vagabond

Starting location: Standish-Hickey State Park
Ending location: Vagabond Inn, Ukiah, CA
End of day cumulative mileage: 859.4


I woke up this morning and stared up at the clear blue sky framed by the redwood trees above my hammock. Sleeping in a hammock has its advantages. I had figured out a way to protect myself from bugs. My swimsuit had mesh inside, so I put my swimsuit over my head as a makeshift bug net. Does it suck breathing through mesh that usually covers my ass? Why yes, yes it does. But it sucks less than being eaten alive by mosquitoes. But it turned out that I didn’t need to wear my makeshift bug net for long. After the sun went down and the air cooled off the mosquitoes went away. So I pulled the swimsuit off my head and fell asleep watching the stars. It was a beautiful clear night, and the stars were amazingly bright. I wish I could’ve taken a picture but my little camera wasn’t up to the task.

This morning I was confronted with a choice. I could continue down highway 101 through the valley, or follow the route in my guidebook, which turned off of highway 101 to follow highway 1 down the coast. The climb onto highway 1 is pretty legendary among bike tourists, a hill called Leggett hill. All the bikers in camp were talking about how tough the day’s riding was going to be on account of that hill. After ten days of biking, part of me has become some sort of crazy bike masochist, wanting to climb Leggett just to see how bad it would hurt. Thankfully the saner part of me won out, so I ended up continuing down highway 101. It didn’t make sense to climb Leggett hill only to climb back over the same mountain range the next day to head east toward Davis.


It turned out that the crazy bike masochist part of me was also satisfied. According to my guidebook Leggett hill stands just short of 2,000 feet. I ended up climbing up two named summits on highway 101, Rattlesnake summit which was 1,796 feet and Ridgewood summit, which was 1,953 feet. So I ended up climbing almost twice as much as Leggett.

By going down highway 101 I shave about a day off my ride. Tonight I am in a town called Ukiah which is about 140 miles from home. The plan is to continue down highway 101 until it hits highway 128, then ride that into the Sonoma and Napa valleys, spending the night in Calistoga. I can rest and relax at the hot springs there (wearing my swimsuit where it’s supposed to be worn) before making the final climb up to Berryessa which drops me into Winters and Davis.

After ten days on the road I also feel like somewhat of a vagabond, wandering from town to town with just a few worldly possessions strapped to the back of my bike. It’s definitely an interesting lifestyle, waking up to a new experience every day, but I think at this point I’m just about ready to return to my normal stable lifestyle.

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