Sunday, November 22, 2009

Day Two Hundred Fifty-six, 091111 - Albion, CA

Day Two Hundred Fifty-six, Date Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Time in Saddle: 5:50
Distance for the Day: 54.48 miles From Westport To Albion, CA
Accumulated Trip Distance: 12,457 miles
Altitudes: Starting/Ending 1208’/19’ Highest: 372’ Accumulated: 1038’
Speeds: Avg: 9.3 mph, Max: 37.1 mph
Weather: 44°, solidly overcast, but no rain
Expenditures: $16

As ususal, I woke up at various times throughout the night and morning. I really woke up at 6am, and got up at 6:30am. I packed up my gear, and was ready to roll by 7:10am. I had a quickie breakfast of meat and cheese stick and Pay Day bar, before starting out, heading towards the Pacific coast. I had stopped and camped last night a bit past the peak of this coastal mountain range, so I started today with a fast roller coaster ride of several miles downhill (wheee!) before reaching the coast at 9:45am. I stopped a few miles down the coast at the first mini mart I found for a second breakfast of choco milk and Danish ($5) (things are pretty expensive on the coast). Now that I could see the sky, again, I noticed a medium-thick, high overcast; the Sun shone faintly through it sometimes, but not a patch of blue. The terrain along the coast was a lot flatter – there were still *some* meager hills to contend with, but nothing major. However, every time there was a spot along the coast where a finger of water poked into the land, the road would always follow the outline of that ‘finger,’ and turn inland, go steeply downhill, turn sharply around the tip of the finger, and go steeply uphill, before following along the coast, again. There must have been dozens of these, and they were a pain, as in, “ouch!” me poor legs. The real insult was not being able to use the momentum gained from doing the downhill speed-up, due to the sharp turn back out towards the ocean. I had to brake to make the corner, I’d flip the trike. A tour-loaded bicycle would perhaps do a little better in these instances, but not by much, I don’t think.

I got to Ft. Bragg at 12:45pm, and stopped to have a Subway meal deal ($8) while I charged up my notebook and answered email (there was a working wi-fi signal there – I love it when that happens). I left at 3pm, and continued down the coast, stopping once to get a bit more food and drink for the evening ($3)
I kept going until after sunset before looking for a stealth camp location, and at 5:15pm, I saw a ‘coastal access’ sign on a side road, so I took it down a few hundred yards. I figured it must be a dead end, so there should be no or little traffic, and found a flat, level spot on the grass at the side of the road next to the Navarro River to set up my tent (N39 11.798’ W123 45.053’). I was set up, cloaked, and inside with munchies, soda, and book by 5:47pm. Two cars did pass by, heading down, but that was it for the night (that I noticed). I was about 5 miles north of Elk, and figured if I could keep up my current pace, I should make it home by this coming Saturday or Sunday. That was a bit of an odd concept to grasp, mentally. Done? Finished? Over? Nahhh! Yeah!

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