Pat and Sari's Honeymoon Bike Ride

Saturday, June 07, 2008
Anchor Bay, CA to Fort Bragg, CA
56 miles (4504 total miles)

Tonight we have a serviceable cell phone connection - makes the website work so much easier. Last night at Anchor Bay, we only had connection down at the beach, so Pat had to take the laptop down there to upload our pictures and text! Very crazy. Cell phone/internet access will continue to be troublesome for some time, however. Cell towers are not held in high regard in these parts apparently.

Today was not as bad as we expected, although it was a long and tiring day. We left camp in Anchor Bay at 8:30 am and arrived at our motel in Fort Bragg at 6:30 pm. The wind was not quite as strong as yesterday, although we did have some of those insane gusts from time to time. We had been warned about the horrific north winds in California, but they really hadn't been much of a problem until we were north of San Francisco. And they really have to be experienced to be believed anyway - truly incredible how strong they are. At any rate, the wind seemed to die down this afternoon, so it bodes well for tomorrow, too. Today was also a milestone in that we broke 4500 miles - roughly the half-way point of our trip. So tomorrow we are, effectively, on our way home!

We had a couple of sweet rolls at camp this morning to tide us over until we hit Point Arena, 11 miles away. We were lucky to find a very nice cafe in Point Arena, which we noticed because there were 2 bikes parked in front. The bikes belonged to a Swiss couple who were biking the Pacific coast south to LA, having also biked in Australia and New Zealand starting back in January. They were a very charming couple and we had a great breakfast and great company, too. They said they had expected to see us since they had met a guy at their campsite in Manchester, a town just north of Point Arena, who told them about us. He was biking north like us and we had met him the day before yesterday (he passed us, easily). He had stopped one town south of ours that day and so we saw him again yesterday (he passed us again, easily). We told him we were stopping in Anchor Bay, but he apparently went about 15 miles further than us to Manchester.

Abalone fishing is apparently very big here; we noticed a lot of large abalone shells decorating building at the Anchor Bay campsite and as we were having our quick breakfast there, a number of people arrived wearing wet suits who were headed for the beach to fish for abalone. As we headed towards Point Arena, we noticed a lot of cars lining both sides of the road in a couple of spots and the people around the cars were putting on or taking off wet suits. The waiter at the cafe in Point Arena confirmed that they were going abalone fishing, too. A Bureau of Land Management official was having breakfast at that cafe, as well, and one of his jobs is to make sure no one leaves with more than their quota. We spent all day going up and down hills, winding away from and back towards the ocean again and again. The ocean was beautiful as always, with waves breaking over the rocks near the coast. We crossed several large rivers that emptied into the ocean - they were all very clear and pretty. The landscape we passed through was either forested with tall pines, redwoods, eucalyptus, or a few other types of trees, or it was rolling pastures and meadows. It was all spectacular. We passed through several small towns besides Point Arena and Manchester - Elk, where we had lunch, Albion, Little River, Mendocino, Caspar, and finally Fort Bragg - the largest of all of them. They were all clearly resort towns where state parks and beaches were the center of attention, and inns and B&Bs were in good supply. We ended the day at 56 miles in about 7 hours of bike time - slow but sure.

The coastline near Anchor Bay

One of the crazy hills we went down and then up again today,
with abalone fishers parked along the sides

Cows along the hillsides

One of the more open landscapes

The cafe in Point Arena where we had breakfast

Other colorful shops in Point Arena

Rural, hilly terrain

And wild foliage

Wooded hills and pastures

A resort area called Irish Beach

Pastures right along the ocean

A glimpse of ocean through the trees as we head uphill again

The zigzag road we just came down

A big rock being pounded by the waves

The cafe where we ate in Elk

Another hill coming up - our road swung to the right and then left up that hill

Queen Anne's Lace was in abundance as were Calla Lilies but I didn't get a shot of them

Both purple and yellow lupine were also plentiful

More rugged coast line

The ocean was not quite as choppy as yesterday

We cross the Navarro River

Our road is nearly at sea level with the river here, but goes up ahead

Looking back on the bridge where we crossed the Navarro...

and ahead where it opens into the ocean

Waves breaking over rocks

This was about all we saw of Albion...

except for this big campground right on the Albion River

Here the Albion River flows into the Pacific

A ridge of rocks near the coast

Little River had an elaborate inn...

across from the post office/gas station/grocery store where Pat got a Coke

The coastline near Mendocino

People wading on the banks of Big River

Others on the beach where Big River joins the Pacific, and leaves a lot of debris

Another lovely cove near Mendocino

Forests on the hills

And a marina along the Noyo River near Fort Bragg