Day 32

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Santa Cruz to Monterey

49 miles

We have yet another incredibly sunny day.

The ride takes us through Aptos, huge agricultural fields, a stop in Moss Lading for artichokes and finally a 10 mike long bike path through the Fort Ord Dunes State Park. It is truly a beautiful day.

Joe’s treat for the day is lunch with his childhood neighbor, Joyce.  She takes us in her car to the Monterey Fisherman’s Wharf; we have a wonderful meal, a perfect view and great conversation.

Thank you Joyce.

We, too, are thankful for another day well lived.

Day 32

Day 29

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Jenner, CA to Point Reyes Station

43 SCENIC Miles

You will do foolish things, but do them with enthusiasm. 

Sidonie Gabrielle Colette

Gray. Gloom. Fog. Cold. 

The day begins as every other of the last week. 

At 12 miles a stop in Bodega Bay, whose claim to fame is the location for Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Birds”, in order to make phone calls and secure tonight’s lodging. With neither cell service nor Internet last night, I was unable to research or to plan ahead. 

With that task accomplished, it is time to head south again along a gorgeous, though gray and foggy coastline.  

Eventually we head inland through sunny, serene Valley Ford, Tomales and then Marshall where the omnipresent fog returns. 

Joe speaks to a CHP about the unpleasant drivers on One; the officer’s only suggestion: do not ride on One, the most dangerous road in California, where he sees one bicyclist death a week.  Additionally he kindly recommends the Estero Cafe  a mile away, perhaps to lighten our now grim moods. I am literally scared to death as I begin riding again. 

The route, Highway One, now  takes us along the spectacular eastern shoreline of Tomales Bay, renowned for its oysters, until we reach our day’s destination, Point Reyes Station, population 585. Our B&B has neither breakfast nor TV(we are now 6 out of 7 nights without TV, and sometimes also without phone or Internet–this 40 miles from San Francisco and no cell phone service– Alaska is a dream in comparison).  It is only  a 10 minute walk to town  for provisions along a “trail”,  thus we are sitting pretty.  Dinner is at Osteria de Stillena, a locally sourced restaurant that’s been written up in the New York Times; perhaps this will help eradicate the coffee pot instant oatmeal of the morning. 

Tomorrow San Francisco awaits us; the route appears a bit complicated as we try to avoid freeways and certain traffic.  We are purposely steered away from One by the guidebooks and maps as it is simply too dangerous. 

Wish me luck navigating through the suburban sprawl of Marin County, the birthplace of the mountain bike in the late 70’s, as I try to reach the renowned Golden Gate Bridge via Sausalito, the town of everyone’s fantasies. 

Day 29

Day 28

Point Arena to Jenner

52 miles.

Lots of fog. Lots of hills.

75 miles from San Francisco.

Stayed at a great place in Jenner with great food.

Joe says to write about the hill  it was 500 feet in elevation and we finally saw some sun.

Joe says we met two bikers on the way. He does not remember the first man’s name. Joe says the second man is named Wells, has taken time off to bike, is camping and is also headed toward San Diego.

Now Joe is talking about mentioning a restaurant with a Mexican who makes Chile Rellenos.

The above is written verbatim from Joe for those who are complaining about what is written.

Enjoy!

Day 27

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!

Day 27