Day 8: Leggett to Van Damme State Park, 58 miles
I’m up and packed, over to the Peg House for morning coffee at 7am. The man at the counter asks me about riding. “Is it just an endorphin rush?”
I answer yes, but there is more. I don’t feel like going into it, especially now that the challenges are emotional and spiritual. Maybe I could share this with other cyclists?
Then off and over the Leggett Hill, soaring to 2000 feet, above the fog. The descent is quick and chilly. Was it this cold last tour? Over Rockport hill, then there it is, clear skies over the Mendocino Coast! The ride south on the Shoreline Highway, Route 1, is fast and inspiring. I stop at Westport and meet 3 other cyclists, two headed to Baja. While we are chatting, Jordy and David cycle by. I catch up with them in Fort Bragg.
Ah, Fort Bragg, the place of my birth. Fourth tour through this small town now, places seem familiar, commonplace. MacKerricker Beach, Pudding Creek, the Skunk Train, Noyo Harbor. I cycle through town, then down to Mendocino, over the headlands and to the little natural foods store. Then on to Van Damme State Park, where David is also camping. We talk of touring, sharing tales of the road.
I walk out to the beach, watch the sun sinking over the ocean as divers are bringing in huge abalone. I turn in for the night, a good rest after a long day’s ride. The surf sings softly in the distance.