Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Day 9 - Pinole to Fort Bragg

After a quick breakfast in the motel, we left Pinole and headed south on Interstate 80 towards I580 and then veered right and crossed the bay on the John T. Knox freeway (bridge) towards San Rafael.  With the temperature in the mid 50's and the early morning fog covering the mountains in the background we donned our liners and headed towards the coast.  After setting the GPS pointing towards Olema, we pass San Rafael, Fairfax and the Samuel P. Taylor State Park and arrive in Olema making a right onto Route 1 North. We travel a few more miles and arrive at Point Reyes Station immediately pulling into the first store for a warm cup of coffee.  It was Sunday, early morning, most of the town was still sleeping.


We have our coffee and then proceed north on Route 1 stopping to take pictures along the Tomales Bay.  Did I say it was cold? It was, we never expected the Californian weather to be this cold in mid-July and with the sky still covered with fog, there was no opportunity for good photos.  We leave the bay area and move inland still on route 1 pulling into Tomales a few miles later.  We see a few old cars and it appears to be a get together of classics.  We stop in front of Tomales Bakery and walk around admiring the cars.  We step inside the bakery, the smell of fresh cookies in the air, we look at each other and coffee and cookies was soon in our hands.  I see an old Alfa Romeo across the street, it brings back memories of childhood when my dad used to take me to see car races.  Alfa Romeo's were some of the fastest cars back then.  I admire the lines of the two jaguars parked next to a new BMW Z8.

We move on along the rocky coast stopping various times for pictures.  We pass the Sonoma Coast State Beach, the famous coast is truly beautiful with all the rocks and alcoves.  We were surprised to find the Portuguese Beach and wondered who had named the beach, most likely a Portuguese emigrant. (I was born Portuguese but changed my nationality in the early 90's)

I see two locals on the side of the road staring intently at us and probably wondering what all the noise was about as we zoomed by, I managed to quicly get the camera and snap a shot while riding.

We stop at the Bones Roadhouse for lunch and have a magnificent loaded barbecued burger with fries and a large coke. We rest for a while and then proceed north, passing some amazing looking trees and beautiful beaches through Fort Ross State Historic Park and Salt Point State Park, we pass beautiful little towns along the coast, Point Arena, Mendocino, Caspar near the Jackson State Forest and arrive in Fort Bragg late in the afternoon.

We find a motel a block away from the beach and after unloading the bikes I put on shorts and head to the beach.  It was a cold day but before leaving New Jersey I had told my daughter I would be wetting my feet in the Pacific water somewhere in California but I was not prepared for how cold the water was.  I step in the water and my feet almost froze, it was really cold, no way I would swim in this cold water.

I stroll along the beach taking pictures of the rock formations and admiring the beautiful flowers growing on the dark coastal rocks.  It's amazing how these beautiful flowers are able to survive with the constant wind blowing in from the Pacific. They must have amazing roots to be able to hold onto the dark sand.

I return back to the room and after checking with my brother, I head alone to a local restaurant for dinner, he was too tired to go out.  The restaurant happens to be a brewery and I quickly pick a four sampler of the local beer and add clam chowder and a shrimp and salsa salad with avocado for a light dinner, it was 9pm and the waiter had told me I was going to be the last customer, I was glad I had made it on time.  The beer went down fast with my mouthwatering shrimp salad.  I return to the motel for a good night sleep, the fog quickly engulfing the sleepy town.  I take one last shot of the town at night with the ever present fog.

Clam Chowder with Shrimp and Salsa salad
The constant fog
We covered a little less than 200 miles on this day, it was a short riding day but not short of beautiful landscapes.


  1. Very nice pics and a great trip!

    Un saludo.

  2. Thank you, still have 13 days to complete ;-)

  3. Must be cold, even the dog had his blanket. We have a friend who restores Alpha Romeos. Lovely photos of the coastline and ride. Very scenic.

    LOL - I gather from several stories I've heard that the Pacific is a bit of a shocker the first time someone dips their toes. Up here the surfers wear wetsuits. I just stay out of the water! :)

    Looking forward to the rest of the story!

  4. Yea, I always thought of California as this warm place, "Baywatch" type with beautiful beaches and woman in red bathing suits but I guess that's only in the southern parts ;-) The coastline is beautiful though. I have been to LA and Santa Barbara and the beaches were beautiful and with white sand :-)

  5. Dude, you were in Northern Cali...chilly weather up there along the coast and the waters....fagetaboutit. Even the locals wear wetsuits because the Pacific is Cold! Love love love those sleepy little beach towns. My favorite places.