Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Day 11 - Fort Bragg to Cloverdale

Daily Statistics:
Rode 76.8 miles and burned 4918 calories.
Left the motel at 7:59 and arrived at 2:34

Today was a great day with something for everyone. We left the hotel heading south on highway 1. This kept us along the shore for about the first 19 miles. It was overcast as usual, and trying to rain in spots, but never quite making it. I took the shot below around the town of Mendocino. We also went through Little River and Albion, neither of which was much to shout about. Mendocino looked very nice and up and coming, however.
At 19 miles, we had our biggest route sheet direction of the day. We left highway 1 in favor of route 128 to Cloverdale. The scenery quickly changed, and we were back in the redwood forest, this time the Navarro River Redwoods. After about 8 miles of beautiful riding at a solid pace, we arrived at the first SAG at Paul Dimmick campground. I took the following photo looking back down the road to try to give a little feel for the beauty of riding through these magnificent trees. When we left the SAG, we had another 4 or 5 miles in the redwoods.

As we left the redwoods, we entered wine country in the Anderson Valley. It seemed there were vineyards on all sides, and as you can see in the below photo, new ones are being put in as well. There should be no wine shortage in the near future.
About 40 miles into the ride we came to a roadside fruit stand. The apple cider had been highly recommended by our ride leader, so we of course had some. It was very good. I drooled over the fresh blackberries and raspberries, but didn't think I could eat a pint on the spot, and couldn't figure out how I would transport them without making a giant mess, so let them be. Lots of other fruits as well.
At the 48 mile point, we were to have had the second SAG in the town of Boonville, but unfortunately, Ron and I were ahead of the support. We stopped at the little cafe/store and got a snack, called ourselves in, and headed out. We quickly started to climb, and Ron was outclimbing me. The climbs today were never more than a couple of miles before it would level out for a ways. I finally got over the top and rolled down the last 6 or 7 miles into Cloverdale. This is a nice little town. We had dinner at a small brewpub, who did a fine job. All in all, this was one of my favorite days so far. Many more vineyards are in store tomorrow.

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