Day 19: Lucia - San Luis Obispo
Sunday, September 25, 2005

85.18 @ 15.8 = 5:23'26, max: 33.8, trip total: 1448.2

fog filled cool morning, warming slowly through the day with mostly foggy or overcast- some sun

cafe con leche, banana bread, pop tarts, ice cream, fries, chicken tenders, fries, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, tuna steak, spinach, mashed potatos, vanilla shake, cheesecake

San Luis Inn, $30.40 p/p

Last night was a treat in disguise. I was excited about it but didn't want to look to over joyed at the prospect of sleeping on the side of the road. But I knew we'd be away from all the luxuries of the regular day and that in itself allows for an unexpected opportunity of experiences. That may sound odd, but it's just one step farther away from the beaten path.

So sleeping in the bag under the stars - no tent - made for some great sights. Awesome star filled sky (40 miles from the closest city). They just popped out at you. A quiet night. So quiet you could here yourself breathe and if by chance there was any critter walking about you'd certainly know it. A perfect moon rise in the middle of the night. Like a spotlight on earth- waking it up from the complete darkness.

It was also cold and a bit damp but I was securely in my bag enjoying every second of it. And then the sun started to fill the sky with blue- and soon the campers were up and rustling around.

It was a quick pack up for me so some nice time off to roam around and take it all in. Time to get ready for a tough morning of climbing. And we spent some of that time hooking up the camp stove to make real coffee. It was an ordeal and after burning through some aluminum parts we had some coffee. Mind you, I don't drink coffee but today, after cooking it up from scratch, I was surely gonna taste it.

It was ok. We have some work to do in the cooking department.

Then the ride started. Right from the gate it was up. Then down. Then up some more. We were still right on the coast (Rt 1) and it was like being on a roller coaster. Speed like hell going down and slow enough to hear the chain clicking all the way up. The knees took another major beating throughout the morning.

video clip: foggy cliff side downhill thrill »

And the fog was thick every now and then. It made for a mystical atmosphere. One minute you could see we were on a 500 foot cliff and then the next minute we were in the clouds... next to a cliff that couldn't be seen. When you looked straight down the side of the mountain (or what some people call the shoulder of the road) you could see the endless pit end in white fog.

That went on for miles and miles. Slowly warming up or at least loosening up. That gave way to breakfast - a large cup of soft serv ice cream and large french fries. There were thoughts of eating something healthier but that was short lived. I was hungry and needed a pick me up- we were only on mile 24 for the day.

After that things started to mellow out- less hills and more coastal rolling farm lands as there were before. It was a bit easier on the legs but we also were anxious to pick up our speed - you could sense it in the pace. And we all were waiting for just a little more sun to peek out.

The day rolled on and we made it through some other small towns on the coast. We were going through more populated areas now that the terrain wasn't as harsh. The reason there wasn't much in the past day or so was because we were right on the cliffs with little room to spare. No towns - or buildings for that matter - could really be built there.

But the rest of the day was calm - trying to take it easy on the legs as we kept heading into town. No big sprints. Just one stretch at a time. And with that we all rolled into town. We had some time to spare although it wasn't that early. We looked around - nice place. And we decided to re-fuel the electronics as well as get a good nights sleep at a motel. So we searched that out and then motivated quickly so we could head out to dinner.

All in all we were in good shape but our bodies are wearing down. And now the schedule also gets a bit tougher. We have some long days ahead with some tough terrain - warmer weather and mountain passes. Yet with each change there is something new. Maybe the heat will keep our legs from being stiff in the mornings. Maybe there will be more Dairy Queens. Maybe... and What if's...

Tomorrow we start a new path inland. Off the coast and into some major mountains that will lead us on to the desert floor. Should be fun.


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