Nos in Arcata sumus

Rest day(s)! We got into Arcata CA Thursday evening, were warmly welcomed by our hosts Travis and Katie Ramsey May and spent Friday doing laundry, working on the bikes, and relaxing. Bought a new rear tire for Ashley’s bike, repaired her rear view mirror, rewrapped handlebar tape, tightened bolts, lubed chains. For breakfast we devoured a couple of innovative gourmet bagels at Travis’s Los Bagels, and later borrowed Katie’s car to pay a visit to Six Rivers brewery in McKinleyville, a few miles north.

Top: guac & lox on a “slug” bagel. Bottom: housemade chorizo & egg on the slug

After all that, Travis took us to Redwood Curtain, one of Arcata’s newest breweries, located in a repurposed industrial park, where many varieties of beer are available only on tap in limited quantities, never in cans or bottles.

Afterwards, with Katie, we drove up the Mad River to the town of Blue Lake (where there is no lake) and the aptly named Mad River Brewing Co, for live “rockabilly soul” in an outdoor garden. and good food & drink.

Katie & Travis’s “Bigfoot”: a snugger home we couldn’t imagine, with the rain rattling romantically on the roof.

That evening, we made a game time decision, as the rain started to fall, to rest up 24 more hours before the next two riding days, which promise lots of long climbs (and few services) on the way to CA Highway 1. It wasn’t a hard call, given the gracious hospitality of Katie, Travis, Reyna & Zara.

David, Reyna, Zara (emoting) and Katie

Besides, Travis went deep-sea fishing early this morning and returned with salmon and halibut for dinner …

Travis prepares sashimi from the salmon he caught a few hours earlier.

The second rest day, after a savory breakfast at T’s cafe, we walked into town to mail home a box of pint glasses, used maps, and … gasp! … our cooking pot, cups, and camp stove, figuring that we can save the weight, should we camp, by stoically feasting on whatever room-temperature goodies we’re carrying, if a cafe or other eating opportunity isn’t nearby.

We took our hosts’ very well-behaved Cooper for a run in a nearby field.

Arcata’s Saturday market on the plaza was in full swing, with food booths, live bluegrass music, and plenty of dancers. We feasted on crab cake and corned beef hash benedicts, browsed a couple of bookstores (each buying the smallest lightest cheapest paperback we could find that we wanted to read: Henry James for David, PG Wodehouse for Ashley). In classic bike tourist style, we’ll be tearing the pages out one by one as we read them.

Ashley borrows Jasper for some power-lounging on the lawn (but he’s no replacement for Lassen and Patxi).

Showered, bikes tuned up and partially packed, we relaxed on the Mays’ front lawn in the Saturday afternoon sunshine with a kids’ party raging across the street, complete with inflatable bounce house. What a great neighborhood! The second such party in as many days!

Tonight, Reyna and Zara at Girl Scouts camp, we finished off Travis’s salmon sashimi and halibut skewers, then the four of us went out to have Humboldt Pie for dessert and a nightcap plus pinball at Dead Reckoning Tavern, Ashley & David thinking all the while about the summits awaiting us tomorrow, and tomorrow …

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