Day 11 - Hendy Woods State Park to Point Arena

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April 25, 2002 ( ~ 47 miles)

So on Day 11 we had to basically get over to the coast. Ryan's original plan had us going over this road called "Mountain" something road. Being totally over mountainous roads, I insisted that we go a little farther north and use the Navarro River Road. River roads are always, always easier then mountain roads.

The road was excellent in that it was all slightly downhill and scenery was all big redwoods. And quite a few redwood stumps. I was a little suspicious of this area. I think it was one of these "demonstration forests," where lumber companies own the land and cut down all the trees that aren't visible from the road and then create this tiny preserved swatch of land that makes them look responsible.

But anyway, great riding. We ended up on the coast above Elk.

We wanted some waffles pretty bad, but over the course of the day we realized we were no longer in waffle country. Instead we went to Elk and I had some quiche. We were in quiche country. (Greenwood Pier Cafe)

I have never bicycled on the coast north of the bay area, even though it's a really popular route. I was surprised by how many bed and breakfast places there were in these tiny towns, probably catering to rich people from the city. I got a little self-conscious as a bicycle tourist. I think that if I lived in one of these towns that are so dependent on tourism I would probably resent all the tourists trekking through my town. But actually people on the coast were as nice as anywhere we'd been. I was glad though that Day 11 was a Thursday. I had heard that it's hectic trying to bicycle on the coast on the weekends because of the increased traffic.

So the coast is really beautiful. Everyone knows that. We have pictures.

By the time we got to Point Arena, it was about 2:00 and Ryan was still jonesing for waffles. I told him to give up but he would not. We went to a little café that did not have waffles but they agreed to make him pancakes at the late hour and he was happy. I had an outstanding veggiemelt on rye bread with potato salad. Then we went to a little bakery, which I can't really critically assess because Ryan went in by himself. He said it was a family operation complete with child labor. He said they were friendly and he was impressed with their product.

While Ryan was in the bakery I looked down the street and saw an inexpensive-looking motel. I started thinking un-champion-camper-like thoughts. We were supposed to camp near Gualala that evening, which was only about 10 miles away. It was overcast and chilly. As we ate a brownie, I convinced Ryan that it would be a good idea to just check and see how much it would cost. In Ryan's defense, he held out until he made sure the motel had cable [the American Movie Classic channel to be precise].

We felt very devious straying from our thrifty camping plan, but we had so much fun. It was only like 3:00, so we had all this time to watch bad television and eat baked goods. Nether Ryan or I have a TV at home, so we are very taken in by it and interactive when we get to watch it. We saw a rerun of "The A-Team" and are still debating whether or not it holds up over time [it doesn't =(].