Wednesday, July 20, 2011

day thirty five

July 14th
El Capitan State Park to Leo Castillo State Park
85 miles

Up at 6, made coffee and oatmeal.  Broke camp, on the road around 8.

More freeway riding.  Had to go further then planned on freeway because off ramp that followed route was closed.  Rode it out for another few miles through construction.  Ran into another biker couple and road behind them for a while.  Safer riding in groups, at least that's how I feel anyway.

Couple is from Australia, woman has a huge sign on the back that says "smile a little!".  Said they both drank too much vodka last night.  They stayed at Refugio SP, a few miles north of El Capitan.  I spotted their Rohloff hubs (an internally geared 'transmission' on the rear hub, instead of a gear cassette) on their bikes earlier, and asked them where they were headed.  Chile, awesome!  I've found you can tell a lot about how far someone is going by their bikes.  Every biker that I've seen with a Rohloff is going to South America.

Entered Santa Barbara, and went our separate ways before going through the UCSB campus.  Crazy bike 'path'!  It was like a freeway system only for bikes, complete with round-a-bouts.  Hundreds of bikers and college kids.  Awesome campus, I seriously don't know how anyone would get any school work done here.

Kept on bike path into downtown Santa Barbara.  Made my way through the city, walked along the waterfront and marina.  Watched some kids learning to sail.  Starting to see homeless people again, everywhere.

Made my way through the waterfront and noticed a flat tire!  I barely had 200 miles on this one!  When Alan was fixing my wheel in Cambria, I had him throw on a new tube since he had the tire off anyway.  Stopped on a bench and started busting ass to change it real quick.  Homeless guy a couple benches down.  I definitely looked homeless with my gear scattered around my bike, dirty hands and swearing to myself.  Changed it as fast as I could to get the hell out of there.  Found a hole in the tube literally inches away from my last flat in Garberville.  No more spare tubes now, must find a bike shop soon.  These Forte tires suck.

Getting into my bad mood again, wanting to get out of California.  Weather still dark and dreary, which didn't help.  I've decided its much harder for me to get out of a bad mood when I'm by myself.  I can always laugh at shitty situations when I'm with other people, but that's kinda hard now, unless I start talking to myself.

Found bike shop in Carpenteria, bought 2 tubes.  Back on freeway for a while.  Off again near Dulah, stopped for lunch.  Arrived in Ventura, wanted to check out the Patagonia headquarters but running low on time.  Kept going through Oxnard, then Port Hueneme.  Sun coming out.  Awesome marinas, saw some world-class sailboats.  Amazing.  Little channel runs through the town, with huge houses right on the water, with boats sitting out front.  My new dream summer house if I ever won the lottery.

Found a Safeway and stopped for groceries, mood getting better.  Headed out of town and passed an Air Force base, crazy looking planes flying all over.

Kept on riding, nothing too eventful the rest of the day.  Arrived at Leo Castillo around 5PM.  Dead tired.  Checked in, rode to the hiker/biker section and started to eat some snacks.  Heard some rustling in the bushes nearby and yelling.  Out walks a guy with crazy eyes yelling to himself about who knows what.  Walked right next to me and starts spouting off about something, he was literally talking gibberish.  Acted like he was mad.  He walked away to his 'campsite', didn't see a tent but his garbage everywhere.  Another homeless person, I guessed.  Walked over to another guy camping on the outskirts of the hiker/biker area.  He asked me if I was going to leave because of the homeless guy.  I definitely didn't want to sleep next to him, and he agreed.  He said he was going to call the park officers and have him kicked out.  Told me that another couple had arrived earlier and the homeless guy started a fight with the girl.  They had left and upgraded to a regular campsite.

I decided I needed to eat dinner before I decided what to do.  Rode to the camp store and bought a few deli sandwiches.  Homeless guy came over and started talking to me again (I think) but I couldn't understand him.  Seemed argumentative.  Talked with some other regular campers and said they weren't comfortable with him being around their kids.  I guess he has been yelling and arguing with himself all day.  No other campsites anywhere near here, so no choice but to stay.  Rode around looking for the other couple to see if they wanted to share the campsite with me but I couldn't find them.  Another regular camper saw me and offered to share his site with me.  I said sure, it was a huge campsite.

Guy's name was John, seemed like a nice older guy.  I set up camp and he tossed me a few cold beers.  Ate dinner and we started talking about bike stuff.  Said he used to bike tour quite a bit when he was younger.  He is a retired school teacher, and has spent almost every summer in Yosemite for the past 30 years.  He says he's here because the water level is too high this year.  I'm really interested in Yosemite so he told me everything he knew about it.  Conversation turned to religion somehow and he started preaching 'the gospel' to me.  Has a fierce opposition to Mormonism, and told me all about that.  I humored him for a while, and let him talk my ear off.  Noticed the park rangers near the hiker/biker area for a long time.

John went to bed early.  I went to take a shower, ran into the couple who moved to the regular campsite.  Told me about their run in with the crazy guy, and that they had complained enough to the ranger to get a free upgrade to a regular site.  Told me the same thing happened to them at Refugio State Park.  They are french speaking Canadians from Quebec, headed to Mexican border too.  They knew the Australian couple I met earlier in the day.  They're headed to Huntington Beach tomorrow and offered to split a hotel with them, since there is no camping.  I said maybe, since I was planning on going further, past Dana Point. 

Showered and hit the sack.  Loud campground.  Hoping for a 90-100 mile day tomorrow, want to get LA over with ASAP.  Bought a Redbull so I don't have to make coffee.

sunrise at El Capitan SP

saying goodbye to my trusty water bottle that has been with me since Bellingham, WA (I 'upgraded' to a larger one)

4X4 Sportsmobile, WANT

outside UCSB

marina in Santa Barbara

kids learning to sail

funny hippy guy

fixing flat #2 somewhere in Santa Barbara

outside Ventura, near Oxnard

I could live here

outside the Air Force base, these planes where flying everywhere

outside the base, missile display

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