TUESDAY, JULY 24Crescent City, CA to Eureka, CA
Staying at Faith Center Foursquare Church
87.2 miles today, average pace 11.9 mph
Total ascent 4,445 feet (grades mostly 6% to 8%)
Felt like I was back climbing in Colorado this morning. We left the church, and after a quick warm-up, found ourselves on about a 7 mile climb of about 7% to 8% grade. The bike performed great, and so did I, even with a left knee that I could not push real hard. I had enough gears to still make it up ok. The last 5 days we have climbed a total of 18,074 feet, or an average of 3,615 feet per day.
The first climb took us up into a redwood forest. Reading about these trees, and seeing pictures of them, simply does not do justice to the magnificence of these trees as seen in person. To stand next to them, in the middle of a whole forest of them, is just breathtaking. We came to a regular road sign, "Big Tree" with an arrow pointing to, of course, a big tree. Since they are all big trees I found this terribly funny, until about 500 yards another sign, "Big Tree Recreational Area” which I found equally funny, realizing my mistake.
We have been on Hwy 101 a lot, but Allen keeps finding side roads that keep us away from as much traffic as he can. This also keeps giving us tremendous views of the redwoods and the ocean and shoreline. I managed to stay with a group of about 7 or 8 who were riding through the forest together, stopping and taking pictures, and experiencing this forest together. The routes we have been on on the West Coast ride have been so much more beautiful than the routes we were on on the East Coast. I’m so glad I’m able to experience this adventure.
I rode most of the last two quarters with Sarah D. again. We were both dragging along for most of the way, tired, but enjoying the sights and the slow pace on some rough narrow side roads and trails. The last 7 miles we were back on 101 with a wide shoulder and a better road, and I told Sarah that I was going to kick it up a notch to get us to the church for our shower. She was tired, but agreed to try to rock it in, which we did at a little better pace than we had been going.
A family from the church had us over to their house for dinner. They had a large pot of beef vegetable stew, rolls, cheese, etc, followed by two large containers of ice cream. This was followed by card games and fellowship. A great evening!
Tonight a group is watching a Batman movie here at the church, and some are planning to see the new Batman movie tomorrow on our day off. Stay tuned!