What a day today turned out to be!
I had planned to go to Monterey to see the new shark
exhibit at the aquarium. The line was pretty long and I'm sure the
place was packed. No problema. I'll come back another day.
What to do? Should I go farther South?
I told myself, I'll hit the Bixby Bridge, turn around and head back.
But just past Point Lobos State Reserve, things were looking good for the trip down the coast.
For those of you that have never been, a trip down the California Coast is pretty special. Some say it borders on being a religious experience.
There are many places to pull over and enjoy the view and a number of places to camp or motel.
California 1 undergoes constant change as it twists and winds its way along the edge of the Pacific. What man builds, nature
destroys. In places, chain link fencing keeps (or tries to keep) rock fall off the roadway. There were a half dozen spots covered with "new" construction.
Here, a house clings to the cliff above the ocean.
In time, it too will be reclaimed.
As I travelled South, I ran into several groups of Harley riders. Some headed North. Others South. Otherwise, there were very
few cars or RVs on the road. But 1 is not the place to speed--a
mistake here might send you over the edge.
I rode past Point Lobos, through Big Sur to the Bixby Bridge.
Behind the bridge lies Los Padres National Forest.
This road leads to Cone Peak (or near there).
The Bixby Bridge.
The beach just below the bridge.
I figured I'd keep riding South instead of turning around. After all,
the only view was more of this.
The best news was the sign that said "Twisties next 64 miles".
Wow! I haven't gone curve burgling in a long time and this was
just the ticket. Couple of mis-queues (caught looking at the
scenery) but otherwise, just a whole lotta fun.
I gassed up in the town of Cambria (near Hearst Castle) and
continued on to Cayucos where I caught a glimpse of some kite
and a quick stop for a picture of the rock.
From here, I headed to San Luis Obispo where I decided to stop
and have a little something to eat and then jump on 101 North
101 follows the Central Valley on the Eastern side of the Coastal
Mountain Range. From SLO, the highway leads you through large
truck farms growing tomatoes, grapes, lettuce and other crops.
Farther North, in the town of Salinas, the farms yield to
technology and McCormick Spice (something garlic today) and
the Smucker's plant. Thick fog blanketed the coast and kept me
North on 101. In Salinas, the iPod battery ran out. Bummer. Then,
Gilroy, Morgan Hill, San Jose and finally, Sunnyvale. 101 is the
main route for most of the produce leaving the fields. It's boxed,
loaded onto flat bed trucks and trucked to the nearest
Today's wind blew trailers around, ripped the cardboard from the
top of the cases and was generally unpleasant.
No pictures on the way home. Too windy to do the one-handed picture thing.
Aside from the wind, it was a gorgeous day. And I learned a few things.
- A day without a plan is ok.
- Eat and drink frequently to avoid the sudden
urge to take a nap while zipping along the freeway (and avoid the carbs and sugars)
- Buy gas if you're not sure where the next station is (rolled
into Cambria on fumes).
450 miles of pure enjoyment!