v4.1

Day Nineteen – Van Damme State Park to Stillwater Cove State Park

Day Milesge: 68 Miles
Total Mileage: 1,151 Miles

The first town I came to was only a half-mile down the road, Little River, CA. I stopped in for coffee with a guy named Carl who was also traveling down the coast but for the 5th time. I’d like to come back to Little River. It was right on the cove and it was a beautiful morning.

Today ended up being my best day on the coast. It was beautiful weather. Clear skies. Actual blue in the sky and sunny. And what perfect timing for great weather, I was on the coast for nearly the entire day with a perfect view. This is why I went on this trip for days like today. Alone on a road, in the middle of Northern California 300ft from the crashing waves of the Pacific Ocean.

I stopped at a little joint in Stewart’s Point that was a general store and then some. I want to come back to the spot and just hang out for the entire day because it overlooked ocean and today just made it that much better. Cannot say enough good things about that spot.

I loved today. Tomorrow, I am going to try to get an early start… I’ll need to cover the majority of my miles before 1:30…. Fantasy Football Draft!

Day Eighteen – Standish Hickey State Park to Van Damme State Park

Day Mileage: 66 miles
Total Mileage: 1,085 miles

The day started somewhat earlier than normal. Coffee, breakfasts and hills were on the docket for the first part of the day. In the town of Leggett, there was the largest hill on Map 3 and the biggest up to this point. I knew that was soon and planned accordingly. I set up with this guy named Trevor and we climbed. Climbed and climbed. It took only 30 minutes to get to the top. What followed was 10 minutes of downhill but unlike other downhills, I braked. We’d go through hairpin turns, winding roads and I was cruising at 30mph through these turns… I was scared enough to brake throughout the downhill.

At the bottom, we rested a little bit and then pushed a little further. They were stopping about 20 more miles up the road and i was going a little further than that. I knew we had one more climb before reaching their camp but little did I know that this next little climb would be way worse than our biggest climb yet. The big climb, we started nearly halfway up. This next one, it wasn’t the case. It was hard and took a while. With sweat in my eyes, I finally reached the top and there wasn’t quite the decent I was looking for. It was then that we finally cruised into Fort Bragg.

I spent a good amount of time in Fort Bragg, checking out shops and the town itself before I took off for the final 10 miles to camp. I dropped off only 8 miles further down the road in a town called Mendocino for dinner. I went into a market and bought some meat and cheese. It was the best little ton market I’d been in this trip. Then it was onto camp.

At Van Damme State Park, I set up shop with 4 other bikers, one couple coming all the way from Anchorage. They met up with a friend who had a floor pump. Finally, my tires were at the correct tire pressure probably since Astoria, nearly 600 miles ago… Whoops. Time for bed, I finished Forrest Gump (appropriate) and went to bed close to 8:30.

Day Seventeen – Hydesville, CA to Standish Hickey State Park

Day Mileage: 78 miles
Total Mileage: 1,018 miles

I was ready for the day. I was well rested and well carb-loaded. Milton and Sally treated me as a member of their family. My rest day was incredible. I stayed in bed nearly all day catching up on some tv shows. By the time I got caught up, it was dinner time and my hosts took me to Ferndale to enjoy some lasagna at Pizza Co. I learned quite a bit of interesting stuff about the town…. The Majestic and Outbreak were both filmed there. It was a great rest day and I hope to come back to this area sometime in the future.

I took off and was barely off route. I jumped on the 101 and took that until I got off at the Avenue of Giants about 6 miles later and I was back on track. I spent the remainder of the morning on this incredible stretch of road. Redwoods everywhere. Incredibly tall, incredibly wide, incredibly incredible trees everywhere. It was hot but thanks to the shade, I didn’t overheat at all. Just a perfect start to my day.

After I reached Benbow, the town I originally was thinking about stopping, I decided I could keep going and push it a little further. Once I did, I ran into Becca and her dog as well as Alan again. We talked for a bit and I set out only to stop a mile down the road for a picture opportunity… 1,000 miles!!! After that milestone, it was a loooooong trek to camp. Many winding roads and uphills that led me all the way to camp. Across the street from the park, there was this awesome little grill/market/store/house that had an awesome set up. I had some beers and watched a non-rain delayed Cubs-Giants game.