Day 22: Orick to Ferndale

8 October 2011

Kittens at the Palm Motel

In the morning, I returned to the hotel restaurant and ate a hot breakfast. I set out with the Foursome, but soon went ahead. Just past Orick the road cuts right between Freshwater Lagoon (that's right, it's a freshwater lagoon named Freshwater Lagoon) and the ocean— kind of a cool sight.

Freshwater Lagoon (left); Pacific Ocean (right)

I spent some time at Patricks Point State Park, where I took the short trail down to Wedding Rock.

Wedding Rock at Patricks Point State Park

The road here is a low-traffic road that parallels 101. I stopped at the Luffenholtz Beach vista to adjust my bags, which seemed to be rubbing on the tires.

Luffenholtz Beach

There is a bike trail that bypasses McKinleyville. Then I followed farm roads into Arcata.

Bike trail outside McKinleyville

At Arcata I had to navigate past the university (Humboldt State University) and through the city, which was not helped by the fact that a whole street was closed off for construction. Unfortunately, even after leaving Arcata, the ride did not get a whole lot better for about the next 20 miles.

Past Arcata, 101 is high-traffic and has freeway-style entrances and exits in places. I followed 101 to Eureka, navigated city streets along the waterfront, and caught (after some confusion) a bike trail that was under construction and was, in its current state, a mixture of dirt, mud, and rocks. None of the preceding were particularly fun.

Bike trail under construction

The "bike trail" dumps you out in the back parking lot of Eureka's supermall. I performed a random walk around the neighborhood until I found a Subway, then stopped to eat lunch. It was a very late lunch, about 50 miles into the ride, and the combination of highway riding, city riding, and trailblazing had pretty much destroyed me.

The remainder of the ride along 101, while still annoying, was at least uneventful; I was glad to make the turnoff at Tompkins Hill Rd. The last few miles into Ferndale went through small towns.

Ferndale is full of Victorian-style houses and architecture, and even the hotel I found (the Francis Crick Inn) had Victorian-style decor. I found it to be a charming little town. However, the two big hotels downtown were way over my budget (surprising for what appears to be a fairly small town), and I had ended up backtracking a couple of blocks to find the Francis Crick Inn.

Francis Crick Inn

I ate dinner at Ivanhoe's in town, which was pretty good.


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