Today was hot. That just about sums it up.
I woke reasonably early, around 7, in Oceano, as the sun started peaking through the palms. One pro tip I picked up from Damien was about tent placement: setting up so your tent gets early morning light and therefore dries out faster if it’s gotten wet. It hadn’t rained overnight but the tent was damp from the proximity to the ocean.
I still had no real breakfast supplies but had stopped at a little deli the night before and had picked up a blueberry muffin and a cheese Danish for breakfast. The Danish hadn’t survived the night, it got upgraded to dessert. But the muffin and a banana and some dried cherries made for a nice easy breakfast.
Then back on the road for today’s 70-75 miles. The path swings inland and temperatures shot up without the cool ocean breeze. It was in the 90’s by 10 am, I’m fairly sure it broke 100 today. Not much wind either, save what I could generate myself by pedaling through the calm air. I drank so much (invariably hot) water and yet stayed so thirsty. I had to refill the water bottles at every opportunity–you get good at it. Today it was an Albertson’s bathroom (also got groceries, ones I hoped would survive the heat of the day–anyone know about eggs? Groceries included the first ice cream of the day, a tiny cup of Cherry Garcia), then a Foster’s Freeze (ice cream of the day #2: triple berry malt), and then a rest area bathroom.
The route today went by more vast agricultural fields, mostly young plantings. Again a pretty desolate day, came through a small town & a small city and that was about it. I passed Don early on, and chatted a bit as we rode along. Not that much later I caught up with another touring cyclist, a stealth camper from LA, on his way back earlier than anticipated after losing his phone. We chatted a fair deal and I also got some tips on navigating LA on a bike.
I had a big choice to make route-wise about half way through the day: either stick with the coast highway or head inland even further into the Santa Ynes Valley, through the culturally Danish town of Solvang, overnighting at a park by a big lake. I was really curious about Solvang but stuck with the coast, heading for the beach here at Refugio. It was so hot, and further inland would have been hotter still–I looked up Solvang’s weather and the high was listed as somewhere between 104 and 110. My water situation kind of made the choice for me–I was quite low and it was still another hour to a town if I went inland, though that town does have a brewery I’m quite fond of. But I needed water more.
I got to Refugio and was happy with my choice. It’s beautiful, and the biker sites are the closest to the water. I got the tent set up, met Rob, the other cyclist at camp, did a little laundry (my cycling clothes were caked in salt stains from sweating so profusely all day), ran over to the market a few miles up for some little supplies like beer and ice cream of the day #3, an ice cream sandwich. Then it was finally time to do what I’d been daydreaming about, pull on my swim trunks and go splash about in the ocean. Felt so nice, the waves crashing against me. Then I sauntered up & down the beach & watched the sun set behind a rocky ledge.
Before long Omar showed up, I wasn’t terribly surprised to see him again. Omar also went out for a swim and I cooked myself a huge pot of spaghetti, and then Omar & I sat with Rob and chatted. Rob’s Australian, looks like a bald Guy Pierce, and is touring the west coast post-Burning Man.
Now it’s 8:30 and I’m exhausted and ready for bed, it was such a long hot day!