(Sorry, reposting this – somehow I deleted most of the images in the gallery. There are some fun pics – like a sighting of Bigfoot!)
Day 10: Burlington Campground to Leggett
Riding through the kitch and glory of days gone by. Defunct tourist traps on the Avenue of the Giants, long ago mothballed when all the traffic was diverted onto 101 instead. Until the Richardson Grove, where 101 still winds through a narrow channel between massive redwoods. Here the gift shops and silly ‘attractions’ still thrive. Caltrans intends to widen this area too, for obvious safety concerns, and there is a local movement to ‘Save Richardson Grove’.
On the way to the grove, I stopped in Garberville, where everyone indeed seems happy, or high or both. It is interested biking through the ‘Emerald Triangle’, three counties known for production of high quality marijuana, a trade bolstered by California’s Proposition 215 legalizing pot for medical use. I’d been warned more than once not to stray off the main roads too far, as this is harvest season.
Headlines on local papers say the federal government intends to shut down the dispensaries, but up here in the woods there is a black market that is booming. A black market that claimed the lives of two young people from Corvallis last winter. Illegal drug trafficking involves high stakes, promising inordinate profits with sometimes lethal costs. Legalizing, or at least decriminalizing the herb would eliminate the black market, and then the state could then get in on the game with tax revenue. But that day is far off, given the politics of narcotics.
As for me, I rode through straight as an arrow. Got a bit high on the endorphins of climbing 2000 feet, seemed I was climbing almost the whole day. Landed in Leggett at the Standish-Hickey Campground. Across the street is Peg House, which boasts the #1 burger on the west coast, according to Sunset Magazine. Had to try it, and it was pretty good. But didn’t hold a candle to FireWorks ITAM!
Now I’m the only one in the whole campground, kinda creepy. But there’s you, my loyal readers. Thanks for reading and riding alongthe with me!
Tomorrow I climb over Leggett Hill first thing in the morning, and then descend down to the Medocino Coast, to Fort Bragg, the place of my birth in 1963. It will be good to visit the original beach my mother took me to, beginning my long love affair with the ocean.