11 mi / 10.6 mph / 250 ft. climbing
Home: Crescent City Travelodge
After 68 hours off the bike, it was time for Rett to nervously test it out. And, no pain! Even with a decent hill-test. What a relief, for both of us! Of course, the gorgeous ride back down CA 199 through the redwoods would have been a good salve for any pain, but it wasn’t just that. Even though our test was designed to be extremely mild, with an 11 mile ride to a motel in Crescent City, Rett felt like she wanted to do more.
But we stuck to the game-plan, especially since anything further meant climbing the first 1000-foot hill of our trip. We’d take this win, but continue to play it conservative. Over the last couple days we’d tossed around ideas like “maybe we’ll just need to rent a car and go somewhere and hole up for a month”. The test from today showed that option probably doesn’t need to be on the table anymore, but although the test literally took us out of the woods, that doesn’t mean we’re figuratively out of the woods yet.
Despite very little riding, we still had no trouble filling out the rest of the day, with laundry at the most (quirkily) decorated laundromat I’ve ever been in, a great beer-and-lunch at SeaQuake Brewing, where Rett had a pumpkin cheesecake that rivaled/ripped-off my own, and getting good and warmed at the Travelodge.
Even though Jedediah Smith State Park is a few miles off the main Pacific Coast bike route, they have five hiker/biker sites, and the fact that we saw zero others like us over three nights there confirmed our theory (fear) that we are the rear-guard of the Coast Caravan. So we were excited to see a couple of loaded bikes parked outside of the Crescent City Safeway when we arrived. People heading south later than us! But when we returned after our shopping trip, we met their owners, a couple of young guys from Minnesota who had pedaled (almost on a whim, it sounded like) from home west to the Pacific, and Crescent City was their endpoint. It was fun talking with them, and we were excited about their accomplishment. But, the rear-guard we remain.