Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Oceano to Lompoc with huge hairy creepy crawlies

Emily Lawlor, if you are looking, look at what we found.

Leaving the valley and agriculture

Valley bottom agriculture with vineyards on the far hills

Oceano to Lompoc, CA
Day 40 50 Miles

The further South we get, the easier drying dew off our tent becomes. It is still getting drenched every night, but the temperatures rise much more quickly in the morning, and the humidity drops. This morning we got out of camp at a good time. Within the first few miles though, I missed a turn on the map and we rode 2-3 miles out of our way, so probably about 5 miles total. Bummer. Once we got back on track all was good. We were making such good time, and it seemed like we weren't trying all that hard. We stopped in a little market for a pit stop and ate some ice cream bars to power up for the upcoming hills.

We rode through mile after mile of agricultural valley bottom. It is unbelievable how much of the state is ploughed up for fruits and veggies. We left highway one for awhile to cross over a divide where the highway would have taken us way out of the way. We were climbing up the almost thousand foot gain pretty well when Dani suddenly heard me start screaming expletives and just noises in general. I scared her pretty badly. It wasn't until she rode past where I had been that she realized why I was screaming. I had been looking up the road and when I glanced back down (on a steep grade we were only going 4-5 mph) I saw a HUGE brown tarantula pass right beneath my foot right at the exact moment my foot went down on a pedal stroke. It scared the crap out of me. Had I seen it coming I probably would have pulled over and stopped for a picture, but this thing just appeared. It was such a coincidence too, because Dani and I were just talking about how the landscape had suddenly changed to nearly desert. After my heart returned to what it would usually be at on a hill climb and Dani stopped laughing at me, were we able to continue on our way. Shortly after this, Dani found a really expensive two way radio belonging to the City of Lompoc along the road. We are going to try to return it. It looks like it is still in working condition.

We arrived in Lompoc much sooner than we had expected, around 2:30 and spent some time grocery shopping and eating lunch. We are going to head to our campsite now, and probably eat some more food to fuel up for our almost 70 mile push through Santa Barbara tomorrow.


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