Day 1 • March 2, 2012 • Fort Bragg to Manchester • 39 miles
Zoe and Mom had a tearful goodbye today. Two of them, actually, one in Fort Bragg and another seven miles down the road in Mendocino where we met again for ice cream and lunch. Zoe is a conflicted kid—really excited about the trip but also really missing Mom.
It was a beautiful day, sunny and cold in the morning after a rare overnight frost but quickly warming up into the mid sixties. We had a great ride but the steep and relentless hills past Albion really kicked our butts. The original, half baked plan was to ride to Gualala but we were happy to scoot into one of our bail-out destinations at Manchester Beach State Park just before dusk.
We were greeted in Manchester by a state campground that was closed and about to be decommissioned and bulldozed clean. With the budget crisis in California I suspect this will be a recurring theme. We ended up at the nearby KOA. It was nice enough and the host was really friendly and accommodating but even at the cyclist rate of $18 a night I think we’ll find an alternative next time.