10 October 2011
I awoke to heavy rain, so I took my time leaving the motel. When I left, at around 11:00, the rain was just a drizzle. I got back on Hwy 101 and alternated between highway and side roads up to Leggett. There are a couple of short stretches here where there is no shoulder, but traffic was light.
The rain continued all day. Just before Leggett, I left Hwy 101 to start down California State Route 1 at its northern terminus.
I stopped at Leggett, planning to get out of the rain for a hot lunch. But there were only two restaurants in town, both of which were closed. Instead, I got a muffin at a lonely-looking gas station and ate it under the awning.
It was here at Leggett that Jerry caught up with me (I had met him on the road four days ago, near Harris Beach State Park). We headed out up Leggett Hill together.
The climb out of Leggett was an uninterrupted climb of about 1,100 feet, which would bring me to 1,950 feet elevation. Hwy 1 was much quieter here, though, and I much preferred having to climb in the rain to being on 101. There was not much of a view at the top, so I headed down.
On the way down, I passed a Belgian cycle tourist couple. All four of us (the Belgians, Jerry, and I) would eventually find ourselves at the same hotel in Westport.
I returned to the coast at Rockport. There was not much to see in the rain.
A few miles later I reached Westport: the first lodging in 28 miles and the last for another 15 miles. Not knowing before I got there what the lodging looked like, I started to get a bit nervous when a quick loop around town didn't reveal any obvious liveliness anywhere. There were buildings in town, but they all looked eerily quiet.
I doubled back to the Westport Inn, which (I read on the office window) was a self-service motel. There was no one in the office, but there were rooms, and if there was a key in the door you were welcome to make yourself at home.
At this time there were two rooms left, and I took one of them. The Belgians showed up shortly after and took the other one. Shortly after that, Jerry caught up, also looking for a room in Westport. We agreed to split a room at the Westport Inn, since these rooms seemed to be the last two reasonably-priced rooms in town.
Some time later the motel owner returned, and we settled our bill for the room. For dinner I walked across the street to a grocery with a deli. A simple meal, eaten standing up, but I was happy just to have a roof over my head.
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