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August 24, 2012 / betweenstops

Gualala to Bodega Bay

It is 38 miles to Jenner and I Am told there is nothing in between. I find it hard to believe that I will have to spend five hours awake before I have coffee and I am right.

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I’ve gone about ten miles and am passing this resort which goes on for miles called “Sea Ranch”. These are individual houses which one can rent. After a while I say to myself out loud “Where are all these sea ranch people getting their expresso? Are they all bringing their own machines?”
Then I see the lodge which is the first Sea Ranch sign that says “open to the public”; all the rest are very clearly and largely “Private Property No Trespassing”.
Outside the lodge is a couple in their early sixties with a large overly groomed poodle. We start talking and they are from Berkeley. The woman is in a writing class with River’s father but this is the first time she’s heard about this “River business”. Then I think about some of the people I’ve met in the camps and realize he’s not the only one who changed his name, including me. Id expect a writer might be more open to that sort of thing. Then again, I think they flew a plane in from Berkeley (a three hour drive) so who knows what they think. Mostly I thought it interesting to yet again have another connection to River.

As soon as I enter the place it’s very heavy money. I ask the small Mexican waitress if I can get a coffee to go. She gives me one for a dollar and I give her a dollar tip. It is killer strong coffee. Like four times as strong as anything local. I can feel the bay area getting closer.

Next this country store in itself was like an antique. Built in 1868. It was beautiful and also had good coffee.

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After that it was more beautiful miles in magical mystical landscapes.

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All over the California roads there is construction for one reason or another. There are men and women at either end who have STOP and SLOW signs and walkie-takies. They communicate with each other saying “ok I got four cars going through, the last one being a silver Acura. Over” and such.
I come across this Rastafarian guy that I saw in Garberville a couple of days ago with the sign and the walkie-talkie. We chat for a while. He used to live in Oakland but divorce sent him on his way. We got to waxing very philosophical and as he was lamenting his lack of success with women a hummingbird came out of nowhere and hovered over his head and then went back to nowhere. It was bizarre. What even was a hummingbird doing in terrain like that? I told him I didn’t think he had anything to worry about and we parted ways after charting for quite a while.
Then i see this

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As I stop to photo and examine this situation in the middle of the road that the Rasta and the Mexican (at the other end) are controlling, this guy starts quickly walking towards me and he doesn’t look happy.
I want to counteract his aggression and my first thought is to say something like “Hey, we both have on the same colors!” ( hi-visibility day glow yellow and orange) but I say instead “Hi ! Are you the guy at the other end if the walkie talkie?” knowing full well he isn’t as he’s this self satisfied white guy who looks in his early thirties and overly educated. He explains proudly that he is the biologist on the job and tries to convince me that the fiber optic wire being laid the this giant grout line on the road (only useable by Verizon) is ecologically beneficial. I get political on him and talk about the good old days when there was just one phone company connected with the government and greed had yet to run so rampant in the field of communication.
He understands me and yet he is proud of what he does and I understand that and can see that it is sort of cool.

Although that tile saw and grout line were big, they were nothing compared to this next thing I saw by the side of the road. I have no idea what it was once used for.

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On I go with no shoulder. The road construction is never about a shoulder.

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Parts of the road are so misty that you can not see over the cliff. You can hear the ocean but you can’t see it. All you can see is spaceless nothing like a chasm of void.

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Today I climbed an easy hill. By easy, I mean that the grade was gradual but it did go up and up and eventually I was in the clouds!

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This of course was followed inevitably by a downhill. One of the many terrific things about Hwy One is being able to see the road far ahead of me.

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That does not mean however that you will know what you might encounter on this road. There are always surprises.

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On the circular sandbar are sea lions basking and playing. It is very refreshing to watch animals play.

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Here is marvelous evidence of humans at play. 1962 British Jag XKE

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When I asked this guy if I could photo his car he said, “Definitely! That’s why I have it: so people can see and enjoy it!” I liked that.

More beauty until I arrived at Bodega Bay.

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Those colors really were that vibrant in real life. And these.

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There is hardly any new building on Hwy One except this one very exceptional house.

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Seemed like the entire roof was solar panels. Now there’s a way to spend your money!
I make it to Bodega Bay and find there a spattering of folk I have met from other camps. Here are some.

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Sorry that’s so misty. See if you can see the banjo in the front pannier of David’s bike. We meet up first in the pizza campground. I like him even before i knew about the banjo when he brought his camping stove over to the table. Someone said something about cooking and he said, “oh, to call what i do cooking would be a gross exaggeration”. He was super laid back and didn’t have a cell phone and it’s always a plus to have a banjo player at the hiker biker site. We are really like a gypsy camp. Most bikers are solo artists and we all come together around the dinner table comparing our trips and telling stories. People are all ages and from all parts of the world. The folks on the tandem are from Scotland and in their sixties. I met up with them three consecutive nights. I also met an older couple and a younger couple from the Netherlands. Banjo man said she talked about me on her blog but I can’t remember the name of her blog.
Here’s a cool Canadian guy who rode from Vermont to the west coast, up through Canada and was now going to end in San Francisco.

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I met up with Derek again at Bodega. He got his bike fixed but was going to end in SF instead of LA as he'd had enough.
Here's a better shot I hope of Daniels banjo.

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After dinner and showers I go into my tent and read. It’s a wonderful end to a wonderful day.

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2 Comments

Leave a Comment
  1. jon / Aug 24 2012 10:58 pm

    even though i am reading this post facto it is a great blog with great photos. i like the factual simplicity of it!

  2. cathy / Aug 25 2012 12:21 pm

    I ditto Jon’s comments You are already home and I am trying to catch up with what you saw. Amazing!

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