Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Day 25 - Fort Bragg to Manchester KOA

Distance - 32 miles
Today we had a nice lazy morning, we slept in! Until 8 am. I know it doesn't sound like sleeping in, but we've been up and out of camp by this time most days.
We tackle the steep hill out of camp. I'd like to say our legs are getting used to these, but I think they cry a little each morning.
A short 2 miles in we stop at a bakery cafe in the small town of Mendocino. We start with a strawberry cheesecake danish, and finish with quiche and a breakfast burrito!
Today is a lot like yesterday, with beautiful ocean vistas. There is perhaps a little more shoulder on the road today, occasionally...

We stop in Elk for a picnic lunch at the park. Sadly there are no elk to be seen. But there are really cool rock arches surrounded by turquoise water.

Then we are back to more hills! We are very glad we split this section over a couple of days! There is one hill in particular that stood out from the rest. The downhill wound around the corner and just kept dropping. Similarly, the uphill was winding and steep. So steep that before we rounded the first bend we were concerned we weren't going to make it - and there were two more!! Oh, and traffic. On the final ascent there's a really cool bird (falcon?) hovering in the wind. It was so still at first I thought it was a kite! It was a welcome distraction from the burning pain in our quads!
Again I want to call the hills we tackle rolling, but we can never seem to make it up the other side. Then there's the river valleys. Why did nobody tell us about the river valleys? We go from beautiful stunning views biking on cliffs above the water, then all of a sudden we're flying downhill and around a corner. By corner I mean winding hairpin turns. Then as you cross the river the wind picks up and you have no idea what direction it's about to push you. On the really lucky ones you get a wicked headwind on the uphill. It's hard work, but once we have tackled a few it's actually quite fun!

We have two choices in the same area for camping tonight. One is a state park like we're used to, the other is a KOA, which we have heard are on the expensive side. We start with the state park. The hiker biker sites are $10 per person and it only has outhouses. The site is just an overgrown field. We head back up the road and discover the KOA is also $10, but has the following:
-a pool
-a hot tub
-warm showers (not coin operated!)
-a cooking shelter with sinks, stoves, and a microwave
-an ice cream social
-a movie night
-a community fire pit surrounded by chairs with a maintained fire
Naturally, we went back down the road and stayed in the overgrown field. Can't be too spoiled.
After having just sat in the hot tub for too long, we are currently making dinner in the cook shelter next to a roaring fire. Tonight's dinner is chicken prosciutto and butternut squash ravioli with a spinach pesto sauce.
We are so, so spoiled!

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