Day 25: Van Damme to Bodega (Bay) Dunes

Bad night sleep, again, due to poor sleeping angle and rough ground. We all got up around 7, and were on the move by 9. Craig and I were first shift, 15 miles to knock out. Kelley drove, meeting us, in Elk-something. We swapped over, Craig drove on and I rode the next 15 miles, to Manchester, with Kelley.

It was a beautiful day, and it felt good to ride George unladen – boy it felt much easier up the hills! And on the second section there were a few switchbacks that came in at 14%, which would’ve been tough to do fully ladden.

Manchester didn’t contain much of anything, so we carried on the extra 5 miles to the small hamlet of for a quick bit of chat, coffee, and WiFi. Back on the road for about 12, this time I was driving – the Prius! Solo much fun, with its various displays on mpg, efficiency, etc. Got to our lunch spot, 15 miles along, at . Spent about 20mims scoping out the food spots in town.  Ordered a coffee in the local cafe/wifi spot. As it arrived, so did Kelley+Craig!

Lunch in a ,Mexican, nice enough. Craig was unimpressed with his burrito. Got on road again a little after 2. Longer stints, of 30/ miles and 26 miles now. First Craig, til we met Kelley in Salt Point. She said locals had told there was a big hill. I told her not to worry, locals always overstate it. Ooops. Turned out to be large – I haven’t yet checked if it’s the largest of the trip so far – though it felt easier  compared to previous climbs, thanks to not having to carry panniers and having a “ride 2 stints, rest 1” rotation in place.

The section of ride with Kelley was probably the best of the day; the climb followed the coastline, working its way upward in a series of steps (steeper sections, longer gentle sections). As we climbed we could see the low-lying cloud/sea-mist that had been building with the heat of the day trying to broach the high cliff. It managed, around about the point we summited, such that we descended in the cloud, and rode in it all the way to the Campsite.

I’m so tired now, I can barely keep , eyes open. Kelley and Craig both rode well; both needed a break during the afternoon sections but that’s no surprise given the amount of climbing, and that it was their first day of riding compared to my 18th(?).

Craig driven ahead to the campsite, found a good site, and kindly setup the tents for us, such that we could just dump our stuff, and all head straight into Bodega Bay for some warm snacks! Bodega Bay is, apparently, where Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Birds” was filmed, sao no surprise that the cafe we ended up in was called that. Craig tried his first Corn Dog Artichoke Fritters for me, and a well-earned beer for all of us.

We also picked up supplies for a camp fire and smores, and headed back for dinner. We ate, I went to shower, by the time I came back both of them had fallen asleep! But I noticed the bear box was open. Weird. I’m sure I closed it. I checked, and just the chocolate was missing…a quick look around showed some Hershey on the floor, and some eyes reflecting back at me…COON! I tied the box shut, no more of our food for you!

Days stats…

Odometer… 2390 km
Distance… 129.3 kph
Time… 5hrs 30mins
Climbed… 2069 m (new day record!!)
Calories… 2171 m
Avg speed… 23.5 kph
Avg HR… 121 bpm
Max spd… 63.6 kph
Max HR… 169 bpm

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