Day 16: Eureka to Humbolt Redwoods State Park
September 10, 2013. 49.73 miles.
Today was a pretty easy day. A nice way to get back into the rhythm of things after a day off. I only went about 50 miles. Mostly because I want to end a day right before Leggett hill, which is about 100 miles from Eureka. Too much for one day, so two short days it is.
I started out the day by going to the bike shop to get them to look at my back brakes. The older guy who seemed to own the shop spent half an hour fiddling with them and does seem to have managed to get the tension even on the two sides so that the brakes are centered. Unfortunately, there’s still something that sounds like it’s rubbing on one of my wheels and I can’t figure out how to fix it. Blerg, there’s always something wrong.
The bike shop owner suggested staying on 101 instead of taking the longer route through farm country that the maps suggested. I took his advice and also stopped at the rocks and mineral shop/museum he recommended. It was a neat place, but its pretty easy to resist buying rocks while traveling by bike.
Biking on the freeway (101 around here) was actually pretty relaxing. There’s generally a very large shoulder, and the traffic wasn’t even that heavy. The only time I had to pay attention was at on/off ramps. However, the scenery wasn’t very inspiring and it got quite hot and sunny. The most interesting thing about the scenery was probably the rivers I went over. They were all very low, with just a trickle of water in large river beds. A big change from just a bit farther north.
I stopped in Fortuna for a bathroom and lunch break. I ended up eating crackers with sunflower seed butter, Nutella and bananas on a bench on the main street of town. I probably spent an hour just sitting there watching the town go by. After sitting in Fortuna for a while, I had Carmina Burana stuck in my head for much of the rest of the day.
What with the rather oppressive sun, I was really happy to get to the Avenue of the Giants. Biking through redwoods is great, and they provided shade. I stopped at a farm stand that advertised blackberry popsicles. Which were tasty.
A few more miles down the road, I stopped at Founders Grove and took a half mile stroll on a path through the trees. Redwoods are really neat.
I found the campground as expected. It’s a lot more crowded than the last campground in the redwoods. A lot more bike tourists too. And I think a bunch of them are going to the same place as me tomorrow. I chatted over dinner with a girl from Pittsburgh. I think she was actually half of the quiet couple I’ve encountered a couple times before, but now she’s on her own because her friend had to go back to Portland. Kind of funny to meet two people from Pittsburgh in two days.