Monday, July 5, 2010

The Mendocino 4th of July

Happy 4th of July! I slept in until 7:00 this morning. I wanted to get to Mendocino by 1:00 for their 4th of July parade. It was only about 15 miles so no hurry in the morning. Joan, Werner and I all left at the same time. We had heard about this parade from a number of people. Jess and Carling were going to beat the crowds and not do the parade (Carling ended up doing the parade afterall). Since I knew I had plenty of time to get to Mendocino, I turned off Hwy 1 and did Point Cabrillo Dr. To the lighthouse. As I was going downhill, I thought to myself, "What goes down will eventually have to go up". Still I continued down the hill past Caspar Beach. Sure enough, the road took a sharp turn and then a steep climb back up. When I got to the lighthouse, I rode the 1/2 mile down to the lighthouse and the keeper's house. Then, of course, I had to ride back up that hill too (what was I thinking?)! Before long I was back on Hwy 1. I came into Mendocino at about 11:00. I toted with going on, but decided to have a look at the town. I stopped at a bookstore and bought another book since I finished my other one. Since I had resupplied in Ft. Bragg, I told myself I couldn't buy any food even though they were having a "sale" on "Giant Polish Dogs" (there were signs everywhere). People were lining up along the parade route. I found a picnic table and ate some of my food. Talked to a few people (the usual questions- where did you come from, where are you going, how many days, etc.) at about 12:45 I decided to go find a spot for Stella and I to watch the parade. I looked for my frIends, but didn't see them (turns out they were just down the street from me). I had a pretty good spot until the parade started. Then a bunch of people surged forward leaving me about 10 feet back. It didn't really matter because watching the people was more interesting than the parade (the number one cash crop in Mendocino Co. is marijuana). Of the parade, the "Seaweed Dancers" were the most interesting. They had fashioned swim suits out of seaweed. They were also abit stinky!
After awhile, I had seen enough of the parade so I headed out of town to beat some of the traffic (apparently, people come from all over to go to this parade). The rest of the route was rolling hills. Some weren't too bad, but this one was so steep I almost had to get off and walk. As it was, I was standing up to pedal in Super Granny gear. I didn't have my music on, but it wouldn't have helped anyway because I probably couldn't have heard it over my pounding heart and ragged breathing!
After that, nothing came close to being as difficult. I pulled off at a vista point to have a snack. A guy drove up with his little dog, Jet. We talked for awhile and he took a picture of me with Jet.
Manchester State Beach was the most primitive campsite I have been in so far. No showers and just pit toilets. I was in dire need of doing some laundry so I used a grocery bag and did my laundry in it. It worked pretty well. I suppose I could have even swung the bag around for the spin cycle, but I would have gotten all wet.
Dinner was mashed potatoes and a chicken fillet. Now I will retire to my tent!

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