28.8 mi / 10.6 mph / 910 ft. climbing
Home: Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park hiker/biker campsite
Brookings, the last town in Oregon, the town that contains Harris Beach State Park, also contains a Fred Meyer, the store that has everything, so we did a major morning stock-up for the days ahead. We also did a rare cafe breakfast in order to wait out the morning rain, which was successful at both getting us well-fed with less work than usual, and at letting the sun come out before we headed on.
And where we headed on to was California! It’s State #3 in our quest to ride through all 50 states, and one that we expect to be living in for months. Just the day before, Rett had said “well you’ve never cried on a bike tour”, and rolling up to that giant California sign immediately proved that wrong. I’m not exactly sure what brought up the emotions in me; it was something about having accomplished the journey through Oregon and half of Washington, but I think it was more more about the renewal and opportunity that California iconically represents. We’re still new enough into this thing that it still feels like a “normal” bike tour, or a few weeks of vacation, but crossing the California border is one of those elements that slowly drips it into our brains that this is our new life. Rett’s usually the one who plays music on her handlebar-mounted phone, but I had to fire up ‘Hotel California’ as we rode our first miles in the Golden State. We came in from the other end than the Eagles did, and hope that our stay is less-grim, but it still felt right.
As I remembered from 9 years ago, the beat between the ocean and the Redwoods is a chunk of surprisingly-flat and cattle-filled farmland, where we stopped to eat our lunch in an empty and freshly-plowed field. We used a blackberry bramble as a windbreak from the strong and cold north breeze, trying to soak up as much of the warm California sun as we could, to hold it inside us and generate heat while we would be living under a solid blanket of light-blocking redwoods for days.
We had first choice of the five hiker/biker campsites at Jedediah Smith State Park ($5 per person per night, a price that will barely get you a gallon of gas here!), so took the one that was both enormous, and let us nestle our tent in the protection of trees as wide as it.