Mesa to Pitt 2015

Mesa to Pitt 2015
Mesa to OBX

Monday, November 11, 2013

Fort Bragg to Point Arena, California November 5

Tuesday, November 5....46.5 miles in 4:28....Pam drove me back to Ft. Bragg from the RV in Willits, on Cali Rt. 20, a road the Pam counted to have 169 curves in 22 miles. That means to pick me up and drop me off two days in a row, she went around 676 curves. Woman is a saint, and I gotta be nuts to do this trip the way I'm doing it. Logistics aren't going to get any easier, so I won't see my wife for a few days while she is on an RV friendly course, and I'm on one of the most beautiful rides in the country. I finally got going at about 11:30, not in a terrible hurry, because of a shorter ride plan. Before I clipped in, Pam and I saw two remarkable sights. We saw five white deer that we thought were only a legend on the Seabiscuit Ranch. There were four doe and one buck near the road as we were leaving the campground. (I did some research, the deer are called Farrow Dear.  They were brought to the Howard ranch in the early 40's, purchased from Wm R Hearst for $10 a deer for 53 deer!.  The deer all jumped the corral fence - surprise! They have continued to live in the area and flourish.  They are not Albinos.  The babies are born tan with white spots and are totally white before they are a year old.)  I only got one picture because a car came flying by and spooked them before I got a better one.
The next unique thing I missed a picture of because he moved too quick, was a guy on crutches, with a harness around his shoulders, pulling a shopping cart with all his worldly possessions through the McDonald parking lot. Strange sights in California, I'll say.
The weather was pretty warm, especially in the sun (55-65 degrees), with a tailwind and absolutely no fog to be seen. Even the locals are commenting on how great the weather is, and it is supposed to last according to forecasts. Rt. 1 had a great shoulder and a great view for about 10-15 miles to the town of Mendicino. Mendicino  is a great destination if you want a sea shore town in Northern California to fall in love with. It has a beautiful bay, and I know I have heard of it, probably because it's been on TV in the movies or something. What a neat little place! In the  first 20 miles of coastline on today's ride,  the most prominent feature is the coves. 100-200 yard wide U shaped hollows in the coastal cliffs where waves crash in across sea stacks, or just wash up on a secluded, sometimes inaccessible beaches, some made of sand, some of rocks. Every wave was powerful, angry, and loud as it crashed into the rocks. Lots of rivers and creeks come down out of the mountains in this area, and every one required a steep descent through S curves, across a bridge, and back up the same on the other side. Rt. 1 rides on a cliff from 100-300 ft. above sea level, and every stream was a need to go down, then up. Today I climbed 3400 ft. and descended 3400 ft. without ever being 500 ft above the ocean. 
I'm not sure where, but the coastline turned into farmland. Not many crop fields, but I saw lots of cows, horses, camels, turkeys, and sheep. The land was brown, dry rolling hills, and it reminded me of Cheyenne, Wyoming, with an ocean off to my right! There were huge Cyprus trees lining some of the properties, which provided shade and nice scenery.
I eventually rolled into Pt. Arena, which was guarded on the north by the first California lighthouse I have seen. It was unique in that it looked like it was on the edge of a cattle field and the ocean. This was my stopping point because the next lodging was 20 miles down the road, but the motel listed on the ACA map looked like it had been closed long enough for plenty of weeds to grow. I asked a lady working in her yard if there was anywhere else to lodge, and she guided me to the end of town, and down a beat up road into one of the coves of which I've spoken. At the end of the road was a fishing pier, a building with a bar and restaurant, and about two dozen surfers and fishermen meandering around, ending their day. Some surfers rode until sunset. I stood up in the pedals to get up the days final hill to the Inn on the hillside. It was a fancy place, but the only show in town. The innkeeper was a biker, and cut me a $45 break on the price of the room, and put me on a lower floor, where I could get a bike in the room. It also had a jacuzzi tub and a feather bed. It would have been a romantic setting if Pam was here, but she wasn't, so I made the best of it and had a burger and a Longboard beer with about a dozen surfer boys and assorted locals in the bar. $15 bucks for a hamburger. Went back to the room and jacuzzied and crashed.  Note: today would have been my Dads 78th birthday.
Look carefully and you can see our white deer!

Back in Ft. Bragg in the McDonald's parking lot, getting ready to hit the road again!

Bike all loaded down for the overnight trip

Heading out of the parking lot

Back on Hwy 1 again!

Cove with sea stacks in the background

Shoreline scenery

Sea stacks everywhere

Cattle grazing with the ocean in the background!

Cyprus trees with moss

Pt. Arena lighthouse

Pt Arena lighthouse with cattle grazing

Anywhere else it's "engine brakes prohibited"  In laid back Cali, it's " easy on the engine brake"!!

Sunset view from the Wharf Master Inn

My Jacuzzi

Wharf Master Inn (Mike's room) high up on hill

View from Mike's room

Bedroom (really roughing it isn't he?!)

He had gas logs too!!!

Sitting in front of motor home watching the wild life!

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