I woke today just after eight o'clock, packed up and pedaled out of Harris Beach. I rode through the town of Brookings and settled on the Downtown Coffee Lounge right on highway 101.
As soon as I entered, I could tell that I liked the environment. The eighties hit "Take My Breath Away" was playing at a volume that seemed a touch too loud. A couple older gentlemen were in locked in combat on a large chess board. Other games cluttered the bar overlooking the street. I ordered a breakfast burrito and a drip coffee. I asked the man working behind the register for the Wifi password. He told me the word was "love." What a wonderful start to the day.
When my burrito came, so did Blue, a smallish dog that knew how to beg. Blue was owned by the man playing chess who was sitting closest to the window. I noticed that he was deeply involved in finding a way out of check. Blue was my companion throughout the meal.
After finishing, I headed over to the post office to pick up my raincoat. The woman at the front desk could not find the package anywhere. I called the cafe in Seaside. The woman on the phone said that they had misplaced the information I had given them regarding the delivery to Brookings. I told them to mail it to my home on Whidbey. I don't expect much rain, and my garbage bag works well enough in a pinch. I'll update the lost coat status after my return home.
After the disappointing trip to the PO, I jetted over to the public library to meet Snelling. We departed Brookings at around noon.
The thirty mile ride to Crescent City was, for the most part, flat. We moved along quickly, passing the "Welcome to California" sign shortly into the ride. It was hard to believe that my bicycle had taken me so far in a short number of days. We rode inland for a time. It was hot, and the smell of farm manure was thick. We finally cut west to the coast upon entering the outskirts of Crescent City. For much of the coastal route, there was a designated bike trail. After grabbing groceries, we stopped at a local park, sat under a palm and had lunch. We left Crescent City fueled up for what we knew was going to be a long climb.
About two miles out of town we hit the slope of a hill that would take is up over one thousand feet in elevation. I was up out of my saddle for much of it. About three miles in I entered Redwood Narional Park. Almost immediately, I was completely surrounded by giant, old-growth redwood trees. There was a comfortable stillness that I experienced, and the climb was a real joy. Near the top of the hill, I wheeled left into Mill Creek State Park, paid the ranger five dollars for a hiker-biker spot and headed two-and-a-half miles downhill to the campsite. I knew I was going to have to climb put in the morning, but I savored the long curving coast down.
The hiker-biker accommodations were fair. There were metal containers for food and items that smell. Bears have been sighted in the park. Before going to sleep, a logger named Jeremy stopped over to chat. He was working in a job ten miles north. There is a certain bravado associated with those thy work the woods.
We cycled approximately forty miles today.