Thursday, October 11, 2012

Day 16: Eureka to Garberville, CA

Wednesday was a much-needed rest day in Eureka, CA. This was our third rest day on the trip and it was a welcome reprieve from riding. Most mornings we start riding by 8 am which means getting up by 6:30 am to pack and load our gear into the trailer, check the tires on our bikes, and grab a quick bowl of oatmeal before getting on the road. It was nice to be able to enjoy a leisurely breakfast while reading the paper. I walked the couple of blocks to Old Town Eureka where I enjoyed a fresh brewed french roast and a toasted "slug" smeared with smoked salmon cream cheese at Los Bagels. Yum! I also visited with several of the locals who saw the WomenTours trailer and wanted to know about the ride. When I told them we are a group of 31 riding from Bellingham, WA to Ventura, CA and that the average age of the group is 63, they were awed. The rest of the day was spent doing laundry, catching up on a backlog of email, cleaning my bike, and watching a little mindless T.V.  The perfect rest day!

Today we woke early since we had an 81 mile ride from Eureka to Garberville, CA. The day started off cloudy and as we gained elevation the temperature dropped and it became misty. Along the way we rode through farmlands and timber yards.  Around mile 35 we took a scenic detour on "The Avenue of the Giants," a 31-mile portion of old Highway 101 that goes though an old growth redwood forest. The Avenue of the Giants is surrounded by Humboldt Redwoods State Park which has the largest remaining stand of virgin redwoods in the world.  
The logging industry is a major employer in the area

Part of the scenic detour through "The Avenue of the Giants

The last of summer flowers along the roadside
Looking skyward from the base of a giant redwood

These photos really don't do justice to the magnificence of these redwood trees

Final 1/2 to the hotel in Garberville, CA
I had a good ride today. I tootled along at around 10 MPH which made for a very long day of riding and by the time I rolled into the hotel in Garberville it was nearly 4:30 p.m. After unloading my gear and grabbing a quick shower, I joined the other ladies for another fabulous dinner. I have to admit that I quite like having my meals prepared for me and I'm not looking forward to having to go back to cooking after the trip.   

Below is the map our route from Eureka to Garberville, CA. It was a beautiful ride through the redwoods and since we were moving inland, the afternoon was much warmer than what we have been experiencing at the coast. After tomorrow's ride from Garberville to Fort Bragg we'll be back on the coast with its cooler temperatures.    

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