Abandoned house in Westport. Future residence?
This is it. Today we tackle Leggett Hill. We have been fearing this day the whole trip. What better way to start it off than with cold, microwaved breakfast burritos from a convenience store? (Not the best...) After a short ride out of the campsite we arrive at the Chandelier Tree, the biggest, oldest and most famous of the drive thru trees. I wasn't sure where it was exactly, so it was exciting to come across it. It is one of the sights from my postcards that I was looking most forward to see. It has the same sign on the outside and is still functional (some of them have fallen over the years). I was pleased to see a lot of cars coming through still, even though it's better on a bike! I am glad that others see the charm in these types of places too. After pedaling out, and through, the Chandelier Tree, we knew we were headed towards Leggett Hill. This is where we split off of Highway 101 and onto Highway 1. We will miss 101, it was nice. We were nervous and then realized we were starting the ascent. We keep riding and wonder, "When is it going to get bad?" I keep pedaling and pedaling and cruising uphill. I passed a couple riders and was feeling good. This isn't so bad! The hill starts to level out and I realize I had reached the top. I actually enjoyed the ride up! All this hoopla for nothing! Preparing for the hill I knew there was a descent even bigger than the ascent, which I was very excited for. I began. I kept going and going and going. Winding hairpin turns with almost no traffic! Perfect descent! This one was long enough too! Not too shabby. After the descent, we passed a rider from Korea who was walking his bike. I found out that one of his spokes had broken, so I asked him if he wanted me to true it like I had done to mine. He said yes. Well, his bike turned out to be very old and when I started to true it, another spoke snapped! This is terrible. There was no way to repair it now. It was too bad to ride at all. I don't think there is any worse feeling than trying to help someone and then making it ten times worse. UGH! He was riding with a tall, brute German. We all worked together to find him a ride. After about a half an hour trying, a local biker stopped with his truck and was more than happy to take him to the next town that had a bike shop. Perfect! My fears were gone and I knew everything would work out. Back to riding. We rode with the friendly German until the next town where Derek and I stopped to eat lunch. It was a little seaside town called Westport. It was by far the most charming town we have come across so far. It just felt right. There was even a huge whale sculpture being built by a local resident. He had buttons for sale in the town store/deli/gas station to raise money to finish it. Souvenirs? Yes! This store was SO COOL! Here is his WEBSITE. It was a grandma running it with her two grandchildren helping out. They were so cute! The little boy helped someone get gas with the archaic pump and you could have sworn he was a 50 year old man. I love that kind of stuff. The people he was helping has a sweet vintage trailer and Wagoneer and we had actually seen them in Garberville. They were going along the coast at the same speed as us. They know how road trip right! After devouring the best sandwich of the trip so far, we left to find our campsite. Leggett was so much easier than we had planned that we decided to go farther than we had planned. Next stop, MacKerricher State Park. We rode past a street with neat old bungalow houses and I knew I'd be back someday. Vacation house?!?! It was a pleasant winding route to the park. We made good time and got to the site with plenty of daylight left. As we were unpacking, a couple from Canada rode up. Zoe and Rob were their names. Super cool folks! Another rider came that we had seen in Westport as we were rolling out. His bike was out of this world and I was a little obsessed with it. Another guy from Seattle showed up and we had a good time talking with everyone. It has to be mentioned also that Cleone, CA has the best convenience store ever! Everything was reasonably priced and they even had Annie's Organic Mac n' Cheese! WOO HOO!!! We walked to the beach with Zoe and Rob trying to find the elusive Glass Beach. Apparently, there is a beach that is completely covered with beach glass. Even after asking directions, we couldn't find it. We are going to try again in the morning. We did, however, see a funny sight. A dad with at least seven kids was scurrying around freaking out making sure everyone was safe and listening to him. Seems like a normal scene, right? False. He turns around, and on the back of his homemade hoodie is written, "READY FOR ANYTHING!" I don't think so... After a group fire we went to sleep. Great day!