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Pacific Coast Bike Route – Day 16 : Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park > Clarion Hotel, Eureka, CA

A couple really special segments today. I didn’t really look at the route before leaving and worried it would be a US-101 slog, but was pleasantly surprised.

The morning started with some local wildlife. As I was breaking camp I noticed a banana slug cruising across my table. Unfortunately, that would not due because I needed to use the table to fold/roll my tent. I gently picked him up and placed him down into the under brush.

As I was leaving the campground and turned back onto Newton B. Drury Scenic Parkway I looked across an spotted a pair of ladies standing and leaning on the fence looking off into the field in the distance. I looked in that direction and spotted, what I learned during Jeopardy last night was, the “Bachelor Herd”. I guess the really large herd has a single bull who is the alpha male and the rest are females and calves. When a male gets older, challenges the alpha and loses they’re kicked out of the herd. That’s when they join the “Bachelor Herd”. Very cool to look over and see all those heads and antlers poking up out of the long grass.

As I approached the Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park sign I pulled off because I wanted a picture of it with Shadow. I took a very similar shot three years ago with Ares during my 202 Spring Break trip, which I went into detail about yesterday. You can check out the brief details of that ride HERE.

I finished up the short stretch of Newton B Drury and rejoined US-101. Had to do some rollercoaster type miles before getting anywhere really scenic. You climb up over a rise to descend back to a beach or lagoon. Just to climb again and descend to another lagoon. This continued for a bit and really started taking it out of my legs.

Thankfully, I got some relief by exiting onto Patricks Point Drive. I’m not 100% certain if this is an old US-101 alignment, but it certainly felt like one. Riding through huge redwoods and quaint houses. So many BnBs and little inns! I was definitely taking notes for future vacation ideas!

I pulled into the east side of Trinidad and spotted a gas station on the corner. My legs were telling me it was time for a break and some coffee after having ridden 20+ miles. I grabbed a canned Starbucks, some doughnuts, and went outside and pulled up a stretch of concrete. It was nice to be out of the saddle for a few minutes.

I got back on the bike and proceeded onto Trinidad Scenic Drive. This was a real treat. The drive is a short three mile or so stretch of coastal roadway. It starts beautifully paved but gradually the road deteriorates and eventually you’re riding one-way gravel sections. The views though were absolutely stunning! I made numerous stops along the way and captured a video from Topena Point.

Not far from Topena Point came Houda Point. As I passed by I struck up a conversation with a lady who must have just finished up a surfing session. I mean taking off a wet suite is kinda a give away on that one. We chatted for a bit and as I went to go take a picture, she told me to continue up the road just a bit for a better view. I took her advice and be damned she was right. Snapped a picture and I would have snapped more but I felt like I was intruding on the single guy standing there taking in the scenery. Instead of waiting I moved on. Will say this scenic drive was certainly a treat and I wish I’d know about it sooner!

As the saying goes all good things must come to an end and scenic drives are no exception. I left the drive with a turn onto US-101. I was on US-101 for all of maybe a mile taking the very next exit for Clam Beach Drive.

Clam Beach Drive was a nice empty road for providing access to Clam Beach County Park and Little River State Beach. As it came to an end I was bummed to be rejoining US-101, but just before the on ramp I spotted a sign for a bike trail. I checked my maps and decided WTH and went with it. Again, I’m glad I did.

What I had found was another little hidden gem named the Hammond Trail. Looking it up I found it’s a 5.5 miles multi-use trail that was constructed through private property and along a portion of the abandoned Little River and Hammond Railroad properties. The railroad line once extended from Humboldt Bay north to the town of Crannell. Another classic rail trail project, and it was outstanding. It is on par with all the trails I’ve ridden up to this point. My favorite part was the Mad River Bridge.

Leaving the Hammond Trail I was in farm country. Nothing but grassland and old barns as far as the eye could see. Was really surprised at the condition of some houses only to then realize in horror that there were people living in them. On multiple occasions I thought I was passing an abandoned house and either heard someone talking from inside or spotted a powered on flat panel TV.

I could see I was starting to come into town and it was approaching 1:00 so lunch sprung to mind. As luck would have it I rolled up on Tacos La Bonita, a taco truck. I figure why not? I know my Adobo brothers will be disappointed I didn’t make it a taco ride by ordering a Chicken Grande Burrito with a bottled Coke. Burrito was perfect!

