Day 3: Westport, CA to Eureka, CA

This day starts slowly, deliberately: we make time to cook up a breakfast of eggs with spinach, onion, pepper, and cilantro, then top it all off with delicious spicy rooibos tea and a hunk of soft loaf picked up the previous day back in Fort Bragg. Our morning ritual turns out to be a Good Idea: we miss the foggiest, coldest parts of the morning and get to ride off in slightly more riding-conducive weather.

Road weariness is setting in: we’re in need of an extra blanket, and perhaps some sleeping pads, to improve the comfort and warmth of our camping setup. Maybe we’ll get that in Eureka, but we’ve got to get there first…

We’ve forgotten how much this road in from the coast climbs - we emerge from miles and miles of misting droplets, fog, and beautiful bleak greyness into the bright warm sunlight of summer. Soon thereafter we’re hauling down the 101, which is a lot busier than the remote 1. With the weekend coming, we hope to make Eureka by midday to beat the crowd coming up this way from SF. It looks like we’ll have no problem with that.

Ah, NorCal, how full of hippies you are. We set foot in Garberville five minutes, and have already seen:

  • an ecologically-friendly building materials store;
  • a vegan gelato joint;
  • two starving musician/PCT-hiker types strumming banjos outside the supermarket;
  • a man asking for change so he can get some colored pencils for his psychedelic art…

…besides which we meet Milton; him and his wife are motorcycle adventure enthusiasts both, and they detail their trips through the Americas over on the Motodawgs blog.

More progress down the 101. We opt for the Avenue of the Giants, and are rewarded with miles and miles huge majestic redwoods…

…and blackberry popsicles at this roadside stand:

This farm / garden / vacation home rental place sells some of the tastiest popsicles we’ve ever tasted, and boasts corn so sweet you can eat it raw off the cob besides. Something about motorcycle travel - or any travel other than just flying point A to point B, for that matter - speaks to the soul, gets people to open up and talk about their trips back in the day, or mention this thing just off the road up 50 miles we Absolutely Must See, or offer a place to pitch a tent. (OK, so far it’s just been the first two; maybe we’ll get the third at some point!) We pop off the bike for a few to stroll around the garden, which is bursting with peppers and squash and fennel…

The Avenue of the Giants comes to an end, sadly, and we’re ejected back onto the 101 for the last 30 miles into Eureka, where we grab a cheap motel room (“cheap” being a relative term during high season with the County Fair in town) and spend some time strolling about town before delighting our beer-guzzling selves with a pilgrimage to the Lost Coast Brewery: