Day 15: Arcata to Burlington Campground, 55 miles
(The astute reader will note that I must’ve caught a ride from Trinidad to Arcata, about 30 miles.)
Another late start. Talking with Zach’s dad David while wandering the aisles at the expanding Arcata Coop, we share stories, tears, and wonder at how we both were blessed to know the young man who so recently left this world.
I’d known Zach since the earliest days of the restaurant, when I first saw Coin of the Realm playing at the Drift Inn. He was all of 16 years old, with a curly mane of ‘Robert Plant’ hair, something he’d shorn a few years ago to keep the ladies off him. Ah, there will be more stories to remember. After a long talk, I tell David to call me any time, He says we should go cycling together, and recalls how he used to ride 150-200 miles a day through the Adirondacks.
Back on the road, today’s ride is an easy one, mostly flat for the first 35 miles, following Arcata Bay, through Eureka. Then on to Fortuna, and the highway climbs towards the redwoods. I pass a huge redwood sawmill at Scotia, and then pick up the Avenue of the Giants.
Here, among the ancient trees, I find solace and comfort. I enjoy cycling through the tourist traps of the early automobile era, with the ‘Amazing Drive-Thru Tree’ and ‘One Log House’. The pace of my ride is much closer to that of those original car-tourists, as I cruise along this narrow stretch of the old highway.
Here’s a bit of video from my phone, which I have ingeniously attached to my helmet with a bungee and paper coffee cup for stabilization. See if you can get the feel of cycling a ‘Venue of the Giants’