It was a beautiful day for cycling, starting out cool and ending up quite warm. The sun was shining and was a pleasant change from the last days of fog and cold weather. We followed the roads inland, bypassing the coast for the entire day. Our usual ride along route 101 was not to be found for most of the ride, making this a ride in the countryside instead. We were in cycling heaven. We made out way to the village of Loleta, which is where my wife Aila and I were about 2 weeks ago. Loleta has a cheese factory, a general store, a post office and a dog. When Aila and I visited, we saw how they made Monterey Jack cheese and ate at the general store, which was quite good. The local butcher's dog entertained us while we consumed the grilled sandwich and soup.
|Loleta Cheese Factory|
After venturing through Loleta, we made our way to the first SAG stop, in the quaint town of Ferndale. Ferndale has many Victorian style homes and businesses, along with a quaint main street. While at the SAG stop, we met up with a different group of cyclists that had been mirroring our route for the last couple of days. They are from Texas and are doing a shorter, but similar route to ours.
Along the way, we passed through Rio Dell and then on to the highlight of the day: the ride along the Avenue of the Giants, where many redwood trees adorned themselves along our path. The sight is quite spectacular and although the shade from the trees kept the sun out, the temperature was still in the magnificent range, making for a splendid ride. Numerous opportunities presented themselves for photos. At one point we saw how high the flood of 1964 came to, which when you consider that we were already hundreds of feet higher than the river, it boggled the mind.
|Tall trees along the Avenue of the Giants|
Along the Avenue of the Giants, we passed many places that Aila and I had already seen and taken pictures of, a couple of weeks earlier. The path we took was different however, as we rode instead from north to south and at a lot slower pace than one would drive a car. There were few cars along the Avenue, which made for a great ride. Gary and I rode together most of the time, with Joe, Baltimore Mark and Toronto Mark catching up with us later.
|The 3 stooges inside a tree|
After the long ride through the Giants, we headed back onto route 101 and made our way to Garberville for a pizza dinner and wine and cheese at the hotel. It was one of the best cycling days so far and is the starting point for more intensive climbs to come. I look forward to them.
|The "gang" in front of a large redwood trunk|
Let's see what tomorrow brings.