26 July, 2008

Saturday Century

Last night I decided to ride 100 miles. Come morning I got a late start and scratched my plans to travel through Eureka to Loleta, Ferndale, and Fortuna. The sunny, mountainous, and remote Butler Valley Loop called my name. I followed it with the staple, Big Lagoon/Hammond Trail coastal loop.

Inland it was sunny and 80F, finally some summer weather!

Before the Mad River crossing I saw a black bear run across the street about 50ft in front of me.

Mad River near Maple Creek.

After the river crossing I rode by a bobcat. It was about 5ft directly to my right on the side of the road when it saw me and freaked out. I guess the warm weather has everyone's guard down... including some of the crazy drivers headed to the Mad River for tubing.

I was getting worried about ending up a hood ornament with all the narrow winding corners and excited fog dwellers speeding for the sun. Slow down people!

At the base of Fickle Hill a cop was posted to watch for such driving. I was happy to see that, though it doesn't make me feel safer 20 miles out of town.

When I stoped at Big Lagoon I saw a river otter. At first glance I thought "Anaconda!"

Big Lagoon

Wild animals I saw today include snakes, lizards, turkey vultures, hawks, deer, a chipmunk, seals, a black bear, a gorgeous bobcat, and a river otter.

--------------------------------------------------------------------
Ride stats:

Butler Valley: 45.1 mi, Max 44.2 mph, 3 hrs, +5,500 ft.

Big Lagoon: 55.4 mi, Max 40.7 mph, 3 hrs.

Total 100.5 miles in 6 hours.
Avg 16.6 mph, Max 44.2 mph.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Butler Valley: black/yellow path.
Big Lagoon/Hammond Trail: brown/yellow path.

Sun glistening on the light blue ocean surrounding the massive sea stacks (rock columns). Rock islands host hundreds of birds, a handful of barking sea lions, the flowering broad-leaf stonecrop, a miniature forest isolated in the ocean.

Scenic Trinidad

What could be as good as 100 miles of Humboldt road riding?
Paradise Royal