Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Learning to Chill

Pictures form today are here.

Yesterday felt weird.

Part of it was just being in a hotel room in a strange town full of strange people, but most of it was just because I didn't have anything to do. I mean, I had things that i could do to stay busy -- I cleaned the bike, went out to breakfast, walked around, saw the movie "The Butler," and stuck my toes in the ocean -- but I wasn't doing it all on a bicycle. I didn't have some other place that I needed to be that night ... some place further south on my journey.

I was, basically, without a purpose ... or, more accurately, a goal. And apparently I need goals.

That's something I'm going to have to work on if I want to do more touring. A lot of the folks that I've met on this trip who do this regularly seem to have no problem taking a day off and doing something other than traveling when the opportunity -- or the right place -- presents itself. One lady that I met said that she spent a couple of days in one town just because she met someone and they hit it off, and her friend let her just stay on the sofa and hang out at her house while she was at work. She said that she worked some, and then baked bread.

Maybe when I learn to chill out more I can also learn how to bake bread.

Anyway, this morning I forced myself to sleep until almost 7, and then headed back south into downtown Ft. Bragg for a leisurely breakfast and then a stop at the bike shop to put air in my tires. I had eaten an excellent breakfast Sunday at this place -- Nit's -- but when I got there today they were packed. Then I found that the bike shop didn't open until 9:30. So, I topped off my tires with my little handpump instead and headed north for a quick cup of coffee and sausage biscuit from McDonald's.

See what I mean? No chill-ability.

California 1 was a little busy for the first few miles, then quieted a bit just before Mendocino. I saw yellow arrows pointing into that town so, although the Adventure Cycling route didn't indicate it, I went in. It was worth a couple of extra miles, as the route went around the wild coast there, plus the town itself was just cuter than anything. It made me wish that I'd popped for a room at one of the Bed and Breakfasts there for the last two nights instead of the discount motel in Ft. Bragg. It also made me proud that I was able to chill out enough to detour into Mendocino in the first place.

I started looking for someplace for "second breakfast" as I went south through Little River and Albion, but nothing clicked until I hit Elk. There, I saw a nice diner with three bicycles out front. When I went in, I found my three companions from Leggett: Chris, Will, and Joel.

Over breakfast, they told me how they had been plagued with a series of flats near the top of that first climb leaving Leggett, and then more of them for the remainder of the day. They had ended up staying at a state park hat night, and then were at Van Damme Beach while they explored Mendocino and Ft. Bragg.

After eating and filling bottles, the four of us rolled out together; however, the terrain on this part of the coast is very rolling and we were all soon separated. I regrouped with them a couple of times on climbs and at scenic viewpoints, but lost track of them by mid-afternoon.

I stopped in Point Arena for a soft drink and waited, but when the guys didn't come in after half an hour I moved on to Anchor Bay. There, I got a sandwich and waited some more before giving up and doing the last few miles to my campsite at Gualala Regional Park. The guys said that they planned to camp here, too, but never showed up.

Maybe they're having another series of flats, or they may have gone to another campground. Or maybe this is why I keep moving on -- I'm not the kind of person who gets invited to couch surf and bake people bread.


  1. Never too late to learn/appreciate making bread.

  2. I would appreciate your baking bread. :)

  3. Somebody get me Panera's recipe for the Three-Seed Demi.