Monday, October 21, 2013
Mendocino, CA to Point Arena, CA
36 FOGGY Miles
Be happy. It is one way of being wise.
Sidoney Gabrielle Colette
The bicycles, having spent their first night outside by themselves and having been exposed to the damp and dreary elements, get loaded up for the day in the wet, gray, foggy dawn. Yet another day awaits us, regardless of either mood or preparedness.
The fog is so thick I can see it blowing in over the headlands as I roll along. My helmet literally drips with droplets of moisture from the moisture saturated fog.
Four miles out, we cross the Navarro River and face a one mile uphill climb out of the river valley.
Sixteen miles out: Elk, population 250, and the first rest stop at Queenie’s Roadhouse Cafe. I let Joe know that the steepest climb of the whole Pacific Coast Route awaits us next.
Other than that horrible switchbacked hill(which I opted to push rather than ride the majority of the way, to the great relief of my ancient, arthritic knees), the ride is great; we meander through golden rolling hills filled with livestock in the increasingly dense fog, allowing only a meager 200 feet of visibility.
Next stop: Point Arena. The Harbor House Hotel had not returned my phone call, though their message contained room rates and a website. It turns out they are closed; time to regroup. I call to Anchor Bay, six miles away, and check rates; option A requires a 2 night minimum and option B is beyond exorbitant.
We opt for the Wharfmaster’s Inn, a supposedly flat one mile distant from Point Arena, at the harbor.
It turns out to be a mile downhill, which sadly translates to a extra mile uphill in the morning, however the room is great. Joe has a flat screen TV and is currently watching Judge Judy utterly enrapt; he has not even taken his biking clothes off yet and we have been in the room for over two hours. His evening is set; he has not even noticed the “no service” on his phone.
Thus another riding day is done; we are now about 130 miles from San Francisco, though tomorrow may be difficult– either 15 or 53 miles of constant hills for lodging, both in settlements of about 100 people, with only a couple of options.
A follow up on the route issue: last night Joe told me he was going to San Francisco and the Bay Area via the 101 Freeway where he would stay with “friends.” Furthermore he gave me five minutes to make a decision; if I did not choose that route, he would meet me in San Francisco in 10 days.
I chose to ignore his ultimatum; we are currently on Highway 1, the Pacific Coast Bicycling Route within striking distance of the Bay Area. Yes!