We started out slow knowing we only had 50 miles to do today to get to Klamath CA. It was flattish the first 26 miles and beautiful as usual. We made the California border quickly.
I would like to put a photo here but I am writing this at night at a campground laundromat and have no Internet so all the pictures will have to come at the end when I hopefully get Internet tomorrow.
We make it to Crescent city early in the day. It is like Brookings only it is California which somehow makes it less subtle. It’s hard to explain but the difference is apparent immediately. There is more money in California but it doesn’t go to the right places.
The roads are awful and there is no shoulder. They are repairing the same part of the Klamath mountain road this year as they were last year when I biked this route.
The climb out of Crescent City over the mountain to Klamath is intense in a few ways. Even the RV folks were talking about how hard it was to pull their giant traveling homes up it. The most saliant aspect of the cumb is that it seems like it will never end. It twists and turns and when you think it will be over it just keeps going up. This happens repeatedly until you don’t let yourself hope it will be the end anymore.
It took us three hours to go ten miles. It was laughable. We could have walked it faster I guess. What makes the climb tolerable is it’s otherworldly semi magic beauty. We are not in full in magic yet because this is the beginning of the Redwoods and these trees are not super old.
During the climb, despite the cars, you still feel the silence and the fog drifts through the trees in that rays of God light way. It was about sixty degrees cold as we climbed and yet the sweat poured through us steadily.
At the top we got teased a bit because it goes down and up and down and up for a while so you think it’s over but it’s not.
When we did finally go down it was freeeezing! We had to stop twice to put on extra clothes. The fog was chilly and even with the fancy bike clothes, the sweat was not quickly wicking off so we were wet as well as cold.
We didn’t want to go down fast because the faster we went, the colder we got and also because the California road at any point can have a six inch hole or random lump (this never happens in Oregon) and there’s no shoulder.
We, in our always day glo yellow clothes (over our black long silk underwear) made it to Paul Bunyan trees of mystery towards the end of the afternoon. We had something between lunch and dinner there before we spent quite a bit of time in the museum.
This museum has a formidable collection of indigenous American artifacts. It has all been put together by one woman. It is astounding.
The traded beads I found poignant. Also the dress which uses the paid Swiss coins as decoration.
After trees of mystery we landed in the Mystic River campground down the road just a bit from the only store in Klamath.
Our site is superb. We have a giant redwood that we can walk through at the beginning of our site. Those before us left wood in the firepit so Noah made a fire and heated up his can of soup. No one is anywhere near us and we walk over a creek in a tiny covered bridge to get to the showers.
It’s all super perfect here in the redwoods. Well worth the effort.