My cycling journey around the American perimeter
43 miles – Total so far: 2505 miles
Today wasn’t necessarily a day I was looking forward to. The short mileage was deceiving, given the terrain that lay ahead. Ask any adventure cyclist on the Pacific Coast Highway about Leggett Hill, and they will all tell you the same thing. It’s challenging. Actually, it’s made up of two “hills” (we call them mountains in Texas), the second ascends from sea level to around 2000 feet over 10 miles of switchbacks and is the highest point on the Pacific Coast Highway. After the first steeper but shorter hill, I decided to try a little trick to take my mind off the endless climbing and the sometimes debilitating back and forth with no end in sight. I began counting the switchbacks from one to ten. After I reached the tenth turn, I’d stop and take a water break, at which point I’d be ready to attack the steep grade again. I’d then reset my internal counter back to one and proceed through the same ritual again. I found this process to be quite effective, and before you know it (well, it wasn’t quite that fast), I had conquered both hills no worse for the wear.
I saw some interesting wildlife today, notably a huge flock of wild turkeys presumably preparing themselves for Thanksgiving, and a red fox that literally ran right in front of me across Highway 1. Didn’t pass through many towns today, only Westport and Leggett. I’m slightly saddened that today was the last day on the epic California Highway 1. It has run its course and in a way, I feel like I have lost an old friend. The route did run parallel to the South Eel River, and upon inspection, it was full of trout. My fisherman son Will would be in heaven.
One last story. I met an absolutely stunning athlete heading Southbound today. Jamie is a British runner pushing a carriage with his gear. He is running from Vancouver British Columbia to Buenos Aires Argentina! I stopped and had a great visit with this young man. He is running for a cause, and averages around 25-30 miles per day. We met at the apex of the Leggett Hill, both of us completing a very difficult climb almost simultaneously. But his feat was much more impressive. You can visit Jamie’s website at www.Jamieisrunning.com.
I’m camping at Standish-Hickey State Recreation Area With about a dozen other cyclists, including a father son combination from Switzerland riding recumbents all over America.
It’s All Good.
Photo of the Day: Scary sign before the Leggett Hill climb
Click Here to read my daily tour journal entry on crazyguyonabike.com