Mesa to Pitt 2015

Mesa to Pitt 2015
Mesa to OBX

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Klamath, California to Arcata October 19

Saturday, Oct. 19.....60 miles in 5:30.....WVU football came on TV at 9AM Pacific time, so we watched the game before I rolled out. I finally got on the road at about 12:30, after WVU lost. The fog that is ever present in some form here, was receding for the afternoon, and it was in the low 60's. Not bad! I was ready to do some riding! I crossed the Klamath River, and could actually see it! Immediately, the big climb day began. I climbed from sea level to 850 ft into Prairie Creek State Park, on 101, until it turned onto the Newton B. Drury Scenic Parkway. If I would have chosen to stay on 101, the summit would have been over 1400 ft, with no scenery. The state park road was shady and cooler, and as in every park, there was very little shoulder, but wow, was it worth it to go the easy way , for once. The huge trees were present by the thousands, for about 6-7 miles, with pull outs, and very little traffic this time of year. I even rode out on a forest floor trail to see the Corkscrew Tree. (See pictures ) I was so inspired by the majesty of it all that I tried to take a video while I was riding. It turned out pretty good, but pictures and videos really don't do justice to the real thing. The last few miles of the park was an elk meadow, and there were several females, as well as some big horned studs. Eventually, I was spit back out onto 101, and rode through some turney/twisty mileage toward the coast and the town of Orick. The small towns around here all seem to have tons of woodcarvings for sale, and this place was no different. Therefore, the old bike posed with lots of horses, bears, and Bigfoot during this stretch.
As the ocean got closer, the fog became thicker. Little did I know how thick the fog would become, and it stayed with me to the bitter end of today's ride. I rode  many miles right along the ocean, but I really didn't get to see much, because visibility was less than a quarter mile. I went through some beautiful areas today, but missed most of it. I got online and looked at pictures from some other bikers blogs, and they took beautiful pictures of sunny vistas, that I barely recognized. I was in all the right places, but at the wrong time. The fog is even supposed to be worse in the summer when the temperature difference between the air and the water is even greater.
 After riding the coast line, I entered the Humbolt Lagoon State Park area, which was much calmer with no waves, and I suppose there were some herons and other birds, but I couldn't see them. The fog caused the temperatures to keep dropping to about 42 degrees. It was as cold as anything I've ridden in on the entire trip. Eventually I was off of 101 again, on some scenic routes, to Patricks Point State Park and the town of Trinidad. The road was two lane, with little shoulder, and very rough in spots, with views of the ocean every once in a while, between the trees, but all I saw was clouds. The town of Trinidad was small, but quite nice, and looked like a great place in the summer. I took a real bad, narrow road to the beach area, and I could barely see beautiful beaches, coves, and rocks. It was all accessible only by climbing down steep trails, and was about 100 feet down. Just enough to be visible, but foggy  nonetheless. The beach road once again put me back out on 101 in the area of McKinleyville, where it was four lane and busy. I was not very visible to the drivers, and fortunately there was wide shoulder. At about five o'clock I stopped and put on my long pants, another pair of socks, and my bright orange jacket. My choices were to get back on 101 and ride it, or jump on the Hammond Bike Trail, which had its starting point at the beach area where I changed clothes. I could hear Pam in the back of my head, so I took the bike trail.
I rode about two miles on nice asphalt, paralleling 101, when the trail suddenly turned steep, and into a gravel surface. I have a policy not to get on bike trails I know nothing about. And this was why. I hardly even got done cussing about it, when it turned back to asphalt, thank God. I was cold, it was thick fog, and getting dark, and gravel really slows a bike down. Not only that, the trail was filled with piles of horse crap, asphalt or gravel aside! I eventually turned away from 101, and the trail quickly led me into serious farm country. There were tons of cattle, pumpkins, manure aroma, and everything country. By now it was damnear dark, and through the fog, I saw a pick up coming my way.  I flagged them down, and it was a young couple who assured me that I wasn't in the Twilight Zone, but was indeed on the way to the town of Arcata. I noticed a West Virginia sticker in his back windshield, and thought that was cool. I rode for what seemed like a long time before I got into town, and that's when it really hit home that I was in California, the land of 'Have a nice day!', skinny jeans, Haight-Ashbury, Jack in the Box, Arnold Schwarzenegger, valley girls, over priced gasoline, Santa Ana winds, and downright weird people. One of the first guys I saw walking down the sidewalk said to me: "16 days of happiness be upon you, biker! "  The town of Arcata is the home of Humbolt State University, and some very eccentric people. The people who carry all their worldly possessions on their back in backpacks, or on bicycles in their saddlebags, or in shopping carts, or just in a pile, is amazing. There were tons of people that didn't seen to have a place to call home, everywhere. I rode though town, asked a few more people for directions, and finally found my way back onto 101, in the pitch black fog. Unbeknownst to me, Pam was out looking for me, a little bit worried, and I couldn't have told her where I was anyhow. Three miles later, riding in freeway like conditions on 101, I safely found the KOA, where an outdoor hot tub was awaiting me, I took a shower, and didn't even get in the hot tub because there were two women in it, and I didn't feel like listening to them talk.  We are both tired of FOG!!!

Crossing the Klamath River - both sides are guarded by golden bears

One of the bears up close

Riding down the Redwood Highway

Bike chillin with a redwood tree

Bike is inside the tree

Inside the tree and looking up!
Some of the trees have names

See why it's call the Corkscrew Tree??

Traveling back through the trees - note all of the ferns

Ferns growing on an old redwood

Horse carved out of redwood tree in town of Orick

These signs are posted all over the coastline

OH NO!  Here comes the fog again!

The fog puts a little damper on the view!

Haven't seen a ghost bike in a very long time....

Fog moving through the woods

Yep!  We are now in California!

Fog is moving up over the hillside

Traveling down the "road" - this is a bike route?!

Biking with the cows!  Where did Hwy 101 go???

Bike bridge - really?!

Riding through the pumpkin patch....

and past the cows!

A ride through the Prairie Creek Redwood State Park!  Enjoy!

1 comment:

  1. Cold here in Houston. We had snow today.