Day 11 – Crescent City to Arcata
Although a long and tiring day this was another great day of tour and one which I thoroughly enjoyed.
We left the hotel at 08:00 this morning after an excellent hot buffet breakfast and headed back to US101 which would be our companion for most of the day. After about 3 miles we hit the first hard climb and it was quite a tough one as it seemed to go on for ever. I think I may of stopped a couple of times but once again my legs felt good and I managed to keep a good cadence albeit in my bottom most gear. At the top of the climb we were amongst the redwoods for the first time and the size and smell of these wonderful trees is amazing. We descended into Klamath passing the Trees of Mystery where we made a brief stop before finding a small cafe at the side of the road. Several other riders arrived and we spent some time there chatting and sitting outside the cafe enjoying the warm Californian sunshine.
Roy and I headed off together again knowing that there was another hard climb just a few miles down the road. We hit it together but Roy suggested that I push on so I did and again it was another tough one. Having left the 101 just before the climb we were now on the ‘Newton B Drury Scenic Parkway’ and having climbed for several miles now was the time to sit back and enjoy the long descent amongst the redwoods. The road descended for about 10 miles and I stopped several times to take photo’s and to just enjoy the silence amongst the trees.
The road eventually rejoined the 101 just a few miles north of Orick which brought back memories of our very first trip to the US in the late 1990’s when we stopped in the town for gas and had to have the pump unchained for us before we were able to refuel! I stopped at the market store and grabbed some lunch and Roy caught up with me at this point. We were still only just over halfway through our days ride but time didn’t seem to matter as it was such an enjoyable day.
Back on the 101 we headed for Trinidad where we stopped for a coffee and ice cream. We elected to rejoin the 101 instead of taking the designated route that ran parallel to it but which we had been advised had a poor road surface.
The last few miles appeared to take us via a very devious route and again the road surface was not brilliant. We eventually made it to the Red Roof Inn shortly before 16:30, tired but everyone saying how much they had enjoyed today’s ride. Tonight we had an ‘all you can eat’ Oriental Buffet just across the road from the hotel.
Riding through the redwoods is an amazing experience and one that highlights any trip to the US for me. Their sheer size is incredible and just being amongst them and knowing that they have been there for hundreds of years is something special. I know we have a couple more days amongst them and I am especially looking forward to riding through the ‘Avenue of Giants’.