Day 33: Morro Bay State Park – Lompoc
Distance: 73.91 miles.
Average Speed: 10.9 mph.
It was cool this morning as the fog hung over the bay. On the road, it soon cleared, but it was merely hot, not scorching, so I felt much better. Plus there was a tailwind, that always helps.
I took a detour round the bay in Los Osos, stopping for breakfast, before heading inland on Los Osos Valley Road. The road was flat, but passed through pleasantly rolling farmland.
Skipping around the edge of San Luis Obispo I headed for the coast once more. On the way, I spoke to cyclists, Lexi and Mary who were travelling from Vancouver to San Diego, but had taken the train to avoid the inland detour. Because of the skipped miles they now had 2 weeks to reach San Diego, so were taking it easy. I arrived at the coast at Pismo Beach, pleased to see the Pacific once more.
After lunch from a Mexican food kiosk in Grover Beach, the route turned inland again, to avoid the Vandenburg Air Force Base. The going was flat and easy, but not very interesting. Then, taking a road marked as an alternate cycle route back to Highway 1, I followed it across flat farmland before reaching the brutal crux of the route. I was on my limit by the top.
I passed through Guadalupe, with it’s proliferation of Spanish signage, and stopped for a drink in Orcutt, enjoying a few moments in the shade.
I was nervous about the last part of the route, as it would take me over a several hundred metre ascent on ‘Harris Grade Road’, luckily the highway to the bottom of the climb was pan flat, then I knew it was 4 miles to the top, and then downhill to the end. My kind of challenge!
The climb was a nice one, largely on a gentle gradient with sweeping uphill bends and as many flat sections as steep ones. So much better than the highway climbs, bulldozed at a constant gradient through the landscape.
Arriving at Lompoc River Park campground, I wasn’t sure what to expect, but it’s a county run park, so relatively cheap, and mainly comprising families. I’m not sure the family in the site beside me are fully embracing the camping ethos, however, having spent the evening in their car, listening to music, with the engine running!