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Most of the Standish-Hickey campground was closed off for the season. It was understandable because there were only 2 car campers over night. The rest of us were cyclists. Aside for the trucks rumbling past on the highway it was very quiet. I felt safe enough to leave my batteries charging all night in the bathroom.
Everyone was up early anticipating the epic climb over Leggett hill. I wasn't even the first on the road which is very unusual. The climbing starts immediately and it is very gradual. Within 2 miles the turnoff and start of Hwy 1 begins. There were a few switchbacks and the climbing went on for another 5 miles. Essentially, the Leggett hill is like any other hill. This year my climb was much easier because of the motor. I kept the throttle at its lowest level to conserve juice. In a real shocking move I caught up to the Spanish couple that had started a half hour before me. This may be the first time in my life I have caught up to anyone and I had to laugh. The morning had been a bit drizzly but the marine layer was burning off. The downhill was glorious. There was no traffic and I took the lane. I wished I knew the road better because I had to brake often around the turns slowing my speed down. The scenery was fantastic and I thoroughly enjoyed this ride. There was another climb that felt a bit steeper than the Leggett hill but it wasn't nearly as high. Soon I was at the Mendocino coast. The sun was shining and the colors of the ocean were brilliant blues and greens. The climbing wasn't finished yet. There were some nasty hairpins that went down to a river and then back up around Cape Vizcaino and Westport. I pulled over for lunch at Westport Landing on the cliff. The Spanish couple, Javier and Silvia, stopped to join me. They are riding from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego in Argentina. The view was so beautiful we sat there for 2 hours watching seals surfing in the waves and birds diving for food. I think we were very relieved to have the Leggett hill behind us. What we didn't know was there was lots more climbing to come. The fabulous scenery and terrific weather made it all worthwhile. Eventually, after 4200 feet of climbing for the day, we arrived at Cleone and Mackerricher State Park. John and Jen from Portland also camped with us. The rest of the group went on to Manchester which is a heck of big day's ride. MacKerricher is another wonderful campground. It's hard to beat $5 a night to stay in a safe and comfortable surrounding. Unfortunately, I'm still not sleeping well at the campgrounds and it is time for me to find a hotel room. I'll spend tomorrow in Fort Bragg doing laundry and getting the journal up to date. After a good nights sleep in a hotel I'll be ready to head out again.
Standish-Hickey CG to Fort Bragg
View from Leggett summit
Taking a break after the big climb
Tree lined road