ARCATA,CA TO SAN FRANCISCO
1,087 MILES IN, 788 TO GO
After our rest day, we clicked into our pedals and headed south. We were instantly greeted by 4 large hills, from 500 to 1,900 feet, as well as additional smaller ones over the 65 mile route. The total climb that day was 5,571 feet. Everyone's legs were quite tired and we slept extremely well that night.
The scenery along the route continues to be phenomenal. Many more high cliffs and lots of rocky outcroppings with occasional black, volcanic sandy beaches interspersed here and there. One would think the rocky coast, tall evergreens and quaint waterfront homes would soon become old but at any turn we are compelled to stop and snap another photo. When riding along "The Avenue of Giants," we felt so small and insignificant compared to gigantic redwoods over 200 feet tall and more than 1,000 years old.
On another day, we rode 83 miles and climbed 6,893 feet. In mid-afternoon, I treated myself to 3 Creamsicles and also an excellent seafood pasta dinner that evening. I thought I deserved it!
As we pedal along the coastal route, there is an abundance of seabirds in various forms of flight. They have nothing to do all day but to eat and to fly. That may not be a bad life but they really are missing out because they don't have bicycles.
With only 1 puncture so far, I am pleasantly surprised at how well the tires are holding up. The roads in the first week had more pieces of broken glass than the entire Northern Tier ride of last summer but, with some exceptions, the pavement generally is much better than on that ride. However, after one day of particularly rough pavement, we all raised a grand toast to our tires.
Temperatures continue to be quite cool. Over the last week, the day typically has started in the mid-50's, rising only to the mid-60's later in the afternoon. On one occasion, however, it never rose above the mid-50's. We typically start the day with a light jacket and sometimes don't shed it until around noon. As we head toward Southern Cal, however, it is certain to become warmer.
The trek across the Golden Gate Bridge was spectacular! After driving across many times in the past, it was very different and special to cross it on a bicycle. There is a separate, dedicated lane for bicyclists and pedestrians so vehicular traffic is not a consideration. However, the lane was quite crowded with walkers, runners and cyclists traveling in both directions. We continually had to focus on our game to cross successfully. But, considering the spectacular views of the city, it definitely was worth it.
Over the first 1,087 miles, we have climbed 65,000 feet. That equates to more than 12 1/2 miles of upward climb with a large percentage occurring in the last 6 days. But the downhills definitely are worth all of the climbing. Many are curved so you cannot experience their full potential but on one straight run, speeds of 44 mph were reached. What a rush!
We were ready for today's rest day and very pleased it could occur in beautiful San Francisco, the home of some of the best seafood and sourdough bread in the entire world. Life indeed IS good!
Tip of the Day:
It's never too late to live happily ever after.