Day 15 – Stinson Beach to Fort Bragg

Distance: 223.6 miles / 360 kilometres
Riding time : 9:30-5:45pm
Low Temp: 14 Celcius (start day) / 28 Celcius (Boonville) / another low 12 Mendocino area

We were up with the sun much like the other days here Stinson Beach. A quick pack and clean and we were ready to head off.

I find it much tougher to sa good-bye when we’re away from home. It seems a bit weirder that we aren’t continuing our journey together. Fiona and Niko piled into. The car for what. Would turn out tone another flight misadventure full of delays and a very late arrival.

I set out North on highway 1 into the same drizzly rain we’d seen a few days previous. Not enough rain to get you wet but enough to make it cooler.

By the time I reached Bodega Bay it was starting to smarten up and the fog began to lift. I stopped for gas and air for the tires. A mostly uneventfully experience except the air pump started to work then began letting air OUT of the tire. Luckily, I noticed this and stopped before getting to a dangerously low pressure. I may have even swore out loud when I discovered this fact, maybe….

The riding is exceptional and so is the scenery along the shoreline highway. Too many stunning views of the rugged coastline to capture but I did get a few along the Russian River and Coast.

Since I have. Ridden highway 1 a few times I decided to explore some side roads this time. This first of which is the. Stewart Point / Skaggs Spring Road which has been recommended in riding books and by fellower riders alike. Starting a Stewart Pointthere is a quick right that really doesn’t even look like a road at all.

It begins as a 15-18 foot wide goat path and winds through old growth forest and thick plant life. Quite beautiful and scenery just sucks up the sounds and it was incredibly quiet. These. Types of smaller roads allow you to crack open the visor and Take in the air, smells and sounds while riding.

It snakes through the forest and up over the mountain sides and gradually turns into a two-lane road that is a proper highway. There are challenging bits, a few bumpy and broken bits, but overall , a very enjoyable side road.

The road ends in the middle of the Sonoma area and wine region and immediately the temperature and climate change. It stayed quite warm for my time east of the mountains.

Back over 128 to Mountain View road. A bit of construction at the bottom which meant sitting in the warm sun for a few minutes then back up and over the mountain range towards the coast. Again, the roadies a mix of worn old road and a few newer spots for a challenging but fun ride. It reaches elevations of over 600 meters before descending back down to Manchester and Elk two tiny littles villags on the coast.

The remaining 50-60 kilometres are pretty straight and uneventfully and were full of late Friday traffic all the way to Ft. Bragg.

Ft. Bragg – man, this is quite a contrast from the past week. Bigger town, busy, traffic and like journey’s past laden with white trash. I’m not sure what the draw. Is here but it’s monster truck central. I’ve stayed mid or early in the week and it’s a sleepy place. Weekends and it all comes undone.

Trucks with obnoxiously loud exhaust, booming stereos in and out of the grounds all night, fights and alcohol fueled idiocy, even a visit at 2am from the sheriff. Quite a night and not a lot of sleep. Future vacations will not include this town – I’ll stay anywhere else.

A much shorter distance today was made up by some fun and challenging roads. I’m starting to find my rhythm again and really enjoying the riding.