We left the Burlington Campground knowing that we only had to ride about 30 miles today to get to the Richardson Grove State Park, so we were in no rush. It was nice to continue on Avenue of the Giants. It’s so tranquil riding under the redwood canopy; there’s only a hint of wind, the sun beams through in small pockets, there’s little traffic, and the road is smooth. This is the same tranquil feeling I have when riding at night, except I can see my surroundings.
Today we had the great pleasure of leaving Highway 101 behind early in the ride and rolling along the magnificent Avenue of the Giants, a quiet and shady stretch of road lined with some of the largest trees on the planet: sequoia sempervirons, or rather, big ass redwood trees. Now in my neck of the woods, it’s fairly easy to go for a short road ride through a grove or two of redwoods. These groves are indeed fantastic. But out here on the Avenue of the Giants, we got the opportunity to ride through maybe 15 miles worth of groves. This was a whole different level of experiencing the redwoods.
Because of Peter’s painful knee, we’ve decided to shorten the trip a bit. Instead of riding about 80 miles per day and ending our trip at Bodega Bay, were now planning to ride about 50 miles per day, ending in either Leggett or Fort Bragg. Peter’s dad agreed to pick us up further north.
Yesterday was highlighted by scenic coastline. Whenever we took the surface roads off Highway 101, we’d be rewarded with stunning ocean views. Today was more of the same, but instead of ocean views, we had the pleasure of riding through redwood forests.
Since riding from Corvallis, no, since reading about riding this route, I’d been anticipating viewing Oregon’s ruggedly beautiful coastline. Yet since we’d hopped on the Scenic Highway in Florence, we’d had only little glimpses of what Oregon had to offer. Occasionally through a clearing in the dense forests that surround both sides of the highway, we’d see some dark blue water in the distance. Through towns like Coos Bay, we crossed a bridge where river and ocean met, but we had no real views of the famous coast. I was beginning to think that all of the splendid views were north of Florence, that we’d be stuck with only a taste of the coast: fog and sand dunes.
After a late start it wasn’t until 20 miles into our ride that we sat down for breakfast in Reedsport at about 11:30am. The waitress, recognizing that we were cyclists, sat us at a table with a nearby outlet. The staff must be used to seeing Paciﬁc Coast cyclists come in with all their gadgets.
After a good night’s sleep at Taryn’s place, Peter and I set out do what we came to do: ride bicycles for lots of miles while eating whatever we could get our hands on. We accomplished both goals today.
The wonderful thing about traveling by train is that you don’t have to travel in an airplane. The full-body frisks. The cramped seats. The sense of your impending demise. It’s as if airline executives and TSA officials meet regularly to come up with new ways to make airline travel more uncomfortable. Bathrooms? Let’s get rid of them. If they don’t pee before boarding they’ll just have to hold it. That will also take care of the problems with smoking and humping.
About a week after we returned from our adventure in Idaho, I got a call from my friend Peter, who wanted to know if I would like to ride with him along the Paciﬁc Coast from Albany, Oregon, back to the Bay Area. To that I responded, “Heck yes!” as my Idaho politeness hadn’t yet been rubbed off by the cruel streets of San Jose.
Ahh, shucks. Do we have to leave Idaho? We’ve had such a good time. We’ve met some of the friendliest people on Earth. We’ve ridden through some beautiful landscapes. We even managed to soak in some hot springs, but there were so many we missed.