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Wednesday, April 30

Awoke to overcast but dry conditions. Another great breakfast at the Carter Hotel. Packed the bikes, Frank told us that route 101 was currently open but if the rain started again and there was another rock slide, it could close again, in which case he had provisional reservations at the Best Western in Garberville. If we made it past the rock slide, then he'd cancel those and we'd stay as planned near Mendocino.

We left in one large group, and after gassing up in Eureka, headed out on the planned route, to Fernbridge and Ferndale, then via Mattole Road over the mountains to the Pacific Coast (the "lost coast") to Petrolia and Honeydew, and then back to Route 101. Mattole Road was marvellous, parts reminded us of how Ireland probably would have looked had it ever stopped raining. By this time the sky was mostly clear, though we did pass through some low clouds at the top of the mountains on Mattole Road. But we really had no rain to speak of all day! The general store in Honeydew was an experience, very rural and looked like it hadn't changed much in 40 or 50 years. There was a five day old baby horse grazing with mother in the pasture across the street. We all stopped for a snack and pit stop.

Headed out for the last leg to route 101. Passed through the Humboldt Redwood Forest. The road was quite bumpy but quite an experience riding between the redwoods in the dark, steamy air on the floor of the forest, seemed like we were riding through a jungle.

Reached Route 101 and headed south. Passed the rock slide at Confusion Hill without event, not even any wait. There was very little traffic, perhaps people were put off by the threat of the road closure? Arriving in Leggett on the south side of the rock slide, we gassed up and tried to get lunch, but there were no functioning restaurants despite the big billboard at the entrance to town. Had a rubber submarine from the deli/general store in Leggett, then saddled up and hit Route 1. Had a great ride on route 1, which had nice smooth pavement and wonderful scenery.

Passed through the congestion that is Fort Bragg, then a few minutes further south hit Mendocino, which fortunately is on its own peninsula, so that route 1 doesn't pass through town. Found the Little River Inn just south of Mendocino with no trouble, checked in. Room has an amazing view of the Pacific, you can just hear the surf from the room with the windows closed. Excellent dinner in the hotel dining room. Kate and I attemped an after dinner walk down to the beach but gave up since we didn't bring her flashlight with us and it was dark as pitch out, with just the stars for illumination.

The gang at an impromptu rest stop along the lost coast - l to r: John, Tom, Carol, Bill, Cathy, Pete
View south on the lost coast
Most of the gang at our stop on the lost coast - l to r: John, Tom, Carol, Bill, Cathy, Pete
Bill at the lost coast
Frank at the lost coast
Bill with sequoia in Humboldt Redwood Forest
Cows enthralled with us as we stop along PCH
View southwest from our porch at the Little River Inn
Bill and John and visitor eye each other on our porch at the Little River Inn
Visitor to our porch at the Little River Inn
Panoramic view from the Little River Inn of the inlet at the mouth of the Little River
Another Panoramic view from the Little River Inn of the inlet at the mouth of the Little River