Not to spoil the ending, but. Third time’s the charm! For seeing Orr Springs Road in the daylight that is. Which, not to spoil it more, I actually had before, but it had been several years, and after last year once not even making it there and then the second time when we did get there it being dark already, I wanted to see it again.
Then I was somewhat in need of something for checking the R box for June (depending on a 600k on the last weekend of the month didn’t seem like the best choice) and hey! there’s a permanent with Orr Springs (besides Max’s 600k, that is.) Cool! And bonus of Mountain View, in the direction I’ve not done before.
The things we tell ourselves to make being at an Arco in Ukiah at 0600 on a Sunday seem like a rational thing to be doing…
It’s high overcast, but not cold. Just about perfect riding temperature. Nice and quiet at that hour, and the first part of the route runs along the east side of 101 in the country outskirts of town, which is fun. Even after crossing over to the west of the freeway, it runs along Main Street for a ways, which, despite the name, is not the main drag.
Towards the north end of town it does go over to State Street, but it’s not long until the turn onto Orr Springs Road. A few light industrial buildings do little to herald the wonders ahead, but soon I’ve left the vestiges of town behind and am climbing steadily up the curves of a canyon. I can see the logging haul road, with a more sedate grade on the opposite side.
Yes, this is definitely worth doing in daylight! It’s very pretty, and there’s great views from the ridge. Oh hey, I think that’s Lake Mendocino over my shoulder to the east.
Summitish, and starting to feel some coastal influence with a bit of chilly fog. Oh maybe I should have brought more clothes. The descent doesn’t help my temperature out. And ugh it’s kinda bumpy. Oh there’s the hot springs. Yet another place to check out some time.
Why yes I do remember this craptastic road surface. In daylight I can get a visual appreciation as well. The potholes have potholes. Sweet.
Montgomery Woods. Another place to check out. Redwoods. Beautiful!
Knot of dirt bikers, er, dual sports headed east. And again. And more. Not constant stream, but pretty steady. Lots of orange. Finally in Comptche I see a couple of riders who are stopped on the side of the road and ask what the deal is. Sheetiron 300. Big loop from Stonyford to Fort Bragg the day before, then were headed back.
Nothing in particular to base it on – except perhaps how I’d like things to be – at a point it seems like it should be all down hill to the Coast. Not so much. Le sigh.
Sign of the day:
Oh here’s the pygmy forest, with rhododendrons in bloom! That’s nice. And eventually, the ocean.
Right turn on Highway 1 over Big River and in to Mendocino Village for the first control. I notice that it’s the opening time at the second control, down the way in Manchester. Dang. And some people would probably already be there. or close. Well, I’m not some people.
Top off the fluids, snack and back on the road. This is one of those Oreo (or other sandwich cookie of choice) routes, with climbing at the front and back and a flat section in the middle.
Although, of course, as we know (and despite what we try to tell ourselves) the Coast isn’t really flat. Well, it’s all relative. Anyway, I don’t think I’ve been on the section of Highway 1 south of the Navarro River on a bike before, and it’s been a while since I’ve been on it in a car. Quite scenic, and not much traffic.
I’m pleased to catch a glimpse of the Pt. Arena light house, which means the Manchester control can’t be too far away. The store has both Three Twins ice cream sandwiches and It’s-It but it’s still overcast and I’m unbelievably not in an ice creamy mood.
Next up we’re back to cookie – Mountain House Road over to Boonville. I’ve never done it this direction, but coming towards the Coast is a super fast fun screaming descent. Which means. Not so much fun going inland. Er different kind of fun. In fact, kinda rude. And the overcast is clearing so the temperature is going up. ohsweaty. I stop and take a moment.
OK, back to it. This hill can’t go on forever. It doesn’t. There are more hills between there and Boonville, but they are generally more polite. It always surprises me how much different a road can be going the opposite direction.
Boonville isn’t a control, but I stop for fluids and a snackie. I was starting to get a little worried about time, but making it to Boonville eases my mind a bit. It’s still a little grunt over the hill to Ukiah, but I’ve done it before, and it seems manageable.
I’m tempted by the brewery on the way out of town, but if I go in and get started with that I won’t make it out again. Or at least not in time to make the final control back in Ukiah.
There’s some fantastical clouds to distract me a bit from the climbing. And… the beverage of choice of the local litterers seems to be Bud Light. Mystery spot section – looks like downhill so why do I have to pedal? Oh! Keychain. Vermont. (no keys.)
Views views views! And WOOHOO truck-n-cheese (in my favor, finally!) Yes, it is possible to be glad to be in Ukiah. Roll back to the Arco, it’s a different clerk at least. He does ask if I went for a bike ride. Yes, to Mendocino. (the village, on the coast. In retrospect I can see how maybe that seemed like an odd answer, since we were in Mendocino County. At the time I wasn’t really up for explanations though.)
For sure a solid day. Great route – amazing scenery which much of the time I had to myself! Yay!
Ride date: May 17, 2015