Eureka, CA

Home: Eureka Travelodge motel

We wanted to push on to Eureka yesterday because we knew there would be rain all day and into the night, and with Eureka being the last “city” we’d be in for a long time, it would be a good place to get some business done. Once again, the forecast was correct, and spending most of the day inside our Travelodge room felt like exactly the right decision for us. In fact, I think Rett didn’t leave the room for nearly 36 hours, which was also exactly the right decision for her, since 50+ mile days is not something her injury-recovering body had been expecting, and the rest-between-rides approach seems to have been working.

I did a walk over to Starbucks to grab some breakfast, hopped on the bike to do a run over to Target to get Target-only stuff for Rett at the only Target in a million miles, walked to Grocery Outlet to stock up and supply our bed-picnics, and finally stopped at Adventure’s Edge for some bike parts.

It turned out that Adventure’s Edge was way more than a bike shop, it was basically an REI, but about one-tenth the size. The amazing thing was that it didn’t feel like it had anything less than an REI has, nor did it feel over-crammed. I think their stock was just perfectly curated to my needs and preferences, so I picked up a lot more than the brake pads I was looking for, and hope places even half that good will exist down the road!

The preposterously ornate Carson Mansion is a stark contrast to the run-down storefronts on the main drag a few blocks away.

In most of those places it was clear that we were in the central town of the central county (Humboldt) of the marijuana-growing industry in California. I’m not sure what the chicken-and-egg order is that explains the high number of zonked-out crusty vagrants on the streets, but there is surely a relation there. Same with the ever-present smell of marijuana: is it simply because it’s so available (and thus cheap) that it’s constantly being smoked, or is it because the people drawn to such an area are dedicated smokers? Anyway, nothing about the population felt particularly dangerous, but we’re at least glad to be able to fit our bicycles inside the room (I walked out in the morning to find a pair of crumpled camo pants on the ground in front of the door to the music-pumping room next to us, and saw a car with 3 lemon-sized holes in its rear glass parked there later).

Beyond that we did a lot of forecast-analysis and planning to try to map out a solution to disheartening weather report. We debated simply staying put in Eureka for a week-plus, evacuating to some other part of the country, or the middle-ground we’ve tentatively settled on, hopping south as much as we can when breaks appear. So tomorrow we move on.



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