The Bike Touring Pages of
Chris X. Edwards

Summer 1997 - Yukon to California
Journals - 8 September 1997


Day 60

8 September 1997 (sunny; mileage = 43.6; San Simeon State Park) -- A - We all got up shortly after 7 and had a reasonable take down time. We had pancakes for breakfast since we knew better than to be in a hurry. We left our beautiful, gurgling-river site and headed down to the toilets to wait for the almost-ready D&N. We had finished with the restrooms and Dennis pulled up and very irritatedly pointed to his front pannier. He was really mad and we were thinking they did not deserve to know about this trick of ours. They obviously cannot pull it off. Anyway, we got some "free" bottled water and headed to the other campground 2 miles down that Dennis had wanted to go to. He and Chris had stayed there before. It was nice, but where we stayed was much more to my liking. I don't think D&N were disappointed, though; they both commented that they had slept better than anywhere else because of the river noise. Chris is developing the habit of being wide awake in the middle of the night and last night was no exception for him. We hit the climbing and left D&N behind right away. We led and waited periodically for them. We stopped and watched a heap of pelicans at one point. X - We managed to ride through the morning without having to ride at D&N's pace. The scenery was quite awesome. I also noticed that my rear tire is worn to the casing. We finally got to our "big" climb. I remembered it as a nasty, false-summit deal. I got to the top of peak #1 and I waited over 15 minutes for April (who rested lower down). I checked the map and sure enough, false summit. So down and back up. At the top of the 2nd climb, April and I were waiting and 2 guys came by on unloaded bikes (actually, I passed them on the descent and wasted them on the climb). We chatted with them a bit, telling them our story (e.g., 10,000 km). There was a driveway there and its owner came out to listen in. The bikers went on and the guy, Peter F., invited us to look at his place. He is a blacksmith-artist sculptor. He is building a home and studio on the cliff designed to be as unnoticeable as possible. His electric meter was hidden in a very convincing fake rock. He showed us his shop and construction and some of his work. Then Dennis and Nancy came, and they got the obligatory tour. Definitely very cool. He had built a self-lighting torch which Dennis and I thought was neat. Onward. About halfway down the descent, we stopped at a touristy picnic place with a concession stand-type of place. We decided to eat there and April and I had not-so-great burgers/fries. While we were there, 2 pairs of German guys showed up on road bikes. One guy was even on a TT bike! We coincidentally left at about the same time as the TT bike guys. They were quite surprised that I hung with them all the way down the hill. I think they were quite astonished when I was chatting with them while pushing their pace up a little hill (April said she was gaining on them on the hill, too). I rode and chatted with them for a bit. I even took their picture with their camera for them while riding at about 25 mph! Then I waited for April. Then we WAITED for D&N. A - It was really cool dropping down that last hill, because it saw so FLAT ahead and you could see it for a really long time. We let D&N get close and then we took off at an awesome pace. It felt really great to crank like that. We hit some construction with a pile of cars waiting, but we were allowed to go on through (to the chagrin of one motorist who yelled). We couldn't figure out why only one side was going at a time. It was a pretty long stretch of newly-paved road, but both sides were open and operable. It was great riding for us. Much thanks to the construction work once again. Chris pointed out Hearst Castle up on the hill and we got to the park where we waited much longer than should have been necessary for D&N. The campground was 5 miles further and the hotels about 3. We escorted them to the hotels and left them with their stuff and headed off on our now-lighter bikes for the camp. The H/B sites were empty, but after we took our shower and had dinner, 4 others showed up, one by one. Chris talked to a guy commuting from San Diego to Santa Cruz to go to school for a while. The rest of the crew consists of one Swiss (with Villager bike and Ortlieb!), one Canadian and one probable European. X - We had an absurdly long day today, but our "rolling bike" time was about 3 hours, 10 minutes. Leaving at 8:00 AM and with liberal breaks, we should have had our toes in the sand from about noon onward. I would rather wait for D&N that way than in the hot afternoon sun by the roadside, 15 minutes at a time.
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Chris X. Edwards ~ October 2000