August 7, 2022 on

Day 49 – Back to CA

Today started with the bad news that Luke was going to take a rest day cuz his knee was hurting him, but he would ride with us to California border and get photos. We did that and said some sad goodbyes. I gave Luke some of the biofreeze that Lisa O’Hara had given me for the trip, and the four of us remaining continued on the trip to the Redwoods.

The first 20 mi were almost flat, and I rode with John and Harald and we stopped in Crescent City for some supplies and a new air mattress for John. Harald and I were also looking for folding camp chairs as we are envious of the other’s setups, but two stores we tried didn’t have anything light enough, and there are no REIs around here, so that will have to wait.

After Crescent City we started our first climb and that was the last I saw of Harald and John until the camp because they are much younger and much faster than I am, especially in climbing. The climb was pretty grueling: 7% for almost 5 mi, but it was also the start of the redwood forests and I took a shot of Papa Hobo tree hugging. I made it up and was rewarded shortly after reaching the top by a bit of heaven on Earth. The ocean was right next to the road about 1500 ft straight down, and there was a cloud bank hanging over the ocean but the mountaintop and trees were still above the cloud. Out of adjectives for that one.
It was a bit warmer today in the mid-60s, and climbing that hill I had shed everything but my first layer tee. Starting the descent into the cloud was bone chilling, so I stopped and put my jersey and arm warmers back on. That was enough to get me back to sea level and another 10 mi or so of flat, before the next big climb.

The second climb of the day was shorter at 4 mi but much steeper and more consistently steeper. I was now deep into the redwoods and they were huge trees everywhere. This climb seemed as hard as the first one, but the descent was very different – 9 miles downhill to the campground. At the campground, I got set up and heard Hendrika’s story of following the adventure cycling maps, which were wrong and getting lost and being told she had to repeat the climb back up to get where she needed to be. But the woman who was telling her that was a road angel and she offered to take her and the bike back to the correct road in her pickup.
We started gathering kindling for the fire, and chipped in for some firewood as it was scarce in this area. We were eating our dinners at our various campsites when we heard John cry out in glee. It was Luke. His rest day didn’t turn out quite as he expected, and he was alone in the campground for the day, called his brother in England, and he said get on the road mate and find your friends. So he left at 2:00 and got into the campground just around dusk. Great surprise! That biofreeze is good stuff!

I’m writing this Sunday morning standing in the sun as this is finally a campground where the sun reaches us in the morning. Hopefully it will dry out the tent as everything is wet. It’s another short day though so no rush to get to the next site.

1 Comment

  1. Sarah Rito

    The “Big Tree” signs!!
    Hah. I love them.

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