Friday, October 23, 2009

Day 3 – Monterey to Big Sur 47.8 miles 2585ft of climbing

It’s day 3 and as I get my gear together I’m struck by the fact that today is a “short” day.
It doesn’t seem like that long ago when I started riding and thought 20 miles was a huge ride. Now, 3 days into the longest ride of my life, I’m looking forward to a nice easy 48 miles...

Today is to be a really fun day. Rich Rosendale is once again leading us since we’re in his neighborhood. (it dawns on me I should be jealous since, while I was sleeping on the cold hard ground in my tent, he was home down the road in a nice warm bed)

We meet up with Rich and begin riding through the quiet streets of a sleepy downtown Monterey. I’ve only been here on the weekends before so seeing the town still in this quiet and peaceful state and without the thousands of tourists and all the traffic is a real treat.

Once through the town proper, we work our way down the coast and onto 17 mile drive. I’ve never actually been on this road and was amazed at not only the views, but the houses there as well....

Here’s a picture of a nice little place I’m thinking of putting an offer on.

Of course 17 mile drive leads to Pebble Beach so we had to make a stop there.
Technically we were trespassing but I’m not very good at following the rules anyway so it just added to the adventure.

The day continued to provide amazing views and very cool sights. We saw the Frank Lloyd Wright house in Carmel
It actually looks like a boat sticking out of the side of the hill.

We saw the famous Cypress Tree on the coast This is probably one of the most photographed Cypresses ever.

We then, in keeping with the tradition of eating way more than we were burning, stopped and had a coffee and danish at a great little bakery in Carmel. (sorry no photo - too busy shoving a bear claw down my throat)

We also saw the Carmel Mission which, although started in 1770, is actually still an active parish. (and one of the most beautiful I’ve visited)

Once the sightseeing portion was over, Rich had to split off from the group and head home. We continued on down the road...
It was at the first checkpoint that we realized we were getting a reputation as “problem riders”. We were told (in not so happy voices) that if we were going to stray from the route, we would need to let the volunteers and the support people know. They assumed everyone had already gone through the checkpoint and only through luck did they find out we were still en route.

Our response to this was, “ok, we’re going off route” When? They asked, “probably quite often” we replied. Evidently, that wasn’t the correct response...

The coastline of California is an amazingly scenic place. The waves of the Pacific Ocean and the creeks and rivers of the coastal range have carved and battered the coastline into a rugged and yet beautiful shoreline. So, while Southern California is known and popular for its smooth beaches and amazing surf spots, northern and central California are infinitely more beautiful and provide vistas punctuated by sharp cliffs, rocky outcroppings, creeks and bays, all of which combine to leave you speechless at every corner.

Eventually though, our route turned inland and followed the road into the area surrounding Big Sur. Gone were the sunshine and sweeping ocean vistas, replaced by the cool shade of giant redwoods.
Pretty soon we came to camp and the daily ritual began again... Pick up the bags from the truck drop off point, set up the tent, sleeping pad and sleeping bag, grab a shower and go in search of beer.

This evening we would spend the hours before dinner unwinding with a beer or glass of wine next to a beautiful creek, talking about the day's adventures and daring each other to try out the rope swing. All the time knowing full well that despite our bluff ad bluster, it was safe from any attempt...


Struggling with Duality said...

Dude, I was so gonna do the rope swing, you guys were unable to obtain proper funding (incentive)

OldNSlo said...

yeah, we're all brave once the challenge has passed......