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Strawberry Fields Forever

By | June 14, 2012

Thursday, June 14, 2012
Sunset State Beach to Monterey
36 mile

As we broke camp this morning, we knew if we went back the way we came in to the campground, we would have to go up and down two or three hills. If we could leave from the south end of the park, it looked like down hill all the way. We stopped to look out over the beach, and wondered what would happen if we couldn’t get out of the south end. We tried to search online again, but had trouble getting reception.


But google maps and our Adventure Cycling maps both showed a road leaving the south end. Unfortunately, I had already thrown out the park map we’d been given on the way in. Google map bike directions are generally quite accurate.


There used to be at least a path here. There was still some pavement under all that growth somewhere. If we could get our fully loaded bikes around or over that gate. We turned around and went back uphill. We had left camp at 10:00, our earliest departure together yet! But we didn’t get on the road til nearly eleven.

Later, we got a chance to do a tiny bit of off roading anyway!


We passed Alec, the lightly packed cyclist we had met yesterday, as he was leaving his guerilla campsite. He easily caught up with us, then stopped again to pick a few strawberries. He rode up with some for us as well. Yum! We rode through miles of strawberry fields. No wonder strawberries are so expensive. They’re grown on oceanfront property. Both Alec and Sadie commented on how intense the smell was. My sense of smell is terrible. I only caught a small whiff of them every once in a while.

My roommate Phil greatly amused our friend Charlie by saying that I have the olfactory senses of a fish. Really, I thought it was pretty funny, too. However, he’s since retracted, having realized that sharks are fish, and they have a great sense of smell.

Sadie mentioned we’d also passed a celery field, which she could tell by smell, so of course I missed it. We also saw artichokes as far as the eye could see. They don’t have a very strong smell, but they are awfully interesting looking!


As we passed an artichoke field, Sadie was a ways ahead of me. I figured I could stop and take a few pictures, and I’d catch up with her later anyway. But then I looked up, and she had just stopped and was pulling out her camera. Earlier, the same thing happened. She was a bit ahead as we came upon this interesting place.



Of course I wanted to stop and take pictures! Sadie’s such a great biking companion. We have a similar way of doing things.

We were on the same page stopping for lunch as well. We knew there was going to be at least one place to eat in Moss Landing, a very small town. We were both very hungry as we arrived at the first place we found there, and we were both happy to stop. Had we waited about three more minutes, we could have had a few more choices, it turned out. Oh, well.

We had seafood at Sea Harvest, calimari and clam chowder, and watched people kayak among the sea lions. There was a dock piled with barking sea lions, and every once in a while groups would jump off together and swim around in a pod.


The riding was hard today, because the wind was not with us. It’s such slow going, but when you’re on a bike trip, you don’t have anything else to do. Sadly, that’s the kind of riding I’m most used to. But it also convinced us to stay at the hostel tonight instead of camping. Especially since we were kind of chilly all day long. Even when we were in the sun, the wind was cold comIng off the ocean.

We were on a really busy stretch of Highway one for a short while, but it had a nice wide shoulder. I’d forgotten how loud some vehicles can be. So many trucks and vans and buses wouldn’t be scary at all when they pass by, except for the noise they make. Loud motorcycle engines can be the worst.

We also road on farm roads for much of the day, which tend to be quiet and empty, but bumpier. We ended the day with several miles on a paved path. This one was nice and smooth, and not too crowded.

Once we arrived in Monterey, we stood around for a few minutes looking confused, and a lovely couple, cyclists, stopped and directed us to their favorite taqueria. They also gave us some information about Big Sur, where we’re headed in a few days. Apparently we have some fabulous chocolate cake to look forward to! I wouldn’t mind more tailwinds, too.

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