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Thursday, May 01

May Day dawned bright and sunny. After breakfast, Kate and I walked down to the Van Damme Park and the Pacific Ocean beach below the hotel. Watched a trio of scuba enthusiasts enter the ocean, got cold just watching them. Returned to the hotel to pack and put on the riding gear.

Left the Hotel, headed north on route 1 to Mendocino. Drove slowly through Mendocino, but decided we'd rather ride than visit antique shops and the like, so we split and headed back south on route 1.

Took route 128. It starts out by taking you through a Redwood Forest on a road parallel with the river. I could see how this road would be impassably flooded in a heavy rain, as it had been just the day before. We stopped at a produce stand near Philo and bought a couple of apples for later. Got fuel in downtown Philo. Continued south through the little town of Boonville. All of route 128 is great riding - curvy, good pavement, not much traffic, and that was well behaved.

Got to the "Burger Ranch and Pasta Farm" at the end of 128 near Cloverdale. Had lunch, pit stop, and decided to ride route 128 back north the way we had come, rather than trying Stewarts Point - Skaggs Springs Road. Had another fine ride back up 128, this time stopping in the redwood forest section to get a few snapshots. Reached route 1 and turned south.

Route 1 varies between eye-popping shoreline scenery and bland inland runs across pastureland. At one spot where we stopped for a possible photo opportunity on a wide spot in the road between a pasture on the left and the Pacific on our right, a herd of perhaps 30 young cows ran over to the fence facing us and stared at us as if we were the most interesting thing they had ever seen.

Once we got over being the hit of the cows' day, we resumed out southerly ride. Stopped in Point Arena for gas and an ice-cream at the general store. Then rode the final few miles to Gualala. Found the Gualala Country Inn just at the south edge of town without incident. Room was fine with a view of the Pacific ocean.

Went for a walk with Kate and John after checking in, walked to the other end of town and each had a drink at the "Top of the Cliff" bar.

Since tomorrow's weather forcast is grim, decided to do the traditional group photo before dinner rather than tomorrow morning in the rain. We assembled with our bikes on the wide shoulder of route 1 across from the hotel and had our pictures taken.

Walked to dinner, which was excellent, and then retired to our room for the night.

This is what it's all about -- Bill rides the PCH
Bill riding Route 128 in the Navarro River Redwoods
John along Route 128 in the Navarro River Redwoods
Bill riding Route 128 in the Navarro River Redwoods
Group shot across the street from the Gualala Country Inn -- l to r: Carol, Tom, Don, Denny, Bill, Kate, Cathy, Pete, and John