After lunch I was left to ride through Arcata and then on to Eureka. Now, I had originally planned on camping at Samoa Boat Ramp and Campground. I talked with Ray about it last night and he heard from a LBS that it wasn’t recommended. I did some digging myself and decided to call in a hotel instead. My power bank was empty and I hadn’t even been able to top off at Prairie Creek before leaving. Total bummer.

As I rode into Eureka I took the first turn and stopped to do some quick research. I picked a hotel that’s close to where I left the ACA route so I can pick it up easily in the morning. At the front desk of the Clarion I asked for anything on the first floor and was told an ADA room was all they had and it would be available no later than 4:00. I said sign me up and rolled out to burn some time.

I started by going to one of my favorite t-shirt shops, Humboldt Republic. Very disappointed to ride up to see that they’re closed on Mondays!

Still needing time to burn I rode over to the only stand alone Starbucks in the area. I had hoped to get a start on recharging my devices, but I think I’ve found the only Starbucks without any in store charging? Oh well. I ordered a coffee and banana bread and went to pull up a chair.

As I was looking for a place to sit a gentleman caught my attention by asking, “Hey how do you like your Tailfin setup?”

Now this question is quite the departure. This guy is asking about a very specific piece of my equipment by its very specific name. I was intrigued to say the least.

I said that I loved the setup and that it was top notch. As I leaned on the chair opposite this person talking about all my gear he invites me to sit down. Bob and I would spend the next hour or so talking about gear and tours. He shared that he had done a cross country tour in the past, but it was sag supported and they did huge miles daily. We’re talking averaging 100+ miles per day. Granted the sag wagon was carrying the luggage and gear, but no thank you. I’m tired as is doing 50-60/day loaded, I can’t imagine 100+ daily unloaded. He went on to talk about how he’s looking to do the Great Allegheny Passage, I think?, soon and he’s researching gear. We talked about what I felt he would need storage capacity wise for a self-supported tour, like what I’m doing, versus a credit card trip, where you stay in a hotel nightly. The conversation was capped off with venturing back outside to go over everything on the bike with him. Satisfied with all the information he’d gleaned we said our goodbyes. He went to rejoin his family and I went back inside to wait for my room.

Not soon after Bob left I got a call from the hotel that my room was ready. I jumped on Shadow and rode down US-101 back to the hotel.

Along the way I spotted Pacific Outfitters of Eureka and pulled in to see if they had any freeze dried meals. I had eaten my last meal this morning. I like having a coupe with me so I have a little flexibility when it comes to breakfast, and now dinner. I picked up three of each and a bottle of bug spray.

A quick ride over to the hotel and I got checked in without issue. I startedy night by getting both sets of riding kit into an in-sink wash. Gotta give them as long as possible to dry. I also got all my electronics on chargers so they’re all at 100% when I leave in the morning.

After that I went over to Siam Orchid for more Thai food. I mostly went because it was open, close, and had decent ratings. I was surprisingly good! While I was there the little darling called and we talked for just shy of an hour.

With food and phone call done I walked back to the hotel. Spent the rest of the night getting all my journalling caught up. I know if I wait I’ll start to lose the small details of what has happened during the day and that kills me.

I did get a text message from Ray at one point. It included a picture of the front of Tuyas! I hope it turned out as good for him as it did for me and the family.

So that catches me up. Now I’m ready to crash out and ride some more tomorrow! About 63 miles to camp, but then a rest day! Woot woot!

New bike fund: $5.78 (+$0.21)
51.75 new miles — From
Mostly cloudy-Partly sunny, 51°F-57°F, Feels like 54°F-63°F, Humidity 98%-75%, Wind ENE 1mph-WNW 7mph – by
myWindsock Report —
Weather Impact: 3%
Headwind: 35% @ 1.2-6.9mph
Longest Headwind: 37m 54s
Air Speed: 11.9mph
Temp: 51.7-59.4°F
Precip: 0% @ 0 Inch/hr
— END —

Total distance: 54.37 mi
Max elevation: 461 ft
Min elevation: 14 ft
Total climbing: 2503 ft
Total descent: -2654 ft
Average speed: 13.72 mi/h
Average cadence: 76 RPM
Average heart rate: 110 BPM
Average temperature: 61.70 °F
Total time: 07:53:21
Published inCycling

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