Mesa to Pitt 2015

Mesa to Pitt 2015
Mesa to OBX

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Near Lucia to Morro Bay, California November 21

76.78 in 6:28.....Nov. 21....Pam had a long drive to deposit me at the necessary site, 8.5 miles north of Lucia, where I ended my ride the other day. The morning started off with overcast skies and wet pavement from the rain we had yesterday, into last night. The people around here were dancing in the streets because it has been so long since they've had rain, so I guess it was a good thing. By the time we got to my start place, the fog was over our heads on top of the mountains, but you could see the blue sky breaking through. It didn't take long for me to peel down one layer, as the tail wind made 55 seem pretty warm, especially when climbing. I had a stretch of coastline which undulated for a while, before the big climbs started. I knew I was going to be doing some climbing, and the days total was about 4200 ft, but I thought it would be more. My legs were fresh, the tailwind was sweet, and the climbs were not quad burners, like I expected, so the ride went very well. I didn't think I would make it all the way to the campground in Morro Bay, but conditions conspired to make me do it! Once I got out of the mountains, around a town called Ragged Point, after I had two winding and twisting climbs, the ride was tailwind and downhill, yeehaw. The scenery the entire way was coastline and ocean, sea rocks, crashing waves, and did I mention tailwind? I took so many pictures the other day that I really didn't take many more today, but it was just as beautiful. I read someone's blog about this area, and they said it was a desolate, god forsaken, windy stretch of brutal hills. They must have had a bad day, because I loved it. It was desolate, but not as much as I was prepared for. Mentally, I was psyched to hit 5000 in my climbs, and I only hit 4200, so I was in the right frame of mind. The sun and tailwind always make it nice, especially when the rest of the country is frigid. You won't get any complaints about this stretch of Rt. 1 from me. Once out of the mountains, I was nearing the Hearst Castle area, so it was interesting to see the castle off in the distance on a sunny day, after the fog and rain of yesterday. I saw zebras grazing with the cattle on the Hearst Ranch, and there was a beach area about a mile long, where the elephant seals were laying. Pam spent quite a bit of time there learning about them after dropping me off. They looked dead to me, because they didn't move, but every once in a while I'd hear one belch, off in the distance. The mating season for the elephant seals is starting in about a week.  The big males are making their way down because they will mate in December and then the females will give birth this winter on the beach.  Today the beach was filled with the breeding able females and the male and female youngsters.  There were three breeding males that had arrived early (I'm not going to make a comment!) that were hanging out on the beach.  I was told that in a week or two the males will start to pick their harems and that's when the males start to fight!
The one problem I had today was length of the day. I ran out of daylight, and finished the last 8-10 miles in the pitch black in Rt 1. Fortunately the shoulder is very wide, and very clean, as you approach Morro Bay, so that really wasn't a problem. A benefit, was watching the entire sunset over my right shoulder as I rode the coastline.
My trauma for the day was when I dropped my Snickers Bar in the middle of the road, and had to sit and watch as five cars whizzed by, all the time hoping that the tires would avoid it. They did, and I got my snack, but it would have been traumatizing to see it get smashed.

Traveling down Hwy 1 there was construction on this "tunnel" which we think was protection from rock slides

That was where we drove and Mike rode his bike - see the road way up there???

Piedras Blancas Lighthouse

This is why Mike thought the elephant seals were dead!  They were all just snoozing on the beach!

They like to snuggle to stay war

One of the adult males who arrived early

Look at that cute face!  The adult males have long snouts that look like an elephant trunk!
From Hwy 1 looking up at the Hearst Castle on the hill

Zebras grazing with the black Angus on the Hearst Ranch which is still a working ranch.

In the campground looking towards the ocean past sunset.

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