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  • Writer's pictureJeanne Marie

Redwood Forest, Wednesday, August 24, 2022

Updated: Oct 4, 2022

A little later start for breakfast, but only by 30 minutes. After breakfast, we needed to return to our room to pack up our bags. We were scheduled to meet at the vans at 9 am. Instead of drawing the day's map on the van window, they made a rope map. The leader, Jake, placed a green rope on the ground to indicate our route for the day. To add to the fun, he set a coffee cup along the rope to indicate an excellent stop for pastries and coffee, sticks to mark the redwood forest, and blue ropes to indicate the Russian River.

It was a very foggy morning as we rode north along the Pacific Coast Highway. It was also a little chilly. This route is the same as we rode in the afternoon on Tuesday. You can see from the pictures below, how there was limited visibility along the coast.

The whole group before we left the Pacific Ocean.

When we veered away from the coast and headed inward, the temperature increased. We continued to Duncan Mills crossing over the Russian River a couple of times. At Gold Coast Coffee, the leaders had purchased some pastries and even some gluten-free treats. I bought a mocha to go with my cookies. The weather also improved as we headed east as you can see from the pictures of the Russian River below.

We had 25 miles to travel with 1200 feet of elevation gain from Bodega Bay to Guernesville. When we arrived at Guernesville, we continued on through the Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve. It was a spectacular area where they set up lunch in the redwoods. The air smelled fresh and clean. The trees rose upwards and you couldn't even see their tops. After another wonderful picnic lunch. We walked a mile to see the Colonel Armstrong tree. You can see how fires have damaged some of the redwoods.

After lunch, we continued on to Healdsburg, 21 miles and 700 feet elevation gain. Unfortunately, along the way, Mark had a flat tire. I was riding along and realized he wasn't right behind me. I stopped and tried to text him, but there was no service. I waited quite a while on the side of the road. Then I saw him, walking up the hill with his bike. He told me to ride ahead to find a cell signal and call the leaders. I rode and kept looking at my phone to see if I could get service. Eventually, when I contacted them, the closest leader would ride back to repair the flat. All in all, Mark had to walk about 2.5 miles. Everyone else in the group was at a wine tasting when I caught up to them. I was so thirsty when I arrived. I waited there for Mark to catch up. From there we rode to a wine tasting at Twomey Cellars. Finally, the town of Healdsburg and our hotel for two nights.

At 6 pm, the tour leaders arranged for a special wine tasting with a local winemaker. She had brought in a variety of wines that she had produced for tasting and explained how she started her winemaking business. Dinner was on our own and we had asked the guides for some recommendations since we did not make any dinner reservations. One suggested a local Mexican restaurant. It was great and we enjoyed our dinner.

Below is a map of our route from Mark's Garmin watch:

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