We continue to encounter other cyclists going down the coast. With a few exceptions, we are traveling on an established bicycle route as we ride down the west coast of the United States.
Meetings with other tourers may be in passing (a ring of the bicycle bells or a wave), at an espresso stand or café, outside a market or at a vista point.
Sometimes confluence of the route, interests, personalities, riding speeds, and thriftiness produces an amalgamation of cyclo-tourists.
Since our first day on the coast, we hopscotched with several individuals or groups of people.
For the past several days, we’ve ended up in the same campground with Faye, Melissa, Stef and Ashley. Faye and Melissa are riding down the coast from Canada. Stef and Ashley, from Tucson, Arizona, are rock climbing instructors taking the summer off.
We entered the Redwood Coast. The Redwood is the world’s tallest living tree. Redwoods grow from seeds the size of a tomato seed but can reach impressive sizes. The tallest Redwood is 379 feet (116 meters), taller than the Statue of Liberty (305 feet, 93 meters). They can weigh as much as 500 tons. The trees have foot-thick bark (30 cm) and are largely impervious to fire and insects.
Another fact, redwood forests develop the world’s greatest reported volume of living matter per unit of land surface.
When logging began in 1850, roughly two million acres (8 090 km²) of “old-growth” coast redwood forest covered the mountains of California. Today, just about 5% remains.
Bicycling through the groves of trees was impressive and inspiring.