It was clear and sunny as we left Westport, CA. We said our goodbyes to the blue whale outside our window and headed south on CA 1. This was going to be our routine for just about the rest of the ride.
We were not even a mile down the road when we encountered the first of what will be many pointless up and downs, PUDs. We climbed 212 feet in 1.25 miles, had an amazing view of the ocean dropped downhill at 30 mph, made a hairpin turn, braked, lost all momentum only to climb back 100 feet in .25 miles on the other side of the turn.
Although it was a tough way to start the day, the payoff was worth it. I never get tired of watching the waves crash against the rocks and the thunder it creates.
It was hard not to stop every 10 minutes to take pictures of the next overlook. We did eventually get to the point where we would pass up some viewpoints if they took us off the road much. When you’re on a bike, you never have to wait for a view point. You just pull off the road when safe.
Just before we got to Cleone, we turned into MacKerricher State Park. We followed a bike trail to Laguna Point. There we relaxed and watched the waves in the cool breeze.
Staying on the bike trail, we followed the shoreline for about 4 miles. It was nearly done and the pavement was rough, so we jumped back on to CA 1. It was only a few more miles until we were in Fort Bragg. We stopped for coffee and one of us had a chocolate shortbread cookie with theirs to stay balanced. We saw a couple of landmarks, then it was on to Mendocino.
Views entering Mendocino.
The fish tacos would need to last me 35 miles. We had more great views leaving Mendocino, including a nice view of the town from the south.
Our bellies were almost too full for the final 35 miles to Point Arena. There were other views of the mountains and we often saw these pink flowers.
It was just south of the town of Elk where we were hit by the most ridiculous switchback climb of the day. I might have made it a little farther up the climb 2 years ago, but I still walked it then. Today was no different, except I started walking earlier. I must have gotten smarter because it was just as fast/slow a climb.
Not only did we drop down 180 feet at speeds that necessitated braking, we then had to climb from an almost dead start 250 feet up the other side. The climb starts at the river so the 250 feet up actually happens in less than .4 miles. It was crazy hard. You can see the day’s stats here, along with elevation profile under analysis.
It was another 15 miles to Point Arena. A few more hard climbs and we finally made it to our hotel. It was a new place, only 1.5 years old. It was very ecological with charging stations for cars and solar panels on the roof. It wasn’t here the last time I was here or I’d have chosen it then.
We checked in and took a quick shower and changed clothes. We were told at the front desk that since it was Monday, most everything was closed and the grocery deli would close at 7. When we got there, the store wasn’t closed but the deli was. We were still able to get some tuna salad, flat bread, beer and ice cream. So at least we had a balanced diet. This place will give us a real breakfast tomorrow morning. We’ll need it. It’s all part of the adventure!
The Not So Lone Rider