Tuesday, July 19, 2011

day thirty four

July 13th
Ocean Dunes County Park to El Capitan State Park
71 miles

Slept in til 630AM, slept like shit again.  Made coffee, oatmeal, broke camp.  Talked with others about where I should camp, what I should see, while in southern CA.  Dan grew up in San Diego so he was able to answer a bunch of questions for me.  They offered to let me stay at their place in Irvine but I will be ahead of them.  They are taking their time, doing anywhere from 25 to 50 miles a day.

Said bye and hit the road around 9.  Gambled and took a 'shortcut' out of Oceano on Halcyon Rd, ended up climbing a STEEP hill.  Really missing my low gears.  Saved about 2 miles, though.

Rode through Guadalupe, depressing town.  More farmlands, tons of workers picking berries in the fields.  Stopped for a break and listened to the Mexican music blaring throughout the valley.

Kept riding long, flat stretches until HWY 1 and 135 met, busy freeway.  Couple long climbs after that.  Feel like I'm back in the first week of riding, takes much more strength now with these stupid gears.  Temperature outside climbing.

Finally off 135 and onto Harris Grade Rd, one of the last 1000 foot climbs coming.  While slowly making my way up, heard a voice behind me yell "Hola Amigo!"  Turned around to see another biker about to pass me.  We rode together for a while and BS'd for a bit, then pulled over in the shade to take a break from the sun.  Guy's name is Angelo ("like an angel", he says), from Australia.  Funny, loud, super friendly and swears like a sailor, which is fine by me.  He started at the Canadian border too, and is headed to Mexico, though he's staying in hotels.  Gave me shit about all the weight I was carrying and why I wasn't using cycling cleats - which I was used to by now.  Said he was having a lousy trip, full of bike trouble.  Talked about work, tools, etc - he's a train engineer.  Talked for a while, then he went along ahead of me.  Told me to look him up if I'm ever in Narrabri (sp?) Autralia.

Kept climbing, nice view of Lompoc from the top.  Arrived in Lompoc around 1:00PM.  Found a Starbucks, bought a coffee, fixed lunch on one of their tables outside.

30 more miles and one more 1000+ footer to go.  Bought groceries at Albertsons and headed out.  More freeway riding.  Brutally hot out, breeze disappeared outside town.  Glad I brought extra water.

Reached the top of the last climb of this whole trip, ecstatic!  Took off down the steep hill, new top speed of 43 mph!  Reached 101, major freeway now.  Plenty of shoulder, though.  Temperature dropped once back on the coast, a perfect 75-80 degrees now.

Arrived at El Capitan State Park, checked in.  Sat in sun for a while, picked out a nice campsite.  Set up camp, showered, made dinner - "souper meal" (huge top ramen thing).  Pretty filling actually.  Skittles for dessert while watching an awesome sunset.  Awesome full moon, too.

Leo Castillo State Park tomorrow, over 80 miles but should be all flat.

acres and acres of these things, covering raspberries, I think

the town of Lompoc, from the hills

top of last climb!  headed down to where 135 and 101 join, then back to the coast

back on the coast

looking south, towards Santa Barbara

one of the best campsites so far

lights on the horizon are oil rigs

full moon!

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