Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Bike trip down the California coast, Santa Cruz to Big Sur

September 2014, Bike trip down the California coast

My slightly crazy friend DancinTurtle declared " I always assumed that some day I would bike across the United States".  Okay, not a lot of people assume that, but I say go for it!  But the planner in me also says, maybe work up to that...so I suggested a bike down the California coast as a warm up, sort of see what you are getting into.  So she invited me along and I thought, why not!  Turns out to have been a great decision-this was an amazing trip. 
Iconic shot of the Bixby bridge on the 1.

Day 1 Santa Cruz to Moss Landing
Look how stoked we are!

The other ladies spent the first day biking over the Santa Cruz mountains.  I was having my hair done that day, so you know, I HAD to skip that part.  I promise I will go back and do it someday.  Anyway, I started biking in Santa Cruz (after we all had a hearty breakfast-see photo above for happy faces). 

What a great way to see the ocean.  Stop anytime and listen to the water, watch the surfers, super nice.

Traveling so close to the ocean, you get up close and personal with the sloughs.  Quite a few birds hang out in and there is very little traffic-great biking.

Going through Watsonville we biked past a couple fields of artichokes.  Also, lettuce, which is clearly the stupidist way to turn water into slightly crunchy water.  Seriously, I hadn't really realized how much land lettuce takes up.  Grow your own-great!  But buying it-not for me.  I now feel I have a legit reason to hate Iceburg lettuce.  
When you bike past strawberry farms where the crushed berries are baking on the side of the road-smells just like strawberry jam. 

Day 2 Moss Landing to Big Sur
Hey look, basically the map of where we are going!

It didn't take long to get to the embarcadero in Monterey.  At this point we could head inland and make it an easy 33 mi day...or go the long way to see more of the ocean.

Yup, that would be the long way.  Immediately we have to stop to look at the sea lions,

and the boats in the fog.  The bike route through town is well marked and lets you stop at all the tourist spots-Cannery Row, the aquarium, and all the food that goes with it.  There are lots of pedestrians, so this is not for the speedy.

You soon get out of town and are winding about on the little ocean front streets.

On a bike, you don't even pay for the famous 17-mile drive.
This is the famous Lone Cypress.  I actually had no idea it was famous until I got there, but yeah, it's cool.

This is how you know it's cool-while we were sitting a busload of tourists arrive, photograph, and get back on the bus.  I am not a fan of the pre-packaged tour though it has its place, I'm just glad I am doing the coast in a different way.

Fancy effects!  But boy is the coast gorgeous!  This was just as the sun was clearing up the clouds.

It was just gorgeous everywhere.  I stopped to get this shot

and also saw this one.  Sad old pool.

After most of the day on the coast, we turned abruptly inland and climbed through a bit of forest to get to our Big Sur campgroup-yeah!!

After dinner at the Fernwood Grill we drove back out to the ocean to see the sunset, but clouds!  Still, a very satisfying day!

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