Monday, November 24, 2008

Day 4: Usal/Briceland Road junction to Honeydew

a. 4180’ gain, 70 miles. Night spent at ~400’ elevation
b. Camped at marked Honeydew Creek BLM Campground, about 1.75 miles off-route south of the town of Honeydew on Wilder Ridge Road. No water source other than the creek.
c. Food: Full size grocery store in Redway. Small stores in Miranda, Myers Flat, and Honeydew. Cafes in Redway and Miranda (but no cafes in Myers Flat or Honeydew). No services in Whitethorn or Briceland. “The Groves” upscale casual restaurant in Myers Flat serves dinner 5PM-9PM Thursday to Monday. Phillipsville has a roadhouse (Riverwood Inn) open at 3PM Mondays-Thursdays and 11AM Fridays-Sundays.
d. Road info: All paved. Briceland Road was busier than we expected with speeding cars once every minute or two, especially as we got closer to Redway. Briceland road has no shoulder for some stretches, so ride with caution. The few miles on 101 was not pleasant but at least had a very wide shoulder. All other roads were very quiet and very enjoyable.
e. Water availability: Tap water in all towns that have shops. Redwoods State Park HQ near Weott. Occasional access to river water between Whitethorn and Redway and again at the Mattole River at Honeydew.
f. Miscellaneous Notes:
i. Humboldt Redwoods State Park has three campgrounds, two on Avenue of the Giants and one on the Mattole Road. According to their website, all have coin-operated showers and treated water.
ii. You could take a shortcut to Honeydew by following the Wilder Ridge and Ettersburg-Honeydew Road instead of dropping east to Redway. We believe that shortcut is all paved (but not sure), and is probably a beautiful and quiet road. But if you do that you’ll miss the ride through the old-growth redwood groves, which is lovely and very worthwhile. You could also continue on Usal/Chemise Mountain Road and on to Kings Peak Road, rather than turning onto Briceland Road; we don’t know the road conditions for that route. [Usal Road and Chemise Mountain Road are described in “Guide to California Backroads & 4-WD Trails” by Wells, available at Mountain View Library – we could add details from that book to this document.]

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