I didn’t enter CA as expected on the 16th. My cough began getting the better of me and it seemed that a day of rest might be prudent. I hung around the beautiful campsite at Harris Beach, ate good food from Fred Myers, and enjoyed good company at the campground. There was a street performer from New Orleans who is shooting footage of the coast, as he cycles down it, and composes a CD. There is the guy who went to East Carolina and basically only works to from time to time, when necessary, to finance the “next” bike tour, or epic hike. I left Brookings on 9/17.
The 17th was a cool day. I got to have a Jack in the Box taco for the first time in over 30 years. They were a staple after-school snack for my “little” brother and I when we were in high school. They aren’t as good as I remember. Then I got into Crescent City, CA and hit the dreaded hills. There was a 1200 foot climb on a road with no shoulder, and constant traffic of logging trucks, RV’s and other LARGE vehicles. It’s a dangerous situation, and you have to be on the lookout both in front and behind you constantly, definitely not getting on a stretch of road with a major drop-off, or a guard rail as a rental RV, or a wide load, or a drifting driver approach. It’s nerve racking. There are 3 major peaks to those hills just past Crescent City. Fortunately, the first one is the toughest. Once you conquer that one, you feel triumphant, and like you know how to manage the others. So, after the climbs, I looked for a place to bed down.
River Side RV park was the most likely place for me. It was the cleanest looking place I’d seen in a while. The state parks that we anticipated would be open, closed on Labor Day due to budget cuts!
River Side was a little steep for my budget, which was designed for the $5.00day hiker/biker sites in state parks. I paid $20. BUT I got to use the kitchen and microwave in the Rec. hall, and free laundry and free hot showers! Plus, it was right on the river, with picnic tables and adirondack chairs to sit and watch the salmon fishermen come and go, the pelicans steal fish from the seagulls, and the seals and sea lions play in the Klamath River. It was a worthwhile stay. As I was doing my wash, I met very sweet lady, and she wound up bringing me hot chocolate and banana bread to enjoy, so I wouldn’t have to head down the road for a cup of coffee. She was staying in an RV there at the campground, and her RV was absolutely beautiful inside! While she and I were talking the local fish counter to determine how many game fish had been caught. We started talking, and he gave me much info on local bike trails and a great campground down the road. I cycled on about noon. Both days were filled with travels through the redwood forests, which are pretty HUGE and amazing. True to it’s name, Elk Prairie is loaded with elk. As was much of my day on the 18th. The evening of the 18th, I stopped at Patrick’s Point, a beautiful spot, and some friends from earlier in the tour were staying there also. You remember Nora, who just had the birthday? It was that fun foursome. Good to have company in the campsite;0)
Today, we awakened at Patricks Point, cycled to Eureka. We cycled a lot of it on the Hammond trail bike path, which I LOVED, then came into the “bottoms” and across the Mad River;0) into Old Town. Unfortunately, I separated from my “fun foursome” friends briefly which led to a cool encounter. I met another solo female touring cyclist. She is only solo for a few days, but that works. Her regular companion was heading out to the lost coast and turns out she (the regular companion) and I had e-mailed each other a little prior to me leaving for this trip….. potential companion type of e-mails, but we decided to just see if we met each other along the way.
Anyway, I’m at a warm showers host house with the gal I met. We are going to cycle together tomorrow.
Our hosts are wonderful. They have an awesome garden, fruit trees, honey bees, and big, kind hearts. It’s been such a wonderful day and evening. My “fun foursome” has moved on down the road another 20 miles, so, I fear I may not see them again, but hope that’s not the case.