We woke up early and packed up camp at MacKerricher State Park. It looked like we once again managed to avoid the headwinds that plague northbound travelers. Why else were we getting an early start? "That climb into Leggett"
For the past few days we've been warned of the climbs leading into Leggett by locals and southbound travelers alike. We cruised along the coast for 18 miles, eventually diving into our final "Tsunami Gulch" (finally got one on video, coming soon). Climbing out of the gulch we were headed inland as opposed to the usual westward ascent out of the prior gulches.
A sign signaled that we were in for miles and miles of narrow winding roads. Soon we found ourselves climbing for 2 miles in our lowest gear (cruising at a whopping 4-5mph). This was complicated by hairpin switchbacks and narrow/nonexistent shoulders. RVs, travel trailers and forestry trucks. At the top we were rewarded with a "6% Grade for 2 Miles", something for which we were very grateful. At the bottom of the mountain we saw our first redwoods as we pedaled easily for the next 8 miles. We thought that the "climb into Leggett" had been blown out of proportion.
Then we began climbing again. This time for 2.5 miles of the same conditions. Then we descended. Then ascended even more. This repeated an unfortunate number of times. Finally we had our massive downhill into Leggett (high speed HD video coming soon).
Leggett's one restaurant had closed so we reached the end of Highway 1 and joined Highway 101.
At lunch we met the man we'd heard about from a rider in Albion who is circumnavigating the United States (his blog: http://relaxedchaos.com). He left Minnesota in September 2014, got to Maine, went to Florida, crossed to a southern California and was currently heading to Washington state before a return home. He's done all this with 150lbs of gear on his massive-tired bike (finally someone has more than we do). Mike is very passionate about his project and plans to spend two months working towards formally publishing his blog into an eBook.
Despite his accomplishments he was shocked that we had traveled 40 miles into Leggett and were insisting that we travel another 15 to Richardson Grove State Park (despite the state park conveniently located across from our lunch spot).
We cruised down our first freeway riding experience and arrived in Humboldt County. We had the hiker/biker campsite to ourselves and enjoyed camping under the red woods. (Right after our first touristy picture)