|Dates:||11 Sep 2017 - 20 Sep 2017|
|Duration:||1 week, 2 days|
Ca. Hwy 128. A mini bike tour
Home around 2:30. Emily happened to be at the house, so I got her to take one last picture.
A great ride.
It's NEVER easy… But it's AWAYS fun.
10 days. 372 miles
Heat, rain, fog, wind, hills, hills, hills
7 campsites, 1 motel, 1 house stay
18 mandarins, 6 Clif bars
Many sandwiches, a few burritos
Thanks so much for following! ❤️, Brian. 😎
Chuy's! Look familiar?
Friend Woody spied my rig on the sidewalk and stopped in to say hi while I was having lunch. Very nice.
Even cooler this afternoon, with more dark clouds building.
Just a very familiar 15 miles left.
Now sitting out on the edge of an orchard at the south end of Pleasant's Valley Road. Just about 35 miles to go to get home. I'll probably drag the day out a little longer than normal.
It's been a great trip.
I'll stop at Chuy's in Winters and get a burrito. Should be back home by mid afternoon. 98* when I left, 10 days ago. 70* today. Nice.
Nice to be gone. Nice to get back.... I'll still drag the day out a little bit. 😎
So, this was a great thing. Having missed the 3:30 ferry, I wasn't going to be left with enough daylight to make the last 20 miles into Steve and Janet's house in Fairfield. So I get on the 4:30 ferry, and meet this guy, playing poker with two other coworkers who also live in Fairfield. Chris. Start visiting a little bit. ... says he's going to Fairfield. I ask him if he's got a truck .... he says yeah, I ask about getting a lift .... he says sure. Karma. Glad I missed the 3:30 ferry. Saved me two hours at the end of the day, and got me to Steve and Janet's well in time for happy hour.
Cool dude. Works for StubHub in the city. IT Chris. He's my friend.
Wonderful dinner and evening with Steve and Janet .... nice hot shower ..... great comfortable bed.
Adding one more frustration to the day ...
I busted my tail to get through the city and to the Ferry Building to catch the first available one to Vallejo. 3:40, according to their website. I made it just it time, after being redirected to the appropriate ticket counter... rush to the boarding point only to find out that the 3:THIRTY ferry just left. Next one leaves at 4:30. Not such a big problem.
I still get to ride my bike.
This rather unimaginative photo is from the chair looking across the dock to a big nondescript building. A wee bit grumpy.
Ok, made the 4:30.... heading to Vallejo now.
This is a buzzing fun ferry. I get the feeling it's a kinda daily party boat for lots of commuters. Drinks aplenty. I'm sharing a table with 3 guys who sat down and immediately set out poker chips and started playing. After chatting for a bit, I hooked up a ride into Fairfield. Nice. Guy with a pick up.
Ugh... Getting through all the traffic and twists and turns in Marin was hard for me. Of course, Sausalito was crazy busy with many rich people walking the streets looking for things to buy.
It took longer to get to the Golden Gate bridge from Samuel P Taylor than I thought it would. One of the hardest things I've ever had to do occurred this afternoon. I had to walk my bike downstairs then upstairs, two fairly long, steep flights to get from one side of the bridge to the other. Passing underneath the bridge. Only the east side walkway was available since I got there before 3:30. As hard a physical thing as I've had to do in a long time! A loaded bike is a wonderful thing .... when you're riding it!
Just getting into Sausalito was a chore also. A fairly long stretch of the Bay bike trail was under repair. I had to detour for one stretch and then I looked over and saw Eddie. Eddie was very nice to me. We talked for a little bit, he said I looked like I knew what I was doing, so if I would be real careful I could go along the edge and get all the way through.... He's my friend.
Ok, he let everyone through but he's still my friend.
This is Eddie.
Finally, another burrito. Chile verde carnitas. A little different and very good.
Hungry boy. No burrito splitsville today.
Just a few more tricky miles to the bridge.
Burritoville in Larkspur! Stopped here 3 years ago. I was driving the Cannondale and pulling a trailer in those days.
Clientele almost entirely Hispanic. A very good sign.
