posted on Sunday, September 07, 2014

Avenue of the Giants


I woke up early morning to the camper most dreaded sound, light drops of rain falling on my tent. As I peeked out of my tent a dense fog engulfed Elk Prairie. I decided to set off early as I had a connection bus to catch from Trinidad. On the way out of the campsite gate a huge and extremely grumpy elk crossed my path and as she had cubs nearby I could see she didn't like my presence at all! We played hide and seek behind trees and I was mostly the one doing the hiding! I got trained with bears a bit by Canadians I met along the way but elk? What is one meant to do meeting a grumpy elk? Should I sprint out and risk being chased, should I retreat and risk being chased, my options seemed dire! Just at the right moment a large van was exiting the camp and the lady driving most kindly rescued me and my shuttered pride driving slowly the van between me and the beast so that I could duck behind it and ride slowly on my way. The day went according to plan. In Trinidad I tested again the convenience of a brompton bike. As I remembered from last year, the next fifty miles through Arcata and Eureka being the worse, with lots of traffic and not much in the way of scenery. As I had to gain some ground this was my scheduled fifty miles cheat and it worked a treat. I packed my brompton in fifteen minutes got all my stuff on the bus and was whisked back to sanity in Scotia, the starting place for Avenue of the Giants; the sky had turned all blue and after the coast fog it was a relief to cycle again in a warm sun along one of the most beautiful stretches of road on this planet. Burlington camp where I regretted not being able to stay last year is a great place to spend the night, in the heart of avenue of the giants and where most bikers on this route stop. I pitched my tent and met Menno, a Dutchman who is cycling on a recumbent bike from Alaska to Mexico and Spencer a Canadian who started his trip in Edmonton and is planning to go as far as Ecuador.
It was nice to finally get a good chat and share stories of the past few days and plans for the days to come.