Saturday, November 21, 2009
Monterey to just past Big Sur, CA
We are ready to get on the road this morning! We feel well rested and ready to make some time to the south. Got out of camp at our usual 10AM, bought some tubes in town (after getting a flat...again) and also spoke to some locals, who were very excited about our trip. They also warned us of the big hill we had ahead. It seems that every locality has their own dreaded "big hill." They also all told us of how beautiful the road ahead would be, and they weren't kidding. Big Sur and the surrounding coastline is so beautiful. There are seemingly endless miles of steep dramatic cliffs and slopes reaching into the ocean. We could see brown kelp forests far below. For some reason we took a snack break and ate a whole bag of chocolate covered pretzels. What were we thinking? That was a bad idea that stuck with us for much of the day. We won't be eating chocolate covered pretzels for a while after today's event. The hill at Big Sur was a great climb and while tiring, was very rewarding. The view from the top was great. While riding today we saw a car with a "4C" Montana license plate at a turnout. We had to talk to them because we were so excited to find someone out here who was from Missoula. The guy was in the military and originally from Missoula. It was good to see a fellow Montanan out here in California.
At Half Moon Bay we got a tip from a guy named Jerry that there are walk in campsites at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park that are not listed on our map. We decided to check it out when we got there, and indeed there were 2 "environmental campsites" at the park. We just rolled our bikes on the path into the campsite...past sheer cliffs where the ocean's waves crashed below. The camp here was phenomenal. It was definitely one of my favorite sites on the whole trip. First of all because it was far from large groups of people (only 2 people camped here besides us) therefore also extremely quiet. Secondly, there was a metal food storage box so I could sleep well knowing raccoons couldn't get to our food. Last, but not least, the location was incredible. We were perched on a small flat spot of land above a rocky cliff. We could hear the waves crashing below us all night. We were lucky enough to see the sunset from our campsite. There was even a little bench positioned perfectly to watch the sunset over the ocean.