U.S. 360 Tour IV – Day 49 from Fort Bragg CA to Leggett CA (The Power of 10, and a Badass )

Latest update on my purpose-driven cycling journey around the American perimeter.

43 miles – Total so far: 2,505 miles

Today wasn’t necessarily a day I was looking forward to. The short mileage was deceiving, given the terrain that lay ahead. Ask any adventure cyclist on the Pacific Coast Highway about Leggett Hill, and they will all tell you the same thing. It’s challenging. Actually, it’s made up of two “hills” (we call them mountains in Texas), the second ascends from sea level to around 2000 feet over 10 miles of switchbacks and is the highest point on the Pacific Coast Highway. After the first steeper but shorter hill, I decided to try a little trick to take my mind off the endless climbing and the sometimes debilitating back and forth with no end in sight. I began counting the switchbacks from one to ten. After I reached the tenth turn, I’d stop and take a water break, at which point I’d be ready to attack the steep grade again. I’d then reset my internal counter back to one and proceed through the same ritual again. I found this process to be quite effective, and before you know it (well, it wasn’t quite that fast), I had conquered both hills no worse for the wear.

I saw some interesting wildlife today, notably a huge flock of wild turkeys presumably preparing themselves for Thanksgiving, and a red fox that literally ran right in front of me across Highway 1. Didn’t pass through many towns today, only Westport and Leggett. I’m slightly saddened that today was the last day on the epic California Highway 1. It has run its course and in a way, I feel like I have lost an old friend. The route did run parallel to the South Eel River, and upon inspection, it was full of trout. My fisherman son Will would be in heaven.

One last story. I met an absolutely stunning athlete heading Southbound today. Jamie is a British runner pushing a carriage with his gear. He is running from Vancouver British Columbia to Buenos Aires Argentina! I stopped and had a great visit with this young man. He is running for a cause, and averages around 25-30 miles per day. We met at the apex of the Leggett Hill, both of us completing a very difficult climb almost simultaneously. But his feat was much more impressive.  You can visit Jamie’s website at www.Jamieisrunning.com.

I’m camping at Standish-Hickey State Recreation Area With about a dozen other cyclists, including a father son combination from Switzerland riding recumbents all over America.

It’s All Good.

Sea Stacks near Westport CA
Sea Stacks near Westport CA
Big ocean view near Westport CA
Big ocean view near Westport CA
Typical morning Rollers along the PCH.
Typical morning Rollers along the PCH.
Scary sign before the Leggett Hill climb
Scary sign before the Leggett Hill climb
A typical switchback on the PCH
A typical switchback on the PCH
A gorgeous valley and lunch break between the two hills near Leggett CA
A gorgeous valley and lunch break between the two hills near Leggett CA
Nearing the top of Leggett Hill
Nearing the top of Leggett Hill
Jamie the British cross continent runner at the top of Leggett Hill
Jamie the British cross continent runner at the top of Leggett Hill
On the descent from Leggett Hill
On the descent from Leggett Hill
South Eel Fork River coming out of the mountains
South Eel Fork River coming out of the mountains
South Eel Fork river full of trout
South Eel Fork river full of trout
End of Highway 1
End of Highway 1
Camp for the night at Standish-Hickey State Recreation Area CA
Camp for the night at Standish-Hickey State Recreation Area CA

4 thoughts on “U.S. 360 Tour IV – Day 49 from Fort Bragg CA to Leggett CA (The Power of 10, and a Badass )”

  1. I remember those hill/mountains and I remember how tight my legs felt after riding them. Its amazing what you can do with your mind focused. Nice ride…and a fantastic adventure.

    Alan

  2. I recognize that switchback! I was headed west and a huge pickup pulling a huge trailer came down hill and made the turn. The trailer scrapped something awful as the combination entered the apex. I started at Richardson Grove SP and rode all the way to Ft Bragg. Right at 63 miles with that fun climb. Believe my Garvin said I climbed 4,478 ft for the day. Yes it was quite the day and my last day of touring.

  3. Just did the legg hill on Monday.great ride up and over.not as bad as ppl think it is.in fort Bragg now for a rest day.lots of coast rider heading south .wonderful ride this time of yr.

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