Spent the past week riding through the Big Sur and Los Padres National Forest area on Route 1, including a section of Route 1 that just reopened this week after being closed for a year after a slide. It’s been a week of mountains, bluffs, rivers, beaches, farmland, cold misty weather, hot sunny weather, and everything else in between.
On Monday we rode from Monterey to Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park, where we took a day off for some hiking and exploring the park.
On Wednesday we did a short but hilly ride to Plaskett Creek, a campground in Los Padres National Forest.
Halfway through the ride today, we thought we found what would be a good shortcut to shave a few miles off the ride. Wrong: what we found was an insane hill, nearly 15% grade for almost 200 feet. Somehow we both got up it, but it is not an exaggeration to say I thought my heart was going to explode. Probably the steepest hill we’ve done so far. That’s what we get for looking for shortcuts!
A bit later, on a long stretch of road through farmland, I saw something ahead in the road. Before I could stop to ask what it was, we were biking through a full-on swarm of bees! Somehow we got through without either of us getting stung.
The next three days are short rides that will take us through some great beaches around Santa Barbara. From there, we’re stopping in Ventura, then onto LA and San Diego and Mexico!
Hard to believe, but we have just over a week left. We can both feel the difference a month of riding has made - today would have wiped us out at the beginning of the trip, but we both felt pretty good at the end of the day. We didn’t even get more than 2 entrees at dinner!
For my part, I’m excited to cross the finish line, to be done with cold, damp nights and 2-minute showers and wearing dirty clothes day after day. But I’m sad this experience is coming to an end. For all the struggle and moments of misery, this has been a life-changing experience and like nothing else I’ve ever done before. Seeing the country this way, meeting people day after day, earning every amazing view by climbing some long hill, being close to the earth and all its beauty—how can it not change you? One more week on this adventure, but more living and adventures will follow!