This one is subtitled: “Not the Grizzly Peak Century.” Every year for the past maybe fifteen, Richard has done the 100 mile Bay Area bike ride. Hell, I’ve even done the thing. Twice! It’s a nice ride with some pretty scenery, but he’s come to the point where it has just gotten kinda old. Except now it’s a thing, right? He’s got quite the collection of shirts and patches, so not doing it felt weird. In order to counteract the thingness, we aimed for a camping weekend near a really nice bike ride, and landed on Anderson Valley.
Cutting to the chase: this was a thumbs up. The weather was just perfect, the roads beautiful, and I fully enjoyed sagging him out to the coast and back. The campground is located about half way along Highway 128 between Cloverdale and the ocean. And as it is spring in a non drought-dry California, the landscape takes one’s breath away. There are wildflowers blooming everywhere. I spotted California Lilac, Rhododendrons, Irises, Poppies, Dogwood, and a whole bunch of others I couldn’t name. And every now and then, you pass by a little farm with baby sheep or goats bounding here and there.
In the space of 40 miles, you pass through meadows, rolling hills, vineyards, and redwood forests, in a repeating sequence. Hendy Woods itself is deep in a redwood covered range, and is located along the Navarro River. Some time when we come back, I will need to find out about boating on the river. We’ll also need to be careful if we stay more than two nights. If we’d stayed three, we would have needed the generator because there is very little solar in the campground. We hit 66% battery capacity the morning of departure, so that’s perfect for a weekend.
Besides being a distraction from the century, we also had a mission: get pie. Last time we came, we stopped at Gowan’s Oak Tree to pick up a frozen apple pie, plus some assorted fruits and nuts. This time we we smart and got two pies. I swear, these are the best apple pies I’ve ever had. The crust is crisp and flaky, and the apples are cut into nice small pieces with tons of cinnamon. OMG. These are so good. It’s worth the drive just for that.
Not much else to report except that the screen room came in handy once again and has earned the status of “I like it.” I’ve decided to go ahead and finish off the little places where there are holes in the defenses, even though we were completely bug free inside. I’m also going to see if I can find some magnets to sew into the material at the “door” to facilitate egress.
It’s a long drive for me, but as long as I do it after Daylight Savings Time, it works. I would not want to hit the initial 10 mile twisty stretch of 128 in the dark. The road is well paved once you hit the Mendocino County Line. The Sonoma County side, not so much, but I imagine they are still reeling from all the fire damage and loss of property tax revenue. The roads of Richard’s Saturday bike ride, Philo Greenwood and Cameron Road, are not in such great shape, but were fine for an Acura MDX and a pair of bicycle tires. Do be wary of the little road out to Navarro State Beach, however, as there are some serious pot holes. We noted once again that you can camp at the beach. It’s primitive, with porta potties rather than bathrooms, and it’s not reservable. But there were sites open and it sure would be a nice view.
Wonderful weekend! Not sure where we’ll go next year while he’s not doing the Century, but I think I no longer have to be careful not to make camping reservations the first weekend in May.
Total miles: 143.0, 15.7 mpg, 3 hours 59 min. Site 43. Sites that got midday sun: 14, 34, 45, 47, 58, 59. Some bathroom buildings are nice and new. No hookups. Good dump.