Slept okay last night. Woke up once or twice feeling a little chilled. I think I’d tossed the quilt back some to stop from getting to warm, but then it got cooler than I’ve seen so far on this trip. Eventually got up and out of the tent a little after 7:00.
I started on breakfast that id brought with me. It was more a dessert than a breakfast of I’m being honest. Then again fuel is fuel.
After breakfast I cleaned my kit from yesterday. With all the visiting with El and Christian I hadn’t made the time to do it. It was nice to finally have a utility sink to use instead of a bathroom sink. Much deeper so I don’t have to worry about sloshing water all over the floor.
By the time I was done Christian was up and moving. As he was getting his breakfast made we both watch El roll by. We waved goodbye and wished them luck. I’m pretty sure El and Christian will cross paths again, but me not so much.
I went over to the visitor station to look at some maps. I thought of walking down to Myers Flat to pick up food for lunch and dinner tonight. I also wanted to avoid the road if possible. Besides if I can hike through the redwoods for the majority of the trip why shouldn’t I? I learned some of the river bridges were in place but they weren’t certain about the one closest to camp. I came up with a route and went back to get some things.
Back at camp, Christian was still putting his stuff together. I told him I was walking over to Myers Flat and wished him safe travels. I went across the highway to join the first trail, but didn’t get very far when I realized I forgot my wallet. I went back to camp, grabbed it and my shoulder bag, said my goodbyes…again, and left.
I started by walking along the Gould Grove Nature Loop Trail. Eventually I came to a fork that would give me river access and, hopefully, cross the river to hike River Trail on the other side. I came down to the river and saw a squad of six park service trail maintenance crew getting ready to start installing the summer bridge I had hoped to cross.
Not to be deterred, I went back to the nature trail and continued south. Eventually I joined the Fleischmann Groove Trail which brought me back to the Avenue. At this point my plans was to continue to Williford Road which on park maps is shown as a “multi-use hike/bike/equestrian trail”. It’s only 2.5 miles or so long so why not. At some point along the Avenue I checked how far I’d walked on my Garmin and decided that this was probably a little more than I was really ready for. I turned around to date back to camp and along the way hatched a new plan.
I got back to camp and set about putting my new plan into motion. I had that I would strip Shadow down and go on a casual ride in my camp gear versus road kit. I would ride over to Myers Flat via Williford Road and return with my food via the Avenue. I took the panniers and Tailfin off Shadow and stored them in the camp for locker. I made my pants into shorts, put on my riding shoes and helmet and rode off.
The ride down to Williford Road was a blast. Once again I was feeling like a young kid with his brand new bike riding around the neighborhood. Add to that all the extra weight was gone! It made the ride that much more enjoyable.
Thankfully Williford Road was signed or I would have completely missed it. I checked it out and while it started with a decent climb the surface looked reasonable enough and nothing to much worse than what I’ve ridden on up to this point. So I continued on despite the rear tire slipping out on me causing me to unclip. Hindsight would teach me later this is when I should have turned around.
I pressed on and passed under US-101 a short time later. I kept riding and the road kept climbing. There were several hike a bike sections on today’s little adventure. Stubbornly I kept going. I was still enjoying myself!
I was actually riding when I looked up ahead and spotted a small black lump go lumbering of into the woods. I’m no expert but I’m pretty dang sure it was a young black bear. It was certainly hairier than a dog and moved nothing like one either. I paused for a moment to listen for anything moving around me in the under brush. Having to abort my tour on account of being mauled by a bear was something I hadn’t considered up to this point. I didn’t hear anything and felt that by the way it was making a run for it the I’d scared it off. I don’t know if it was young enough to still be hanging with mom or not, but I figured it would be trailing mom not leading. If I continued up the road I wouldn’t be getting between it and mom. I pressed on.
I finally got to what felt like a summit as the “road” started trending downward. Sounds great right? Nice dirt road to cruise down. Nope not at all. As a matter of fact the road got worse on the way down. Some sections had huge deep ruts where you could tell 4x4s had had a go. Other sections must have been rivers during the rains because the surface was nothing but coarse rocks and gravel. I forced myself to stop and walk the bike DOWN a descent on multiple occasions because it was too steep. No offense to Shadow, but let’s face it you don’t do the Baja 500 in a F1 car. Not sure you could do it all on a gravel bike or not. Looking at the leaderboard for Williford Road, the entirety is a segment, a couple of the faster times were set on mountain bikes. Anyway, I eventually made it back to the Avenue, to Meyers Flat for my supplies, and back to camp none the worse for wear.
I spent the rest of the afternoon hanging out near the visitor center alternating between reading my book and writing about the past two days. It’s been a beautiful rest day in the redwoods.
2.64 new miles — From Wandrer.earth
Sunny-Sunny, 61°F-69°F, Feels like 76°F-80°F, Humidity 65%-56%, Wind N 4mph-NNW 6mph – by Klimat.app
— myWindsock Report —
Weather Impact: 4.7%
Headwind: 39% @ 7.7-11.4mph
Longest Headwind: 36m 24s
Air Speed: 7.9mph
Precip: 0% @ 0 Inch/hr
— END —
Max elevation: 1228 ft
Min elevation: 234 ft
Total climbing: 1196 ft
Total descent: -1091 ft
Average speed: 10.59 mi/h
Average cadence: 72 RPM
Average heart rate: 115 BPM
Average temperature: 69.98 °F
Total time: 01:41:12