Starting location: The Palm Motel, Orick, CA
Ending location: National 9 Inn, Fortuna, CA
End of day cumulative mileage: 712.5
After over a week on the road on my bicycle braving rain, fog, and wind, I actually kind of miss work. Well not really the work part of work, but the fact that I’d be sitting in a warm dry cubicle.
Well, at least today I didn’t wake up to rain. I woke up thinking I had overslept. Checkout time is 11am at most motels, for some reason I had thought it was 10:30 so I hurried to get ready and rushed out the door. When I looked at the clock on my cyclocomputer it said 8:30. Dahhh I could have used those extra hours of sleep.
I figured that since I got started early, I’d try to crank out a good number of miles, hopefully ending at least 80 or 90 miles down the road. The miles came pretty quickly. Since crossing into California, highway 101 had morphed from a two lane oceanfront road to a full fledged divided highway. Traffic was fast but the shoulders were wide so the riding was generally safe. Since it was relatively flat out here and there wasn’t much to see I stuck my head down and concentrated on cranking out miles. But it got old quickly so I was glad when the bike route detoured away from the highway onto quiet farm roads.
The farm roads killed a lot of time but it was nice being away from the loud freeway. There were what appeared to be a bunch of dairy farms out here. Lots of cows. Dang I’m hungry. I think I’ll get a nice cheeseburger or a steak when I get into town.
I soon arrived in Eureka. I stopped for lunch there. After seeing all those cows I decided to get a nice juicy hamburger and milkshake. By the time I finished lunch and crossed town it was about 3. I had traveled about 45 miles, I figured I could get at least another 30 to 40 miles in.
As I left Eureka it started to rain pretty hard. The rain got in my eyes and glasses fogged up. About 15 miles out of Eureka I hit a pothole pretty hard. My front rack, which I had trouble with since the first day cracked and started to rub against my front tire. I tried to bend it back into place but it completely snapped. I ended up walking into the nearest town. Fortunately, I was at the edge of a town called Fortuna. I checked in at the first motel I came across.
The previous night’s motel was pretty shady. This one was also ghetto, but in a different way. This one was sort of a Slumdog Millionaire sort of ghetto. The office smelled like curry and there was what seemed like a dozen Indian kids running around. I half expected the kids to spontaneously burst into song and dance like in some crazy Bollywood production. But that didn’t happen.
I wheeled my bike into the room and surveyed the damage. There would be no way to repair the rack, so I decided I would find a post office and ship my camping gear home. I had spent the last couple of nights in motels anyways, I figured with only a few more nights left I could just splurge a bit and spend the rest of my nights in motels. I found the post office a few blocks away from the motel, but it had closed for the day. Tomorrow I’ll head out there and ship some stuff and hopefully be on my way. With a lighter load I might even be a bit faster.