And The Rain Came

Joey here.

Jeffrey pedaled us around Ft. Bragg.  We started at the Skunk railroad museum.  The rain was too intense for us look at the trains outdoors.  The indoor museum was closed.

As we rolled past the museum, a car pulled up, a window rolled down, and Holly invited Jeffrey to have some coffee out of the rain.

Holly publishes a Mendocino County food magazine. She’s a former mayor, a cyclist, a community activist, and knows everyone in town.

Jeffrey and I followed Holly to a coffeeshop, where we joined Ken at a table.

L to R: Ken, Holly. Ken, a veteran of the Air Force Band, is a retired music teacher. His daughter teaches ballet a few blocks from us in NYC.

At the table, L to R: Jeffrey, Joey, Holly, Ken.

The three had a wide-ranging discussion about local conditions, personal histories, and the Ride.  (I said nothing.)  Holly already knew about children being sent to immigration court without a lawyer.  She and Ken agree that until U.S. immigration law is sensible, much of its enforcement is troubling.  This part of the U.S., with its counterculture history, rightly welcomes everyone.

We see this sign in Northern California shop windows.

After a while, Stan joined us.

Stan worked for NASA on the Apollo program (moon landings). Now he helps rescue sick and injured seals, whales, and their genetic kin, through the San Francisco Marine Mammal Center.

Stan likes teaching kids.  He said that kids can recognize a harbor seal, but don’t understand anything about it nor its place in our world.  He told a story about a disease that wiped out starfish.  The starfish prey, purple sea urchins, then became so numerous that they ate all the kelp, which caused abalone to starve, which ruined abalone harvesters.  Jeffrey remarked that the world is a seamless web, for animals and for humans, that people need one another, natives and immigrants too.  On this they all agreed.

With good wishes from our new friends, we pedaled off to see more of the town.  The south wind was wonderful until we turned to face it.  Then it stung.

Rain doesn’t show in these photos.  I promise, it was there.

We tried to bike 3 miles to the Mendocino Coast Botanical Garden, but the ferocious weather turned us back.  Jeffrey loaded the trike into our rental car and we drove instead.  We were greeted by Ginny, who declined to be photographed; she had the calm disposition and colorful garb that to us New Yorkers seems fitting for a California horticulturist.  Ginny suggested that the weather might be too wild for us to enjoy the 47 acres, so we made do with a peek at the distant rhododendrons.  And of course Jeffrey told her and her colleague about the Ride.

There was more to see in Ft. Bragg, but it was time to move on.  We drove north along our planned bike route, stopping to gawk despite heavy rain.

No bicycles on this road today!

After we topped 1850’ (560 meters) near Leggett, we stopped at Drive-Thru Tree.  But it was raining too hard for us to want to see the giant redwood.  We settled for a peek at this billboard, some smaller redwoods, and a redwood carving.

After crossing the rain-swollen South Fork of the Eel River . . .

. . . we ended the day at Garberville.

Jeffrey complains that driving our route, instead of pedaling it, tastes like thin soup.  I tell him to stop being ridiculous.  In good weather, it might have taken us 2 days to pedal the mile and a quarter (2 km) rise in elevation and 66 miles (107 km) from Ft. Bragg to Garberville.  In today’s storm, we would not have made the attempt.

Today we spoke of human rights with good people, learned new things, showed our colors to Ft. Bragg pedestrians and drivers, saw beautiful sights, survived the trip, and shared with our readers.  May every day be this successful.

(Ah, there’s no teaching some people.  Jeffrey’s talking about soup again.)

6 thoughts on “And The Rain Came

  1. I welcome your sensible choices, like choosing the rental car over drowning in the wind and rain. Wise. I so enjoy your capsule descriptions of open, interested folk who reach out and respond to you. Respectful, friendly, curious and encouraging. And often helpful. You are a people magnet. Thank you for boosting my spirits. K

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Glad you checked out Fort Bragg, met nice people and are safely installed in Garberville for the night. Ride on Jeff & Joey!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Glad you went to Plan B to meet more people and still make it to your destination on time. Winter in California can be hazardous–glad you are safe and spreading your message of human rights first.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Gorgeous sites, seen safely from a 4-wheeled gas guzzler. But the safety of Joey and Jeffrey are highly important. Glad you could share your wealth of information about immigrants with those you met.


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