photo (10) I was pretty excited to ride through Eureka and enjoy all of the Victorian architecture I’d heard all about. Unfortunately, I cycled through about 50 years too late. Lots of the city was rundown and faded. I was surprised by the healthy population of crack heads and junkies downtown. ( Is there such a thing as a healthy crack head population or is that an oxymoron?)   I was still able to find a few architectural gems in the sea of shabby,dilapidated  homes. I also found a closed bike shop ( on a Saturday. C’mon) and a branch of my bank. ( Archimedes would be so proud!)

Carson Mansion
Lumber baron William M. Carson had a pretty nice little mansion!

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photo 1 (1)photo 4

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              A few of the homes had the tackiest color schemes I’d ever seen in my life. I didn’t take pictures of those because I wanted to try and forget them. Forever.These are some of the more tastefully restored or maintained homes.

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A few days past Eureka, I met a guy named Joe. He was a grey haired middle aged hippie who had a beard and dread-locked hair. He was missing most of his front teeth and talked kinda like Cheech and Chong. ( “good thing we didn’t step in it!”) A few cyclists were a little apprehensive about camping with him thinking he might be a vagrant bum. However, once everyone noticed he had a nicer frame and touring gear than anyone else, they stopped thinking he was going to be a problem. It turns out Joe wasn’t a bum, he was just from Humboldt County! He lives in Eureka and is a master carpenter that works on restoring Victorian homes. Joe, Nate and Jim  all talked about bike gear and brands for what felt like an eternity. I love riding bikes and I appreciate quality equipment, but I really could care less about all the details that excite so many gear heads out there. After Humboldt Joe smoked his piece pipe and we all had dinner around the fire, everyone headed to into their tents to sleep. Everyone except Joe, he walked his bike and gear across the campground and found shelter underneath some pine trees. In the morning when all of us tourist touring cyclist woke up with soaked tents from the heavy sea mist and fog, Joe was all dry and rolling out of camp without the added chore of packing up a wet tent. We all felt like greenhorns.