Last night, I stayed in another no frills motel. I was on the second floor, so the panniers and Hidalgo had to go up and down the stairs in 2 trips. Together, they are just too heavy and unwieldy. The forecast predicted rain starting around 4 PM. In spite of my best efforts, I wasn’t on the road until 8 AM. I was up late again last night fighting technology. The user interface for the Garmin GPS has different capabilities and a slightly different layout between the phone app, the phone browser, the tablet app, and the tablet browser. Dragging a marker along a route using a rubber stylus is much tougher on the tablet, than on my home desktop computer with a mouse. After all that work to get a route defined, the GPS was having difficulty being recognized via the USB port on the tablet. That meant that I couldn’t load the route into the GPS to carry with me on the bike. It worked fine these other nights, but because I was up late, it decided to mess with me. In spite of all these efforts, I missed a turn early in the route at a 5 way intersection and lost 5 minutes crossing, walking as a pedestrian waiting for the lights to change. It may not sound like much but that equates to a whole mile I could have been down the road. When I think about how I spent eight miles in the rain in each of the past 2 days, a mile is a huge difference. You can see today’s ride summary here.
Once I got my bearings, it was a cool, breezy, sunny ride out of Eureka. I was on a paved bike path that went along the harbor for a few miles before meeting up with my good friend, Highway 101. Today’s route was originally based on another biker’s book and experiences. He had camped his way down the coast. I found that his path was more indirect than some things I found as I travelled the coast. Though I had spent time making my route more direct than his, even Google had recommended several detours off of my reliable Highway 101. As the ride went on, I decided to skip some of the detours (and a particular 700 foot climb) to stay on 101. I will say that one of the detours let me have a good second breakfast and talk with Becky about modifications to the next days ride.
For this stretch, Highway 101 was more like an interstate. The shoulder was 6 to 10 feet wide, and the grades were less severe than the surrounding roads. Along the way, I saw other bikers. Nearly all were more loaded with gear than me. As I came upon a pair of young girls, I asked them where they were headed tonight. One replied, “we’re not sure, we’re still figuring it out”. Based on my latest call for Becky’s help in route and lodging planning, I understood. It did remind me of the start to “Then Came Bronson (see the about me page)”. Bronson finished the question of where are you going with “wherever I end up, I guess”. And the other man says ” I wish I were you “. Since the girls were loaded with a lot of camping gear and facing the possibility of rain, I thought, ” I’m glad I’m NOT you!”
The highlight of today, and my destination for the night, was the Avenue Of The Giants, which goes through groves of giant redwood trees. As I left Highway 101, and entered the forest, I was overwhelmed by their size, density of trees, and the overpowering scent of Christmas trees. Pictures cannot do it justice, but I took some anyway. The drivers were very courteous to me and the other bikers I saw. Good thing, because there was no shoulder to speak of. There wasn’t much traffic on this week day and the town’s have populations under 300. One claimed 50 people!
With such small towns, the accommodations are ” historic”. My room is old, but fine. It just doesn’t have a microwave or refrigerator. The restaurant only opens on weekends (today is Tuesday). The mini mart next door offered some frozen chicken salad sandwiches and milk. I had bought beer, bananas, and a frozen breakfast sandwich 3 miles earlier. I forgot this place didn’t have the necessary appliances. The beer went well with the sandwiches, since I thawed them at the minimart’s microwave. I’ll make due. It is now raining lightly, my bed will be warm and dry and at least I’M NOT CAMPING!
The Lone Rider