Foggy days on the Cali coast
August 22nd, 2019
Leaving Mendocino, went on to cycle only 15 miles to Judy, our warmshower host for the night. She lived up a big hill, away from the route. We were welcomed to a nice cold beer and filling dinner, before we set up the tent in their garden. Rusty, Judy's dad (a 92 year old good spirited Hawaiian) told us all about witnessing the Pearl Harbour attack during WO2 from his back yard. During his professional years, he had worked as a chemist in explosives for the Belgian entrepreneur Eugene Poncelet. Judy herself worked at the post office and was also a volunteer fire fighter.
A scenic route with lots of ups and downs (and lots of droning) takes us to Gualala the next day. (Cool name, right?) In Elk, we wanted to buy a bread in a shop called $pendocino... A small loaf cost 9 dollars. The Cali coast can get expen$ive! Let's eat somewhere else. We did run into our previous WS host there, Jesse, who kindly treated us to an apple and some zucchini chips! Hero. We forgot to take a picture with him the last day, so we made sure to get one in quickly now. He wants to take his boys cycling, but the youngest one is sold on dirt motorbikes since he put him on one when he was only 4 years old! :)
While we sat down for lunch further up the road in our superduper Helinox Zero chairs in front of a supermarket, we met a woman cycling with a bird cage on the back of her bike... I love it when people are original, but no one in their right mind would combine birds and cycling. When I asked her why she had a bird on the back of her bike (maybe not in the friendliest tone of voice), she reacted very defensively. "Why do you carry … chairs!?", was the answer. Okhay. She clearly had gotten some comments before... “He’s an adventure bird, he likes being outdoors.” Can’t make this stuff up. Luckily she was very tired, seemed to have given up on cycling and was looking to hitch a ride. Anyone wanna take a crazy lady and her birdcage?
A beautiful and foggier-by-the-hour road takes us to our campground in Gualala.
The fog sticks around for another 2 days and gives us a mystical ride along the coast above San Francisco. Especially Jenner was worth the ride. A dreamy scenery. We hear the waves crashing deep below us, but can't see them. Throughout the day the mist stays okay to remain visible on the road. We did use our lights during the day too now, as traffic was not light.
A few incidents that day. Out of the blue, a guy in a pick up truck coming from the opposite side of the road, just started yelling at me "you little f*cking...". What the hell, nearly gave me a heart attack. I thought he was gonna get out of his car or chase me or something. Yannick was a bit ahead of me and didn't notice it. A bit further, road work had narrowed traffic down into one lane, with lights regulating cars from both sides of the road. The tricky part was getting on the other side before the lights changed for oncoming traffic. When lights hit green, cars start racing their way to the top of the climb. We, of course, fall way behind and are expecting cars to come towards us now... nobody had told them two cyclists were behind. Cars were driving towards us with almost no space to pass on the side of the winding uphill road. Cherry on the pie: a driver called us disrespectful for cycling there.
We weren't doing anything wrong, really ^^.
But the day wasn't over yet. It still had some spectacular views in store for us. When Yannick yelled "look to the right!", we saw hundreds of pelicans!
We end the day in Bodega bay with only one other cyclist there, a lawyer from LA. The evening sun came peeping through the clouds.
August 26 we got up at the crack of dawn for a longer ride. The mist was slowly creeping its way back into the ocean, so we got to see the landscape in its pure sunlit shape. The roads keep going in a rollercoaster taking us up, down, up, down and up again. Passing through charming towns, such as Point Reyes Station, make us spend too much on expensive bakeries. We noticed a serious surge in prices in California, so... pasta every night it is.