Thursday, July 30, 2009

Day Eight: Burlington Campground to MacKerricher State Park (Cleone, CA)

The day after my birthday, we slept in a little and then grabbed breakfast at the coffee shop in Myers Flat.  That’s where the barista filled us in on the area’s history.

The next town that we road through (Miranda) had a bit more life and Garberville was surprisingly large.

The highlight of today’s ride was the big climb up Leggett Hill – about 4-5 miles at about a 5% grade.  Vaibhav had been talking about it all week after seeing it from the car a few weeks earlier.  After that descent, we had to tackle a shorter but steeper climb at Rockport – maybe 2 miles at 6-7%. 

We stopped in the small town of Leggett for pizza and a burger and fries (chips?) before tackling the hills.  There was a drive-through tree near Leggett whcih we thought about checking out … but with the hills looming we figured the prudent thing was to head straight to the hills.

The climbs turned out to be a bit less intense than expected – sure they were long and uphill, but they weren’t ball-breakers.  The descents were a lot of fun – lots of switchbacks.

This was another day where I didn’t get to charge my phone until late in the day, so most of my pictures are from the evening.

6:40pm: Here are some shots after descending the second major climb and getting back to the coast:


6:58pm: the view from Westport State Beach.  We strongly considered staying here for the night – it was very pretty, it was getting late, and we had ridden 70 miles with two big climbs … but there were no hot showers or hiker/biker sites, so we rolled on to Cleone and MacKerricher State Park.


The ride from Westport to Cleone was very scenic as we followed the coastline, but the road had lots of ups and downs that were a bit too sharp to qualify as “rollers,” in my opinion. 

7:20-8:00pm: views along the coast


8pm: near Cleone we went through this forested area that looked a bit like a tunnel


8:07pm: I wholeheartedly agree with this sign.


This bridge was about the fifth time that we thought we were 4-5 miles from the campground.  I think that we were finally right this time.


We arrived at the Cleone market just before dark.  I bought a steak and some bacon to cook over the campfire.  The fire pits at the California campground all had built-in grills!  I learned that it is quite challenging to cook bacon over a grill without running into a variety of trouble:

  • Your bacon falls into the fire.
  • Your bacon catches fire.
  • Your bacon gets stuck to the grill.
  • You cook your bacon and remove it from the grill without making any mistakes, but it just doesn’t taste the same without sizzling in a puddle of grease.  Next time I’ll buy some aluminum foil.

As Andrew and I rolled out from the store, we thought that Vaibhav was right behind us but we got to the park entrance (half a mile away) without him.  He entered the park from the other side and had a very hard time finding us, as the hiker/biker site at MacKerricher was just another numbered site.

1 comment:

  1. is this what YOUR bacon did or are we speaking hypothetically

    let's discuss at bumbershoot