Thursday, November 26, 2009
Thanksgiving Day! Lompoc to Carpinteria CA
Lompoc to Carpinteria CA
Our Thanksgiving breakfast consisted of pumpkin pie, blueberry muffins, and grapes. We had an important event happen today, the first morning we have had where the tent fly was dry in the morning! We stayed at a campground run by the city of Lompoc. It was really nice far a couple of reasons; first of all, it only cost $5. Also, we were in a nice location at the front of the campground where it was quiet, clean, and spacious. To top things off, when the ranger came to check registration in the morning, he came over and talked to us, then gave us back our money. We thought that was pretty nice of him.
I was checking my tires and found a flat before we left. Upon examination Greg told me I had gotten a flat because my rear tire was worn almost completely down to the inner fibers. He said I should be proud of wearing out a tire because not many people do it. Yay! I plan on getting a nice tire but in the meantime I am using our spare. Thank goodness Greg thought of bringing a spare.
We really cruised down the road today. Our elevation profile told us that we only had one more major hill for the whole Pacific Coast Route. The ascent was surprisingly gradual and before we knew it we were at the top. The hills were rolling and open with cows or horses grazing, not many houses.
Then we got to University of California Santa Barbara, which is just north of the towns of Goleta and Santa Barbara. The route took us on a bike path through the campus, which was really low-key since everyone was gone for Thanksgiving. Then we rode into the town of Santa Barbara on the same bike path. There was a lot of hustle and bustle when the path took us near the ocean. There were people out walking, riding bikes, surfing, and playing. We got through the towns without any issues.
We pulled into Carpinteria around 4:15 and rode in to our campground. We were surprised to find that this campground was $10 per person per night for hiker/biker sites (usually it is $5). The staff were short with us and we were not that pleased with our location, the price, or their attitudes. It seems that in nearly all of the California State Parks the hiker/biker sites are located in the worst part of the campground, usually near the dump station, porta-potties or, in the case of tonight, the railroad tracks and also the furthest from the showers. Unfortunately the prices of these sites has also increased as we go south because many of the parks have had trouble with vagrants abusing hiker/biker sites by trashing them or bringing in shady activity. Higher prices mean that vagrants can't afford the hiker/biker sites, but it means that they are nearly as expensive as a normal site for someone with a car. Another thing that astonished us was that the hiker/biker site check out time at this campground was 9:00 AM while it was noon for the other campers. I guess we will have to pack up quickly tomorrow.
We set up our camp and went back in to town to find a place to eat a nice Thanksgiving dinner. We rode through the entire town and the only place that was open was Subway, and we couldn't bring ourselves to have Thanksgiving at a Subway. So we went to the Safeway and picked out a bunch of things to take back to camp and eat. We ended up with a quart of eggnog, a bottle of sparkling cider, cheddar-broccoli soup, a loaf of artisan bread, and gorgonzola jalapeño poppers. It was the best we could do and we enjoyed our meal regardless. Tomorrow we are going to IHOP for a hot, post-Thanksgiving breakfast, I can't wait.