Beautiful Catholic Church. St. Anselm. Somewhere between San Anselmo and Ross, I think.
Very nice night. Getting out of SP Taylor around 9 am today.
Breakfast- 2 cups coffee, 2 mandarins, one bowl of oatmeal.
Beautiful morning traveling through Marin county, heading for the GG bridge.
Mama and fawn right on the road. Just north of Fairfax, I think.
Yet another beautiful campground here. The hiker/biker site is really very nice. There's another young couple here doing a lot of touring, started out out of Quebec but have done a lot of California.
Turn left at little Olema. Only a few more miles into the Samuel P Taylor campground.
Sitting in the corner of the Wells Fargo parking lot in Point Reyes Station, trying to get caught up on postings, and have my map look sensible!
Earlier, just after I rolled into town, a young man approached me and started chatting about touring etc. Joe, from Santa Cruz. Turns out he and his wife have been circumnavigating Iceland on bikes. July and August. Some of you know that I've talked about doing that very thing. He only gets a certain number of days off work every year, so they're trying to do it in three different phases. It's only about 900 miles all the way around. At the time of year they go, daylight is about 23 hours. Interesting!
Now heading to SP Taylor to end the day.
tiny Marshall store. Serving platter after platter of oysters to a very happy crowd.
After having dissected hundreds of clams, eating oysters does not intrigue me.
A nice big turkey, bacon, avocado sandwich will do just fine. Half now, half later.
Famous Hog Island Oyster business.
Picked up a chocolate milk in Tomales.
I hit the road first, but they quickly passed me! They plan kind of a long day, getting all the way to Sausalito.
That's me on the left.
This turned out to be a very fun meet up. Two very sharp girls cycling down from Astoria, Oregon. Turns out the girl on the left, Emily, graduated from Davis high school in '09. Emily does some camp guiding in the summertime, and ski patrol in the winter. Living up in Truckee. Her friend, Dana, will be coming back down here to the Point Reyes area soon to be doing some outdoor education. Cool. Very fun visiting.
They're my friends.
Well, day 8 is underway. More twists and turns and MANY little hills on Hwy. 1 again today. Heading for Samuel P Taylor state park this afternoon.
Cold and foggy this morning, very wet.
Breakfast - 2+ cups of coffee, 2 mandarins, and a bowl of oatmeal.
I was able to pawn off two mandarins to Emily and Dana.
This was a very sandy campsite. Had a bit of a difficult time getting my tent to stay staked in the ground. There ended up being four different groups of us camping here last night, including me.
Jenner by the Sea.Right at the mouth of the Russian River. Cool, foggy, overcast morning. Now that I've made the arrangement to meet up with Emily and Thomas I'm a little more focused as I ride this morning, trying to get there at the appointed time.
The bike is running great this morning. Smooth and quiet. A little lubrication is a wonderful thing.
Well, that's what ....
"Hi Emily ". "It's dad" "Hi dad" "How's you day look?" "Wide open, what's up" "Well, I need a few things from the house. Interested in coming over to Bodega Bay today?" "You could bring the dogs" "Sure" "I'm leaving Salt Point, should be there around 1:00." "I'll buy lunch.... anything you want!" "No problem, see you soon"
Emily and Thomas to the rescue today! As stated, I needed a few things. Bodega Bay is such a nice little destination for valley people, it seemed like a good opportunity.
Ended up being a very fun time. Nice lunch of oysters, fish tacos, chowder. Dogs got to play on the beach.
We hung out at my hiker/biker campsite at Bodega Dunes campground for a little bit, then they took off.
This picture is Fort Ross. I'm afraid it's a little too far away to show how cool this old Russian settlement is.
Yes, another beautiful spot. Actually this is exactly the same spot I had three years ago. Very pleasant evening. Cool enough all day I rode with my jeans on the entire day.
Made it to Salt Point campground with plenty of daylight left. This is another of quite a few really nice hiker/biker fixed up campgrounds along the coast. $6. Great deal. No shower, but flush toilets, and picnic tables.Getting ready to flip the bike and lube it up a little bit. A bit overdue.
Reuben sandwich and fries for dinner tonight!
