Day 58 Samuel P Taylor to Mill Valley Travel Lodge: A slight Change of Venue - 2 For the Road - CycleBlaze

August 30, 2017

Day 58 Samuel P Taylor to Mill Valley Travel Lodge: A slight Change of Venue

this was our last hiker/biker site! The red tent behind ours was actually a paid campsite - see how funny it is? We paid $10.00 for our spot and those guys paid $35.00 for their's!!!
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Hey, what’s that you say? I thought you said you were going to camp out near the bridge? Primitive camping you said. Yep, that’s right. We WERE planning to do that. Only thing is, we woke up to fog, and cold, yet again, and I said to Jim, “I can’t deal with this for another night!” So, after a quick visit and goodbye to the two guys (who’s names I didn’t get) and a little longer visit with Pat, who hails from Ballard, a city just next to Seattle, we made the decision to find a motel to stay in that night before heading over the bridge the next day.

Pat, from Ballard. He was heading to San Fran for the overnight then continued on down to San Diego - hope you had a great ride, Pat!
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On our way, we stopped in at the Lagunitas Deli for coffee and something sweet. The woman at the counter had a very familiar accent and I asked her where in Ireland she was from. Turns out she is from Armagh in Northern Ireland, which is not too far from where my part of my family originally came from, a very small town called Castlewellan – what a small world indeed!

our little coffee stop in the morning - nice!
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After our little snack, it was off into what was now becoming a very warm day. We knew there was one fairly big hill along this stretch and while stopped at a construction stop we asked the flag person if he knew anything about it. No, he hadn’t ever gone that way but he predicted it was going to be hot, hot hot, so we prepared for a test of our mettle. We got to the climb, went up not too very far and it was over. What? Where was this big test I was expecting? Nope, not today! OK!!!

the changing scenery as we head towards San Francisco
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notice the nice, wide shoulders!
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We rolled down into the valley and to the town of Fairfax where we stopped for iced coffee and to use the Internet I now had access to. While Jim chatted with a sweet older woman on the bench outside the café, I found a room at the Mill Valley Travel Lodge that worked. It was just a short distance down the road and would give us the afternoon to relax, and even better, have a nice jumping off place to get to the Golden Gate Bridge in the morning. We didn’t want to arrive at the bridge all sweaty and in a big hurry to cross. This was a big moment for us and we really wanted to savour it.

The ride from Fairfax to Mill Valley was a lovely, quiet one and we were able to do much of it on trails, keeping us off of busy roads. We noticed, once we got into Fairfax, that the drivers were much more aware of cyclists and a lot more polite – hurray for that!

Ah, those egrets! We have been trying to get a picture for such a long time and then here's this guy, just standing there waiting for Jim!
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We also saw these little guys - sandpipers, right?
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nice lagoon along the bike path - totally away from traffic
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Once we got settled in our room, we did a little more planning for the future. We had originally thought we would ride down to Monterey and then back up, but decided that we really were just done at this point, so Monterey has been put back on the shelf for our return visit sometime in the future. Having made that decision, we were able to book a room in Austin through VRBO and our flight out of San Francisco with Virgin Air America. Their charge for bikes is $50.00, more than Alaska, but cheaper than many. We looked on their web-site and thought we would be able to wrap the bikes in plastic, but we shall see how that goes (update post-trip: It didn’t work! We ended up almost missing our flight and having to purchase very expensive bike boxes at the airport. Lesson learned – never assume, always talk to someone in person!).

Planning done, we treated ourselves to a wonderful Italian diner at a pretty swishy place near our motel. A little walk along the small lake after dinner and then watched a rare movie in our room. Tomorrow would be a big day, so we went to bed early, thankful for the 4 walls around us and the quiet neighbours.

Today's ride: 37 km (23 miles)
Total: 2,070 km (1,285 miles)

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