Once we were all packed up we said a few goodbyes and started back at the grind. We had a couple hill climbs to do before getting back on Highway 1 but thankfully it didn't take as long as we were thinking since we already had a long day ahead of us and we didn't have a campground to get too.
Taking two weeks off was nice but we could tell that our legs got a little too comfortable with not cycling so we were not a our finest.
When we arrived on Highway 1 there was a 30 mile stretch that was pretty awesome! The road was windy and hilly but it also added more cliff sides where we were riding so you look down off your right and there's the cliff down to the ocean. Still little to no shoulder, if there was any it was less than a foot. The scene just seemed more dramatic and for a Saturday lots more traffic so we just took it nice and steady.
We stopped off at Fort Ross a former Russian settlement. A large looking fortress with a quaint church and four or five buildings enclosed inside the wooden walls. It sat right on a nice bay where they actually defended their fort from the Spanish. A really nice detour from riding.
I don't remember the exact spot during the day but it was evident once we crossed some line or something we saw a ton of other cyclists, not touring but weekend warrior types out riding since it was Saturday. Tons of them! It was really strange to see a large group of almost 30 people riding around when we were accustomed to maybe see a handful of people in a day. Some loved us and wanted to chat our ear about the trip then the majority seemed disinterested or in their groove to inquire.
As we got closer to Tomales, CA there were a couple hills and Evan was waiting for me at the top of one since I wasn't feeling too hot, thinking I ate something bad at lunch; Evan said 'we are close, like 4 miles away.' We went down the hill and not even 4 seconds were we in Tomales, we had a good laugh about that as we rolled into the small town. We didn't have a place to stay and intended to stealth camp. The Catholic Church sits next to the park so we made dinner at the park and was weighing our options and I found a hidden open space behind some bushes and under a tree that was perfect!
We joked all night how we were going to get caught and about getting attacked by skunks and raccoons. Thankfully none of those happened.
The next morning we came out of hiding and back to the same picnic table we ate dinner on but not breakfast; the Catholic Church parking lot was starting to fill up too. Got underway and rode through some fun part that went along an inlet and a nice forest was across the water and a few fishing towns perhaps villages on the other.
The riding seemed to go by quickly once we started biking through towns; we were mainly riding on bike paths or bike friendly roads. It was a busy Saturday so there were lots of people out and about and markets closing down streets having us reroute a few times but it was nice and easy riding.
We found ourselves awestruck somewhere close to San Francisco, I think Sausalito area, the view across the bay, filled with sailboats big and small whisking one way while others whooshed the other and the beautiful shimmering city and the many bridges stretching to connect to here and there. It was awesome! Perfect weather for a perfect view.
The Golden Gate Bridge crept closer and closer then we found ourselves up this hill at the overlook when we were wanting to get on the bridge. It was a pleasant detour where we soaked in the magnificent bridge and watched the busyness of the bay continuing to unfold.
Crossing the bridge was better than getting across to Astoria; being on a designated bike path with relatively little wind was really nice. Once we rode off the bridge we awkwardly road through San Francisco hilly streets until we arrived at Evan's cousin's place. We had arrived to the bay!
That evening we got cleaned up and took the bus to some district with awesome Mexican food. Cities are hotspots for gluttony and all the different cuisines would be my demise if I ever lived in a large city. We had to head back since Evan's cousin had to be up at 3am to open at work the next day which was good for us since our bodies were tired from all the cycling and sights.