Friday, July 04, 2008

Kneeland Airport ride

The bagel was slathered with cream cheese, topped with grated carrot, chopped scallions and black olives and drizzled with Larrupin Mustard Dill Sauce. This was washed down with a couple cups of extra-strong, thick-and-muddy black coffee. I was fueled up and ready to ramble!


The weather was beautiful. Here's the Mad River, which is a short distance from my house. The water level is low. I traveled through Arcata and continued south.


I admired this old church on Old Arcata Road. For some reason it made me think of "Night of the Hunter" starring Robert Mitchum. Great flick.


At Three Corners, I turned east. I started the climb. It was hot and I was sweating like a hog.


Here's a horrible self portrait of me huffing and puffing up Kneeland. I was hesitant to post such an unflattering photo, but it sums up the experience. Sweat was burning my eyes, my shirt was soaked and I was using up my water faster than expected.


Kneeland hill is one switchback after another. There's no easy way to the top. I just pedaled ahead at an almost constant pace of about 5 mph.


I made it to the Kneeland Post Office with half of a large canteen of water left, not counting a small emergency water bottle I keep stashed away for emergencies. I couldn't find any water at the post office. Onward!


After the post office, there's still some climbing but it's a lot easier. It's also really beautiful. I could ride out here all day.


I came across this angry bull. Fortunately, I never go anywhere without my leather chaps and a flank strap. I hooked him up and stayed on for 15 seconds before getting bucked off. We laughed about it and then I continued on.

At Kneeland School there was a drinking fountain. Water! Precious water!


I made it to the airport. Nearby, the CDF guys were working hard and their scanner crackled with updates about the "Paradise" fire. I scanned the landscape and couldn't see any smoke, just distant clouds.


I took Fickle Hill Road back. I saw about a dozen deer near the top. About half of them ran away, the others hid in the shade where they assumed I couldn't see them.


While I was enjoying the sun in Kneeland, the fog rolled in. When I got home, I was sunburned, tired and glad to be back.

Distance: About 60 miles

Random thought: Bridgeville is about 29 miles from the Kneeland Airport. MIght be interesting to strap some camping gear on the bike and head further south into the unknown. That may happen later this summer....


Blogger Kym said...

I both envy you and am glad I didn't go on that ride. Beautiful countryside but holyshmoly 60 miles!

10:48 AM  
Blogger Joseph said...


Thanks for your site & pics. I lived in Arcata from 1981 - 89, and family lived in Kneeland for generations. We've all moved away over the years. Was recently thinking about family buried up at Iaqua Cemetery, brought back many good memories of my early 20s, now living in San Francisco in my 40s. HA! I DO NOT envy your ride up the mountain; believe it or not, I've walked it and it's no easy feat on foot or by bike. Congrats.

1:59 PM  

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