Monday, September 15, 2008

Day 9 - Eureka to Garberville

Daily Statistics:
Rode 81.5 miles and burned 5922 calories.
Left the hotel at 8:04 and arrived at 3:00.

Today was an absolutely wonderful day. It was probably my favorite so far, and we have had a number of outstanding days. First, I must say it was a day AbB and Andrew Perry would be proud of. I checked, and the mapquest distance from hotel to hotel was 66.5, and AbB got us there in 81.5. The good news was the extra mileage was well worth it.
We started out winding through Eureka to avoid 101 as much as possible. We eventually left town on 101 anyway, but only for about 5 miles until we exited to go by the College of the Redwoods, a very pretty little school. We then went on backroads to Eel River Drive, which had a solid little climb, working our way to the town of Ferndale, where we had our first SAG at about 21 miles in. Ferndale is a neat little town with lots of nice Victorian homes. I have included the Victorian Inn from downtown to give you the flavor.

Leaving Ferndale, we proceeded on Grizzly Bluff Road, which was a little rough in many spots, and also had probably the steepest grades we have encountered so far. I did make it up and over, so no harm done. Returning to 101 for a short 4 mile jaunt, we then exited for the highlight of the trip, the Avenue of the Giants. I have driven through there a couple of times, but riding through on the bike brought a whole new appreciation of the trees and the country. It was absolutely great riding. I can't really bring you a good feel for the beauty and magnificence of the great trees, but I will show you a couple of the touristy shots, so you can see just how big these trees are.
I had to have the above shot of the drive through tree, which is over 5000 years old. I have the same shot with my old Toyota Corolla and the kids at about 10 from over 20 years ago. I thought they would appreciate this one of me going through on the bike.

Mike says the above is an old time MRI machine. Not sure if he is right, but you can see they grow big. At any rate, the Avenue of the Giants was a real pleasure. We had lunch at the Avenue Cafe in Miranda, and then headed on in. The temperature was getting pretty warm, and there were a couple of tough climbs before we got to the motel. I believe it was well into the 90s when we got in. This was quite a change from the 50s and 60s we have been in along the coast.
Tomorrow, we head for Fort Bragg, which takes us back to the coast.

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