Friday's ride from Garberville to Fort Bragg, CA was one that many of us had been dreading. Below is the elevation profile for the 67 mile ride. While all of the days have included hills, this was the biggest hill of the ride and a number of us planned to "bump" up to mile 31 and then ride the rest of the way to Fort Bragg. Unfortunately, the WomanTours van and trailer exceeded the length limited permitted on the mountain road and we were forced to take a 75 mile detour down U.S. 101 before cutting over to the coast. At the bottom of the hill we waited for some several of the riders who earlier indicated they wanted to catch a ride in the van. By the time everyone loaded we had 15 riders and bikes. I hadn't planned on riding in the van the entire day so after we arrived at the hotel and I unloading my bags, I hopped on my bike and road about 15 miles through town and down the coast. Not exactly what I had planned, but sometimes you've got to roll with the punch and do the best you can.
By the mid-1870’s, the Indian population had fallen to less than 30,000. White merchants, miners, and others impatient for the new state to further their interests created citizen militias to rid the state of Indians who resisted their demands for their land, their labor, or anything else. The Pit River Rangers, the Oregon Militia and others carried out their deadly work with support from the new State of California that provided a bounty for Indian scalps. By 1859 less than a third of the Indian population in California was able to escape the bloodbath. During this same period the federal government negotiated eighteen treaties with California Indian tribes that promised reservations where Indians could live in peace and economic aid and vocational training in compensation for the lands taken from them, including the Mendocino Indian Reservation. The California Legislature prevailed on the Senate not to ratify the treaties and the genocide proceeded. By 1900, California Indians had nearly been annihilated and the population was only 15% of what it had been in 1850. Sadly, this is a part of U.S. history that is often overlooked during "celebrations" such as Columbus Day earlier this week.
Okay, back to the ride...
Today's ride from Fort Bragg to Gualala started out inauspiciously. While putting air in my front tire I lost the value cap and the tire tube wouldn't hold air. Unable to find the cap, I had to replace the entire tube. Fortunately, our guide Cy was there to help and 20 minutes later I was good to go. Unfortunately, I was now 30 minutes behind the group so I decided to get a "bump" up in the sag so that I wouldn't be trailing behind the entire day.
When I rejoined the group at mile 10 we were just north of Mendocino, a quaint little coastal community perched above the Pacific Ocean. I stopped for about 30 minutes to enjoy a cup of coffee, a croissant, and to take some photos. By the time I left, much of the early morning fog had cleared and the day began to warm up.
|Buildings in Mendocino|
|Close-up of church steeple|
|Coastline just south of Mendocino|
|Another breathtaking view of the coast|
|About 5 miles south of Mendocino we came across a scuba class from Humboldt State University|
|The trees along the coast are quite a contrast to the giant redwoods we saw riding from Eureka to Garberville|
|We'll be in San Francisco in 2 days!|
|Its always a relief to see these signs notifying us that we are out of tsunami danger areas.|
|Photo of the California coast|
|Another breathtaking photo of the California coastline|
|A hidden cove about 15 miles north of Gualala|
|Another shot of the beautiful California coastline|
|Rock formation off the coast|
|View from hotel balcony in Gualala|
|Hydrangeas still in bloom|
Below is a map of our route for the past 2 days, Garberville to Fort Bragg to Gualala, CA. Tomorrow we ride 50 miles to Bodega Bay where the Alfred Hitchcock movie "The Birds" was filmed in 1963. Much like our ride today, tomorrow we will continue down the Pacific Coast Highway. Our queue sheets have become pretty simple, make a right out of the hotel parking lot and head south until arriving at our next hotel. Pretty easy directions even for someone like me!
View Larger Map