Hey guys… haven't seen you in a while… I woke up quite hungry and fairly early. I decided I would try my hand at the breakfast buffet trick again at one of the hotels we saw last night on the way to our beach front stay. I was successful again, and filled up on lovely breakfast foods. After I had gotten my fill, I decided to try to get internet access at another motel so as to not blow my transient cover.
I made my way to a super 8 and just asked if I could use their internet. I charged the computer while checking on stuff. Paul called after a while, and I told him where I was. He packed everything up and came over. I directed him to the place that I got food, but we had a miscommunication and he ended up going to the super 8 place where he had to pay. Imagine that… poor child.
After Paul returned disgruntled, we hit the road. After only a few miles we began ascending into a redwood forest . The trees were huge
We stopped at a market on the other side to get an idea of what lied ahead. We got some crappy maps of the area and ate some food. As we were enjoying some watermelon out front, we saw Mike and Sean. Ha, we had caught up to them even after they had done their century the day before. We flagged them down and they decided to join forces with us for the rest of the day.
When we all got back on the bikes it was only a few miles before we were back in the depths of the redwoods. This ride was one of the most enjoyable of the trip since it was primarily downhill and rolling through gigantic majestic living things. The trees seemed to cast a serenity on everything below them as it is cooler and eerily quiet while we rolled through.
The next time we came to a clearing there were a bunch of cars stopped. We quickly noticed some elk were crossing the road . It was fun watching how gracefully they stepped over the fences as they crossed the road. They are beautiful animals. We continued on after that and made a pit stop to get some food at another market. I got some bread and chocolate milk, and after I paid everyone else decided they would get burritos next door. Thanks guys.
I took my food next door and ate with them while they all ordered their massive burritos. Sean got a smothered one, which meant unpackable because of sogginess while Mike and Paul intelligently got dry ones. When their food came, a couple other bikers, Andy and Melissa showed up as well to get some burritos. Sean and Mike had met them earlier, but Paul and I hadn't. They had a bunch of stuff stolen in Eugene Oregon on their tour including Melissa's bike. Bummer. On a positive note, they got a whole bunch of press about it and the large biking community of Eugene pitched in and got them back on the road by giving Melissa a new bike among other things that were stolen. I had actually read about them in an email on this touring email list I'm on. It was funny to have actually met them after having already heard about them. Odd.
Paul and Mike each ate half of their burritos and packed the rest while Sean painfully put down the entire thing. He was hurting so much that when we went outside Sean passed out on the ground and took a quick nap. I must admit the sun felt nice and relaxing.
I had cell service for one of the first times that day, and made a phone call to Katie Querna's (warmshowers host in Spokane) friend Reagan who lives in Arcata, the town we intended on reaching that evening. Reagan and her husband Luke had agreed to have a friend leave a key for us to crash at their apartment. Yes you read correctly… they never met us and were opening their home to us passing through on the word of their friend that we were okay guys. Sweet.
After Sean came to, the 6 of us set out towards Arcata. I began chatting with Melissa about their ride, and it turns out they were coming from Indiana. Their goal for the trip was to collect information about people's/businesses' practices for sustainability in terms of energy and consumption. They are interviewing people and have a video camera and everything packed on the bikes. I was very interested to hear about it, but with all the equipment I just mentioned, and the hilly terrain we began running into, they quickly fell behind the pack. Hopefully we would see them again.
The ride to Arcata was quite hilly, but also fueled by nice tailwinds and good company. We all chatted the whole way about this that and the other thing like old women, and before we knew it, we had arrived in Arcata. It was beginning to get dark, and although it wasn't our place to offer it, we had empathized with the guy's dirtiness, and offered for them to shower up and sleep in the apartment with us. They agreed, and we navigated to the apartment, which was right off of the 101.
Between the four of us, we hadn't showered in a collective 32 days, an average of 8 days apiece. Yummy. Oddly enough, although we talked about how nice it was going to be, no one jumped at the chance to take one once we got inside of Reagan's and Luke's place (hope it was okay guys). Paul was the first to shower, and after he got out we went to the grocery store to pick up some food. We got the food, and when we returned I showered. Then we made some food, and flicked on the olympics. We were captivated by some amazing gymnasts, and Sean and Mike actually never made it into the shower that night. They ended up sleeping in their sleeping bags on the ground (fear not Reagan and Luke) and decided to shower the next morning before leaving.
After the boys went to bed, Paul and I put on the best of Will Ferrell volume 2. I was happy they had that dvd since Paul and I had watched the first volume on my computer. That Will Ferrell is a funny character.
It was a good ending to a good day, and Paul and I had earned a rest day in Arcata the following day. Ah, sweet California. We were loving it.
Life was good.