Day Eight: Sunday, March 8, 2009
Distance for the Day: 69.25 miles: Cayucos to Orcutt
Accumulated Trip Distance: 369.48
Altitudes: Starting/Ending: 56’/651’, Highest: ??, Accumulated: ??
Speeds: Avg: 9.0 mph, Max: 37.2 mph
Weather: Clear, cool 43°, warmed to mid-60s by afternoon, and got cool again in evening
Woke up at 5:55am, packed my gear away, and was ready to roll by 6:50am. I was awakened briefly in the night by a loud crashing noise that penetrated my earplugs. Turns out someone had a collision right across the street from the church, and there was bits of glass and fender all over the street, which the police and the church pastor were cleaning up. I guess no one reported it when it happened, or the police would have already visited the scene and cleaned it up. I found out that the rear pannier rack had fallen off its set rod, so I put it back on and tightened it down. I’ll try to find a motel that’s willing to give me an hourly rate so I can just take a shower. (As it turns out, they generally don’t do that, even if the room was just vacated. I imagine I would have to go to a city’s red light district to find motels with hourly rates, and they probably wouldn’t have working showers.) Fine. Sponge baths work just fine for me, though it’s been generally too cold for me to face washing my hair outdoors in the morning or evening. Here’s something interesting: at home, I’d shower every other day, mostly because my hair would get a little oily and dandruffy (new word!), but the skin behind my ears over the last decade or so would become dry, scaly and peely (another!) Well, having not washed my hair in over a week, now, the skin behind my ears has gone back to being completely normal. No scales, no itch, no flakes – nothing. A side benefit of “attenuated” (I won’t say “poor”) hygiene? Dunno, but glad, nonetheless.
Entered Morro Bay city limits at 7am, where I took a bathroom break and bought some peanuts, a lighter, and a California map ($8). Went to the local library, but it wasn’t open, yet, so pushed on. Hit San Luis Obispo at 9:20 and checked the library, there, but they’re not open all day because it’s Sunday (duh!). Almost got a little lost at one point, but hooked-up with a friendly local cyclist by the name of Ryan who showed me the quickest way back to the highway (thanks, Ryan!). He’s a speed rider, and goes regularly goes 20mph on the straight and level (as compared to my 12mph). Side note: I just figured out how to adjust the tilt of my helmet down so that it’s visor blocks the sun and also doesn’t catch the wind. The fine adjustments continue. Met the first tricyclist out in the wild, Frank, in Pismo Beach right at noon. We chatted about how great are recumbents and about my trip. I gave him my card, and took his picture. Hit the Santa Barbara county line and the town of Guadalupe at 2:08pm. Hit The Mesa that Frank told me about; it’s got a short but pretty steep/tough climb, but once you’re up and over it, you get the fun ride down after, whereupon it becomes very flat with large agricultural fields for several miles. Stopped in Orcutt to get a deli sandwich, a couple of apples, and a choco chip scone-like thing ($8). At 4:15pm, I took a quickie sponge bath in the bathroom of the gas station in Orcutt; it was in rather yucky condition, but I cleaned it up a bit for them, and finally managed to wash my hair for the first time in eight days. I know – EIGHT DAYS?? Hey, nobody complained, though I did see a few people run away from me holding their noses. I thought it was because of the nearby agricultural fields, though now that I think about it, the wind was blowing towards those fields, not from them… Went up a long, tough grade to Firefighter Rd. south of Orcutt and found an unused dirt road into a hilly, undeveloped area to camp stealthily. Boy, that camouflage cloth is the best idea I had for the entire trip. I was within sight of the road, but nobody noticed me because I blended in. I ate my sandwich and an apple, and was in bed by 6:18pm. The bright gibbous moon lit everything up the whole night.