the dark, with all our brightest lights flashing, it was 9 pm. It was only then that we finally got to shower. We had skipped laundry the last 2 days because we had no way to dry our clothes after sink/tub washing. Here, we had 2 hair dryers and we spent the next 2 hours trying to get socks, underwear, jerseys and bike shorts dry. If this blog is short on story, I hope the pictures say enough.
I must admit it is nice to have someone along who understands that no matter what happens, it’s all part of the adventure, so just enjoy it.
The Not So Lone Rider