Tuesday, September 10, 2013


Pictures from today are here.

I spent a lot of time today thinking about trees.

They're interesting on this coast. I mean, they're interesting anywhere if you're into trees, but as someone who has spent a lot of time with trees in the southeastern United States I can definitely say that these trees are far more interesting than the ones that I so frequently cut down in my youth.

For one thing, they smell different. There are bunches of eucalyptus, and they smell like some kind of salve ... maybe the kind that you would need if your flesh had been flayed the way that the eucalyptus trees here seem to have been. This smell mixes with the sage that grows wild here to assault the olfactory almost as badly as pear trees back home when they bloom in the spring. It is a vibrant and promising kind of stink -- a promise of good times just around the corner.

The trees here have also been twisted with torture. They want to grow towards the light that is so often abundant above the ocean, but the wind rebuffs them, turning them back, bowing them in obeisance towards the mountains to the east, and eventually knocking them over when it tires of their stunted grotesque growth.

And, by the time I came to this thought, I was feeling kind of pushed around by that bitch wind myself.

I was up early this morning, and had eaten a little breakfast and broken down my tent by just after 8 am. Soon, I was back on California 1 heading towards Sea Ranch.

This part of the coast is a little more desolate, so I didn't stop for "second breakfast" until I hit the little store at Stewart's Point. By then, I had figured out that the statistical improbability was against me again, and that the wind was blowing strong once more out of the south.

The terrain did not help, with steep little descents and climbs for every cove along the way.  I passed through Fort Ross, then trudged up the long climb towards Myers's Grade on the way in to Jenner. I considered stopping for lunch there near the Russian River, but decided to push on to my overnight stop at Bodega Bay.

The fog came and went, but mostly just came It would sometimes turning into a light drizzle that would mostly just moisten me and my sunglasses. I kept turning my lights on and off, although at least cars did the right thing today and usually passed with appropriate aplomb. Me? I stpent most of the day keeping my head down and trying to stay under the wind ... or at least trying to keep it from knocking me over.

I finally got to Bodega Bay a little after 2 pm, stopping at a little restaurant on the edge of town. There, I found Jude and Val again. We caught up, and they told me that they were camping where I had planned to camp that night, at Bodega Dune State Beach. After they left, I ate a hot cheeseburger with fries, poked around town a bit to find a place from which I could ship some things home tomorrow, published my previous blog post and pictures, and did some grocery shopping before backtracking to the campground.

There, I also discovered Chris. He was looking for Will and Joel to show up soon. There was also a nice British cyclist named Matt, a fellow named Rob, and two young tourists named Sara and ... well, I can't remember what her boyfriend's name was. Sorry.

After I pitched my tent and grabbed a much-needed shower, I talked a bit with everyone and then turned in for bed. Tomorrow is the last day of my tour, and I should finish the day in San Francisco. The wind is supposed to behave ...

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