Yet another milestone along the way was the right turn at Leggett, leaving Highway 101, and taking Highway 1, the Shoreline Highway back to the coast. The infamous Leggett Hill really wasn’t that bad and I think it was the longest downhill ride ever. A second hill, a little steeper but much shorter was followed by an exhilarating descent to the magnificent California coast where we were in and out of fog but it was very fitting.
We spent the night in Westport at their boutique Victorian era hotel then moved on to Fort Bragg for a day off. After stopping in the lovely town of Mendocino, we continued southbound and faced some pretty stiff climbs at times but the traffic wasn’t as heavy as it had been on parts of 101 and at the top of each climb we were greeted by stunning coastal scenery. After passing through a few more well kept Victorian towns such as Tomales and Point Reyes Station we left the main highway and began a climb on Sir Francis Drake Boulevard, heading to our final night on the road at Samuel P. Taylor State Park, and still we had not had a single drop of rain while on the road in our seven weeks of travel. That record stayed intact but during the night it was torrential. However, we were more or less warm and dry in our tent and woke to clearing skies for our final dash.
We rode with Mitch on our last day, a guy who had cycled from Wisconsin and was heading for LA. After a few miles we entered the first northern suburb of San Francisco, Fairfax, and from here on in there were bike lanes or separate bike paths.
After a lunch stop in Sausalito, we tackled a short, steep climb and there it was, the Golden Gate Bridge. I got kind of emotional while crossing it. We’d made it. At the top of the bridge we stood in sunshine and watched a rain shower pass over the city. By the time we got downtown, though, the sun had returned there and we settled into our North Beach digs. To top it off, the San Francisco Giants won the National League title that night and moved on to the World Series.