Our rule was ice cream EVERYDAY of the trip. We never failed to achieve that goal!
Look at that skyline... and those legs!
Alcatraz... and a purse-snatcher????
That night we got to the campsite sort of late, and since no one was there to check us in, we set our tent up in the wrong spot and had to move it at about 10pm when the park ranger came around! And since by then the marine layer had settled in and it was in the 50s, it was not the best start to our trip! Luckily, the rest of the trip was really smooth!
We woke up and biked BACK across the Golden Gate Bridge and began making our way south along the coast, first through San Francisco, and then the suburbs to the south.
Mark Twain once said, the coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Fran
About halfway through our trip for the day we came upon a stretch called the Devil's Slide, which is part of Highway 1 that is very steep, has no shoulder, is VERY busy with semis, and prone to landslides. It was definitely the most nerve-wracking part of the trip as we were slowly climbing this long pass with semis screaming by at times inches from us. But we passed through the fire and eventually made it to the other side, where the beautiful Half Moon Bay State Beach was waiting for us. Had some great pizza and ice cream and watched a beautiful sunset.
We woke up that next morning to COLD again. But the marine layer soon lifted and pleasantly never returned! For the rest of the trip we had perfect weather, never too hot or cold, and always sunny. We found out later that the rest of inland California was suffering through a major heat wave due to the nice weather we had along the coast. Worked out well for us!
That day we had a longer ride (60+ miles) to New Brighton Beach south of Santa Cruz. There were some hills and a lot of beautiful coastal scenery that day, and the wind picked up and blew us up over some pretty major hills and made for a nice day of riding. Once we got to Santa Cruz, however, the directions got murky and we lost our way a couple of times, so we were a little cranky by the time we reached camp. But we were rewarded with a beautiful sunset and some Sierra Nevada beer!
This day we road south through the strawberry and avocado fields along the coast and into Monterey. The first part of the trip was gorgeous through rolling fields and interesting watching migrant workers do the tough but obviously communal work of picking our nation's fruit and vegetables. Very fascinating and eye-opening. The last part of the trip was kind of boring along highways but we were treated to a night at a motel (as opposed to campground. read: SHOWER!!!!)
Along the way we picked some illicit strawberries, delicious!!!
Me riding through strawberry fields south of Santa Cruz
That afternoon, since it was a shorter ride, I decided to take an extra ride around Monterey and see the sights while Joe rested at the motel. I toured through Cannery Row, and then onto the 17-mile road that goes by Pebble Beach and along the coast. I was following the directions in the book, but I read them wrong and my leisurely 19 mile planned route turned into a grueling 30 mile death march (Joe's phrase) through some major hills around Pebble Beach. It was gorgeous and quite worth it, just more than I had bargained for! In total, 72 miles on the day, by far the most I had ever ridden in one day!
Cannery Row, not quite as Steinbeck would remember it
That night we went down to Fisherman's Wharf and had the most overpriced and disgusting seafood I've ever had. It's a tourist trap, avoid it all costs! Well, take a photo of it and then move on. But that night we celebrated our ride with a bottle of Fat Tire (which should be sold in Minneapolis by the time I get home!!)
The harbor in Monterey at sunset
That's all for now, Days 5, 6 and 7 to follow!