Day 6 – June 25
We woke up to clouds and somewhat cool weather. Not bad when you are biking but it does make it interesting to go through the limited wardrobe you have trying to find what you will be most comfortable in.
This winding river has been our companion for the last 4 days. I hope it is named the Eel River because it is winding and long and not because there are really eels in it. That kind of grosses me out just thinking about it.
We got another flat tire. This one was on the trailer. As I crossed the bridge above the above pictured river I heard a “sssssssssss” and I thought, “Hmmmm, that is an interesting sounding animal in the brush by the side of the bridge. Oh wait, that’s not an animal, that’s a tire!” As I looked back I saw the green slime that was supposed to stop the air from escaping shooting out. Fun.
After a tire tube change and a snack we were excited to make our way to the Avenue of Giants. We weren’t able to come down this far south on our last trip to the Redwoods, but honestly, once you see giant redwoods they all start looking the same. It was a great stretch to ride because it wasn’t on 101 and it was pretty shaded.
We met up with a few other bikers who were stopping at the same campground. All of us were trying to stay ahead of the rain. You can see from below that we didn’t quite make it. It was the first time on our trip that we had to get the tarp out.
Hmmmmm . . . pictures are conspicuously absent from this day. I believe that was because we dealt with rain for the first half of the day and just wanted to get to our campsite for the second half of the day.
These may have been a few of our utterances:
“I thought we’d have more time to just stop at coffee stands and relax.” (Bet you can guess who didn’t say that.)
“We have to pedal all day for 50 more days.” (Um, how did you not know this when we started the trip?)
“Do those circling vultures know something we don’t?”
“Hmmm, I wonder what we could start mailing back to drop weight? Sleeping bags? Vitamins? Toothbrushes?”
Day 8 – June 27
Back to that beautiful Cali weather, but it turned out to be a real scorcher. We got a late start after the raccoon woke us up at midnight trying to get into our bags. Thank goodness for shoes with sturdy, rubber soles. I think that raccoon may have gone to bed with a headache.
We were excited to get into our campsite at a decent time so we could get a good night’s sleep before hitting the infamous Leggett Hill in the morning. Someone should have passed along that plan to the baby in the tent next to us who screamed for over 30 minutes while we were all trying to fall asleep. Wouldn’t you know it, as soon as I crawled out of the tent for my ear plugs he stopped. Murphy’s law.
Day 9 – June 28
Ahhh, the day came for the traverse of the infamous Leggett Hill that has so much angst written about it. 2,000 feet in elevation and 3.5 miles of straight climbing. The route takes you over the mountains and back to the Pacific Ocean. I was starting to wonder when we’d see the coast again on the “Pacific Coast” route.
We actually set our alarm on our phone to wake us up early so we could get an early start. We figured it would be a hot one and who wants to do all that climbing in the heat? We spotted some wild turkeys in the morning fog. So far we’ve seen live elk and deer and turkeys amongst many other birds.
Whoever wrote the guidebook for cycling the Pacific Coast did a great injustice to the hill following Leggett Hill. Leggett Hill is the famous climber who steals all the glory because of the distance that you climb for. Really, that hill felt like a piece of cake. Okay, maybe not a piece of cake but it was do-able.
You get to little old Rockport Hill, only 690 foot elevation gain and you think it’s just an itty-bitty hill. Au contraire. It might only be 690 feet up but it is straight up. And let’s not forget that your legs are already smoked from Leggett Hill. And now it is hotter because it is two hours later.
The good news is we made it! We had to stop for a lot of breaks but I’m proud that I did not have to walk my bike once and no tears came to my eyes like the climb coming out of Crescent City. Of course, that could have been because all of my body’s moisture was pouring down my back.
And look at the stunning views and cool breezes we were treated to after descending Rockport Hill.