If yesterday provided some of the most difficult riding I have ever done, today provided the most incredible. Day 3 began in the mist of Mendocino county, as we rode along the coast steadily moving northward. Everything around us was blanketed in a light mist that would move and change as we rode through it. It was cold, but that was a minor detail compared the splendor of the morning around us.
Shortly after leaving Mendocino county, we entered into what has become my favorite ride to date. There are different kinds of people in this world that love certain environments more than others. There are beach people, snow people, desert people, and so on. When it comes to me, I am a forest person. Today was really my day. We rode through the Redwood forests of Northern California, and I am having a hard time putting words to the experience. The roads were made up of beautiful, empty, sweeping turns back and forth between the giant trees and lush green scenery. Every now and again we would pop out of the forest and onto the coast for a taste of the rocky shoreline. Winding through the Redwood trees, the oldest living beings on our planet, was a magical experience to say the least. Between the massive trees towering over us and the light mist floating through the forest, it was like being transported to a magical world straight out of The Lord of The Rings. It was truly the best ride I have ever done In my life, although something tells me I will be saying that a lot on this trip.
Our first stop for the day was at a 2400 year old Redwood that you can actually drive through. It was absolutely massive, and it was impossible to fit it into a single frame for a picture. Speaking of pictures, since the internet connections I am using are usually pretty slow, I have been unable to upload any pics of the trip. As soon as I get a good connection, I will post them up.
After the drive through tree we joined the 101 and continued Northward. We were entering into my favorite county in all of CA, Humboldt. It happens to be my favorite, not just because of the local crops, but because the forests there are some of the most beautiful and magical places I have ever seen. Almost 10 years ago I drove through here in a car and I remember how mesmerized I was then. Today was a whole other level of enjoyment and appreciation, for life, and the ability to be on the road experiencing this incredible journey.
We stopped for lunch in a beautiful little seaside town called Trinidad. We ate a delicious lunch looking out onto an incredible rocky cove on the Pacific Ocean. Afterwards, we were back on our way and almost out of California. We stopped at the Klamath River Bridge to take a picture with the Golden bears they have in front of it. There happened to be a ton of people on the bridge looking over the sides and down into the water. Some people taking a picture by the bear said there was a whale in the water. Yea right, a whale in the river. Well, he wasn't kidding. We walked along the bridge and joined the crowd of people looking into the river. I couldn't believe my eyes. Down below me in the water was a giant whale! It must have gotten lost and swam upstream from the ocean. It was circling around the bottom of the bridge, as if looking for something. Some people thought it may be looking for it's calf. As amazing as it was to see this incredible creature, it was also really sad. I hoped that it would find whatever it was looking for, and also get back to the ocean. I felt so helpless standing on the bridge looking over the railing. Here we were, 100 or so people, and all we could do was watch. We couldn't talk to it, carry it back to its home, or show it where to go. All we could do was watch. Nature truly is a powerful and mysterious thing, and I am humbled by the experience.
We continued onward, hopeful that the whale would find its way to its destination, as we were doing now. Soon thereafter we crossed into Oregon, and stopped for a mandatory picture by the Welcome to Oregon sign. Just 30 or so minutes later we reached our destination of Gold Beach, OR. It is beautiful here, and as I type this I can look out of my hotel window and see the ocean in the distance, the sound of the crashing waves echoing in the night. After yesterday's nightmarish riding, today truly was a gift from the Road Gods, and I thank them for keeping us safe today and safe tomorrow, where another amazing adventure of beauty and bewilderment surely awaits.