Manchester, CA to Ocean Cove, CA

Day 1

42.7 mi / 10.3 mph / 2593 ft. climbing
Home: Ocean Cove Lodge

It was time to put in more miles, our first time in nearly two weeks pushing south for more than 70 miles over a two-day period. But then we would be able to lay up another day to wait out more rain, and still make it to San Francisco a day earlier than planned.

While it seems ungrateful to call any day along this wondrous coast “a slog”, it was, I guess, the coast-equivalent of a slog. Even though the route on Highway 1 hugged the coast for almost the entire distance, the ocean views were much more limited than yesterday, with the road passing through a lot more wooded sections. But at least that helped to make the headwinds less-debilitating than they would have been on the open cliffs.

Sea and Ranch.

Rett was mentally having a tough time with the style of climbing. We rarely broke higher than 200 ft. above sea-level, but still managed half a mile of climbing over the day, which means that it was a constant up-and-down of 50- to 100-foot hills, and she said she’d prefer a higher-amplitude, lower-frequency oscillation, of say, 300 to 400 foot hills.

It all meant that when we stopped in Gualala for groceries, it was time to first go over to the bakery (tied to the pizza/Mexican restaurant in the “mall” next to the grocery store) and have a second-breakfast of big ol’ eclairs. Damn, those were good. We also stocked up on giant cookies.

We were still catching occasional mist/rain, even though that wasn’t in the forecast. So then our not-really-planned lunch spot at a beach-trail parking area in the 1964 planned community of Sea Ranch was sort of magical, even if it didn’t have the view of the day before. Instead, it stopped the mist that had been falling a mile earlier, it blocked the wind that would have frozen us on the other side of a line of trees, it had relatively-dty stumps to sit on so we didn’t need to set up our chairs, and it had a toilet and garbage! Just as we can find riding through world-class beauty to be a slog, we can also revel in the mundane joys of a well-placed seat and a toilet.

The Sea Ranch Chapel, a place we later learned we could have (and should have) stopped at.
Sheep, amongst rock formations that we haven’t seen the like of until recently.

And eventually we made it to Ocean Cove, where the proprietor nearly killed Rett by briefly joking that he didn’t have any rooms available. In fact, nearly all his rooms were available, and we took a big one with a fireplace since we’d be staying for two nights. And Rett was excited that after over a month hugging the ocean, we’d finally be sleeping in a place with an ocean view!

Another thing making the day tough for Rett was missing out on Halloween, one of our favorite days of the year. But when we went out for the best “date” we can do on this thing to the Ocean Cove Restaurant, we did at least get a chance to trick-or-treat some Halloween candy from the hostess.

Ocean view from our room.

Day 2

Home: Ocean Cove Lodge

It rained the entire day, and worse (or better, for those of us gambling a lot of money on motel rooms based on weather forecasts) the winds were whipping it like crazy. Definitely would have been a terrible day for riding! So besides a walk (in the rain) to the smallest store we’ve ever seen that still managed to pack in a sampling of fresh produce, we didn’t leave the room.

One glimpse of sun at the end of the day from our room.

I did discover why my clothing bags seemed to have fit easier into my pannier the day before: I was missing one of my two pairs of pants. After thinking about it a bit, I was 99% sure that I’d left them in the shower of the KOA. I had forgotten to bring my towel with me to the shower, so when I realized that mistake mid-setup, I decided to just dress my wet body in my dirty clothes. And that meant I must have forgotten to repack my clean pants into my shower bag. And I wasn’t helped by the fact that the light didn’t work in the shower, and I’d been operating with our camp lantern and headlamp. Rett was nice enough to call the KOA and inquire into their lost-and-found, but they said the maintenance crew hadn’t found anything. Grr. At least I could order a new pair ahead to Rett’s cousin in San Francisco. Because it’s pretty tough living out here in November with just one pair of pants!



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3 responses to “Manchester, CA to Ocean Cove, CA”

  1. Kenneth Gregie Avatar
    Kenneth Gregie

    Not sure if you’re aware of this or not, but the sheep, Halloween(?), and ocean view pics were not there (just giant blank spots where the photos should have been.

    1. Jan Avatar

      That’s your old processor/laptop talking ?

  2. Kenneth Gregie Avatar
    Kenneth Gregie

    Sorry, but after the time it took me to type this, I scrolled back up, and there they were!?!!!

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