We were joined by Portlan on today’s ride from Elk Prairie campgrounds down to the Eureka KOA. Portlan normally leaves earlier than any of us to get into camp first. He had been successful a few times this week and thought he was ready to ride with us into our next destination. He did a great job keeping pace and setting pace at times. This did not come without any problems. Read on to find out what happened.
Looking for Elks
Everyone woke up around the same time at 7:30 to get ready for the next part of our journey. Portlan had asked us the night before if he can join us. We welcomed him, as well as anyone else who wanted to do so. Rolling out of camp, we spotted 1 elk grazing on the side of the road. Nothing too special until we came up to a herd resting at someone’s property on the side of the road. We made a U-turn to take a closer look with our cameras. However, the pay-off was at a spot Portlan had told us about near a red school, where he had seen them years before with his dad. Luckily, we were able to witness the same massive group of elks grazing by the side of the road. As tourists watched them, we snacked on our beef jerky and took our occasional snapshots. We were there long enough to see the entire herd cross behind us!
We then started the first ascent of the day. We were on roads that took us up and down, starting from Humbolt Lagoons State Park all the way through to Trinidad. The earlier half was tough – so tough that Portlan bent his chain. Luckily, he sent a motorist for me who drove down the road to tell me to wait for him. I had been riding lead for about half a mile ahead, but came back to meet up with both him and Sang Hyun to see what the problem was. I pulled out my spare chain links and multi-tool, and we replaced the links. All that took 45 minutes to do.
Then, we all went into the town of Trinidad, which did not spare us from hills. The hills, however, gave us the most incredible views from atop, so we didn’t mind them as much. The downhill out of there was more memorable as we said good bye to this small gem of a town which showed us that the California coast was well-represented as a beautiful coast. We eventually got on the bike path that led us through McKinleyville and then finally through Arcata. Arcata, which is right outside of Humboldt State University, was an interesting little town. It seemed to have a number of homeless folks lying around the town square. I felt like I was riding through a Universal Studios back lot. We finally high-tailed out of there and back on highway 101 towards Eureka.
We finally reached Eureka KOA and paid for 1 night’s stay on their last campsite. It was cheaper to do that than to pay for a hiker / biker at $12 per person. We settled down and did our laundry for the week, so that we didn’t have to worry about it on our day off tomorrow in the Avenue of the Giants. We then made dinner and got to bed close to 11PM. It was a long day, but we are glad that the next day will bring us to one of the most anticipated place of our trip, The Avenue of the Giants. We can’t wait!