We started the day just as we ended yesterday – riding amongst the redwoods. And we had a pretty early wake up call… between the someone doing home repairs until 12am, roosters cock-a-doodle-dooing at 3am and dogs barking all throughout the night, we did not get a very good night’s sleep.
But the first 25 miles made up for that, because we got to ride the rest of the length of The Avenue of Giants. We basically had the entire road to ourselves, which was perfect because the trees really do command respect and silent reverence. We stopped for coffee in Weott and left right as the sun began to shine and the heat started to encroach.
We got in a few good miles before stopping at a roadside tourist trap, something having to do with Bigfoot. We were just about to get off our bikes when the owner started to yell at us to move and get out of the way. He clearly didn’t give us any time to walk our bikes off the parking area, so we didn’t give him any of our business, hmph! Sheena affectionately nicknamed him Hillbilly Joe, mainly because she was not thrilled with his customer service skills and, well, the nickname speaks for itself.
We parked ourselves out of the way in the shade and were thoroughly entertained by the chaos that ensued by tourists stopping trying to park right off the busy freeway. While watching the spectacular show (we could’ve used some popcorn), a man in a hummer asked us a few questions about our trip. He offered us water, banana bread (yum!), and a great joke:
Why can’t a bike stand without training wheels? Because it is “too tired” – HA!
We trudged on in the heat, and boy was it hot. Because we’re pretty far East of the coast, the temperature is a lot hotter than it would be further west. The sun was relentless but we took it in stride. We found the ever rare shadey spots and sought refuge under them for short rests. Much like how we crossed the Snake River endlessly in Idaho, We also crossed the South Eel River about a thousand times, each bridge bearing a “So and So Memorial Bridge”. Unsure if the person the bridge was Memorializing was killed on the highway (there was one bicyclist memorial bridge) or what, but to quote Sheena, “well that’s reassuring”.
We shockingly made it to Leggett (well, 2 miles north of Leggett) in pretty record time. We were not expecting to get in until 5pm or so with the heat, hills, and breaks. But lo and behold we rolled into Standish-Hickey State Park at 2:30pm! The winds really did help. Across the street from the park is a restaurant with outdoor seating and live music. We sat ourselves down and enjoyed some beer, burgers, and ice cream. We met a new cyclist couple as well! He is from Norway and she is from Spain. We talked with them until around 5 when we decided it was time to check into the campground. We met back up with the Canadian we met in Patrick’s Point and talked with him until well past our bedtime.
In preparation for a lengthy hill tomorrow, Sheena is finally getting rid of a fuel can she’s been carrying this entire trip. In Vancouver, the only fuel we could find was a 2 gallon can. We only used about 1/2 of it so, not wanting to waste it, she’s been carrying it. Not anymore! She’s keeping it at the hiker/biker site here so others can refill their fuel containers. I’m going to miss her carrying it – I always know when she’s near because the fuel can makes so much noise whenever she rides over even the smallest of bumps. If she were to have a trail name, it would definitely be the Tin Man for obvious reasons, as well as she doesn’t have a heart — kidding!
All in all, it was a much easier ride than we were anticipating and it was beyond pleasant to enjoy a relaxing holiday afternoon.
Oh! And 2 years ago exactly we started the TransAm! Oh how time flies.