Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Riverwalk RV Park to Richardson Grove State Park, CA

We said goodbye to August today in a blaze of heat-- after about 1:30, the thermometer didn't drop below 90 until we were done riding. Ugh! We left Riverwalk this morning around 8:30 and absolutely flew until we reached the Avenue of the Giants, where we intentionally slowed down. They are truly amazing-- I feel awed by their presence, and they radiate a quiet, calm energy that makes you want to stop and reflect, really acknowledge all the history these trees have lived through. Some of them are up to 5,000 years old. Can you imagine? They've been around since biblical times!

There was a distinct contrast, of course, between the quiet, cool, calm of the redwoods and the intense heat (and traffic) between redwood groves; also a contrast between the elegant naturalness of many of the trees and the schlocky-but-fun tourist attractions along the way.

We stopped at the immortal tree, which apparently has lived through fire, flood, and disease, which apparently redwoods are equipped to do as a survival mechnism. We also visited my personal favorite, the drive thru (bike thru?) tree.

Chad and I also found a Califorina house in our price range! Here we are checking it out-- I think it's a good fit for us!

We continued on through the heat, stopping to take a dip in the Eel River, aptly named because of the lamprey migration that happens in the river every spring. We also stopped in Garberville, a town in the middle of nowhere-- hot nowhere, actually-- with more hippies than I've ever seen in one place! They also had a great natural foods store with really nice folks.

When we reached our campground at Richardson Grove, we walked down to the Eel again for a swim at the end of our ride. The river was wonderfully rich with life-- we saw lots of lizards and frogs, tons of insect life, and lots of little fingerling trout.
We took a dip in an amazingly deep swimming hole where a family was playing in the water, and then hiked back up to enjoy our last night in the Redwoods.

I borrowed a patch for my sleeping pad from a man a few campsites over-- Sam, a really nice guy. Chad and I started to get ready for dinner, and, realizing it was Shabbat, got out some bread and candles, and then lamented that we had forgotten to buy wine to celebrate the Shabbas. Just then, Sam came walking over to offer us a bottle of wine, since he was so impressed with our endeavour! It was quite amazing. We accepted and spent the evening chatting with Sam about all kinds of topics, from politics to racial relations to transportation and urban planning. We were very grateful for good conversation and great wine, with just the right timing.

Today's stats: 60.76 miles, 2205 ft of climbing, 10.9 mph avg.

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