Now sitting in a very fancy lodge, related to the Sea Ranch rambling complex .... Black Point Grill. Reuben sandwich to be built.
Stopped in Gualala to pick up some 3 in 1 oil... squeaky chain ... coulda sworn I bright some lubricant, but no.
Also stopped at the Breakers Inn and got an old towel. Cleaning/lubing will occur later today, once I reach my endpoint, Salt Point State Park.
Rolled out of town, into Sonoma county and spied this very nice little roadside park. Good time for lunch!
Coolest City Announcing Sign on Hwy. 1
tiny Anchor Bay.
Picked up a sandwich and chips at the Deli/market. Gonna wait till I get at least to Gualala for lunch.
Anybody notice that I haven't mentioned , nor even SEEN a Subway out here. Local Deli food is always more fun anyway.
Cool, overcast morning. Roll into Anchor Bay. I remember buying TWO burritos from Mariachi's 3 years ago. So much younger then. No burrito for Brian here today.
A little cemetery just south of Manchester.
Lewis has naked ladies dancing on his grave in this brisk north wind this morning.
OK, I've just done a lot of updating. I was surprised to find cell service here in the cemetery. Surely wasted on these folks, them being in the ground and all. Most of 'm didn't make it into the 20th century. They could never have imagined what we carry in our pockets here in 2017....
I expect coverage to be pretty sketchy for the next couple of days.
On the road again.
Thanks for following!
Stealth camped at Manchester State Beach. The sign said campground closed.
I don't think that was meant for me. Maybe that's why I was the only one there last night.
Excellent, meaty burrito from the Manchester market and deli for dinner last night.
Breakfast – 2 cups of coffee, two mandarins, one bowl of oatmeal. Very useful.
Stopped in at the Elk/Greenwood market and deli, just as I did three years ago. I think this is where I started my mid afternoon chocolate chip cookie habit. I did it again.
Visited for a bit with another tourist, Paul from Perth, Australia. He's been out since 4 July. Started up in Alaska. Ran into a car and did some major damage just a couple weeks ago. Had to get a new bike frame, and some emergency dental work done. Traveling understandably very nervous/cautious these days. It can happen in an instant. Actually, it only happens in an instant. We know. Heightens my sensitivity, for sure.
Funny, The few tourists I've talked to are all doing "short" days. We kind of shrug, like it's some sort of shamefully lesser effort. We've all done long days, for sure. Hwy. 1 is so interesting, challenging, and scenic that it doesn't make sense to just barrel along. So many tight curves and steep hills and limited shoulder room. Still, a great ride.
Waving to me from the side of the road!
I love Highway 1.
Ahhh .... my old friend, the Pacific ocean. First glimpse today. This is a rather nostalgic stretch, and I expect to be staying at a lot of the same campgrounds as I make my way down to San Francisco.
Beautiful day. I had to pull over to strip down and change into my warm weather riding gear. Nice.
So this is where I turn left and head south on Highway 1.
The gestation of a tour idea....
Three years ago I completed a tour around California (cleverly titled Around California- you could look it up, its archived) right about this same time of the year. Coming out of Albion and crossing over the Navarro river, I see the sign for Highway 128 going off to the left. It dawns on me that this is the same highway that goes right through Winters. I got the idea that this might be a fun little tour, to come from the valley through the wine country and over to the coast on Highway 128. Of course, many adventures, some great some not so great, over the last three years came and went.
Now here I am. Very happy to be on the road again.
Awesome!!! This stretch was an absolutely incredible surprise and delight! The road from Navarro to Highway 1 passes through this long green stretch on the map called Navarro Redwoods State Park. It was 99% gently rolling downhill! Through these beautiful massive stands of redwoods the entire way! Stunning! Reminded me of the Avenue of the Giants up in Humboldt County. A real treat.
Stopped here for a mid morning Starbucks mocha frappuccino. Yet another very useful market/Deli dotting Hwy 128. Navarro.
Highway 1 is still about 15 miles down the road. I expect to end the day at Manchester State Beach.
Very big rock store just before Navarro. Huge chunks, wide variety and very beautiful pieces. Lots of gems, jewelry, crystals.
