For us it felt like the real road trip started when we left Yosemite. The kind of road trip where you have a loose plan, you stop off where you fancy, stay in random motels in random little towns, eat at funny places, find awesome little shops and meet interesting people along the way.
We headed to Chico, which was in our planned agenda already as we know people there. It’s a small city in north California with a big university population. A great cycling community – which of course we love. We were lucky to get a guided tour of the Paul Components workshop by our friend Kate. Mat was so happy, it was like seeing a kid in a sweet shop. You can read more about that and see photo’s here.
We found a great old fashioned bike shop called Pullins Cyclery, it had a fantastic collection of vintage to newer bikes and we got to talking with some of the staff, who told us that there was the yearly Wildflower Century on that day. A bike ride that Chico Velo Cycling club organises yearly throughout Butte Country. We also had a brilliant brunch at Cafe Coda, they offer an amazing breakfast menu!
We headed towards the coast on Saturday 20th of April via route 36. We drove through small towns and big forests, mountainous areas, past ranches and farms. The road was narrow and at times windy, with high and steep drops by the road side. We also drove through Grizzly Creek’s Redwoods State Park, pretty impressive!
We arrived in Eureka in the early evening and found a motel where we checked in and left the car. We were both tiered from the days drive and couldn’t wait to get some fresh air and stretch our legs. To our surprise it was quite cold in Eureka, especially in comparison with Chico that had been so warm in the morning. I had started the day in Chico wearing shorts and t-shirt and I was ending the day in my insulated boots, down jacket and a beanie on my head.
It felt great to walk around Eureka, the crisp fresh sea air cleared my head and instantly woke me up. It’s a really charming little city. The entire city is a historic landmark with it’s hundreds of old wooden Victorian homes. The old town is very well kept and has an array of old fashioned wooden shop fronts, cafe’s and restaurants and the most famous building is the Carson Mansion, owned by the Ingomar Club. A beautiful grand wooden mansion,that looks like a wooden fairy tale castle. You can take a tour inside the mansion here.