Days 83 and 84: Ely to Illipah, then to Eureka

Two days ago, I was at the library in Ely. I decided to grab some lunch at a Chinese restaurant called Happy Garden, a couple of blocks from the library. My meal was just ok. When I paid my bill with my credit card the waitress added 50 cents because I was paying with a card. I told her she could have told me that. Rather than saying sorry, she told me there’s a sign on the counter that indicated the surcharge. The counter was behind me, so I had no way of seeing it since I don’t have eyes behind my head. I gave her a 10% tip. In actuality, with the 50 cents, it’s an 18% tip. Don’t get me wrong, I support local eateries. Businesses with minimum charges for credit cards are actually not obeying Visa’s credit card terms. Sure, a 3% charge for credit cards is hefty. If that’s the case, just don’t take credit cards at all. I was definitely not happy at Happy Garden.

After lunch, I rode back to the library and browsed my favorite magazine, Consumer Reports. Soon after, I came back to the inn and took a nap.

Around 5:30 PM, I went across the street to the bar. The owner of the inn was there and she allowed me to fill up all my water bottles. I will need all of them for the next two days. I learned the owner’s name is Mimi. She made me a ribeye with rice. She also had homegrown lettuce leaves and sauces ready. I ended up putting the sauce on the lettuce leaves, then added in chunks of ribeye and rice to it, then I ate it like a wrap. It was so good! Adding to that, I had a side dish of bean sprouts and a bowl of soup. It was the best homemade meal.

Best homemade meal

Mimi invited me to come back again for breakfast. I will certainly do that.

Back at the room, I received a message from a friend that Jack, a friend of a friend, can host me for a few days when I get to San Francisco. That’s great news! I wasn’t going to use Warmshowers hosts because I will need to stay for more than one or two days. I’m glad things will work out in San Francisco.

The next morning, I woke up around 6:30. After packing and returning the room key, I walked my bike over to the bar. Mimi was there already. She made me a ham and cheese omelette that was delicious. Mimi is a great cook! I gave her husband my phone number in case he wants to send me information about the price of the motel and the bar that Mimi would like to sell.

Another great meal

I started riding around 8:30. My plan was to ride half way to Eureka and stay at a campground called Illipah. I certainly didn’t want to ride the entire 78 miles in one day, going up three hills. A kind driver stopped and asked me if I needed anything when I was walking my bike up a hill. I thanked him but I didn’t need anything.

Riding on the so called "Loneliest Road in America"

Beautiful clouds

Another summit

By the time I got close to the campground the clouds ahead turned gray and I felt some rain drops. The campground is accessible through a dirt road, which I don’t want to ride on. The gravel may puncture my tire if I’m not careful, like the time when I rode on the levee trail and got my first flat tire. Luckily, I met a family in a pickup truck. They offered to take all of my luggage in their truck, so I can ride the bike without all the load. That was a great idea.

Dark clouds ahead

I officially met the family at the campground. Perla, Bruce, and their son, Carlos, are great people. Perla told me to camp at a particular campsite since it has fences to block the wind and a pavilion to block the rain. I thanked them before I unpacked everything.

I made some ramen, ate some canned meat, and had a cup of pineapples. The wind and the rain kept on coming and going. After setting up my tent, I decided to eat a weed gummy since I was a little bored. I laid inside my tent the entire time. Getting high by myself is not very fun since I fell asleep.

My campsite

Awakened by the rain, I decided to put up the tarp over my tent. Soon, I went to sleep for good.

This morning, I woke up just a few minutes before the sunrise. I love it when I can either see the sunrise or the sunset. It was cold in the morning. Must be in the 40s. I had to put on my long sleeved shirt. After eating some trail mix and drinking some water, I packed my bike and walked the 1.5 mile dirt road from the campsite to the main road.

A beautiful sunrise

I thought there were only two more hills to ride up. As it turned out there were three. On the last of the hills, a motorcyclist saw me and asked if I needed any water. I’m so grateful for nice people. Since I was only less than ten miles away from Eureka I had plenty of water.

Looking back

The last summit of the day

When I rode into Eureka I was stopped by the police. He told me there’s a July Fourth parade ahead, but I can still ride into town since I’ll be staying there. I checked with two out of the three motels, they were all booked. After getting some chicken fingers, M&M’s, and a frappe at a convenience store, I decided to ask the police officer guarding the other end of the parade if there’s any places for me to stay. The police officer told me about a park and said I can ask a fireman if I can use their shower at the fire station. After going back up the street, I asked a fireman about a park and a shower. He pointed at the park across the street, behind the main street. But he didn’t allow me to shower at the fire station.

July Fourth egg toss at Eureka

I’ve been mainly relaxing at the park. There’s a pavilion, a spigot, and a bathroom, but no shower. Tomorrow, I’ll be camping again if I don’t make it to the next town, Austin.

Camping here tonight