Category Archives: Pacific Coast Bicycle Route

Pacific Coast Bicycle Route – Day 29 – Over Halfway!

As of today we have cycled for 4 weeks from Vancouver, BC and have passed the halfway point mileage-wise. The total distance from Vancouver to the Mexican border is 1854 miles. The total distance for the past four weeks is 953 miles. We’re getting there, slowly but surely.

We stopped this morning for some breakfast sandwiches at Tonetta’s Coffee and Eatery in Rio Dell then headed out of town with a last view of the company town of Scotia.

Leaving Scotia behind
Leaving Scotia behind

With a short time-out to fix our first flat (somehow my bike tire picked up two staples),

staples in my bike tire
staples in my bike tire

we were exiting the freeway for an amazing ride through The Avenue of the Giants.

Avenue of the Giants
Avenue of the Giants

This road took us through quiet, peaceful redwood forests with very little traffic. We cycled through 31 miles of redwood groves in the Humboldt Redwoods State Park which has the largest remaining stand of virgin redwoods in the world.

Humboldt State Park
Humboldt State Park- still cool in the morning

We stopped in Myer’s Flat for a quick sandwich

Sign on the outdoor table at lunch, Myer's Flat
Sign on the outdoor table at lunch, Myer’s Flat

and headed on south continuing on the Avenue of the Giants.

The Avenue follows the Eel River which flooded in 1964 - see next photo
The Avenue follows the Eel River which flooded in 1964 – see next photo
Yellow stripe on top of pole shows the height of the floodwaters in 1964
Yellow stripe on top of pole shows the height of the floodwaters in 1964 – at least 35 ft.

Bill was capturing the beauty of the scenery, but once we left the Redwoods, the landscape turned brown and the temperature rose about 15 degrees.

Brown fields, rainy season over?
Brown fields, rainy season over?

As we climbed the last few hills into Garberville, it was 85 degrees and direct sun. I think we will start earlier tomorrow as the mornings are definitely cooler and we only have about 25 miles to cover. and about 800 ft. to climb!

Garberville - a hippie haven
Garberville – a hippie haven

Pacific Coast Bicycle Route – Day 28 – Dairy Farms Galore

This part of northern California is literally la “creme de la creme”, or at least the land of milk, cream, cheese, butter, and lots of cows. As we left Ferndale (nicknamed Cowtown), we cycled past mile after mile of dairy farms, with cows lazily munching grass and hay – by lazy, I mean actually lying on the ground and munching.

Cows galore
Cows galore

The Victorian mansions in the town of Ferndale were referred to as “Butterfat Mansions” as they were built with the profits from the dairy farms.

Victorian house in Ferndale, referred to as "Butterfat Mansions"
Victorian house in Ferndale, referred to as “Butterfat Mansions”
and a project for Bill, finally a place we can afford
and a project for Bill, finally a place we can afford

This misty gray skies, the green fields, the narrow roads and the happy cows all reminded us of our cycling trips in Ireland – even the smell of the fermented hay.

Ireland?
Ireland?

Once we climbed a few of the hills and were able to see the Eel River down below

Tiny hill climb
Tiny hill climb

and the alpine hills above us with the grazing cows – those scenes reminded us of Switzerland.

Switzerland?
Switzerland?
Not cows, donkeys and lazy hores
Not cows, donkeys and lazy horses

Who says you have to go to Europe – we’re finding European landscapes here in Northern California.

Three hills today as we made our way to Rio Dell (not to be confused with Del Rio, Texas from our trip last fall). Our short ride was determined by the fact that we can’t secure lodging for another 45 miles – so decided on a short day today rather than cycling 60 today!

We have dropped off our bags and we’re heading down to Scotia to check out the “Last True Company Town in California”. Pacific Lumber Company built the town between 1883 and the 1920’s, constructing over 275 houses, 2 churches, a school, and other amenities for the town.

Company houses
Company houses

Everything was company owned. Pacific Lumber went bankrupt and now the mill is partially working and the new owners are working to sell off all the houses to the employees and retirees who live in them.

Partially defunct lumber mill
Partially defunct lumber mill
Looking over the town of Scotia
Looking over the town of Scotia
Elementary school
Elementary school

We ate dinner at the Scotia Inn Pub (Gallagher’s) and had our taste of Ireland tonight. Wished we could have stayed at the Inn – beautiful lobby. (The Inn was also built by the “company”. )

Scotia Inn - lobby
Scotia Inn – lobby
lobby - nice hotel for a company town
lobby – nice hotel for a company town
lobby
lobby

Small World PS – the owners of the Francis Creek Inn, where we stayed last night, spoke with us this morning and it turns out they are from Woodstock, VA. They are selling the Inn to go back home.

Breakfast PS – Bill is just like his mom. After a breakfast sandwich at the Ferndale Pie Company, he put away a piece of cherry pie and ice cream. Breakfast dessert.