Day Seven: Saturday, March 7, 2009
Time in Saddle: 6:10
Distance for the Day: 52,8 miles: Plaskett Creek to Cayucos
Altitudes: Starting/Ending: 162’/51’, Highest: 996’, Accumulated: 7142’
Speeds: Avg: 8.5 mph, Max: 37.0 mph
Weather: Clear and calm, 43° warming to low-to-mid 60s
Got up at 5:37am after a somewhat uncomfortable night of sleeping without the use of my inflatable mattress. I thought I could get away with it, but the ground turned out to be a little harder than I thought. It wasn’t too bad, though. I walked around a bit before packing up to look at the early dawn constellations, which were the summertime set. I can’t remember the last time I saw both the winter and summer constellations in a 12 hour time period. Cool! I packed up, and left the Sand Dollar picnic area at just around sunup (7:30am), and noticed the hitchhikers were just waking up, having had no luck the previous night, so hid themselves behind a log next to the locked gate I mentioned, yesterday. I wished them better luck for today, and began riding up Hwy 1, again, when I noticed the real entrance to the Plaskett Creek Camping Grounds a few more yards past that locked gate. The gate was for the school next door, not the campgrounds (doh!), which looked pretty busy with lots of campers, but, they didn’t have hot showers, anyways, so I did the right thing, anyways, and saved another $25 fee. I discovered I had cell phone coverage, so gave Auntie M a call to update her on my current status. I continued down Hwy 1 a few miles, and stopped in at the Whale Watcher Café for a bathroom break, and to get an English muffin, egg, and a glass of grapefruit juice ($12). Also stopped in at the convenience store there to get a bag of cashews and Gatorade ($5). Chatted with a group of retired sightseers across the road from the café for a bit, and then continued south; hit the San Luis County Line at 10:34. Stopped to take a picture of a particularly precipitous drop of about 540’, according to my altimeter, and some more gorgeous views of the rugged Big Sur coastline. Past Ragged Point at 11:50am I had an incident with a valuable lesson: don’t hang your clothes atop the rear panniers to dry, because sooner or later, they get caught in the rear wheel. This time, my jacket got caught, threw me into a full-on skid that I had to turn into to avoid flipping over, and bent the rear wheel fender supports, which then had to be bent back to keep the fender from rubbing. My jacket got a big hole in it, so that was a bit of a bummer. It wasn’t a fancy or expensive jacket, but now I needed another. I also noticed that I forgot to put the upper half of my flag on at the Sand Dollar stealth camp site, so now I was without a flag. Poop! Two more items I’m definitely going to have to replace. I swear: by the time this trip is over, I’ll be down to one wheel and ME, naked. Made it to Pt. Piedras Blancas at 12:24, and stopped a bit south of there to look at some seals on the rocks. Those animals are the only ones I can think of that bring along their own waterproof sofa to lie down on wherever they go. Got to San Simeon at 1:45pm and decided to cook up lunch on the picnic table outside the convenience store. I found and bought a nice, ultra-cheap jacket ($14) to replace the one I’d just destroyed, got more Gatorade, and a pre-packaged sandwich. I thought I’d try cooking lunch, and eat the more convenient sandwich for dinner. While I prepared a hot meal of rice and yam, I had the nice convenience store clerk lady recharge my cell phone and camera battery. Left at 3:20pm, continuing down the ever lovin’ Hwy 1. Saw some zebras on the hillside around there, too. So odd. Made it into the town of Cayucos at just about 5pm and got permission to sleep on the covered rear porch of the Cayucos Catholic church, there. After securing my stuff, I grabbed my little binoculars and sandwich and walked out to a beach overlook to see if there would be a green flash over the cloudless Pacific Ocean horizon. A handful of other people also gathered, and I let them know about the phenomenon, though it’s tough to see without some kind of optical aid. It happened, but not brightly enough for those without binocs to be able to see it. I went to a busy little bar/restaurant across the street from the church and got a yummy pecan pie choco-gooey dessert ($8). I then went to my back porch campsite, and retired for the night at 6:51pm.