I didn't notice the sign, 'Welcome to California', I'm on '101 South', the car park overlooks the ocean and it's overflowing with people. It's Saturday morning, it's still early and I suspect that many of these good people have broken the clearly stated 'No Overnight Parking' rule. I'd left the forest campsite in Oregon at dawn and covered as many miles as possible before the need for caffeine had overwhelmed me. I'd pulled off the main road into a large gravel parking area and for the first time in America, ..... I'd been approached by dozens of people at the same time. I brew coffee and answer questions, ..... not the direct and personal questions asked of me in so many countries, ... these are more travel and bike related. I try to convert Liters to Gallons and then into US Gallons, I try to remember where I have been and the bike hasn't, where the bike has been and where I haven't. I answer the questions as best I can and then I move on, ...... the scale of my map has fooled me, ..... Boonville is much further south than I had imagined, ..... today will be another long day in the saddle.
At the City/Town/Village of Leggett, I leave 'Route 101' and turn onto 'State Highway 1', .. I think. The 'Titles' for roads here is still confusing me, but on '1', .... I care not what it's official title might be. For twenty-plus miles heading south towards Fort Bragg, I ride the most amazing stretch of road that I have ever ridden. This 'Blog' is no doubt littered with my claims of 'Best Road Ever', .... and perhaps at the time each of those statements has been true, ..... but today this little piece of Utopia is beyond comparison. Wow, ... the tarmac is perfectly smooth and the direction is never straight. One moment I think I'm back in the Black Forest, ... the next it's the Pass de Giovo and the next it's the beauty of the Adriatic or Black Sea Coast. The temperature has risen above 100 degrees, but alternately I'm cooled by the shadows of the giant redwood and the breeze from the Pacific Oceans. The decision at each bend is to continue enjoying the ride or to stop and capture the view, ........ the ride wins every time.
Through Fort Bragg and I enter the Anderson Valley, .... I see the first neat rows of vines absorbing the midday sun and ripening the grapes, .... the vineyards alternate with the redwoods, ...... always entertaining the senses, .. the signs for 'Boonville' always encouraging me forward. After the town of Mendocino, I turn away from the main road and head down to the beach at Navarro. I love this beach, .... the sands are littered with the trunks, branches and twigs of seemingly prehistoric trees, .... they lay like relics randomly for as far as the eye can see. Over time, people have fashioned them into amazing structures, ..... 'dens' for the kids, .... shelters from the burning sun for the parents, ..... this was the last beach that my Mother had visited here, .... it was also one of her favourite places to be, ... a place filled with only the happiest of memories.
I brew more coffee here, there are a few people but they keep their distance, ... perhaps they sense that this is a 'Private Time'. Boonville is less than 20 miles South of here, ... no hurry.