10th – 11th Sept 2018
Burlington SP to Garberville 38kms
I opened my tent flap, to see what the day had for me, and my eyes opened wider than wide. In the fatigue and darkness of our late arrival, we didn’t really appreciate our location. But this morning, with the sun sparkling through the canopy, way up there somewhere, the real stature of these mega trees was visible. Wow! Good morning!
A beautiful sight to wake up to, and so peaceful.
It was so easy to just sit in amongst these amazing giants, and enjoy the peace and the tranquility. Nature, you are unbelievable. Everybody was slow to pack up (except the Pommy newly weds, who were gone by 7am) and as we didn’t have a huge day, we could ride slowly through the last half of the Avenue of The Giants, and really appreciate the forest. Wow, again. Worth the effort.
I love these trees, it is sad they were hit so hard with logging. But at least they are looked after now. It is a magical place.
Our fist stop, was not that far along, and as we’d had our nuts and berries early, and just sat and lingered, it was now nearly lunch time, so in Miranda, we spotted a cute cafe, and decided to have lunch. Why not, it was a good spot, and a nice day.
It wasn’t a bad ride along the 101, weaving up along the Eel River, with some nice vistas, and a warm day. The highway was busy, and we were going, ever so gradually up hill, but it wasn’t a difficult ride. We actually went up about 500ft in elevation, until we exited the highway for Garberville. There were a few hotels here, so we pulled up, checked on booking.com, then selected The Sherwood Forest hotel. A good price, good reviews, and right next to us. I went in and haggled with them over price, and they were happy to meet the booking.com price, and just like that the days ride is done. Yay! Relax for the arvo.
Good temperature, nice sunshine, and following this river was pretty cool too. We even spotted a deer wandering along down there.
Blogging, and planning the next two days rides, then we went in search of dinner. Down one end of the Main Street (the only street), was a dark and scary bar. Nope! The other bar/bistro was shut down, so after roaming the entire street, we ended up back next door to our hotel, at the Italian Pasta restaurant, run by Mexicans. Ha ha ha, yep, why not just be a Mexican restaurant? The place was full of staff (Mexican men) all milling around having animated conversations, while we sat and waited to be served. Strange little town this, I have to Google it and see what it is all about. So, it was one of the big logging towns in Humboldt County, but now, is one of Humboldt Counties biggest Pot growing towns. The Green Rush! That’s what they’re saying. It does explain all the people just loitering around, looking spacey, doing nothing.
Garberville to Standish-Hickey State Park 37kms
What a relaxing and enjoyable days ride. There was no rush, and we started the day with sunshine and moderate warmth. Not too many hills today, either, mostly the gentle roller coaster. First stop was at Richmond Grove, where there was a very touristy, wood carving and trinket joint, the home of Bigfoot. Apparently, forty years ago, someone first spotted Bigfoot here. What ever, it was a cool place to hang out for a while, people and RV watching. We had a cool drink and some corn chips, and sat next to Bigfoot, relaxing.
There was some really cool wind chimes, fantastic wood carvings, and funny trinkets inside. Not to mention a nice spot to take a break.
The ride carried us along the Eel river, gradually going up in elevation, and it was really nice. The road wasn’t super busy, but there were some huge runs of the Mega RV’s, towing big pick ups, and some even had big Harley Davidson motorcycles on a back rack. Really? You need all that stuff on vacation? I hope it is literally their mobile home.
It looks really dry, and it is, but every now and then we rolled through a grove of big trees, and just about always had a view of the winding river.
As we had no rush, it was a short easy day so we could rest up for the big hill climbing day, we stopped for lunch in another beautiful grove of Redwoods. The Smithe Redwoods State Natural Reserve. Right on the Eel river, and it was a magic lunch spot. We sat for ages, just enjoying the feeling of tranquility. From here, it was just up Confusion Hill, then into Standish-Hickey State Park.
A beautiful, large grove, with so many lovely Redwoods. We could get to the river, which Will said felt a nice temperature. Some locals even came down for a swim when we were leaving.
Across the road from the entry to the State park, is a little grocery store, so we stopped to get something for dinner and a couple of cold drinks. They actually didn’t have very much, so it was what ever we could pull together out of the “pantry” pannier, and cold beer. I’m certain we won’t starve, as we could also pop over to the store for a hamburger or pizza if necessary. Instead, we shared a beer and a great chat with young Katey, who was the campground Host, as of today. She is travelling and living in her little Boler Camper, from 1978. She works online, and now she is care taking this campground too. She was a lovely young lady, and great to talk to. Maybe she’ll come to Australia one day.
Another couple of cyclists rolled into camp while we chatted. Alan, who is American, but has lived all over the world, currently in Denmark, and is on a six week journey. Then there was Bruce, he’s from Eureka, and he is just doing some shake down training for an up and coming New Zealand cycle tour. Wow, there is such a huge variety of people travelling by bicycle these days. We drank a few more beers, made some veggie, rice concoction, and went for a shower before bed. They are coin operated, and you just put in quarters, and the water starts. We decided to just go together, they are big rooms, and I got undressed first, and chucked in two quarters. Nothing happened. What the hell? It was getting pretty cold, and the lights weren’t working, so dark too. I sent Will off to see if Katey knew what was going on. He came back with nothing, so we had another read of the instructions, which just said $1 for 4 minutes. I’d only put in two quarters, so I thought I’d try chucking in another two, and wouldn’t ya know it, hot water! Yay! Dumb Aussies!
What a great, easy riding day, and a quiet, interesting camp spot. Tomorrow, the infamous Leggit Hill Climb! Aaarrgghhh!