Into the heart of Humboldt

Day 19, Elk Prairie Campground to Arcata, 47 miles

Ah, Arcata! A delightful destination, today’s ride will culminate with a soak at the Finnish Hot Tubs & Sauna. I set out at dawn, eager for breakfast at the Palm Cafe, to greet Jerry and gossip with him about the restaurant biz. The few miles to Orick fly as I think of hot cakes, eggs, sausage, Americana on a plate. My disappointment is profound, finding the Palm closed and boarded up. The clerk at the struggling market across the street tells me Jerry’s mom, the owner, died last summer, leaving the property to the local hospital.

I wish I could find Jerry anyway. But I must keep riding, my destination set. Miles roll easily, even with rolling hills, past the vast lagoons of Humboldt County, then up and onto Patrick’s Point drive, back around to the ocean again, a stop in Trinidad for coffee. A few more freeway miles, then I’m circling the wide beaches of Humboldt Bay. I arrive in Arcata well before my scheduled soak, stop at the North Coast Coop, overwhelming options for organic and local foods.

Ah, time for my soak. The redwood tub is clean, faint scent of boron gas which the tubs use instead of chlorine. I sink into the hot water, turn on the jets. My legs and arms and back relax immediately. I feel the therapy of the hot waters, deeply this time. A wonderful conclusion of the long ride.

After the soak, I ride the six more miles to the Redwood RV park, where I set up camp and do laundry. Sleep comes quickly, my heart is brimming with joy at this ride, this day. Into the heart of Humboldt.

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