Day 44: More Brown & Yellow

Day 44 (2016-10-09): ~55 miles from San Simeon State Park to Oceano Campground in Pismo Beach State Park, CA. Highway 1 + some side roads.

Last night I was up pretty late, first reading then struggling to fall asleep with the people in the next camp site yelling and banging on shit pretty late. Eventually I yelled out from my tent (which got a negative response) but someone else must have come over and said something because they soon quieted down. I slept in a bit and by the time I emerged at 8:00 most of the other bikers had already eaten and were packing up.

I leave by 10 and pass through Cambria again to seek wifi, a quick charge, and to check out the scarecrows. October is their annual Scarecrow Festival where the whole town is decked-out with beautiful scarecrows. Check them out!

This is an annual event in October. I highly recommend stopping in Cambria if you come through at this time, even if it is a detour.

From Cambria I cruise onto Chayucos, listening to podcasts when traffic is low enough to hear it. The landscape is rolling hills of brown and yellow with very little to see. I roll into town and stop at Top Dog Coffee shop, where I get an ice tea and publish two blogs to try to catch/keep up. I’m trying to find a Warm Showers host in San Luis Obispo so I can check out the town but so far I’ve received three no’s and a few other folks don’t have phone numbers so I cannot follow-up my request with a call. I really hope I can stay there – a bed would be really nice and I have not showered in three days. But mostly I don’t want to bypass the town to make it to a hiker-biker campsite to the south. The rest of the day passes like most of the days out here in this barren land…hot sun, cool breeze, and hills of brown and yellow towards on the way to San Luis Obispo. I’m trying to drink enough water and eat enough food but still feeling out of it today.

I’m striking out hard on Warm Showers. I messaged 6 people and so far 5 have responded with a no. Right now I’m at Grocery Outlet just outside the city. Of I don’t get an answer soon I will regrettably pass the city by and head to Pismo Beach for a hiker-biker.

This is what the terrain is going to look like for several days.

Speaking of Grocery Outlet, let me reaffirm that I LOVE GROCERY OUTLET. It is by far my favorite store. In addition to super deals on a variety of goods from candy to health smoothies, they are the perfect place for touring cyclists. Snacks are varied and affordable and – best of all – I’ve never had a problem wheeling my bike inside to protect all my things. When I rolled up some guy tried to sell me acid (like the drug) or weed. Talked about being homeless and asked if I had an extra front light. I was super sketched about leaving my bike outside so asked to bring it in – no problem. Most stores I don’t even ask, but today I was worried about blocking the aisle because there was not much room. Not a problem. Thanks Grocery Outlet!

By this point I am not excited to continue on since I had hoped to stay in SLO for the night, but I ride another 10 miles or so along frontage roads to meet Anders, Joe, and Sophie at Oceano-Pismo Beach Campground. It’s not a hiker/biker setup as there are none in this section, but splitting it between the 4 of us is only $7 each. I take a long shower, the first in 3 days, and check the maps and talk to Anders about plans. I consult the same blog that gave me the detour to Pescadero and find an alternate route to get off Highway 1 and follow some country roads towards Solvang. Perhaps a back route into Santa Barbara as well.

See the little guy in the center, between the bushes? At one point he was like 15 feet from me!

My plan is to start out towards Santa Maria tomorrow and contact Warm Showers hosts there to make for a short rest day where I can rest and charge my electronics. From there, a medium length day to another Warm Showers host near Solvang. Finally, the back road with a lot of climbing into Santa Barbara, past Lake Cachuma. Perhaps camp there instead of the Warm Showers. I’ll figure it out tomorrow.

I hop in the tent early and rad for only a short while, since I  am feeling tired and am unsure how tomorrow will go. I’ll try to get an early start.

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