Very cold morning! Shivering cold. Full dress to start the day. Jeans, long sleeve shirt, cycle jacket, balaclava, winter gloves.... so glad I brought what I've needed! The down sweater will come in handy once I get to the coast, I'm sure. After 9000+ miles, I'm kind of getting the hang of this bike travel thing. Always making improvements though! Which is nice.
Expecting nice sunny weather today, by the time I get to the coast.
Dinner! Lemon's Philo Deli. The works ..... Extra meat +$.50, well worth it!
Easily in bed right at nightfall. 8:00 or so.
Very nice to get set up and have some time to walk the campground a little. Very low occupancy today, but many sites reserved for the weekend.
Poison oak everywhere! I'm a guy with high regard for that nasty effects poison oak can produce. Even though temporary, not temporary enough.
Hot shower - $1. Very nice.
Unacceptable bench spacing! You can compare this photo to the one taken earlier. Hendy Woods rating just lost a star. 😁
A young couple from Slovakia joined me just before sundown. Out 3 months. Traveling with full front and rear panniers and pulling a trailer with two little dogs. Quite an operation! .... Kids!
Cell coverage is pretty sketchy out here in the hinterland .... posts might all pop up at once.
Now THIS is a high-quality hikers/biker campsite! It's actually an individual site, which is rare. Complete with a picnic table. $10. Hendy Woods is a beautiful campsite.
A cold, skinny, mid-afternoon Coke.
I feel quite visible in my neon yellow T-shirt.
Cyclists traveling with lawn chairs will please park along the side of the building.
Lemon's Philo Market. Emily recommended this place as the one where they always stop to pick up a sandwich on their way up to their van Damme abalone weekend. Very nice little market and deli.
Wow! The stretch of highway 128 from Boonville over to Philo is a dream. Big wide shoulders, most of the way, in the long flat easy stretch.
I can't even complain about the headwind. Well, OK, I'll complain a little bit. It was windy. 12 to 14 mph headwind.
Picking up something for dinner, then heading on to Hendy Woods State Park.
Lunch in front of the Anderson Valley market and Deli. I had a bacon, turkey, & Swiss cheese sandwich. They make their sandwiches on this really good bread they get out of a bakery in Fort Bragg. Looks like the top is kind of deep fried. Really good.
Wine country doesn't end .... dozens of wineries here all along the Anderson Valley.
The Mendocino County fair and Apple show starts tomorrow and runs through Sunday. Sounds like fun. I like apples.
Lots of very interesting people, vehicles, and little businesses in a little town like this. Country. Foothill country.
Yorkville, Boonville, and Philo are the three little, well spaced communities on this stretch of 128 between Cloverdale and the coast.
I'm gonna check out Lemon's market and Deli in Philo before heading into Hendy Woods for the night.
Just feeling a little love for my sweet lawn chair.
Enjoying a nice little break on this beautiful morning.
Full ones coming toward me... empty, double stacked ones coming up from behind.
Stringy barked incense cedars are the logs of choice today.
Well… Highway 128 out of Cloverdale is pretty steep, pretty narrow, with many curves and no shoulders. Also lots of high-speed traffic including lots of lumber trucks…
Other than that…
The sun is shining, the temperature is mild, there's no wind, ....
....and I like to ride my bike.
Always look on the bright side of life.
Day four is underway. Starting the day with a 4 mile detour to pick up a fuel canister.
Dang! I KNEW I should've picked one up before leaving Davis. Another little problem solved.
It's all OK.
Beautiful here in Cloverdale this morning. Looking forward to lots of sunshine as I head into the redwoods.
Spending the night at the Vineyard Valley Inn. No good camping opportunity here in the Cloverdale area. This place is right en route.
It's just fine.
Looking forward to getting to Hendy Woods tomorrow. I'm anticipating a nice grove of redwoods. Enough wine country, as fabulous as it truly is!
Lunch on Main Street. Cafe Brian. Lawn chair for one, please.
Still cloudy, and balmy with no more rain.
The day will end just up the road in Cloverdale.
So, the use of Hwy. 128 remains MOSTLY faithful. I will use a long frontage road to get to Cloverdale, since 128 merges with 101 here, where bikes are not allowed. No penalty for deviation, understood?
