Day 3 – McKinleyville to Scotia – 09/22/213

This morning I woke up feeling like I needed to go back to sleep. Ugh! I was moving in a painful slow motion kind of way. Nevertheless, my mind was set on continuing. I got myself presentable to go get full breakfast at the hotel. After all it was included on the cost of the stay. I sat and ate tree times more than I would have normally. The food was soon making it’s magic, and I started to feel some energy coming back to me.

Slowly, I prepared my bike, got my cycling gear on, and dragged my tired carcass out the door. I checked my map, got my bearings and got off to a very dry start, dry as in no rain. I had no idea how far I would make it today – my destination was set to “until I can no longer push my pedals”. The winds were still against me. But at least I was dry.

Hammond Trail, McKinleyville

The first 10 miles were done on a walking cycling trail that followed the coast into Arcata. It was a very nice ride. It then took me thru the city of Arcata and back to the highway. The  few miles between Arcata and Eureka were just dreadful. The shoulder was littered with all sorts of debris. The entrance to Eureka was just ugly.

Ingomar Club, Eureka, CA
Downtown, Eureka

Things improved as I got close to downtown. I spotted a few of the victorian houses that the city is famous for. Went past it’s well manicured downtown area and then back to ugly. I went past a yard where there were five diesel locomotives rusting away. It looked like the town had seen better days in the past.

I finally left town and went back to the highway. Slowly the shoulder started to look better. Unfortunately the headwind was still blowing strong and my legs felt more like rubber bands than anything else – what a great combination.

Not a moment too soon I left the main highway and headed towards Loleta. This town was at the top of a long steady hill. And the town itself was very small. I was getting hungry and did not see any place to stop and eat despite my map telling me that there was a food stop in town.

As I headed out of town, and down hill where I found a place that looked promising.  It was the Angelina Inn. They were only serving brunch. And I thought to myself, brunch it is! I stopped and got some smoked ham brunch served with a free glass of champagne or mimosa. I opted for the mimosa and then water.

With a full stomach I continued to Ferndale. I still was felling very low on strength. Ferndale turned out to be a cute little town with a very impressive victorian style hotel. I stopped at the place to look around, the hotel clerk was very nice, and told me a bit around the hotel history and the rooms. Pretty cool place. I will make sure to save some time in the future to go stay there with my wife, and explore the Lost Coast.

Victoria Inn, Ferndale, CA

While I was there the clerk also recommend a couple of places for me to stay down the road. I checked the map and opted to try to make my first tentative end-of-day at Scotia – around 15 miles from where I was now standing.

Little did I know that between me and Scotia I had some big rolling hills to get past. The first seven miles were mostly flat and with some headwind. But the scenery was a welcome distraction from it all.

And then I went over the rolling hills. It took every last ounce of energy to make it to Scotia. But I succeeded. I arrived to the Scotia Inn, a charming old building conveniently located across a supermarket. I quickly made arrangements for a room and went across the street for some chocolate milk and snacks.

Scotia Inn, where I spent the night

After a refreshing shower, I went to see a couple of the historic buildings of the town. There was a theater and a bank completely built out of redwoods. These were built about 100 years ago. The theater is till used by the local school for plays and such, and the bank was turned into a museum sometime in the 1950’s.

The Winema Theater, Scotia, CA
The Bank turned museum.

Around 6 PM I went for a quiet dinner at the supermarket deli (I’m being very generous). Got a turkey sandwich, and some fruit juice followed by dessert. I was the only customer at the supermarket at that time. It felt lonely, and funny at the same time.

The Scotia Inn impressive lobby

With a full stomach I started to feel past my bed time. I made my way back to my room, turned on the TV, and fell asleep. And I slept for the next eleven and a half hours. Holly cow! I must have been really tired.

I had done 55 miles, and climbed 3,437 feet. My moving time was 5 hours and 3 minutes and my total travel time was 6 hours and 37 minutes. I was completely worn out.

Total distance: 54.64 mi
Max elevation: 302 ft
Min elevation: -13 ft
Total climbing: 3973 ft
Total descent: -3921 ft
Total time: 06:37:13

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