Sunday: Goal for today = 40 miles. We ended up doing 60 to make it to a warm showers host. After a couple days without a shower we were more than willing to go the extra 20 miles. The most eventful part of the day was Rusty’s house! Huge 3-story green house with an emu and several goats! Yes, an Emu! Don’t worry, I took lots of pictures. Rusty has a big piece of property and we stayed in an RV near the garage. There was an outdoor bathroom with a shower and all. I was so happy to have a hot shower! We had a lot of delicious cookies thanks to another cyclists mom. She sent her son a huge box of goodies and did general delivery to the town we were in. The package weighed 13 pounds! Haha that mom is awesome, but her son was very happy to leave some stuff at the warm showers when he stayed there. Also, have you heard of Abalone? Both Joe and I just found out about it today as we were going through Mendocino. It’s a snail and there are strict regulations if you want to catch one. Such as only being able to catch 3 a day per person, only 18 annually per person, AND you can’t sell them. The shells are very big and look like mother of pearl.
Monday: Had to say bye to the Emu before we left! Have you heard the sound an Emu makes? They sound like dinosaurs. Joe and I were searching for a place to fill up water as we were heading out of town. Joe thought it would be nice to stop at a nice looking restaurant. We enjoyed a cup of coffee and the amazing view (see picture w/OJ on the table). Maybe also had a second breakfast as well. We couldn’t pass that up! Also we weren’t quite awake yet. We didn’t get many miles down the road until we stopped in Mendocino. Mendocino is an art town and probably has over 25 galleries in a few blocks. Stopping at 5 or 6 we spent most of the morning there. Luckily we didn’t need to stop for lunch considering we had 2 breakfasts! Fort Bragg was the next town and also where we lost all motivation. There was a speak easy/pizza place where all of the locals go. We had a great time and everyone was awesome at that little place. The owner gave us some free pizza. If you’re ever around Fort Bragg go to Piaci Pub & Pizzeria on the corner of Redwood ave & Shoreline.
Tuesday: We had our climbing legs ready today! 1700ft climb. Not much, but one of our biggest climbs in a few hundred miles. The ride was beautiful! The coast has been desolate with grassy fields meeting the ocean. Everyday we see so many cyclists touring the coast. Today we bet on how many we would see and we were both wrong. There was way more than we expected. After the hill climb we stopped at a little general store where 6 other tourists were taking a break. Everyone was taking cover from the storm…that was brewing. Joe and I decided to try and beat it. You can only guess what happened then! We only had 20 more miles to Benbow which would make it 60 for the day. There were plenty of campgrounds for a backup plan if needed. About 8 miles from the store it started pouring. POURING. No rain jacket on, just long sleeves, pants, and 2 buckets of water in my shoes. It was still pouring when we saw a campground to our left. Joe left it up to me whether we kept going or not. The huge sign to our right said “BENBOW 6mi. KOA…HOT TUB”. Well, we were already soaked, drenched. Slightly miserable. As we’re standing in the rain I’m thinking I would rather bike 6 miles in the rain knowing theres a hot tub waiting for me. Plus, the last warm showers host gave us a tip that most KOA’s have hiker/biker rates and they just don’t advertise it. We normally don’t go to KOA’s because they’re about $45/night just for a tent site. I can see why though…it’s like a hotel for us. We had a hot tub, pool, free showers, wifi, and a community building. It was worth it! We got a site for $22 after talking to the girls in the office. We had a very relaxing evening after a day full of climbing and rain.