Thursday, March 22, 2012

Ride Day 6

I left my campsite just as dawn was breaking. Again there was a thick marine layer and it was very cold. I bundled up like yesterday and took off. My first few hours were all uphill to Gorda. I was feeling the pain and burn in my legs. I had to stop for rest more than I did yesterday. When I crested a grade and rode downhill I froze my ass off. I took almost no pics because there was nothing to see due to thick fog. I did catch a wild turkey hen on camera that shot out of the forest right in front of me and was so startled to see me that she just ran around in circles while I got my camera out. I tried to take some of the foggy marine layer once I climbed above it but the pics just do not show the awesome beauty of it all. The marine layer did not burn off for most of the morning.

I made if over both peaks of Gorda one 1000’ the other 900’. Then I had a short respite from uphill until the Salmon creek grade. That one is only about 750’ I think it was. I stopped for lunch at Lucia Lodge and had a cheeseburger and pasta salad. It tasted so great to me and the friendly waitress gave me two pitchers of water while I ate, she was greatly appreciated. I could have eaten three plates of the food. I knew that would take away from my hill climbing energy so I just ate the one. Then I hit the road.

There was a lot of down hill next and the marine layer was starting to thin out. Still could not take a pic though. I stopped at the bottom of the hills and had an ice cream bar and bottle of mixed berry juice at Ragged Point. Then I headed toward San Simeon along the mostly flat valley.

There were lots of elephant seals along the beaches near Piedras Blancas Lighthouse as I rode south. I stopped at a couple of beaches to take some pics of the stinky beasts. I had to laugh, I heard a kid ask his father why all the rocks were white and he said somebody paints them all so boats won’t hit them. I used to say the same thing to people that don’t know that birds have bleached almost every rock in the ocean white. I was waiting for him to say who farted because of the smell from the elephant seals but he never did while I was eavesdropping.

I made it to Cambria and stopped for coffee and was able to use the net for a few minutes. I uploaded all my pics to Picasa web albums and read my Facebook and email. Then I made the stupid decision to try to ride all the way to Morro Bay.
I took off and rode hard. The road was mostly flat with a few small grades that I was able to climb easily after the three mountains I climbed earlier today. It took me about four hours to make it to Morro Bay and find my campground which I did without taking a single pic after the elephant seals. I took a shower right away. Then I went down to the wharf and had some clam chowder and a couple of beers. I felt like falling asleep at the bar so I headed back to my campground and played with my computer writing this and listening to music. There is no web here in camp but there are plenty of coffee shops around where I can post this tomorrow. More later because I am falling asleep right now.

Ride Day 5

I started my ride very early in the morning today. There was a marine layer of misty fog in the air and it was cold. I put on my rain jacket and both sweatshirts and hit the road from the north side of Big Sur heading South. I had to immediately climb 800 feet so I warmed up quickly. Off with the rain coat and one sweatshirt to cool down. I would rest often on the steep grades just because I am an out of shape fat old man. Maybe if I keep riding I will get fitter at some point.

I stopped for breakfast at the Big Sur Bakery and it was a good meal. Then I rode on down the south side of Big Sur. A wild turkey burst out of the forest just in front of me. We caught each other off guard and I had time to get my camera out to get a pic of the hen as she ran around in circles until she got her bearings and took off again. I had to put my second sweatshirt back on for the downhill because the cold wet air was cooling my sweaty body so fast I was almost getting hypothermia. I started to shake and shiver which is never a good thing, but luckily there was plenty of uphill to rewarm my cold stiff body.

After the marine layer burned off the views of the mountains and coast were just gorgeous yet again. I took a lot of pics but they just do not capture the real world views. The mist in the air washed out the pics and the views are so large of a scale that they just do not fit in a single picture unless you blew them up to poster size pics. When I looked over the pics I was a bit disappointed with them. I will try harder in the future.

I had lunch on the go of just some power bars and some salami and cheese with a trail mix. I drank all four bottles of water that I was carrying. I need to work on my water use. Smaller sips to wet the mouth and then swallow just enough to keep me hydrated. I did not need to pee all day long so I know it was not too much water. Around two thirty I came to a campground just short of Gorda near Pacific Valley and I was tired so I stopped and made camp. I wanted to go further but there is not much of anything along this stretch of road and I did not want to get caught out overnight without a campsite.

I had some pain problems so I took some narcotics and went straight to sleep. A long hard day on the road but I loved it. Despite the pain I slept hard.