Tag Archives: California

Avenue of the Giants (day 5)

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83 miles

A day of contrasts. Stunning cycling through the Avenue of the Giants, a scenic roadway through some of the most massive and oldest trees on the planet. These venerable old Redwoods are so huge, it’s impossible to capture them all in one frame with the camera. Necks crane skywards as we ride, taking in as much of this majestic corridor as we can. We pass through several interesting little towns en route, stopping for lunch at the deli in Myers Flat, where we strike up conversation with some motorcyclists from Houston, Texas.

The wonderful cycling sections were interspersed with some unavoidable, and rather torrid, riding along the 2 or 3 lane freeway – US101. The shoulder is mostly wide, so it’s safe, but the noise, the dirt, the speed of the cars and trucks is disconcerting. We were always relieved when we turned off the freeway again.

The final 10 miles into Ferndale (our camp – see picture below) had some murderously steep hills and stiff headwinds to keep us pushing through to the end (no rest out west, right?). The campsite was a bit weird – an RV/trailer ground that was hosting a dog show (plenty of big, gnarly dogs (and owners!) about). We camped in a nearby field, half expecting to be eaten in the night. Well, we survived, so onwards we go!

I’m writing this from a Starbucks in Eureka, whilst we charge up batteries and catch up on some news. Another 40 miles beckons this afternoon…

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Along the Northern California coast (day 2)

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Distance: 68 miles

Yesterday we rode from our camp amongst the Redwoods, Samuel P. Taylor campground, to a camp on the California coast, Stillwater Cove campground. It was a hard day with several testing climbs – one particular climb (see hairpin photo above) going on and on, trying work for our novice legs, as we gradually get warmed up!

Mist engulfed us as we progressed north, giving occasional, tantalising glimpses of the vast Pacific Ocean. At times the road was perched right on the cliff edge, tumbling down hundreds of feet to the sea. Collapsed sea stacks and eroded cliffs were frequent sights.

It was another excellent campsite at Stillwater Cove, one of these hiker-biker sites which are rustic and amongst the woods. They provide raccoon boxes to store food overnight and flushing toilets, so don’t worry mum, we’re not roughing it too much. Yet…

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