9/11/18 – Manchester to Bodega Bay

71.8 Miles

4491 ft of Climbing

Let’s see, now. What went on today? I was so panicked over the distance and climbing projections for the day, that I really just had to focus on getting to the finish line in Bodega Bay. So I blew past a lot of scenic stops along the way, like the Point Arena Lighthouse. I would have stopped there, if it hadn’t required four additional miles of cycling.

This lodge, with its Byzantine domes and intricate detail, looked like it was transplanted from Turkey, doesn’t it?After passing Gualala, I entered Sonoma County, and expected to see some wine country, but the scenery and terrain were more of what yesterday offered up: forests; high desert–kind of; and the ocean, with lots of rock formations and crashing waves. I passed through state, county and regional parks, and, of course, a few corny tourist traps.What stuck with me the most about this day? The roads. They were crazy, winding and curvy roads, often with no shoulder and a steep drop off to the right of the road. Any time there was a thrilling downhill, it was almost immediately followed by a punishing uphill. For a few seconds, I contemplated jumping on a plane in San Francisco, and throwing in the towel on Highway 1. But I’m not a quitter, and I knew about the coast roads when I started this insane ride.

When I arrived at Bodega Bay, I stopped in town to eat dinner and make a couple of phone calls, before riding to my campground, which was a couple of miles outside of town. The wind was gusting nonstop, and it was really cold, as I set up camp in a huge hiker/biker campsite, with me the sole occupant. The site was all sand, and I wasn’t going to try staking my tent out in sand again, so I set up on concrete, in a huge barbecue circle, tying my tent fly to the benches and my bike. Somehow, the tent did not blow away, which amazed me. After watching the sun set over Bodega Bay, I splurged on a $3 coin operated hot shower, and went to bed. I have to get an early start, tomorrow morning, as my Southern Tier riding partner, Ed Craft is making a three-hour journey, with his super sleek new bike, to ride into San Francisco with me, so I need to be up by 7 AM, to be ready to go no later than 9 AM. I am really excited to see and cycle with Ed again!

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