Day 38 – Thursday April 6, 2017
Miles – 33
End – Valley Ford Hotel, Valley Ford, CA
We were gunning to make it to Bodega Bay this night, but it the weather forecast was dangerously windy. We had a hard time cycling. We were getting blown this way and that. There were branches and debris in the road that we had to navigate through with no shoulder at times. The forecast had said 25 mph winds with gusts up to 50! It was pretty bad by the time we made it to Valley Ford, which is inland. We thought it was only going to be worse at the coast so we sought refuge at the only place to stay. The owner of the hotel made an exception for us so Monte could stay in the available non-pet room, which we greatly appreciated. We brought our bikes inside too! The hotel has a bar and restaurant below that had a live guitarist and $1 oysters this night. We didn’t even notice the storm brewing outside all evening!
Day 39 – Friday April 7, 2017
Miles – 14
End – Bodega Dunes Campground, Bodega Bay, CA
Day 40 – Saturday April 8, 2017
Miles – 26
End – Stillwater Cove Regional Park, Jenner, CA
We spent the morning with Art. We brewed him some coffee and pumped up the tires on his baby jogger. He is preparing for a walk across the country to protest the Trump administration and to encourage activism and engagement. His site is JusticeMarch2017.com. We found A Cubs fan working at the store in Jenner! He had on a Cubs jersey and jacket.
Day 41 – Sunday April 9, 2017
Miles – 22
End – Gualala Point Regional Park, Gualala, CA
We have camped at this campground before! Last summer on the way to a friend’s wedding we took a road trip up the coast to preview for our big bike trip and we stayed here. Last time we were here there were about 10 bike tourists crammed into the hike bike site, but today is was just us… and a visitor under our tent.
Early in the morning we awoke to Monte pacing around the tent having a nervous breakdown. We were already underslept because of raccoon activity in the area. We basically shoved Monte into his sleeping bag and Jake put an arm on him to keep him from walking all over us. And then I felt something poking me from underneath… In my sleepy state I tried to will it away by ignoring it and trying to go back to sleep, but it happened again. Then I sat up and noticed a huge linear lump under and along the left side of the tent. My first thought was that it was the body of a snake coiled up, that had found its way there for some warmth. Then my shoes sitting just outside the tent started to move and jostle up and down. We are all thoroughly freaked out. So Jake takes Monte outside the tent and I start quickly packing up our stuff. There is intermittent movement under the shoes and the tent as I do this. A new lump formed under the tent near where our heads would be. Rather than take down the tent in place, we unstake it and pick the whole thing up and move it out the way and can see the lumps clearly. Jake used a stick to dig into a lump and then we see the little mole nose poke out for a second! Uhhhgh, I was so stressed out but glad to know it was just a mole.
Day 42 – Monday April 10, 2017
Miles – 24
End – KOA Campground, Manchester, CA
The campground we were going to go to was closed! But luckily there was a private KOA campground on the same road. We forgot take a picture of it. We met up with Leslie here who is a bike tourist we camped with back at Half Moon Bay. We did laundry and took long hot showers. The showers are included with your rate and are not coin operated!
A nice man staying with his son at a rental cabin let me charge my cell phone at his place. He also put some extra logs on his fire and offered his camp chairs for us to relax and warm up in while he watched a movie inside with his son. Even though he had never bike toured before, he had camped at this exact cabin often enough to understand the simple needs and desires of the bike tourists who camped nearby. He said that one time when his family went on a day hike along a portion of the Pacific Crest Trail his wife brought fresh fruits and avocado to give to the through hikers they ran into.
Day 43 – Tuesday April 11, 2017
Miles – 27
End – Van Damme State Park, Little River, CA
We had more rough winds and rain today, but we had the quietest night and most restful sleep yet since the start of our trip. There were families with kids across the way and they raced their little bikes back and forth on the road until dark. Then they played flashlight tag until only about 9 and then all was quiet. All we could hear was the river flowing. Our campsite was hidden from view from the rest of the campground by the river and the riverside trees and ferns, so Monte could relax and run around without fearing intruders.
Day 44 – Wednesday April 12, 2017
Miles – 18
End – MacKerricher State Park, Fort Bragg, CA
Fort Bragg was unexpectedly nice. On the approach to the town, Highway 1 gains a wide shoulder, a couple lanes and a bunch of impatient traffic turning in and out shitty strip mall style businesses. It was not good riding and it wasn’t a pleasant place to be in any case. But we managed to get off Highway 1 as we ran errands and to catch the bike path to the campground. We got Jake’s derailleur adjusted at a bike shop, we picked up more fuel, stakes and ripstop tape at a camping store, we mailed something at the post office and we got groceries! This took us down the historic main street that was bustling with cute shops and people walking on the sidewalk. There is a bike path along the beach. The path itself badly needs to be repaved, but the view was excellent. There is only a couple of small hotels along the shore here, so the atmosphere along the trail was serene.