The Bike Touring Pages of
Chris X. Edwards

Summer 1997 - Yukon to California
Journals - 15 August 1997


Day 36

15 August 1997 (foggy, then sunny, then windy; mileage = 69.6; The Lost Coast!) -- X - We got up on the early program and were out by about 7:30. April, apparently, had a chat with a smug American cyclist who was most unimpressive. We took a road called Scenic Drive, instead of 101. Wow, very nice -- even with the fog. We could hear sea lions below. We further bypassed 101 thru McKinleyville. Then around the west side of Arcate Bay. MUCH nicer than 101. We saw a seal in the bay as we crossed the bridges into Eureka. Eureka is an ugly place. It looks like it saw a tourist boom in the 50s and nothing's been improved since. They are also bicycle unfriendly. We bought groceries and film at a big, new grocery on the south side of town. We had a small cake and choc. milk for a snack which turned out to be lunch. On the way out of town, we also bought 43-cents worth of gasoline. South of Eureka, Oliver caught up with us. It was fun to ride with him a bit, until April's rear tire went flat. Oliver waited while I changed it, but the tire was bad. Oliver was impressed with our preparedness when we whipped out a new one. And we were off again. We said au revoir to Oliver and turned off of 101 again to Ferndale. It was a very nice-looking town, even if it was a bit touristy. It was strange to see this place out here. It was like a movie set. We stopped at the post office to jetsam some dead weight before the big climbs. And then we left town and got right into the BIG CLIMBS! Oh wow! These were punishing! #1 -- almost 7 miles, almost 600-meter elevation gain was a surprise! #2 -- 2.5 miles, over 350 meters! STEEP!! The descents were so long and steep that we worried for our brakes. The views were magnificent, especially the ocean. It was like being in a plane. We really struggled up #2 and April was very weary of climbing at this point, but when we finally made it to the coast, wow! Straight, flat road with tail wind and no traffic. Mountains on left, rock and black sand beaches to right. There were a lot of dry-looking cow pastures (and cows). We rode a bit until we came to a marker memorializing the Pt. Medicino Light House. There is a creek and bridge here which allowed us access to the beach. We had a fine dinner of stuffing and then chili-pasta in howling winds. We ate behind our bikes with the ever-handy tarp around them. We then had a fun time putting up the tent in the extreme wind. It must be 30 to 40 mph winds here. Boomerang stick can be played with no trouble. Our tent is OK so far. This is a campsite highlight. Wow! It's fantastic!
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Chris X. Edwards ~ October 2000