Sea Ranch–Bodega Bay: Stage 5

3 Nov

October 20, 2011 – Day 5

A funny thing happened on the way to Bodega Bay – we were dropped.

By everyone including the team car! In the words of Paul Sherwen and Phil Liggett we were in no-man’s land.

Not really, but I love Sherwen and Liggett–isms and, we kind of were in the middle of nowhere or at the very least, seriously off the back.

When we went down with our bikes to meet everyone else – no one was around. Initially we thought maybe they were in another area of the Sea Ranch Lodge property so we walked around a bit looking but then it dawned on us that everyone had GONE. And we still had our luggage.

So I did what anyone would do in that situation – I pulled out my camera and started taking pictures.

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How did we manage to get left behind? What happened was after our group breakfast Mark and I took a walk along the path in the fog. My understanding was because of the fog we were going to leave a little later than normal; typically we met at the car about 9:30am.

The already beautiful and serene bluffs overlooking the ocean that the lodge sits on were even more so in the fog.

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The walk was worth the time it took, we got to the parking lot to meet the others at 9:45. Once we went inside to check with the front desk, the woman working said we had just missed them by 10 minutes. She put in a call to Terry, Mike and Neal and left messages, we left our luggage and filled our bottles with water.

The Ride:

We headed out onto Highway 1 and the fog was THICK! I was really wishing I had my flashing Blinky taillight. We stayed close to each other and since Mark had on the brighter of the two jerseys he rode in back. I was nervous about riding in fog and traffic. I can be more than a little paranoid about getting hit by a car but as they say – it’s not paranoia if they’re really out to get you… I have been hit before, back in 1995 but once hit – always cautious.

Riding on Highway 1 though made the fog, traffic and nerves all fade into the background. Who hasn’t dreamed about riding (or driving for that matter) on it. It’s the day of the tour that I most anticipated. It lived up and surpassed all expectations.

At times Highway 1 took us through deep and cool woods, other times high on cliffs overlooking the ocean. And still other times almost level with the sea, but then only to go back up (and up) to where the only thing between you on your bike and the ocean below was a few hundred feet of air. No guardrails,  just you and the cars and trucks, the white fog line and the dirt shoulder.

I didn’t really think about any of that until later. My mind and heart and soul were immersed in everything that surrounded me. Total immersion in what lay to my right and in riding.

 

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The fog came and went but the beauty and peacefulness went on and on.

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Mark had fun on the descent in the two pictures just above. He had to slow because of the travel trailer. He was still smiling when I caught up to him.

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We were to have lunch in Jenner at the Café Aquatica but didn’t expect that any of our group to still be there but lo and behold they were! Neal, Mike and Joelie were there and Gayle and Rod were just heading out. Neal hung around to ride with us – no one gets left behind motto of tours – and Mark and I had lunch – a delicious bowl of clam chowder – the best of the trip for me.

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Jenner is a tiny town but on the map with cyclists because of the great riding nearby. Jenner is also where the Russian River meets the Pacific.

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After lunch Neal, Mark and I rode together – sort of easy rolling hills – still with plenty of beautiful scenes to try and capture with a camera.

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It was a short ride from Jenner to Bodega Bay and our lodging for the night, the very pretty Bodega Bay Lodge. When we checked in we were informed there would be wine and cheese at 5 so off to shower and dress.  Beer before shower, but not wine, just wouldn’t fit.

We enjoyed another beautiful sunset.

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Tonight was our last dinner together. What a fast week! What a fabulous week! What a fabulous group!

The one thing I regret is we didn’t get a group photo of everyone. Too bad, we were really a nice looking bunch.

We dined in a private room at the Duck Club and pretty much everyone had a camera, or an IPad or both. Lots of pictures were taken and downloaded/uploaded and lots of laughs shared. It was a great evening.

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When dessert looks and tastes this good it deserves a picture.

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For the day we rode 41 miles and climbed a surprising 3201 ft.

Sea Ranch to Bodega Bay

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