- Date: Thursday, Friday, Saturday (rest day). May 16, 17, and 18.
- Distance: around 130 km.
- Route: Mostly Highway 101, some beautiful secondary roads (such as old highway 101 through redwoods south of Klammoth).
- Roads: low traffic, none to wide shoulders, parts of roads collapsed (these are a maintenance headache), good cycling.
Epic ride through redwoods
Climbed up the steep Crescent City hills in the rain through our first redwoods. Redwood trees are special: they are the tallest in the world (up to 115 meter) and get really old (up to 2000 years). You can’t help being in awe of these majestic giants.
On the way to the next campground we visited a museum with the greatest collection of native American artifacts. The utilities, clothing, baskets, and all were beautiful. We loved all the details, the patterns, and colors used. The museum is located in the shop of the “trees of mystery”, and entrance is free. Be sure not to miss it when you’re around.We also went for a little tourist attraction: cycling through a living redwood tree. Unlike the many other drive through options here (for fast food, coffee, groceries, etc), the hole in the tree was actually not created by people, but by a fire (and then polished by men).
At Elk Prairie campground we enjoyed seeing some Elk grazing, but just shortly – we were soaking wet and quickly got a hot shower, some dry clothes on, and got warm in our sleeping bags.
Friday it was finally dry again. Took on our last remaining dry clothes. Cycled through redwoods again, then onto 101 with cars speeding by, which was not so nice. Secondary roads and the Hammond trail into Arcata (on the way to Eureka) were wonderful though.
Arcata and Revolution Bicycles
In the bicycle friendly city of Arcata we went to Revolution Bicycles bike shop to get my rear hydrolic rim brake bleeded. They didn’t have the exact tools (disc brakes are the standard here), but they would try to figure something out.
While my brake was getting fixed we ate delicious frozen yogurt next door and had a chat with a former professional football player (Rob Harrison from the Oakland Raiders), who was helping out a friend to run the place.
When we got back to the shop the brake was fixed! There was an air bubble in the hydraulic fluid. Now it’s out, and it works better than ever before. Thanks guys!It was getting cozy in the shop as another cyclist and Bob (former mayor, plumber and beer brewer) just came in. He pushed a beer into our hands, that we had to drink before going to our next warmshowers host – Dick LaForge.
While we were cycling fast to our host, a girl named Isabel tried to catch up with us and said “Sorry! I see you’re cyclists, and I know it’s hard to finding a camping spot here, so you can stay at my place!” So kind of her! We politely declined and explained that we were actually on our way to a host already. How much better can it get?
We made it to Chateau LaForge (the name of our host’s place) just before our host Dick had to leave for his performance in a classical concert. There was a barn and two houses, which were built by Dick himself. He wasn’t a carpenter or architect by trade. He learned everything by reading books, and visiting places where they were building houses. The whole place had great character, located in a redwood forest, with loads of green and flowers. Besides building houses, Dick holds a degree in physics and chemistry, keeps bees for honey, brews his own beers and ciders, plays the trombone and French horn, and teaches at the University. I admire the diversity of his skills and interests.
Besides Dick, we introduced ourselves to Sebas, Pascal, and their 3 kids, who just finished a bike tour from Eureka to San Francisco and were also being hosted by Dick. It was great talking to them and we think the kids were the loveliest we’ve ever seen.
Rain was predicted and the traffic is usually busier on Saturdays, so it was going to be one of our rest days.
Thanks to Dick and his wife’s passion for music, there was an acoustic piano in the house! I enjoyed playing it for about 2 hours, and Katrina sang some songs along.
Later, two French guys, called Max and Arnaut, arrived. We exchanged stories and tips for the route – we are cycling south and they are cycling north.
In the evening we went together to Dick’s concert (he played the trombone well) and enjoyed one of Dick’s own brewed beers back home.