Cycling the West Coast: Avenue of the Giants! [Day 22]

Luke Guilford | CycleCycle
Into the forests of living giants. Photo Credit: Luke Guilford
Into the forests of living giants. Photo Credit: Luke Guilford

Day 22

I am not sure why, but last night was one of the best night’s sleep I have had on the trip. I feel so refreshed! And to make it even better, today was a short day, covering rough 23 miles or so. We didn’t have much of an agenda besides exploring the wonders off of the Avenue of the Giants.

We were on Highway 101 for just a couple of miles before dipping off into the Avenue of the Giants. If you’re driving through this area of California, I highly recommend taking a slight detour to check this road out. Huge, old-growth redwood trees create an incredible 31-mile tour of some of the oldest trees on the planet.

Taking our time, exploring the numerous trails that branch off the road, we got our fair share of tree admiring in. It was nice to be in almost 100% shade under the massive trees.

239 miles to go! Photo Credit: Luke Guilford
239 miles to go until the Golden Gate Bridge! Photo Credit: Luke Guilford

After a while, we stopped to make lunch along the Eel River. Lunch consisted of lentils, beans, and bananas (oh yes, all the essentials!).

Towards the end of the day, we stopped in Myers Flat for a cheesy tourist thing…visiting a drive-thru tree. Our bikes fit much easier through the tree than the Toyota Camry that followed us in. The Camry made it through effortlessly, but then they decided to reverse back into the tree for a picture and they broke their rear-view mirror doing so. That made for a not so stoked picture.

It still is wild to me that they can put a 7-foot by 7-foot opening into a tree. Like what?! To make things crazier, we even came across a treehouse that was literally a giant room carved out inside a massive redwood.

Treehouse or house within a tree? Photo Credit: Luke Guilford
Treehouse or house within a tree? Photo Credit: Luke Guilford

As we set our aim for Hidden Springs Campground, I got a text from Flurin saying that he was close by, so he pulled up to camp tonight as well. When we arrived at camp, we opened the beer box to store our food and other items, and to our surprise, there was a case of Lagunitas chillin’ there with a sign that said to “drink up.” Big shoutout to whoever paid it forward and left the beers!

It was nice hanging out with Flurin and catching up since I last saw him in Southern Oregon. I guess he pulled a massive 60+ mile day to catch up with us and meet my father, so he was pretty beat, especially compared to our 23-mile day.

The redwoods have been nice, and it was one of the areas I wanted to spend more time in as I planned this trip. However, I do miss the coast, and the cool weather that the Pacific Ocean provides. Tomorrow should be our last full day riding along Highway 101, from there we will branch off onto Highway 1.

Today felt weird because it was a short mileage day and for some reason it makes me slightly anxious not covering 50-60+ miles a day. I’m not sure why because I definitely want to explore the area like we did today, but there is also this side of me that wants to bike all day. I think it might be due to the fact that I am on a bit of a time crunch and the feasibility of reaching the LA area by then is starting to dwindle. I have to remind myself sometimes that I shouldn’t be worried about not reaching a certain destination because this trip was really never about reaching an end location but enjoying the journey along the way.

Stats from today:

  • 23 miles biked
  • 900 vertical feet climbed
  • 1,000+ year-old trees
Day 22
Day 22.

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