Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Day 24 - Leggett to Fort Bragg

Distance - 52 miles
It's time to say goodbye to our good friend hwy 101 and merge on to hwy 1 for some more coastal excitement! Oh yeah, and the big hill!
We're up early at The Peg House (it's the only place around) treating ourselves to large breakfast burritos before the climb. We snag a couple fresh baked brownies - we were there so early they hadn't even been cut or iced yet! We throw in a cookie too, who knows how long this climb is?!
After a few rolling hills out of the campsite we are headed up the hill! It's not a steep grade, it's actually quite pleasant. The trees surrounding us are beautiful and the birds are singing.
The logging trucks occasionally whiz past and nearly knock us off the road. I'd like to tell you we were on the shoulder, but it's a narrow winding uphill and there isn't one! It's so narrow you can't even ride on the white line. At least there isn't too much traffic!
We get to the top of the climb rather easily, and wonder what the fuss is all about. The downhill is even fun! It's not too steep. Why did everyone say to check my brakes for this?
We get down into the first small town, and three small dogs come out of nowhere barking and chasing after Chris. He managed to escape the ankle biters - but I'm going head on into them! The small one comes for my ankles, the big one sets up a block in front, and the third one has disappeared into the bushes for the surprise attack. I narrowly escape. Who knew the scariest part of the Leggett hill would be the dogs?!
Oh but wait, we're not finished with the downhill yet. The second part of it is a little more scary, but not the worst we've done. It's actually just really cold. We don't want to stop because we keep thinking we're almost down. We eventually cave and put on our arm warmers.
Shortly after we come across a man walking in the middle of the road, who says "You got a great day for this, nice weather and almost no traffic." We smiled and agreed - but why was this man in the middle of nowhere walking in the middle of the road?
The trees are becoming more sparse and we think the end of the downhill is near - and we are right! Unfortunately this sends us into or second climb of the day - arm warmers not necessary. This one feels harder than the first. Not sure if it's because it's steeper or because we've already done one! The downhill is equally as steep with some hairpins thrown in for good measure - now I know why they said check your brakes! At least we're warm this time. After this we pop back out onto he coast. We love the coast. The views are always stunning, and it smells so good!
We arrive in the closest town with services, Westport, 30 miles from the start of our day. By services we mean one store that sells limited groceries, has a deli, is the post office, and has a single gas pump out front. We have some of the tasty deli sandwiches and buy all the fresh fruit that looks okay - which is a small apple, a nectarine, and a plum.
From here we continue along the coast via several rolling hills. This coastline has the added bonus of no shoulder and active construction, which adds some nice haul and cement trucks in amongst the hairpin turns. Please save me! We pull off where we can to let the traffic go by, but it isn't always an option and sometimes we just have to brace ourselves.
We aren't having enough fun, so let's throw something else in the mix. How about a man walking a wheelchair with a dog in the lane coming at us? You just can't make this shit up!
We've seen the coast, we've seen farmland - now we've got coastal farmland! There are cows, but neither of us have the energy to moo at them or count them.
Will the rolling hills ever end? These aren't nice rollers where you can fly down and up the other side with ease - they take work!
Now might be a good time to tell you that today we had a choice. Stop and set up camp 3 miles from Fort Bragg and bike a 6 mile round trip for groceries, or bike 11 miles through town to the camp on the other side. We are high maintenance and want real fruit and vegetables - so we add 11 miles. Also because we love biking. And hills. Mostly rolling hills. Monotonous ones that continue for hours are preferable.
We get into town and find ourselves some nice fresh fruit and vegetables and we are happy campers again.
The ride to camp is short and uneventful. Camp, of course, is down another big hill.
We set up camp and head out to explore the campsite. It's in a gulch and has a stream running through it out to the ocean.
We hike back up the hill (why hills, why?) to the day use area to see the sinkhole - which is a sea cave where the roof has opened up. The views from the headlands here are stunning!

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