PCT 2007 Day 15
Stage 15 / 4-9-07
Eureka – Dean Creek CG
73.34 miles; 828.17 total miles; 12.6 mph avg.; 5:49 hours
60’s sunny, perfect riding weather
So staying at the Best Western last night was great. I slept well and felt
great today. I went to bed and was under the impression it would be raining
when I got up, from the weather report I saw. It actually was relatively
warm, mostly cloudy and dry. The morning weather, however called for it to
clear in the late afternoon. It cleared for the most part by 11 AM. The rest
of the day was absolutely perfect.
While at the hotel I did laundry, organized my gear, and wrote a bunch of
emails. The other day my squeeze jelly opened in my stuff sack and I forgot
to wash that while at the hotel.
I pigged out at the continental breakfast and was on the road by 7:30. The
stage was super flat for the first 20 miles. It basically went through farm
fields. I passed through the towns of Loletta, Fernbridge, Rio Dell and
Scotia before reaching the Avenue of the Giants.
As a small boy I remember seeing pictures or a show about the giant Redwoods
of northern California and remember thinking how small I felt. I couldn’t
believe trees could be bigger than a car or truck. I never thought I would
ever see them in person. I was just a small boy in Massachusetts 3000 miles
from those trees.
Then today I got to ride my bike down the Avenue of the Giants! I was there
among the largest trees in the world. It was a great feeling to do something I never thought would happen. I felt truly blessed. The Avenue itself was just amazing. I never realized it 35 miles long. Not every mile has big trees but a lot does. Most of the road follows a combination of rivers (Eel River).
During the first miles of the avenue, I passed the Immortal Tree. It was 14.5′
around at the base. Originally it was 298′ tall (lighting blast off the top
50)’. It also survived a flood, fire and logger axe.
Next in Myers Flat, I went to the drive-thru tree. It was actually a let
down. It was a Redwood that was hollow, burned, only 75′ tall and falling
over. It seemed much cooler as a kid.
The plan was to stay there but it was so nice I couldn’t waste perfect
riding weather. I pushed on to Dean Creek CG, located in Redway.
I didn’t finish my dinner tonight. (Four wild turkeys came into camp as I was cooking.) I ate lunch late but would have thought I would still finish dinner. I collected a bunch of fallen tree branches and had a nice fire.
My back was really hurting tonight so I got into bed and that’s it.
As I ride through all these small towns, many of which look poverty stricken,
I realize how lucky I am to be who I am and what I’m doing.
Get out there!