Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Ride Days 151, 152 153

After a few days in Monterey enjoying the town and all the nature with Karen, I finally headed south again. I rode to Big Sur State Park and camped in the Hiker/Biker camp there. The ride was a lot of climbing but a very beautiful ride. I started at Veterans Memorial Park and rode down to the bay then around along the bay past the lighthouse and seventeen mile drive then through Carmel and finally rode down CA-1 the rest of the way. I saw sea lions, whales, raptors, deer, turkeys and more as well as the spectacular rugged coastline. There were huge breakers rolling in making thunderous noises as I rode along. The seals were barking but sometimes the surf drowned out even their raucous bark. Traffic was light and no other bikers in sight. I had expected phone and wifi in Big Sur but due to a recent fire there was neither available so I was out of touch. I ate a great cheese burger in Big Sur then set up my camp. Two other bikers joined me later in the day. One was from somewhere around LA and the other was from Belgium. The next morning, I ended up riding south with my Belgium friend, Emmanuel. We rode to a National Forest camp just north of Gorda called Plaskett Creek I think. The ride to there was over the top of Big Sur so it was again lots of climbing. Tons of turkeys around and a few deer checking us out as we rode past. I think the bird soaring overhead was a California Condor but I could not get a pic to verify but its size was a good clue. Along the coast there were whales almost every time I looked out on the horizon. Sometimes I could hear them blowing and a couple of times I could smell them when they were closer to shore. A few times they were breaching and rolling on the surface. It looked like they were playing to me. There were a lot of them and a few dolphins mixed in too. I still have not gotten a good pic of otters. When I have seen them they are always too far away to get a pic. The campground was very quiet but I made the mistake of making a cup of coffee around 5pm so I ended up not getting the sleep I needed. Such is life. The coffee was worth it. The ride the next day was over Gorda grade and Salmon Creek grade. Both were a workout but not that difficult. Again all day long I had to tolerate beautiful scenery and lots of whales and stuff. Made the ride a bit distracting. We stopped for a long look at the elephant seals near Piedras Blancas Lighthouse. The beaches were packed with the stinky beasts. It was fun watching the males fight all the time. It is a real up close slice of nature and smells like it too. Last time I was here the wind was blowing and it wasn’t so bad as it was today. Worth it though. Ended our ride today in Cambria with a super burrito from Medusas Mexican restaurant. It was very good and a filling way to end three days of camping food. We will check into the hostel here at 5pm and hopefully the wifi will be good enough to post this with pics. Where I am right now I can’t even post text the wifi is so slow. Tomorrow, off to SLO, aka San Luis Obispo.