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75 Miles. No Pastries.

By | June 21, 2012

Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Oceana to Refugio State Park
75 miles

We have left the gourmet, cozy part of the California coast and stayed last night in the economically depressed part, so there was no fancy bakery for breakfast.


Our campground neighbors were both sad and creepy. Their daughter was staked out in the bathroom overseeing the charging of her cell phone, which meant she stared as me as I brushed my teeth and rinsed out my nose with my neti pot.

But we did have a pretty good burritos.


Then we almost immediately took a bit of a shortcut that led us straight up a short but steep hill. We both walked it. I think it might have saved us three miles, though.

We did 25 miles before noon, but that was only a third of our planned day. This was the first day we carried extra water, and we needed it. It was sunny and somewhat warm, and we had the two biggest climbs of this section of the trip ahead of us. The first one, Harris Grade, was similar to climbs we’ve done so far. Maybe two miles, some parts steeper than others, but not too bad. It was a windy road with virtually no shoulder, but also almost no traffic. The downhill was terrific! I coasted for several miles.

Just before Harris Grade, Nick rode up– a cyclist that Sadie had met in Oregon, but hadn’t seen since! He was heading to Refugio State Park, like us, also on the recommendation of Carl. Though neither of us had seen Carl and Donna for a couple of days.

We also met a chatty rider named Bob, who was doing San Francisco to San Diego in seven days. Needless to say, he rode on ahead and out of sight soon after. Speaking of riding in a different way than us, I forgot to mention an 18-year old cyclist we met yesterday, who carried nothing on his bike but a walkie talkie. His dad was following him in a chase car, and he was going as fast as possible. He had hailed Sadie and I to see if we knew a faster way to LA. “Ladies! Ladies!” he yelled. We didn’t have any insight into LA, but since he already thought we were so old and matronly, I told him he looked like he needed more sunscreen.

Anyway, the second hill was a smaller grade, but over 12 miles. What made it worse was the bumpy road surface.

I guess I should be happy it wasn’t loose gravel.

We were on Highway 1 with a lovely wide shoulder, but it was not smooth at all. When we stopped for a late lunch, I felt like I was still vibrating even when sitting still. A road surface like that can make downhills feel like uphills, which it did.

When we finally got to the top and started our descent, the road smoothed out a bit, and then became quite nice.

This is exactly the spot where the heavens broke open and angels sang.

I was thankful for this, because we still had ten to fifteen miles left, and I didn’t feel like I could do it with the road working against me. Of course, I didn’t really have a choice either.

We stopped at the best rest area in the world, by which I mean it was there and gave us a good reason to rest. And we ate snacks. We have discovered the most delicious fruit snacks ever, a dried fruit bar. Though at this stop we ate real fruit. Then we rolled over much smaller hills, and finally saw the sign that our destination was only a mile away. Yay!!!

Our campsite is right on the ocean.


We watched three dolphins play when we arrived. And the shower rooms are heated and Sadie cooked ramen noodles. I even did yoga.

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