With the first major set of California hills behind you, the ride from Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park to Eureka will seem relatively easy. This should leave you plenty of time for side trips, exploring, or bicycle maintenance at the excellent repair shops in Arcata or Eureka. This section sees the evolution of US 101 from a narrow country road into a busy four-lane freeway. Riding on the freeway is legal (unless otherwise posted), and, thanks to a wide shoulder, generally very safe. However, the noise and dirt are fatiguing, so be sure to take advantage of the two scenic escape routes off the freeway, and all the side trips. The first suggested side trip is to the beautiful Lady Bird Johnson Grove. The grove has a mile-long loop trail through a forest of ferns and mammoth redwoods. The access road to the grove is very steep; hide the touring bags at the bottom, if possible. The second stop of the day is at the Redwoods National Park Center, located just south of Orick. The displays are interesting, the building well heated, and the local population of banana slugs simply amazing.
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