PCT 2007 Day 13
Stage 13 / 4-7-07
Harris Beach State Park, Oregon – Prairie Creek Redwood State Park, California
71.64 miles; 697.31 total; 11 miles mph avg.; 6:27 hours
Low 50’s misty fog with showers throughout day.
Last night’s fire was great though I didn’t stay up late to enjoy it long. I awoke to rain and my mood went south real fast. I stayed in bed until 7:15 and finally made a move. As I got ready the ranger came by since I hadn’t paid yet. I finished eating and was on the road by quarter of nine. It was my latest start yet.
It wasn’t raining so I went without my rain gear only to have to drag it out soon after. The stage started flat but half way through the day I had my first Hors Catégorie (HC) climb followed later by a cat. 1.
The day started on 101 but then took Ocean View Dr which paralleled 101 for a while. I should have stayed on 101 since it was flatter. Just past Smith River I made the decision to take Rt. 197 to 199 to Jedidiah Smith Redwoods State Park. They filmed the parts of Return of the Jedi that took place on Endor here. I took Hallow Hill Rd through and it was dirt. My bike and trailer are all muddy now. While in the forest, I wore my yellow rain suit so that I might pass as C3PO and the Ewoks might not take me as prisoner. I don’t speak 6 million languages but I do talk as much and as fast as C3PO. The forest was deathly quiet. I can only guess the Ewoks must have eaten all of the small prey. As we know, they are meat eaters from the movie. Or maybe it was just crappy out and the animals are smarter than me to be out in the rain.
Once down and out of danger I had lunch under the overhang of a boarded up hotel on 101. After lunch I was faced with the HC climb and the cat. 1. Lucky for me I had a 4 mile downhill through the most beautiful Redwood forest in Prairie Creek Redwood SP. This was also my stopping place for the night. I’m camped next to a field which is visited by elk. They did not come by but there were two deer in the field when I arrived. They are my first of the trip. I also saw bats tonight.
While unpacking two odd guys on bikes came in. One was on a recumbent with a trailer like mine but it wasn’t full enough for overnight camping and the other guy was towing a dog in a kids trailer. He had on an empty backpack and no supplies. They said they came from two days south of here.
I’m camped next to a British couple and an Indian family. There are not many people here. Hiker/biker fees are only $3! Though my shower cost me fifty cents! They’re free in Oregon.
The trees I have seen today are amazing. They are so big around and so tall; they’re everywhere too. You see one and say wow, then turn and there’s another even bigger. Words can’t describe it.
As a side note after a day of clouds and rain, I can see a lot of stars.
Today I rode by the Easter Lily capital of the world. In the Smith River area 90% of the worlds lily bulbs are grown. The Smith River is the only completely un-damned river in CA. Another oddity I passed was the Trees of Mystery and home of Paul Bunyan & Babe.
Early in the day there were tons of snails on the road. They were every where. I even think I saw a Banana Slug.
Scatman 2011- See a trend here? Crappy mornings followed by increasingly better weather. This was a hard day with lots of climbs but the scenery was amazing and I didn’t mind the hard work. I was not on the coast for the first time in a while so it was nice to see something other than the ocean, even though the coast was beautiful.
My trip to the Jedidiah Smith Redwoods was totally spontaneous decision. I saw the note in my book about Return of the Jedi being filmed there and I was hooked. The road to the park was very windy and ran along a very cool river. At times there were 30′ cliffs right next to the guard rail.
Get out there!