Day 19 - Benbow KOA to Westport-Union Landing Site Beach - July 4, 2014

Jeremy - North of Confusion Hill

I woke before seven o'clock and decided to get moving. Snelling was already stirring and I knew that we had a big day in store. Dan and Sean had mentioned that there was a big climb after the town of Leggett. After packing up, I hit the road to beat some of the heat.

I was able to keep a pretty good pace on 101 in the early morning. There wasn't any traffic to speak of. The sun was coming up over the hills. The morning is a great time to ride. I was in a relaxed zone in no time at all. Just north of Confusion Hill, my thoughts were interrupted by a man looking down at me from an overpass. He hollered down asking if I had a phone - his car wouldn't start. Indicating that I did, I laid my bike in the grass and hiked up to meet the situation.

Upon cresting the hill, I noticed his vehicle, the driver's side door ajar and hood popped. I took out my phone and checked for coverage - no luck. He told me that he had parked his car the night before, fallen asleep and left the lights on which drained the battery. He asked me what day it was. I told him July fourth. He was relieved. He thought that he needed to be in court. I suggested that we make his car visible to passing motorists by pushing it down the onramp to the shoulder of 101. After shoving it down the hill, we pushed it into the grass. Almost on cue, a black pickup pulled along side and gave him a jump. As I pedaled by I waved goodbye and asked his name. He said "Jeremy."

I moved on to Leggett and met Snelling at a small grocery store. We bought breakfast items and, knowing we wouldn't have access to a store, food for the day. I filled my water bottles using the sink in their office. There was a tint to it, indicating minerals. I wasn't picky. I'd need it for the road ahead.

The next twenty-five miles were quite hilly. We rode to an elevation of close to two thousand feet on a curvy stretch of highway one. The downhill was, of course, a delight. I had to keep my attention very sharp. There were many blind corners that had to be approached with care. I broke onto the coast and spotted the first of four primitive campsites, all falling under the name Westport-Union Landing Site Beach.

We settled on the fourth large campsite overlooking the Pacific. Due to the fact that there were pit toilets and no showers, the hiker-biker charge was three dollars. The sites were not numbered. We chose an open, grassy spot by the entrance. With the massive amount of Independence Day campers, the place looked a little post apocalyptic. I threw out my sleeping pad and took a nap.

Waking at around six o'clock, we decided to head into Westport, just for something to do. Happening upon a small grocery store, we bought a few food and beverage items and sat on the front porch for about thirty minutes, people watching and talking about the community. We cycled back to the park before sundown.

Entering the campground, we were invited over to a warm fire provided by a couple older gentlemen. They both worked maintenance jobs at schools. One man, George, was seventy-two years old. He enjoyed his employment. They had made a tradition of coming to Westport together over the Fourth-of-July weekend for forty years. They were trying their luck at fishing during the day and burning a pile of oak in the evening to keep warm. We thanked them for their hospitality.

Today, we cycled over forty miles.

Sundown with Tents - Westport-Union Landing Site Beach

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