Day 2 – Gold Beach to McKinleyville – 09/21/2013

After a somewhat restful night of sleep, and some thunder during the night, I woke up to light rain. The forecast called for more bad weather. Winds were still coming from the South – great, more headwinds.

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Gold Beach early in the morning.

I got ready, and left the motel at 6:45 AM. I made my way into breakfast. Mind you that the first part of breakfast came from the fridge in the form of cold leftover slices of pizza -breakfast of champions. All I really wanted was a latte, and no rain. And, surprise, I got both! By the time I had finished my latte the rain had stopped, and the wind had calmed down quite a bit.

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Nice view of the ocean, just south of Gold Beach.
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I can see blue skies ahead!

So I made my way to Brookings some 28 miles ahead. Rain was on and off throughout the way. But nowhere as much as the day before.

When I arrived to Brookings I was starving. I found a place that served me a killer breakfast burrito and a good latte. There I got to talk with a Medical Doctor that was asking me questions about my ride. I mentioned the issues with my shoulder and he recommended that I looked into something called “prolo therapy” – does anybody knows anything about “prolo therapy”?

I also got a message from my friend Alex that made my day much better. It read “You trying this again? That’s cool. Your determination is mind boggling.“. And I asked myself, is it determination, or is it stupidity? Anyway, moving along.

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Rock formation in the middle of a farm just outside of Brookings.

Once I had the burrito conquered, and the latte down I prepared myself for the next leg of my journey – going to Crescent City. The way there, 30 miles, is pretty much against the wind with little or no attractions other than the Pelican Bay Bed and Breakfast (a California State maximum security prison).

The beach in Crescent City
The beach in Crescent City

I passed by Crescent City where a I did a quick stop for yet another latte and some egg bacon “thingy” at Starbucks. Just like that I was ready to enter the Redwoods.Yeah! Never mind I had to climb from sea level to some 1,200 feet or so. Looking on the bright side,  I would do the climb in the company of some magnificent ancient trees.

Riding along the Redwoods - Del Norte Redwoods State Park.
Riding along the Redwoods – Del Norte Redwoods State Park.

The views I got along the way was well worth the effort of going between Brookings and Crescent City. The smells and sounds of the forest, combined with some sightings of deers, rabbits, snakes and trees punctuated the climb. And then, I descended back towards the ocean, where I stopped to sink in the view of the water, sun and rugged coastline.

IMG_0378IMG_0379From there I pushed onto a 10 mile stretch of highway that made me look forward to get back into the Redwoods. I reentered the Redwoods by way of the Newton B. Drury Parkway. This road cuts thru the middle of Redwood National Park and at the end there is an elk prairie that normally has some elks grazing around. And yes, the elks were there!

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Newton B. Drury Parkway

The elks are beautiful animals that inspire a certain level of respect with their size, massive antlers, and a confident attitude. All the way to Trinidad I sighted, and heard many elks. And not to be outdone by the elks the deers where showing up everywhere too.

IMG_0389One of the many cool things about traveling by bicycle is that one can approach animals almost undetected. And believe me, I surprised many deers.

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At a quick food and water stop in Orick, I had determined that my day would end in Trinidad. So I made my way there cycling thru some stunning ocean and forest scenery.

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When I got to Trinidad I spotted a motel and went in to inquire about room and food. They did not have any food, and as far as I could tell their were one room short of empty.

However, on second examination I found myself in a scene that reminded me of the banjo scene in Deliverance. The hotel was a run down old wood building littered with some old rusty cars and some other unidentified stuff. The two other guests from the motel had just arrived, and I thought to myself – let’s get out of here before someone pulls out a banjo…

Trinidad was a major waste of my time. No hotel accommodations or food were available. I did get some good advice from one of the many nice people in the town. They told me that McKinleyville, 10 miles away, was my best bet. Specially near the airport, where major hotel chains were located. By this time it was 8:00 PM and dark, so I decided to go back onto the road and get to McKinleyville as fast as I safely could.

Back on the road I sped up, I was motoring towards my destination, when destiny intervened. I had a flat tire! Great time to have a flat, right? Why couldn’t this flat happened a couple of hours back when it was nice and sunny? Now, it was night, I was tired, and had to deal with changing a black tube from a black tire that was mounted to a black rim in pitch black. Fun! Seriously, it was fun. Go figure.

Fortunately, I have fixed way too many flats that I could almost do it with my eyes closed. Soon I was back on my bike, and on my way to a shower, a meal, and some rest. I had to stop a few times to gaze at the stars – it is great how one can see a lot more stars and details when away from the glow emitted by major urban centers.

Finally at 9:15 PM, I arrived to my hotel, took a shower, ate yet another delivery pizza, no beer (sadly), and passed out on my bed.

I had done 126 miles, and climbed 14,655 feet. My moving time was 11 hours and 8 minutes and my total travel time was 14 hours and 18 minutes. And I was really, really, tired!

Total distance: 126.01 mi
Max elevation: 1368 ft
Min elevation: 3 ft
Total climbing: 15981 ft
Total descent: -15942 ft
Total Time: 14:17:57
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