Day 67

Leaving Forest Glen, we dedicated our day’s ride to Blake’s best friend, Cassie, whose has been having a difficult time since her father has been battling a terminal form of brain cancer (see Day 9 dedication) from last April. Her bubbly, fun-loving, free-spirited personality was one that can warm the soul of most anyone she encounters. In addition, may all children that have been thrust to be apart of their parents fight with cancer find inner-peace, strength, and unconditional love and hope to help weather the storm that lies ahead, and may the portraits that we collect along our ride (www.portraitsproject.org) let them know they are not alone in the fight.

Today’s warm-up was a 2,100-ft climb for the first seven miles. There was a lot of descending, too, down ridiculously steep hairpin turns. At these severe grades, even letting go of the brakes at all would result in flying at 40 mph, when the signs would instruct 10 mph… And we clung to our brakes in spite of the rough road. We descended to an elevation of 120 feet, the lowest we have been since before Nebraska. Around the halfway point, the trees suddenly grew taller and wider. We found ourselves in the magical land of the redwood forests. Throughout the ride, we passed by thousands of wild blackberry bushes, and we enjoyed the free food along the way. We took a lot of rest stops before and after entering the redwood forest. We left the Inner Northern California Coastal Range, and arrived in the land of the giants. On the Avenue of the Giants, we stopped at some very cool trees, including a 20-ft hollow stump we dubbed the “hot tub” and a fallen tree which had a hollow center to crawl through and roots to climb.

Finally we arrived at Burlington Campground in Humboldt Redwoods State Park. There were showers, which was a good thing after climbing around those awesome trees. We got groceries: Blake provided s’mores (one chocolate bar per rider!) and Walder and Connor got hotdogs. This is our last camping day, and one of the most beautiful places we’ve stayed this whole trip.

A view from the bottom of the "hot tub"!

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