Day 16 – Fort Bragg to Ferndale
Distance: 270 kilometres / 167.5 miles
Temps: Low 12 Celcius (Rockport and Lost Coast) High 29 Honeydew
Time riding: 9:15 – 4:00 pm
Not a lot of distance today but some great scenery and at times so hard miles.
After a hearty breakfast I made my way out on to highway 1 north to Westport and Rockport. Pretty quiet this morning on the roads. I think a lot of the riff raff from last night take the more direct routes out to the Interstates. More road for me.
I love, LOVE, the stretch of road across from the coast to Leggett. It is well-maintained, has changes in altitude and is still one of my favorite twisty roads to ride. Hardly a soul in the 30 or so miles. Lots of 15-20 mph corners with plenty of leaning – good times. The few cars I did see let me by to have my fun and I moved over for a few more skilled riders so that they could have theirs.
A quick zip on the 101 to get to Redway and make my way to Shelter Cove. It’s sort of out of the way but I’m glad I did trek out there. It’s quite a pretty little chunk of coastline and a scenic village. I even got to walk out on the rocks during a low tide and get some photos of seals. I took about an hour to wander about before heading back from whence I came to Ettersburg Road.
I didn’t really know much about Ettersburg, Wilder Ridge or Mattole Roads. Turns out that they are rideable on a sport touring bike but would be much more suited to a dual purpose. There are stretches of good pavement but about 60-70 miles are mostly pothole riddled, small sections of gravel or very, very narrow. It was fun and challenging riding but the bumps take a toll on you physically.
Great scenery on the Lost Coast and Mattole Rd. Plenty of elevation changes – up and down to 650+ meters several times. It is really neat to feel the wind change and become more cool, damp and thick as you move over the mountains to the ocean side.
Arrived at just before 4pm here in Ferndale. A lovely little town that hardens to the past as a main drag full of well-maintained Victorian storefronts. Really nice to be in a smaller town again tonight and avoid the shenanigans of last night.