California Coast: Day 5 – Truckin

26 05 2010

This morning we woke up early to the sound of Dad calling up a couple rental car agencies, which was AWESOME. The one thing we didn’t get to do much of when crossing the country last summer was experience the towns we stayed in. This time around, in sunny (hah – not so sunny today) California we did just that. With poor weather just around the corner and three 80-100 mile days lying ahead of us we decided it was just not going to be fun or practical to bang these miles out. That, and the terrain is intense (see pictures). This drive reminded us a lot of Logan pass and our trip through the Rocky Mountains. After our breakfast at the Holiday Inn we road our bikes to Enterprise and rented a truck. With the rest of the morning to kill we ditched our gear and road our bikes around Seaside and Monterey. This is a beautiful city and we explored in the daylight what Stuart had highlighted for us last evening including the coast of Pacific Grove and the opulence of Pebble Beach. I found myself, once again, falling in love with this part of the country. The mansions on the beach, deer freely roaming about, and the endless bike trails kept us in awe.

Making it back to our hotel and checking out of our room with one minute to spare (11:59/12:00) we hit the road south bound to San Luis Obispo, CA. This is a wild and beautiful coastal area. About half way through the drive we saw a biker riding through the rain. I shouted out the window with words of encouragement. We stopped at the top of this mountain and waited for her to get to the top. It turns out Kylie (tell us if we spelled your name wrong) was heading to the same place we were and was considering her options for the night. Those consisted of hunkering down without a tent or tarp (keep in mind it’s pouring) or finding a nice hot spring ??? to spend the night in. Needless to say Kylie threw her bike in the back of our truck and jumped in with us. Kylie was a delight and we really enjoyed her company. If you’re ever out east look us up!

About 40 miles outside San Luis Obispo we saw hundreds of elephant seals grunting away on a beach (pictures taken). These things are huge, loud, and disgusting. This had to be one of the strangest things I’ve ever seen. The seals were fighting each other and were piled all over the beach.  Just look at the pictures and video – LOL.

As the terrain leveled out and we travelled slightly inland. We dropped off Kylie in San Luis Obispo and we checked into a Holiday Inn and grabbed dinner at a place called Firestone. Firestone had some great food and has an amazing college vibe to it. Dad loved it and took a few pictures of the place on his phone. San Luis Obispo is a pretty neat city, with every store you could imagine including an Apple store in the heart of downtown.

With a huge leg taken out of our trip we look forward to our ~40 mile days which will allow us to finish the trip as planned, arriving in Santa Barbra on Friday. We will return, at some point when we can allow enough time, to bike the route through Big Sur.