Friday, October 8, 2010

October 3, 2010. Benbow to Fort Bragg, CA. 58 miles.

We knew ahead of time that today's ride would contain the biggest hill of the trip. Actually we had started climbing yesterday afternoon. Still, the first 15 miles was a gradual climb, about to where the red line is at the number 33. At that point, I stopped at the drive through tree--yeah, I'm a sucker for drive through trees ever since I saw one in a book in the 5th grade... Barb was riding with me but decided to pass by the tree due to the steep climb ahead of us. So a nice man on a Harley Davidson took my photo riding through the tree.

We had just turned off Hwy 101 on to Hwy 1 before Leggett and the big tree. It was indeed a narrow winding road with switchbacks and hairpin turns. We climbed another 4 miles, much more steep than the first 15. Then we descended fast for about 10 miles. And I mean FAST! (look at the grade on the profile above) I was frreezing! I stopped about 7 miles down to put my jacket back on because my teeth were chattering. But it was too late and I was too cold.

Fortunately there was little traffic. There were a lot of motorcycles--it must have been fun for them with the steep banked curves... After the big hill there was another smaller, steeper one which was actually harder to climb. I guess maybe we did not expect it.

I stopped in Westport for lunch and hot tea, where I caught up with Dianne, Mary and Andrea. We were back on the coast then for the rest of the ride. Riding along the coast uses all your senses--you can feel the spray, smell and taste the salt, hear the sounds of the surf even before you see it, and when you see it?????? Mind boggling.

Highway 1 is very narrow, has no shoulder, and the traffic picked up. It was a rather scary ride, hairpin curves and all. We looked down on the ocean from our perch high above without anything (like a guardrail) between us and the rocks.

The character of the trees changed as we got along the coast. We were out of the redwoods and into other deciduous forests when we were not perched on the edge of the land.
We arrived at the campground at MacKerricher State Park where there was a beautiful beach. This whole trip has been a treat for the senses.

1 comment:

Healthy Herbal Therapies said...

No wonder I haven't seen you all summer....your out having the time of your life!!! The photo's are amazing. I played scrabble the other day and got 157 points for one word!!! You would have been very proud of me.
Glad you haveing a wonderful time. Take care,