Friday, July 31, 2009

Day Nine: MacKerricher to Stillwater Cove Campground (Ocean Cove, CA)

After packing up camp on Day Nine, Andrew, Vaibhav and I headed in to Fort Bragg for breakfast.  We ate at the Wizard-of-Oz themed Eggheads Restaurant.  The food was quite good but we had to wait a very long time to get a table.  We felt a little silly waiting that long when there appeared to be other options in town, but it was the kind of situation where you’re reluctant to give up after already waiting a bit.

I ordered my usual two-plate breakfast – bacon and eggs on one plate, French toast on the other.  In my defense, we did share the French toast this time around.


After breakfast, Viabhav and I rode on while Andrew stayed in town to meet up with some friends from Ukiah.


We rode over a few small bridges on the way out of Fort Bragg


Noon: random coastal shots


12:40pm: some big rocks on the beach, just visible through the fog


12:50pm: we pulled off at a bed and breakfast in order to get a closer look at this arch just off the beach


1pm: We passed a sign for a rather intriguing bar that was only open on Fridays and Saturdays.


Vaibhav and I stopped for lunch in Point Arena.  The burrito place that was mentioned in my guidebook wasn’t open anymore but there were three or four organic markets and lunch places to choose from.  My guidebook said that Point Arena was once a haven for hippies who left San Francisco to pursue alternative lifestyles.

We grabbed an assortment of snacks and some sandwiches and ate a hearty lunch while looking at old banners from the city’s centennial. 


As we wrapped up lunch, I laid down for a moment on the bench in the market and actually fell asleep.  I was DONE. 

But the short nap did me well.  Or maybe it was the bottle of fresh, local apple juice and the large quantity of chocolate chips that I ate with lunch…

The run-in to Gualala (last town in Mendocino County) was fast and pleasant, with an encouraging tailwind.

5:08pm: welcome to Sonoma County!


We rode through more dense fog in northern Sonoma County.  It felt a bit dangerous with the lack of shoulder and the somewhat fast traffic.  I’d read about a Eucalypt Grove in one of the guidebooks and hoped that there would be less fog there. 

6:30pm: we the grove.  The heavy smell of the Eucalypts reminds me of racing at the Escape from Alcatraz.  Eucalypts are a non-native tree (they’re native to Australia, of course) but they seemed quite common in northern California and I didn’t sense a lot of desire to get rid of them, although they must be displacing some native species and the animals that would use them for food and/or shelter.


Around 7pm we rode into the town of Ocean Cove.  There were four campgrounds in the immediate vicinity of the town – two in the State Park before town and one immediately after the town, plus a commercial car-camp in town.  The camp past town (Stillwater Cove) had showers and hiker/biker sites so we went there.  We saw signs at the first park that outlined the rules and limits for mushroom gathering.  Apparently Salt Point State Park is a great place to find mushrooms.  We even found one in our campsite.

In town I met some kids from Sacramento who ride BMX bikes back home.  We sat around a bit and talked about bikes before rolling out.

At Stillwater Cove they gave us so much wood that we needed a wheelbarrow.  (All of the California campgrounds sold firewood for $7 per bundle.)


This was the only night that we were all alone in the hiker/biker area, but a family of car/RV-campers with lots of toys was in the next site.  They had a canopy to eat under, an RV, two very large tents, …

8:45pm: A few more shots at the campground:


We were visited by a raccoon before going to sleep but it was too dark to take any pictures.


  1. i've ridden through gualala! and i think near there, there's a street or town or something that is named something that means something to me. maybe it's called courtenay. i can't remember.

    so sweet.

  2. Every time I saw a sign for Gualala I thought about Gunther and his ding ding dong song.