Tuesday, July 19, 2011

day thirty one

July 10th
Santa Cruz to Pfiefer Big Sur State Park
71 miles

Up at 6:30AM.  Packed stuff and checked out.  Rode down the road to find a store to pick up a Redbull, didn't want to wait for coffee this morning.

Rode the city streets through Santa Cruz, Soquel, then Aptos - took forever.  Finally made it out of the city.  Nothing but farmlands for miles.  Mostly artichoke, some strawberries.  Nice and flat.  Saw 5 separate bike tourers going north at different times.

Arrived in Moss Landing, nice marina.  Watched tons of otters and sea lions messing around on the dock. 

Kept on riding, picked up a bike path out of Moss Landing, rode all the way to Seaside and Monteray.  Sun starting to come out.  Windy though, coming out of the southwest, another headwind.

Monteray waterfront very busy.  Another nice marina.  Started seeing homeless people in the parks with their bikes. 

Stopped in the waterfront park and had some lunch.  Not feeling very comfortable in these bigger cities.  By the way people were looking at me, they must have figured I was homeless.  Interesting how in smaller towns, friendly people smile and ask where you're going, where you started, etc.  But not here, lots of disgusted looks and stares.  Left as soon as I could.  These are the times where I don't like riding by myself.

Couln't find a Safeway or the like, so I stopped at a Rite-Aid on the outside of Monteray and stopped for groceries.

Headed out and passed through Carmel.  Found a Safeway and got extra stuff.

Rode out the last 23 mile stretch to the town of Big Sur.  Sun coming out now.  Lots of traffic, hardly any shoulder.  Starting to get into some intense climbing, but rewarded at the top with gorgeous views of the coast, some of the best yet.  Insane mansions on the cliffs.

Arrived at Pfiefer Big Sur State Park, checked in.  Set up camp, lots of other bikers, none I recognize.  Showered, fixed dinner, 4 packets of oatmeal and fruit.

Getting ready for bed when another biker comes over and says hi.  It turns out to be a homeless guy, Ken, who stays here for 3 days then goes to the next state park for 3 days, and so on.  Nice guy, but not quite all there.  Says he's the last in line of abstract artists, and that he's an athlete who was 'enlightened' by tennis.  Told me about the coming of the end of the world, which tennis helped him achieved a 'knowing' of.  Let him talk for a while, then told him I was going to bed.

Reading maps in bed when someone walked by and just about knocked over my tent.  Busted out of the tent and saw what appeared to be another homeless person walking away with his head down.  He had said up camp right behind me in a weird spot.  Must be drunk or something, or just tripped over my tent.  Whatever.

Could hear lots of other bikers/transients coming in after dark.  Wondering if the rest of California is going to be like this.

Big day tomorrow, looking to make to to Morro Bay, almost 90 miles.  Tough climbing for first 50 or so miles, then flat.

farmlands south of Santa Cruz

more farmlands

mexican music blaring while the workers are picking fruit, it always sounds like a party

Sea lions on a dock

marina at Moss Landing

bike path out of Moss Landing

just north of Seaside and Monteray

on the pier in Monteray

leaving Carmel Highlands, headed towards Big Sur

clouds clearing

some of the Big Sur coastline, pictures speak for themselves

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