The last 2 night’s at the Westport Inn and now the Wildflower Boutique in Point Arena have been the best 2 lodging experiences we have had. Today, for the first time, we had a real breakfast at a hotel. Not only was it included with our room, but it was delivered upstairs to our door! The beds were incredibly comfortable, the WiFi was reliable, and the outlets for charging things were plentiful. So different from most of the places we have stayed. It was tough to get on the road. When we did, things were a little foggy and once again we had more than 250 feet of climbing before the first 2 miles before our breakfast had fully settled.
The sun was breaking out as we left Point Arena. All that climbing gave us a nice view of the town we had left.
No, these are not left over pictures from yesterday. These are some of the ocean views we got while the sun was shining on our way to Gualala. We could hear seals barking, but couldn’t see them clearly from this distance. I’ve given up on trying to capture the sound on video.
We stopped 14 miles down the road for coffee in Gualala. As usual, we put our masks on to go inside and order. We took our drinks outside to a table near the entrance. Since we were drinking and seated outside, we took off our masks. Soon a woman in her 30s walked in to the cafe, looked at us (and maybe others seated outside) and yelled ” Why aren’t you wearing masks. You’re probabaly all infected and infecting others. ” When she came out and was almost to her car she started screaming, “You f***ing bikers. You cause accidents. You shouldn’t be allowed to be on the roads, ….. ” Then she got on her black Dodge broomstick and drove south. Since we were the only ones wearing biking shorts and jerseys, she might have been referring to us. Luckily, we didn’t see her again as we went south. Maybe a house fell on her.
If you haven’t noticed, a lot of our attention on the bikes is looking for the next place to rest and eat. I knew that 25 miles into our ride today, there was a nice grocery/deli at Stewarts Point. We rode another 10 miles and it started getting foggy. I was delighted to see cars parked outside the store as we arrived. We were soon disappointed. At the top of the stairs leading to the entrance, was a sign indicating that they were now closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. Covid struck again. At least the porta potty was open, so the stop was still useful. We rested on the picnic tables then went on another hilly 9 miles to the Ocean Cove general store. It was not much of a lunch spot. We each got a Gatorade. We spoke with another couple riding the coast. They had also stayed in Westport and the same hotel in Point Arena. There were no other lunch spots for 10s of miles, so we doubled back 200 yards and had a bread bowl clam chowder at the Ocean Cove Lounge.
The sun was partially breaking through during lunch, but by the time we got back on the road, the sky had gotten gray again. We were more than halfway through, but there were lots of twists, turns and more hills ahead of us. The worst of the climbs usually brought us closer to the shore and ocean views.
At Fort Ross we came across a replica of the fort. Next to it was an old cemetery dedicated to settlers from the early 1800s.
Leaving the cemetery, we were constantly gaining and losing elevation. For several miles this went on, but we were clearly climbing more than going down. We finally got some relief going downhill, when we we were hit with a switchback that was almost as bad as yesterday. Appropriately, at Russian Gulch, we hit a section of road that must have looked like someone had just scribbled on a map for kicks. It kicked our butts and thighs. The photo is a shot halfway down to the bottom where the road continued upwards into the fog. After dropping down more than 500 feet, there are are 2 hairpin turns that eliminate any momentum so you can climb another 200 feet. More details are on Strava located here. Also click on the analysis section. On that scale it seemed like we were climbing vertical at times. Sometimes it felt that way.
By this time, we were almost to Jenner. Less than 12 miles later we made the milder roller coaster ride into Bodega Bay. The gray skies, fog and wind had made us chilly. It was almost 6 pm and we needed to shower and change before dining and grocery options closed.
We were tired, but still enjoyed the ride. Tomorrow we are off to see the wizard, or at least REI, So we can get Ron’s new GPS.
The Not So Lone Rider