Thursday, July 29, 2010


Started off yesterday off with a 4am thunderstorm. Apparently this is
a rarity on the coast on the summer. I was just glad to have been
staying with Tom and Misti and not be stuck in my tent. For breakfast,
homemade granola and homegrown strawberries. And what better way to
start the day than with a few miles of road thru redwoods and a 5 mile

I stopped in Klamath as friend in Asheville who is following my
travels whom I haven't even met yet suggested I do if I wanted to find
some smoked salmon (say that 10x fast). When I saw that this stuff was
$54.99/lb, my eyes said "wow!" I've heard the Northern Cal pushes a
lot of product by the pound but I can't imagine spending that kind of
cash on some fish. I asked for a $5 piece and he gave it to me for
half price. I got the feeling that those prices are for the
vacationers travelling in their Porsche convertibles and staying in

I climbed into the Prairie Creek Redwoods and ate my still overpriced
smoked salmon and Tillamook cheddar under the redwoods. Marvels of the
day: a tree 3x the length of my bike and a hollow tree big enough for
me and my bike to fit inside. This redwood forest was right along the
coast and it was freezing! Apologies to all my east coast friends and
family... I know it is sweltering hot over there. Well, it is
unseasonably cold here. I'm tempted to ride inland just to get some
sun but then I'd miss the coast. Almost every morning, I can see my
breathe and need to wear all my cold weather gear.

My hosts, Kathy and Dick, were also hosting a group of
6 guys riding down the coast with a sag vehicle. So when i arrived at
the house, there was a crowd on the porch with a feast on the table...
dinner was served and I got there right on time 92 miles later. Those
guys had a wreck that day from pacelining that ended the bikes and
bodies all over Hwy 101 and one person in the ER. They were fortunate
that there weren't any cars near when they crashed. The injured is now
driving the sag car.

Where can you find someone to tension your spokes by the tone from
plucking them? Eureka! I told Dick I needed to find a bike shop to
work on my wheel since I broke another spoke today. I was wondering
why it felt like I was dragging a cinderblock all day. I didn't notice
the broken spoke till I sat down for a snack. Anyway, when Dick
started plucking my spokes, I thought, "oh no, here we go. This isn't
going to end pretty." But i didn't want to be rude and tell him to
stop because he had already been so kind to extend his hospitality to
me. I figured if worse came to worse, I could pay a shop to fix it if
he made it worse. "DING! DONG! plunk...." went the sound of my spokes
from Dick's fingernail. As I watched, I started to ease up. Dick
seemed to know what he was doing and played my spokes like a harp. In
a short 10 or 15 minutes, my spokes were all tight and the wheel was
true. Only in Eureka.

I'm less than 300 miles from San Francisco, my destination, and I have
6 days to get there after my rest day here in Eureka/Arcata area. Do
the math... less 50 miles per day. So we'll see how that goes. Maybe
I'll go inland to stretch it out a bit. I think I heard that the
cycling hall of fame is in Davis, CA. Eureka has been great so far,
people are great here, very hospitable. Sitting here in a coffee shop
on a Thursday morning while a middle aged women is strumming and
singing the blues trying to come up with a succinct description of the
town. Maybe 12 more hours will give me a better idea. I know what
you've heard about Eureka. So far, I haven't seen any hippies on the
corner burning funny cigarettes. It brings to question the matter of
social deviance. Are people more inclined to behave outside of
socially acceptable behavior if it is harshly punished or not?

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