Day 12: Arcata - Richardson Grove
Sunday, September 18, 2005

86.68 @ 15.0 = 5:44'54, max: 40.8, trip total: 935.3

51° - 70°, foggy morning and a sunny day with some tailwinds

pop-tarts, 2 eggs, bacon, pancakes, hashbrowns, chocolate ice cream, snickers, 2 Sierra Nevada Pale Ale's, lasagne, tomato basil cream soup

Richardson Grove State Park, $2.14 p/p

Amazing day of riding and wonderful weather. Our luck has turned and the rains have flown away.

Even though it started out rather chilly the day warmed up quickly and we were well on our way to see more redwoods. It was filled with slow elevation climbing - going up river for most of the day which for the most part doesn't really feel like climbing. Especially with the tailwinds we had. It was almost like your were coasting up a very slight ramp. And with that type of momentum on such a nice day the energy just gets higher.

We entered the Avenue of the Giants. A scenic route next to Highway 101 which showcase the mammoth trees. As I mentioned before - it's hard to explain t the magnitude of how they rose up right next to you. Thicker than 20 regular trees and higher than you could see. And when they are all around right next to you it's hard to step back or put them in context.

video clip: going through the redwoods »

I still kept feeling we were riding through a set for one of the Star Wars movies. As if some ewoks or something were going to walk out from behind some trees in the distance.

The river was cool too - riding along its banks and snaking up through the mountains getting deeper into the woods - deeper into the challenging climbs that would undoubtedly be our way out. But at the same time it was getting warmer and the sun was strong.

The day had some serious climbs right at the end to make sure we were paying attention. The camp site that we intended to stay at was closed for the season so we pushed on for another 6 miles and found a great place to stay. Redwoods right at our footstep! We were camping among the giants.

Dinner came and all hell broke loose. An impromptu team meeting and a discussion of "expectations" put everyone on edge. We could have handled it better but we were all exhausted and since we have been looking out for each other for some time now things had been shelved. So it all came out. Long story short we're gonna start earlier so we can get more out of the day. It's hard to put so much of yourself into the planning and not be able to forsee such basic needs and "expectations." I think I was looking for it but just didn't see it all as clearly as I do now. Hopefully this got us on a better track and not derailed our good intentions. At the end of the day it's an amazing trip. That being said it was a quite night - all except the snoring. Every damn night. Uh, I think it might be me at times. But we have other more experienced musical talents in the group.


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