Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Day 11 Leggett to Fort Bragg 49 miles (total miles 475)

Today was our toughest day of climbing yet.  We left Leggett at 8 am to get a head start on the heat and the climb.  The first climb of the morning was Leggett Pass which we hit in the first 5 miles of riding.  Over 4 miles up at 7% grades that were even steeper around the switchbacks.   We made it part way up until the legs gave out then worked our way to the summit taking breaks and walking in parts.  Here we are at the summit.  

This was the warning to trucks traveling back the way we came.
Over the summit the heat from the inland valleys quickly gave way to cool coastal air as the temps dropped from the 90s to the 60s on our descent and we started to see mountain streams which made nice break spots.  
After screaming down over 2,000 ft of elevation we had another 1,000 ft pass to climb over before the highway broke out of the mountains to the Mendocino coast.  

After 2 days riding inland the coast has changed dramatically.  We have left behind the forested coastline of Oregon and far Northern California. The coastline is now semi-arid grasslands broken up by groves of Eucalyptus and Cypress trees and yucca blooming along the roadside.  It is also nice to be off busy highway 101 and on the much smaller CA-1.  This section of coast is much more remote and wild than the Oregon coastline.  It looks more like the Chilean coast south of La Serena.  Very few towns or businesses.  

We rode for 10 miles down the coast until we came across the first town tiny Westport where the only place to eat was the little general store.  We sat outside on milk crates.  

After Westport it was a fairly easy final 15 mile ride into Fort Bragg where we had a room at the Surf Motel waiting.  The rest of the evening was laundry, dinner, and grocery shopping.  

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