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Tour 2009: day 18

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009

Tour 2009 - day 18-2

I got up early and left camp by 7:40 wanting to hit the legendary Leggett hill (the highest point in the West Coast route at 2000′) before the day hit the projected 90+ degrees. I was prepared for the heat but it was still chilly as I turned off 101 (yay!) onto highway 1.¬† The climb up Leggett Hill began soon after and continued for about 3.5 miles but it was actually a nice winding gentle climb through the trees for most of the distance. So I never got overheated, on the contrary the descent was cold and quite long and at the bottom I rode into fog. Cold now I stopped at Redwood Grove (the last of the Groves) to put on socks and leg warmers.

Tour 2009 - day 18-7

Of course there was then the next hill, the Rockport hill at 690′; thankfully the legwarmers roll down. This one was shorter than Leggett Hill but steeper and I was still a bit weary from the last hill so overall it was a bit of a slog. After another cold descent I was back on the ocean which I was happy to see. The fog was back as were the seastacks but they now are heavily¬† fragmented and more like strewn rocks.

Tour 2009 - day 18-9

Tour 2009: day 18The road was right on the top of the bluffs with occasional dips up and down into coves and river valleys. At the first store since Leggett there was a mini conference of touring cyclists including the Beerhounds who we had thought were long gone. We were all making for North Coast Brewing in Fort Bragg and after another 15 miles of up and down (with increasingly worse traffic) many of us did meet there. North Coast Brewing makes Old Rasputin Stout which IMO is the best stout in America. I had two at the source. We all also went for handmade ice cream at Cowlick’s Ice Cream Cafe just down the road. I had coffee ice cream, but a tried a sample of a mushroom ice cream, which was as strange as you’d think: earthy and with more umami than one wants in ice cream

Now technically I had ridden the days mileage Fort Bragg actually being 2 miles past the days campsite. But it was so early that a number of us decided to press on another 16 miles to a site just beyond Mendocino. This was again pretty quick riding on the 1 with some ups and downs and a few shoulder-less bridges. Coming up on a side route to Mendocino I took it and spent some time in this quaint little hippie town. I resupplied my consumables and then rolled the few short miles to Van Damme State Park.

Tour 2009 - day 18-16

They had a pretty small Hiker/Biker site but so far it was just C&C and the two German Girls besides myself. I set up made dinner and then walked around a bit. On my return I found another five cyclists had squeezed into the camp. It was cold and gray so I retired into my tent to read fairly early.

Miles ridden today: 58.3
Miles ridden to date: 971.21

A few pictures from this day can be found here