Geyserville Market and Deli. Pretty disappointing burrito, but a good time to get a little fuel.
AND .... They're planting more! Drink up. There's plenty more coming.
And yes, of course, they're so cute at that age...
Now THAT'S a metal sculpture!
Had to pull over to get a couple shots of this guy!
Cabernet Sauvignon. Small grapes, tight clusters. Very sweet. Should be harvested soon!
Maybe I should call someone?
Ok .... I guess they know what they're doing.
Hundreds of acres. Meticulously maintained.
The Alexander valley looks simply magnificent today.
I'm riding along through beautiful huge acreages of vineyards, come to a short steep climb through some wooded areas, BAM! Another huge, open, flat-ish valley appears, covered with acres and acres of vines .... ride along a little bit more, come to another little hill. Climb up and over.... BAM! Yet another magnificent spread of vineyard. Just stunning.
Ahh .... one photo hits about a dozen wineries! .... I know, no beautiful gated, stone, fabulous signage ....
Now THAT building took a lot of work to create!
10:00 Clif bar break.
Breakfast: 2+ cups of coffee, 2 mandarins, and a bowl of oatmeal.
I love Clif bars out here. You simply can't eat them fast. Stretches out my break a little.
So, I don't really need an excuse to stretch out a break, but this is a good one! 😎
Just a progress marker. Cool and cloudy, with intermittent showers...
Also a weather report, I guess.
I highly recommend carrying a small shoulder bag like this. Folded up and carried in a pocket. Very useful for picking up a few groceries near the end of the day, without having to disturb your rig.
Balance, in life, is important.
Not all picnic tables are created equal. To successfully perch a small lawn chair on a bench requires adequate spacing between the table top and the bench.
This is an example of a marginal, but still adequate situation. This is important.
I am the only one here in this huge campground. $5 hiker/biker fee. Same as last night. Btw.... I was unclear about my site last night. The ranger very generously let me stay in that premium site ... for the $5 fee! Kind people everywhere.
Can't say enough about how much I love my little odd looking tent. I didn't even do a trial run/set-up at home before taking off. Just took it out of the closet and strapped it on to the bike. Been through a lot. A few little superficial surgical repairs. Never lets me down. It'll be a sad day when/if it ever fails!
Phone well charged. Goal zero solar charger not working that well.
$1 hot shower.
Good morning. Day 3 is getting underway. I'm currently nestled in a Bothe-Napa bathroom, waiting out a slight rainfall.
A little more about yesterday ... you can't tell from the sign, but I'm actually heading south, rather than north into St. Helena, only had to backtrack a few miles! I'd forgotten my AC plug for my phone charger cables and needed to pick one up. Also needed to get something for dinner. I come out from a hardware store with the new plug to find Dennis, from Indiana, looking over my rig as he waited for his wife. Retired. Gave up his sheet metal business. Looking every bit the drug-along-husband on some fancy California wine country vacation. "Is that a good bike?" "Yeah, pretty good, not the best, but pretty good". He has a friend who just spent $4,000 on one. "You riding far?" "Yeah, pretty far". "Don't you get tired?" "Only every day". Ha ha ha ha. "Why are you riding all the way to the ocean?" I kinda stammered .... "Fun, I guess" .... Didn't really register. Still, you can see some respect.
Next stop, a recommended deli just down the street. Martha behind the counter. Chit chat. Makes me a huge roast beef sandwich. Mustard, mayo, lettuce, cheese, tomatoes, onions, sprouts, peppers, cheese. "I'll make it like I'm making it for myself". Excellent.
Bothe-Napa campground just about 7 miles up the road.
Turtle Rock cafe is famous for their egg rolls. I was able to get one fresh out of the cooker. Bigger than normal and very good. Along with a big turkey sandwich and a Pepsi made for a fine lunch.
The rest of the afternoon got a little sketchy. A couple of heavy, brief downpours. I was able to duck for cover a couple of times. Wet, but not really soaked. And I was afraid it was going to turn into a pretty crummy day, but it really didn't. Everything dried out in just a couple of hours.
