Day 25: Westport to Gualala

11 October 2011

I was getting close to home. And I found it amazing that despite now being on the central California coast, on geography that was recognizably in the same region as home, it would still take me four days to get there. Fortunately, the weather forecast suggested that all the rain was behind me now.

It was foggy in the morning but the fog soon burned off. The motel owner prepared coffee and toast for us, and Jerry and I set out together.

Jerry at Westport Inn

A foggy morning in Mendocino County

Just before Fort Bragg, we took the Mill Creek Dr detour, which cuts through MacKerricher State Park for a couple of miles.

MacKerricher State Park

At Fort Bragg, Jerry and I stopped to eat a more substantial breakfast at Denny's. When the trip started I had been pretty good about locking up my bike. Now I didn't care quite so much. Returning to find our bikes still outside after the meal, I thought, "Darn… guess I have to keep on riding." Jerry stopped in downtown Fort Bragg to get his chain replaced, and I went to buy a fresh tube of toothpaste. But Fort Bragg seemed too large a town for me to want to spend any substantial amount of time there.

Outskirts of Fort Bragg

The same was true of Mendocino. Past Mendocino, though, it got a lot quieter.

Mendocino, best viewed from a distance

Just before Elk, at one turnout, the sun caught the rocks and the ocean just right, and I stopped for at least five or ten minutes just to marvel at the scene. It seemed straight out of an oil painting.

Just outside of Elk

I ate lunch in Elk, buying a sandwich at a grocery and eating it across the street in the park.

Sign in Elk


Leaving Elk, the road is very steep. I was glad I had all the gears that I did.

Is this road for real?

After lunch, I rolled past a number of spectacular beach vistas. I could never get tired of stuff like this. It's not possible.

Point Arena

Hwy 1 near Point Arena

Jerry and I decided to stay the night in Gualala, and we split a hotel room again. It was a nice place with an ocean view (which would have been over my budget, had I been traveling alone).

Hotel in Gualala

Sunset over Gualala

Dinner was at an extraordinarily popular BBQ place, called Bones. It seemed as if everyone in town (and probably many people from the next town over) was here.

Dinner at Bones

Up | Next: Gualala to Pt. Reyes Station