94.1km out of 2066km so far
Today I got up earlier than usual, ready for the big day ahead of me. Other than the excitement of the day ahead, it was very cold in the morning (8c) so I was also looking forward to get on the road and warm up. I was feeling strong and in good mood to cover some distance today. The 101 continued by the river and forest for the first 20 kilometers.
The greater area I’ve been over the past 3 days and up until I get to San Fransisco, is fairly remote and sparsely populated. There may be towns every 20 kilometers or so, but not all of them have services or grocery stores to buy food. I’ve been through a few ghost towns and the sense of abandoned property is frequently present. In these areas it takes a little more planning in terms of food supplies and breakfasts. I got to Legget much sooner than I expected. I saw a couple of other cyclists sitting at the patio of the single grocery store. They told me this is the last shop for the next 40 kilometers, so I was convinced to have an early lunch at 11am.
Right after leaving Legget, I came across the very anticipated fork. I left 101 and turned right to state highway 1. A much smaller road, that goes through the coast, all the way to San Fransisco. Right after the turn, the big accent started for the first of the two big climbs of the day. The heat had already started building up, but luckily the climb was within a forest with a good temperature. It took me a good hour to get to the top and the reward was a descent of at least 10km, with easy turns every hundred meters. The trees and vegetation had already started changing. 10km after the hill, a second one followed with an equal steep and long accent. I had to stop several times to take a breath and drink plenty of water, as by then the temperature had reached around 25c.
The second descent was equally long and pleasant. At the bottom of it I met the sea once again. This time the ocean had a completely different look. Extremely calm waters, very good visibility and a boiling sun. The vegetation is now different all together, with such a drier climate.
Unfortunately cycling along the coast wasn’t as easy as I though. On every turn there was a hill to go up and down, making the last part of my ride fairly exhausting. I definitely prefer to have a long hill to climb, rather than many small ones, one after the other. I stopped at Westport for an ice-cream and some nuts and then headed another 15km further south.
Fort Bragg is a relatively big city, so I went into the campground of Mac Kerricher state park in Cleone which is just a couple of kilometers away. Just as I was about to enter it, Patricia an old lady crossing the road with her dog started talking to me. After a short chat she offered me to put my tent in her back garden. I chose not to be a trouble to her, since the state park was just around the corner and I was hoping to catch up with the rest of the cyclists. It even has hiker biker spots for just $5. I got there right before sunset, so I went by the beach to see the view, before shower and dinner.
Today I reached 2000km and I am a month before my flight. Plenty of time and kilometers ahead for more adventures and stories