Woke up to blue skies and a grand view of the Big Sur coast. Only 35 miles today so we took it easy with every viewpoint possible.
I have concluded that after this ride it will be damn near impossible for me to get over the pros of biking anywhere you want to visit. Take for example state/national parks: throughout our ride, we’ve been able to enter anywhere we want pretty much whenever we want – no lines, no reservations, no waiting. Passing state parks today, lines of cars would stretch for a half mile outside of parks, waiting for a chance to enter, pay a fee, and battle for a single parking space. On the other hand, we rode past the line to the front, entered for free, the Rangers watched our bikes, and we hiked to a waterfall. Each evening as we approach the most popular campgrounds in each state/the nation, a permanent “Campground Full” sign would prelude the entering. Meaning if you want to camp, you should have payed $40 per night months before. Us, we ride up. $5 per rider per night, no reservations needed, never turned away on policy, and community-centered communal hiker/biker sites right by all the facilities.
Anyways, we continued our ride until lunch when a full thunderstorm hit us. We packed up quick with the darkening clouds and lightening. Throwing on rain jackets, we biked in the downpour. No desire needed to get stranded in the cold on an exposed highway in a remote area subject to landslides and floods. We made it to our stay for the night, a Warmshowers host who is a national forest wildfire fighter. His place along the highway afforded us our first views of whales spouting everywhere. A note on his national forest housing door invited us to go in and make ourselves comfortable because he had to report for local lightening strikes. We made spaghetti and garlic bread for him and upon his return we feasted and shared stories. Now time for a warm bed.