Things got a little confusing, as I realized I had failed to make a correct turn. I ended up on the Silverado Trail instead of cutting over near Rutherford to Highway 128. Caused me to backtrack a little, which is a very bad thing for a tourist. 😎
Not such a bad thing though, everything turned out just fine.
I had plenty of daylight left and I ended up having a good time in St. Helena.
Turtle Rock! A very handy lunch stop. I actually called last week to make sure they we're serving lunch midweek. Pretty busy.
Steele Canyon resort road. Also known as Moskowite Corner. This bldg. used to be a very vital store and restaurant outpost. Hwy. 121 tees off of 128 here and heads over the hill directly into Napa.
I'm continuing on to the little Turtle Rock biker bar, about 6 miles ahead.
This used to be called Wragg Canyon resort. When my brothers and I were teenagers my dad thought it would be a good idea to buy a ski boat for the family. So he did. Then he thought it would be a good idea to rent a piece of the shoreline and build a little dock. So we did. Big chunks of Styrofoam and wooden decking. Put it at the end of a long, dusty, bumpy dirt road. We spent many hours skiing all around the lake. Barbecuing hamburgers with friends and coming home thoroughly baked from long days in the sun. Great memories.
Ahhh .... Now it's onward and over our locally famous Cardiac Hill!
The Glory Hole! Did you see it this winter? Awesome! Hadn't flowed over for years! Seems like it did every year, back in the 60's.
One little hill vanquished!
On to Markley Cove...
Ok ... you're now up to the moment!
NOW I'm really on the road again! 😎👍
Yes, a great site for the first night. I always seem to end the day in time for happy hour.
Got a short spell of rain around midnight. Just enough to quell the dust a little!
Looking forward to a good bit of climbing today. Hope to end the day at the Bothe-Napa State Park.
It feels VERY good to be on the road again!
Beautiful male. They can be very noisy, but they also sneak up on you so slowly and quietly they can be startling.
I see Emily posted on Facebook yesterday, and I also just posted. I also just this morning sent out a bunch of invitations by text and email. Welcome! As always, I'm honored to have you along! Please feel free to comment!
Lake Solano campground. Dozens of peacocks roaming fearlessly throughout! Reminds me of the bunnies on Lopez island, in the San Juans, AND the chickens in Kauai!
Nice agreement with the Ranger who spied me settling in to a premium ($26) site, with my hiker/biker ($5) expected payment for the night. Nice chat. I admired his beard (think ZZ Top on steroids). He admired my destination. No problem. Hiker/biker sites are fine, but this's one is a set off in a little ghetto corner, far from the creek and bathrooms.
Ahh.... typical Brian style. Half now, half later. On to the Lake Solano campground.
I'm having to post post a few entries ... cell coverage will continue to be somewhat sketchy on this little journey, I'm afraid.
At THIS very moment (Tuesday morning) I'm sitting in front of the defunct Pardehas market at the corner of Pleasant Valley red. And Hwy. 128. About 8:00 am.
Chuy's closed on Monday's. El Pueblo, just down the street, fixed me a fine carnitas burrito!
I always enjoy crossing the old railway/bike bridge coming in to Winters.
Rolling in to Winters. 98* this afternoon. Did not see one other rider in either direction on Putah Creek road this afternoon.
Who does this??
Mad dogs and Englishmen. And Brian.
Prepping for walnut harvest. This acreage was being disced just a few days ago. It's since been rolled and compacted in preparation for harvesting. Ag rocks.
Emily caught up with me just a few minutes later. She always likes to see me off. Nice.
She's my daughter AND my friend! ❤️
A detour 2 miles out! Trimming out dead limbs off walnut trees along the Russell Blvd. bike path. Visited with Pablo for a few minutes .... "You're going WHERE?"... Yep. He safely redirects me around the work site.
He's my friend. Thanks Pablo.
Rig weighs 80# ! Heading out at 12:45.
Monday morning. 9/11. Ready to roll. Leaving Davis around midday.
|Dates:||11 Sep 2017 - 20 Sep 2017|
|Duration:||1 week, 2 days|
Ca. Hwy 128. A mini bike tour