posted on Monday, October 21, 2013


This morning I switched on the radio and heard it would be rain, fog and five degrees on the coast while beautiful, sunny and twenty-five  degrees just a few miles across the mountains. Getting out of my tent it seemed even more serious than I thought. You could cut the fog with a knife and it was drizzling too which made me think I should have a plan b or be sentenced to a soggy day with no chance to see much if anything at all. I was weary to get off the coast into unknown territory and a bit sad to have to quit the coast but I stopped a local lady at Manchester and asked how the roads were if I tried to turn left on highway 253 and cross over the mountains heading to Booneville. As she wouldn't be the one pedalling after all, she seemed very enthusiastic, suggesting I should go up the mountain and enjoy the sun! When I asked if it was steep she just shrugged and said 'up and down, you'll have a great time!'
One thing she got right was the sun; after a few miles up the mountain indeed the fog suddenly disappeared and uncovered a blue sky and a warm morning sun. I never experienced going from winter to summer, so suddenly in my life in what seemed just a matter of minutes!
Now to what the lady got wrong...I 'rode' all day on an exhausting roller coaster of uphills with steep grades well beyond my strength and gear range and quite often I alternated cycling with long spells of trekking! In many ways I was happy to have made the effort and had I really known how tough a day it would have been I might have been cycling on a foggy and wet Highway 1 instead. The wonderful  weather, change of views and a chance to visit the famous vineyards of California, kept me going and eventually I made it to charming Cloverdale where I will stay in a well earned motel for the night.