Richardson Grove to Westport KOA, then Van Damme State Park, then Fort Bragg

Today we have to ride over the highest hill on the entire route: about 2000 feet.  We’ve had a fairly rubbish night as the hiker-biker site is very small, and there were quite a few of us in it, so it was noisy, and we were driven into our tents early because of the flaming mossies.  Anyhow, we decide to get up at 6am to try to beat the heat over the big hill.  We roll at about 7:10, and have 15 miles or so before the big one starts.
Those 15 miles are fairly hilly all by themselves, but eventually we say goodbye to 101 and turn onto California Highway 1 at Leggett, to climb Leggett Hill.  The road winds up through trees, and so is fairly unscenic.  Being a Sunday, it’s quiet apart from motorbikes of various types and the odd car.
P10101560001.JPG (800x600 pixels)
We drop over the top and down back almost to sea level.  Then we have to climb another hill, which we think is worse than the first, probably because in our minds we thought it was all over.  Eventually, this drops us on the coast, and we head for our destination, the KOA campground at Westport.  Alas, it’s a weekend, and all of their tent sites in the main area are full.  So, they have to put us in overflow at the top of the bluff.  This proves to be probably the most scenic campsite we’ve ever been on, and completely away from everyone else !  Just the seabirds for company.  Result.
P10101590001.JPG (800x600 pixels)
The views are excellent in each direction.
P10101620001.JPG (800x600 pixels)
P10101630001.JPG (800x600 pixels)
And finally, here’s a picture of Diane looking pensive, thinking how different this is from camping in Porlock in August.
P10101660001.JPG (800x600 pixels)
For dinner, we ride up to Westport and eat at the Inn, a thoroughly lovely experience.  And then we have a great night’s sleep.
The next day, we decide to ride to Fort Bragg and try to get a motel room to catch the last day of the Tour de France.  After packing up in the fog, we cycle off and the visibility improves.  This coastline is particularly stunning, easily the best since Oregon I think.
P10101720001.JPG (800x600 pixels)
We encounter a couple from Stanford up for their wedding anniversary, so here’s a picture of the two of us for a change.
P10101760001.JPG (800x600 pixels)
Anyone else think we’ve lost weight ?  My clothes are distinctly looser around the waist, despite all the calories we’ve been eating.  And all you have to do is ride every day for 5 weeks, give or take, on a bike weighing 25 kilos.  Simple.  On the coast, we pass a load of turkey vultures sitting on a log, like in The Birds.  In fact, we’ll be in Bodega Bay, where it was filmed, in a couple of days.
P10101800001.JPG (800x600 pixels)
Finally, we drift into Fort Bragg and get a room at the Travelodge.  We don’t have the right cable channel to watch The Tour, but hey, there we are.  We spend the afternoon researching and booking somewhere to stay in San Francisco, and then stroll into town to eat.  We choose an Italian restaurant, and it transpires that they’re having an acoustic gig there that evening.  So we rock out to the Steven Bates band until we’re too tired to care any more, then go back to the motel.
P10101820001.JPG (800x600 pixels)
The following morning, we have a leisurely start, as we’re having another easy day.  It doesn’t start too well as the toilet in our motel room overflows.  I remedy this by plunging my arm into the bowl and unjamming it.  The manager looked appalled when I told him.  Our first stop today is Mendecino, a nicely preserved little town.  Lot’s of buildings have these things on the roof.  Some seem to have little tanks on them, and some are just decks, with chairs and whatever.  They look like repurposed windmills, but I guess they aren’t.
P10101860001.JPG (800x600 pixels)
Here’s one near the Didjeridoo Dream Time Meditation Center.  They have vacancies.
P10101870001.JPG (800x600 pixels)
After what, I have to admit, is a not very long ride, we haul into Van Damme State Park, hopefully not named after the Muscles from Brussels.  It’s a top spot, and the hiker-biker site is nice.
P10101960001.JPG (800x600 pixels)
After setting up, we set off to look at the pygmy forest.  This involves a three-mile ride up Fern Canyon.  This starts well enough, but then turns into a bit of an obstacle course.  Ok on mountain bikes, not on tourers.
P10101980001.JPG (800x600 pixels)
We gave up shortly after this.
P10102010001.JPG (800x600 pixels)
After showers, we walked up the hill to the store, bought some beer, and sat on the beach drinking it and looking at the view.
P10102070001.JPG (800x600 pixels)
Then the Jesus Loves U t-shirt bus turned up.
P10102090001.JPG (800x600 pixels)
Taking this as a sign, we had our dinner and went to bed to read and listen to music.

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>