November 1, 2006
I wake to the sound of rain on my tarp. Wonderful. It’s still dark out. I roll over for maybe half an hour, and wake again, realizing that there’s some dim light in the tent. Must be dawn.
I start packing in the tent as the rain continues, figuring I’d better get my things together before it gets heavier. It doesn’t come down any harder, and actually lets up to a weak drip underneath the Redwoods. I’m rolling before 7am.
I see some more tourist-oriented Redwood oddities – a large totem pole advertised as ‘the largest burl carving in the world,’ as well as a genuine hollowed-out treehouse, complete with front door and everything. It looks like The Bearenstain Bears abode.
I enter the first town of the day – Legget – population 192. They apparently have a drive-thru Redwood too, but it’s down a steep hill so I don’t investigate. I do, however, fully investigate three pancakes at the local café.
In Legget I officially leave Route 101, and take to the fabled California Route One. The climbing begins – something in the range of 2,000 uphill feet, maybe more. It looks like it will be the final major climb of my trip, and I fly up the thing, not having to stop to catch my breath or anything. Roar.
The descent winds for miles and miles through wild wooded mountains. There’s another bump of 500 feet or so, and I suddenly come around a bend to be greeted by the wide open sea. This happens all the time along the Pacific route – often when I least expect it.
Route 1 follows the empty shoreline to Westport, which is nothing more than a small general store where I have a candy bar, chocolate chip cookie, and soda. There’s some more coastal scenery for a few miles. Then I wind inland the rest of the way to Fort Bragg. Along the way there’s some cool-looking trees and quiet oceanfront homes.
Fort Bragg is a good sized town of 7,000 people, and I like the place. It’s home of The North Coast Brewery – creators of Red Seal Ale, among others. Life is good.
Route One, California