Day Five: Thursday, March 5, 2009
Distance for the Day: 37.0 miles: Seaside to Garrapata
Trip Distance: 200.0 mi, Total Odometer: 578.5
Time in the Saddle: 4:49
Altitudes: Starting/Ending: 117’/125', Highest: 349', Accumulated: ??
Speeds: Avg: 7.6 mph, Max: 35.3 mph
Weather: 42° light rain in AM high cloudiness most of day, partial clearing by afternoon
I awoke at around 5:45am this morning to a light rain, but the tarp and my bivvy sack kept me dry (I finally think I’ve figured out how to make this stuff work). At 6:32am, I got up and was able to haul my gear under some church classroom eaves to pack everything away relatively dry, and was even able to catch a picture of a beautiful rainbow. Left the Seaside First Baptist Church at about 8:20am and went down to the nearest Starbucks to get a hot choco and croissant ($8). Whilst there, I charged up my camera and phone batteries, and got phone msg from Alan R offering to bring a generic power supply for my notebook (how nice!) I called him back to thank him for the offer, but that I’d already arranged to have my own sent ahead to L.A. He had the day off, and thought he’d come down to visit me in Monterey. Cool! An odd thing happened while I was at Starbucks: a police car pulled over a driver who decided to pull into the Starbucks driveway, and parked right there. The police stopped, too, and handled the ticketing process – meanwhile, nobody could access Starbuck’s drive-in window. You’d think the police would have been thoughtful enough to have the driver move somewhere else, but they didn’t. (No comment.) With batteries mostly charged, I left Starbucks at 10am and almost immediately entered Monterey at 10:04. I decided to make a concerted effort to try and find goggles at different cycle shops (both the motorized and un-motorized varieties) without luck. I did find a cheap pair of goggles that gunmen use at shooting ranges at a Big 5 Sporting Good store, so I got a pair of those ($9) as a temporary replacement for the ones I lost a few days earlier.
Met up with Alan around 2:40pm on Hwy 68 as it passes from Pacific Grove but before it reaches Carmel. We agreed to meet at the Starbucks in Carmel (Alan used his GPS to find one), and so we both took off, I of course going a lot slower. At one point, Hwy 68, Hwy 1, the south entry to the 17 Mile Drive, and a side road came together, and I got confused as to which road to take. I stopped in at a church a short way up the side road, and the lady in the office allowed me to use her desktop computer to Google Maps. That helped straighten things out, and so I was able to get into Carmel within about another 15 minutes of some nice, long downhill coasting. Alan treated me to sandwich and soda at the Safeway deli (thanks, Alan!), and we chatted while I did some grocery shopping. Oh, one odd little incident happened while we were there: I went to use the restroom, and walked in on some young gal in the Men’s side who was changing clothes. I didn’t see anything racy, closed the door immediately, and went back to the deli table to wait. Interesting to note that I’m not the only one who changes clothes in public restrooms. I went grocery shopping and Alan came along to chat. I got a yam, a few apples, water, more Gatorade, and some Uncle Ben quick cooking rice packets ($25). We bade each other farewell at about 4:48, and I continued on south, out of Carmel on Hwy 1.
I should note that over the last few days, my knee caps (the left in particular) have been hurting, especially if I try to push harder, or go longer. The day before, it was my starboard glueous maximus that gave me some pain, but that went away the next day. My leg muscles were sore the first few days, but they’re fine, now. The knees have me a little worried, though – if they fail, it will put a kibosh on this whole thing. I’ll try going easier on them when they hurt, and see if it’s just a “physical adjustment” thing.
Just a bit south of Garrapata State Pk, near sunset, a few people had gathered by the roadside to see lots of whale plumes out on the ocean being backlit by the low sun – amazing! Found a side street, Palo Colorado Rd., GPS N 36.39936 W 121.90459, that must go to some fairly large community as there was lots of traffic even though it was “not a through road.” I found a eucalyptus leaf-covered dirt road/ramp leading to a gate that dropped away from the road a few hundred feet away from the highway that looked fairly unused, and so I parked my trike down on that ramp and could just escape the notice of the drivers going by, especially when I activated my cloaking device (camouflage sheet). I got to bed at around 6:40pm. Since the weather had turned dry (though still overcast), I had no problem with moisture, and enjoyed a good night’s rest, away from the traffic noise of the highway, and only an occasional whoosh from cars going to that hidden community in the hills.