The Bike Touring Pages of
Chris X. Edwards

Summer 1997 - Yukon to California
Journals - 11 August 1997


Day 32

11 August 1997 (foggy; mileage = 40.9; Old Coast Highway/Redwood Forest) -- X - We got up and packed and ate at a leisurely pace. After we had made phone calls (to Steve) the "Canadian Wagon Train" was out ahead of us. I saw them leave and got an action-cam of them all. Wow! When we got to the CA-OR border, there was a huge group of cyclists getting their picture taken. I snapped another action-cam of them and left them in the fog as well. We cranked through Smith River (Easter Lily Capital of the World and we saw 'em). We got off the main highway and followed a road to the west (A - Pelican Bay!) which went by a prison but had very little traffic and a marred bike lane the entire way. We got into Crescent City and after checking with a bike shop for the DeLorme map (clueless as usual), we went to the visitor center. They had it for sale! Cool. We then went and did our laundry. I went across the street and got some decent fast food from "Taco Man." Fried burritos -- good. After laundry, we went to the grocery store. April went in while I checked out our new map. I had a plan. We resumed south on 101 but turned off to the west to follow the old (very old) route. We came to the "end" of this road, and it turned into a hiking trail. "No problem," says I -- we're professionals! So off we go. 1st 1/2 mile easy! We meet 2 unloaded bikers who couldn't go farther (but we're professionals), so we press on. We meet an old guy who couldn't hike it on foot (but we're professionals), and we are undaunted (OK, I was undaunted). Then we got to the mountain. Wow! This is where the Pacific Highway fell into the ocean, so the way around it was a little rock trail over the mountain. I started out trying to ride, but that was a joke. I could barely push the bike up this hill. We did it in steps after April unloaded her back-heavy bike. It must have taken us nearly an hour to make the 2-mile climb. It was very! tough -- like pushing a loaded bike up the stairwell of a tall building. We were exhausted and nervous about where we had yet to go, but the road leveled out after a brake-warming descent. Then the trail had a strip of pavement showing through. This was the Old Coast Highway. This was awesome to ride on and it got wider as we went. Very fantastic. There were Redwoods all over as this old road went right through the forest. After cresting the climb earlier, we saw no one. This would be a long hike on foot but great on a bike (after the mountain). It was so awesome here that we really wanted to camp here. We found a good spot off the "road" and ate a good dinner of pasta and jalapeno bread with Swiss Schockolade! Very fine. I then hung the food bag on a Redwood tree! My finest food-hanging to date. It wasn't easy and used about 50 feet of cord. It's up about 25 feet. We set up the tent and here we are. We can hear 101 traffic nearby. The main highway is so close (~200 meters), but those losers will never see this place. Wow! A - We saw pelicans this morning also! X - Also dolphins spronking.
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Chris X. Edwards ~ October 2000