Monday, September 01, 2008

Butler Valley Ride.9.1.08

I was overdue for a long ride, so I took advantage of the holiday and spent some quality time with my Cannondale. The first order of business was a minor tune-up, followed by a ride into town to get fueled up.

Because it’s Labor Day, I assumed I’d eat at one of the corporate establishments. I was tickled pink when I discovered that Tastebuds was open. Debbie made a delicious egg salad sandwich, which I washed down with black coffee. I also stocked up on some sugary sweets, which I would consume going up Kneeland.


I made my way back to the Hammond Trail and then entered a Tsunami Hazard Zone. Danger is my middle name. Then I cut across the Bottoms, Janes Road and made my way to LK Wood. I passed by Humboldt State University, which I like to call the Land of the Beautiful People. Then it was on to Old Arcata Road and Kneeland.


About halfway up, I began to have doubts. But that’s normal. It takes time acclimate to such activity and the body is trying to convince you to turn around, go home and just laze around, which sounded appealing as I looked at these switchbacks.


Yes, it is fun “4” every “1.”

I was going to climb to the Kneeland Airport but decided instead to take Butler Valley to Blue Lake. I descended to the valley.


Here’s the view from Butler Valley looking west towards Kneeland.

For an excellent description of what’s known as the Butler Valley Loop check out Jim Robbins’ entry on his Northcoast Bike Rides blog. By the way, I think I saw Jim out there, although it's hard to recognize people when they're wearing lyrca, a helmet and sunglasses and zooming down a hill at full speed.


The road is rough and hilly as you head north up the valley, but it’s worth it as you can see.


When you reach this barn, it’s a happy sight because it’s time to descend to Korbel. That's Blue Lake in the distance.


I stopped at the Arrow Tree. Diplomacy between two nations came to fruition here in the 1880s, or so the story goes.


The Blue Lake Bridge, built in 1928, crosses into Korbel. What a beauty. They were smart to use cement.

From Korbel I made my way to Blue Lake, Glendale, North Bank Road, Azalea Avenue and then home. Total distance: 59 miles.


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