Tour04 Day 5 - Klamath to Eureka, CA

A beautiful day on the northern California Coast

This morning I was not happy when I heard another weather forecast that called for two days of chilly, dreary weather. This evening, I read an email from my friend in the SF area saying that the coast was a whole bunch of micro climates and the forecasts were generally worthless. Of course it was raining at my motel and things did look pretty dreary. I spent time finishing yesterdays web page hoping the rain would stop. It didn't but it did become very light before I left. Four miles down the road it was raining harder. Six miles down the road, the rain stopped. By noon the sun was shining and touring was very good! It stayed that way for the rest of the day.

Tourists from Portland that I met on the bypass in Redwood National Park

I left Trees of Mystery - which turned out to be almost five miles before Klamath - about 10:30, riding in a very light drizzle. It was pretty in that wet forest, but still dark. I took one image just after I started that was badly blurred because the camera needed a long exposure! My camera was mounted on the handle bar but protected by its shower cap. As it turned out, I didn't get any usable images till after the rain stopped.

Climbing toward Redwood National Park

I stopped at the store in Klamath to get supplies for the day; bagels, cheese, and applesauce. Then I rode across the Bear Bridge - it has two golden bears 'guarding' each end - and started climbing toward Redwoods National Park. The rain had stopped, but it was still gray and the road - which becomes a freeway just before the bridge - was wet. This was a good climb, but easy compared to yesterday's climbing. At the top, there was a sign for the bypass through the Park. Several people had recommended this bypass as being pretty and saving some climbing. It also turned out to be a good place to meet people!

Newton B Drury Scenic Parkway

There is a good climb on the bypass and I stopped for a snack part way up that climb. I'd only come about 10 miles, but I'd climbed about 1000 feet, so I'd been riding for an hour and it had been a long time - several hours - since I ate breakfast. I spotted a guard rail in front of a redwood and pulled over to the other side of the road to take advantage of this dry place to sit and to lean the bike. When I had finished snacking and was getting ready to leave, a bicycle tourist rode up the hill. He was soon joined - passed actually - by his girl friend. We rode off together, but his pace was too fast for me, so I rode on and, shortly was joined by the third member of this group. He and I rode on the top of the hill while visiting and then down the other side to where the other two had stopped. Nice folks, but they liked riding in a paceline and were too fast for me. I was to see them again in Orrik - where I stopped for lunch and in Eureka where we had another very nice visit at the end of the day.

101 after Orrik

After Orrik, the road runs between the ocean and a freshwater lagoon and then starts climbing. The hills are several hundred feet high and the road becomes narrow as it works it way along the hilly coast. Then it comes down to the Big Lagoon - shown in the image at the top of this web page - for some very pretty, and pretty flat riding before climbing again to Patricks Point State Park.

At the start of the road into Patrick's Point, a man was loading trash bags into a pickup. I stopped to ask about the road and he, very enthusiastically, described it. That road and a road called Scenic Drive that it connects to in Trinidad, were part of the old costal highway. He said that Patrick's Point road was very nice and Scenic Drive was simply wonderful. He was right. I'm not even going to attempt descriptions, but rather put in half a dozen image on the web page. that ride, of less than ten miles, made me want to move to Trinidad!

Patrick's Point

Seals on a rock, seen, and heard, from Patrick's Point Road

The seafront out from Trinidad, from Patrick's Point Road

A hawk seen from Scenic Drive

Looking south down the coast from Scenic Drive

A cove on scenic drive

Another cove and the bay beyond

After Scenic Drive rejoined the 101 freeway, it was a great down hill ride to the big bay south of Trinidad and then a long, fast, cruise into Eureka. The freeway was great 'getting on down the road' riding, except for the entrances and, especially, the exits. They were scary because most of the drivers will not signal nor yield right of way to bikes. Each exit was a challenge. The entrances were also dangerous, but at least there you could tell who might run you down! At the exits, any vehicle might, without warning, turn into you at 65 mph.

The shoulders were good, and pretty clean, but there were sections where the truck tire wires were hard to avoid. My rear tire, a Schwalbe Marathon, got it's first flat that way. The hole was small, so it didn't go flat until I reached Eureka, and I was able to wait till I was in my motel room - upscale a bit and with a tiled bathroom that was good place to fix a flat tire - after having desert and a nice visit with the tourists from Portland.

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