Tuesday, August 26, 2014

What a Difference a Day Makes!

Day 10 - Garberville, California to Mendocino, California

Although the distance between the two California towns is a mere 76 miles,
our experineces at these two stops were so very different...hence today's title.
Garberville, we learned last evening, is in Humboldt County which is the 
pot capital of the country.  This was evident by observing the many
"interesting" people who wandered the streets, worked in the restaurant we
visited and checked into our hotel.  It was a most uncomfortable experience 
for all of us.  We would certainly suggest that, if a trip brings you to this
area of California, don't consider staying in Garberville!

Mendocino, however, is charming, quaint, and very welcoming.  
It is filled with cute shops and restaurants and feels safe and comfortable.
We felt such relief to have climbed over that mountain and 
out of Humboldt County to this Oasis!  What a difference a day makes!

Taking off this morning from Garberville at about 8:30.

Just when we thought that we were out of the Redwood Forest,
we came upon this stretch of highway while heading to Leggett this AM.

Met up with Jim and Glenn just before they began their 
climb up the killer Leggett Hill!

We decided to use our car navigation system as a map today.
You will see these photos throughout the ride from Leggett to the coast.
Those curves were nerve wracking for us in the car. 
I can't imagine how the bikers felt!

These are fences to prevent falling rocks from hitting the road!

Jim's panorama as they entered Leggett

Just leaving the 101 (as it is called in CA)
to begin our journey west toward the coast on the 1!

After having a hundred of these trucks pass us in the last 9 days,
we finally caught one on the side of the road.  This perspective
helps to show just how huge they are.....especially when they pass 
you when you are riding a bike on a road with no shoulder!

Yet another bridge as we head toward the coast today

Caught up with Glenn and Jim as they start the climb up Leggett Hill

Check out these curves and switchbacks!

A big smile and a thumbs up from Jim after he finished 
the climb up to 2000 feet on the Leggett Hill!

How many people do you know who have colored 
coordinated their house and car?  

Jim heading across a bridge as he descends the hill.
This should be called Leggett "Mountain"!

We inch closer to San Francisco!
This was taken about 44 miles from our 
lodging for the night so we are under the 200 mile mark!

Almost to the coast....finally!

Our wildlife photo of the day.....Elk, we think!

We thought that the Redwoods were magnificent but this
forest of birch trees held another kind of beauty for us today.

The coast!   We made it back to Lynn's happy place!!!!

There is fog in them there hills!

A great photo of Laurie and Jim!
They are both beaming and relieved!

Fist bumps of congratualtions for the completion of 
the climb up and over the dreaded Leggett Hill!


Today was a riding challenge.  Total milage about 76 miles, but oh! the hills along the way.  We'd been anticipating this day for weeks.  Leggett Hill, the centerpiece of every Pacific Coast biking blog.  To be feared, for sure.  A 7% climb to nearly 2000 feet.  Roughly 12 miles up, and 12 miles down.  Key word..."Up".  

We began with a 20 mile warm up...our daily 'eye opener'.  There were hills.  Several. "Glenn, was that Leggett?"  Like a kid asking if we are there yet.  "No, Jim, keep your head down and just keep pedaling."  Once we finally started up, I glanced Glenn's rear wheel for the last time in hours.  Bye bye, time for granny gear and an average 3 miles per hour.  You do the math.  It was a long climb.  Laurie and Lynn would trail me... Wait around the next corner... Shout encouraging affirmations... Toss me trail mix.  I think I can, I think I can.  I thought of Ian.  I thought of Dana.  I thought of quitting.  Plenty of opportunity to catch a ride over the mountain.  No, this was personal.  If I don't go another mile thereafter, I'm going over this hill.  Up, up, up, stop, breathe, up.  Laurie and Lynn again...Need a lift?.....No!

The summit, at last.  And a 12 mile downhill frenzy of twisty turns and speed limit exceeding logging trucks and smoking break pads.  Laurie and Lynn again at the rescue, trailing behind, blocking traffic, enabling me to use the entire lane and not just the bumpy shoulder.  Averaging 22 miles per hour.  You do the math.  Exhilarating.

Then, a second climb.  700 feet up and 700 feet down Rockport Hill.  Just to temper any cocky attitude.  Not out of the woods yet.  By now, of course, Glenn was several miles ahead.  Sunning himself on the beach.  He is a bicycling machine.  A beast.  He lives for this.  With a 3 mile hitch courtesy of the gals, we are reunited and finish the remaining 30 miles together.  Endorphins are massing and circulating. I feel like Lance Armstrong...Rocky...The kid in Breaking Away singing gleefully in Italian...A little bit like Glenn.  When will I be ready, Master?  When you can snatch this pebble from my hand, Grasshopper.

For me, a personal accomplishment.  I was going to skip Leggett, but didn't.  Then was going to forgo the 30 mile finish, but didn't.  Something today kept me pedaling, against my expectations.  It was why we are doing this trip.   Not for personal vanity.  But for principle.  To struggle and yet overcome.  To cry, in pain... in recovery...in victory.  For Ian.  For every child climbing the much feared mountain.

A portion of the Pacific Coast Highway that we had just traveled
as taken from the other side of the switchback!

Looks a little like the Lone Cypress but no
Pebble Beach near here!

A canopy of trees made for serene passage through this area!

A bridge over 10 Mile River in Northern Mendocino County

These flowers are everywhere here in Mendocino County.
Let us know if you know what they are....Look a bit like lilies.

This bridge near Fort Bragg brought back fond memories for Lynn
and Glenn.  They stayed near here in 1988 with Jill, Neil and 
Seth while\on a month long tour of the west. 

A new stop on our culinary tour of the Pacific Northwest!  
Relish.....a gourmet hot dog cafe, of course!

Ever had a BLT hot dog?

We also have been on a tour of bike shops in
Washington, Oregon and California!
Today we stopped in to replace Jim's rear light which
mysteriously disappeared yesterday.  
We can see him from miles away now!

Those of you who know Jim, know that he makes friends everywhere!
We had just arrived at our Inn in Mendocino and here he is chatting with
his new friends.   He even got restaurant suggestions for us!

Relaxing in our attic room after a long, grueling day!

View from the bedroom!

MacCallum House Inn, Mendocino, California
 Charming Stop!

A Sunset Walk

My favorite California Flower!

Night falls on our Inn

Good night from our Attic Room!

This map not only shows where Glenn and Jim rode but
includes the distance, speed and elevation! Just amazing!

Today's stats!

Jim pedaled 74 miles!  Glenn pedaled 76.61 miles!
They both climbed 5435 feet today and burned 5720 calories!
The riding time was 6 hours and 24 minutes but they were
actually on the road for 7 1/2 hours.

Today's trivia will require a little work on your part!

What is the total number of miles traveled on this ride to date?

Win a t-shirt if you are the first to answer correctly and have not already won a shirt :)

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