I honestly can’t remember anything from this morning until we arrived in Arcata at about 9am this morning. The 22 miles before that are completely lost. But Sheena and I both slept extremely well, so we just needed those miles to shake off the tiredness!
We made a pit stop in Arcata, a super cute little town. We ran into Jon again, an older gentleman who owns a touring business we met yesterday in the state park. He saw us riding and stopped by to say hello again and to offer us free tours when we get into San Francisco. Really nice guy!
After Arcata, the tail winds picked up and we basically flew through a whopping 38 miles. We were advised by everyone we encountered to go through the town of Eureka as quickly as possible. We did (well, we did stop to get some donuts. I mean, when it comes to life or death situations, you need a belly full of donuts, right?!) and understood why. The word of the trip is “transients” – that’s how locals refer to homeless. It’s no secret that this area of the country has a widespread meth issue, and we have encountered a lot of towns suffering from the aftermath, including unpredictable individuals roaming around (i.e. the knife wielding man in Orick). We just keep our heads down and keep pedaling so as to not draw too much attention to ourselves – a difficult task considering how massive our panniers are.
We did some shopping and ate lunch in Rio Dell. We only had 5 more miles left to our original destination, but because we were feeling good, we decided to push on to take advantage of the gorgeous day and tailwinds. But not without detours! We encountered a bridge under construction. In order to not backtrack and pass a group of people who had previously been yelling obscenities at us just before the bridge, we decided to push our bikes across and see what happens. Success!
We soon found ourselves back in the redwoods – the Avenue of Giants in fact! I finally can check off riding through the redwoods from my list. Riding along them really captures the unspoken beauty of the trees and captures the magnitude of how incredibly large they are. You can’t get that experience through a car ride! Although those Winnebago RVs are trying really hard to rival the tree’s powerful stature. Hopefully there are less of them tomorrow… seeing them careening down such a narrow road is kinda harrowing.
We’re staying in an RV park tonight, Redcrest Resort. It’s a nice enough place and I got my first shower in a while (gotta practice for the JMT!) so it’s okay in my book! Tomorrow we’re tackling the first part of the highest climb of the trip (we’re splitting it up between two days) so we gotta get some good sleep tonight!