|Feeding the Youngsters - Gualala River Bridge|
I woke up to a quiet campground, packed my bags and headed south by about eight o'clock. Snelling had gotten up earlier. We agreed to meet in Elk, ten miles up the road. The ride was foggy, a bit chilly but satisfying, none the less. There was almost no traffic on highway one.
|Pride of Elk|
After pedaling into Elk, I noticed Snelling's bike locked up by Queenie's Roadhouse Cafe. I pulled up along side and locked up. This turned out to be another great little cafe for eating and charging electronics. We met a female cyclist who was biking the coast back to San Francisco. Her husband had dropped her off in Humboldt County. She had done one hundred seventy miles the day before and planned on at least one hundred fifty miles before the end of the day. She worked for Google and needed to be back to work on Monday morning. This was part of her training for a 1,000 K race that was scheduled in three weeks. Although she was unencumbered with camping gear, her daily mileage put ours to shame.
After painting my face with sunscreen, we rode another twenty miles to Point Arena. We just happened to arrive in the middle of an Independence Day parade. It was a little difficult maneuvering through the crowd. At one point, I cut between floats to gain access to the less populated portion of the street. For dinner items, we slipped into Coastal Organics Cooperative. I updated my blog using their wifi. It has been very difficult to get cell coverage on this portion of the coast.
|Bay Trees - Gualala Point Regional Park|
Mounting our bikes, we moved on down highway one fifteen miles to Gualala Point Regional Park. This was a nice little site, just up from the Gualala River. The first thing that struck me was the scent of the California Bay trees. The slight wind moved the fragrance around the sites. I crushed a leaf in my hand and held it to my nose for an intoxicating effect. I then slipped a sandwich out of my pannier and walked down to the river. Under the bridge, I couldn't help but notice the swallows swooping into their mud nests. The parents were hard at work feeding the little ones. I took a couple pictures and a video before moving back to the campsite. The showers were $1.50 and worth every quarter. I had time to practice my yoga routine before climbing into the bivy sack.
Today we cycled forty-five miles.
Spotlight: The Map Case
One extremely important navigating feature that I always have in front of me is my waterproof map case. The case itself is attached to the top of my Ortlieb handlebar bag. We're using the Adventure Cycling Association maps for this trip. The maps read left to right for a southbound trip. We have, for the most part, stuck to the routes suggested by Adventure Cycle. I'm amazed by the research that has been put into these. We have been able to primarily cycle on backroads for most of the journey. Also, bicycle-related amenities are listed for each town. Without any experience cycling on the coast, these maps and case have made the trip a breeze. I would highly recommend this setup to anyone planning a long tour.