Days 10 and 11

Day 10 miles 279-338
Today was a loooong day. We got an early start from our camp spot on the northern edge of Humboldt Redwoods state park. We had a few more blissful miles of Avenue of the Giants and then we climbed to Loleta. After a mild climb we reached the town and went on through only to find the real hill lay ahead. I pushed my bike in earnest for the first time today.
Then we entered some beautiful rolling coastal dairy country. Fields of content cows popped up on the tops of hills and between groves of evergreens along the road. There were a surprising number of painted lady style Victorian farmhouses. I was distracted by the picturesque scenery by the constant gusting headwind that abated our progress at every turn.
Truth be told gentle readers, I am disinclined to elaborate on my turmoil at the present moment. Suffice to say these 58 miles were hard won. We are now camping at the charming but slightly ominous White Widow creek RV Park. There is no one around and fresh water spigots every 20 feet. Also free showers. Free hot showers. And there was a heat lamp in the bathroom. I feel alright, goodnight

Day 11 miles 338-387
We slept a little late at the White Widow this morning. We rolled out a little before 9 and I didn’t feel bad because the other group of your bikers there was still eating breakfast. We hit the Hammond bike trail and went down to clam beach.  Joey and I decided this was the morning that Ru was to meet the ocean.  Poor baby is still in the barking at streams phase of his relationship with natural water so I hoped it would at the very least not frighten him.  We put his leash on him and marched him through the dunes.  I would characterize his reaction as cautious awe.  He touched the water but wouldn’t let it touch him.  Good first encounter.

Then onto the Trinidad Scenic highway. That road was the highlight of the day, with winding rolling hills giving patchy views of the crashing surfs and rocks below. Then it dumped us back to the 101 and we did a cool 18 miles to a little town called Orick.

Orick has one of those everything stores and theirs is painted a gaudy combination of creamsicle orange and electric yellow. Planters made of brightly painted tires dotted the parking lot around the dumpster Joey and I leaned our bikes. It was a wholly pleasant place and a magnet for all people passing by. We stopped and shortly after joey went in to procure our nightly Mac and cheese ration I had my first unexpected run in of the trip. The world throws you people from your past sometimes to make you remember all the people you’ve been over time to get to this point. So as I sat in the parking lot of the only store in Oricks, CA on a bike trip born from frustration of mundane life since college graduation, one of my sorority sisters from Dartmouth, Lindsay, walked out of the open front door. We chatted and I learned that she and her boyfriend were heading up to Portland! Again the world reminding me where I’ve been more than the odometer on my handle bars. Rubeus made an appearance and won hearts and minds all over the parking lot. Not 5 minutes after saying goodbye to Lindsay, another group of tour bikers showed up at the general store. And they were finally going the same way as us!

We commiserated about the howling head wind yesterday and how rough the slough had been. This group was 2 guys, I think from New Zealand, maybe Australia (woops) and they took a liking to Ru right away. After we said adieu at the technicolor dream store we pedaled another 5 miles on the 101 along the coast. It was actually beautiful, we rose and fell along the coast and wove between 2 lagoons. At one point I biked level with a great blue heron flying over the marsh to my right for 200 yards. After that we ducked into the visitor center of the next state park we entered to have lunch. The kiwis caught up to us there and we chatted more. We told them it might rain tomorrow and one of their faces lit up as he started planning the rest day he’d been longing for. They decided to stay at the state park campsite for the night and we were thinking of doing the same but we realized we were only at 34 miles for the day. Sadly that is not good enough to keep us on track. So we pressed on…

We did think it would rain today and it was already passed 3. We decided to try to go over the big climb to Klamath and try to see how far we got before the droplets started to fall. Lo and behold! We beat our goal! We are now camping in Kamp Klamath on the Klamath river. We are living he dream right now folks, 2 hot showers in 2 days!   Also I only see one maybe rain cloud so…..

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