Day 28: Grover Beach to Refugio State Park
September 22, 2013. 78.45 miles.
Today had two 800ft+ climbs – the last significant hills of the trip I believe. It was also a longish day, so I was hoping to get an early start. But I stayed up way too late last night planning
More agricultural land. Smelled the strawberries before I saw them.
Even though it was Saturday, there were people working in the fields. There also seemed to be a lot of spraying going on. Many of the fields had signs at all the entrances with a skull and cross bones saying “danger”. Doesn’t really make one want to go eat the produce. What with all the pesticide spraying and the hot sun, the Guadalupe area wasn’t very appealing.
When I started to climb out of the valley toward Lompoc I found a raspberry farm (I’ve been eating lots of raspberries recently, perhaps that’s where they came from). They are tasty and not too expensive. Possibly because they are growing right here. The advantages of CA.
The Lompoc Valley was much more appealing than the Guadalupe area. I stopped on the way out of the city at a hole in the wall Mexican place that had people eating there even at 2pm. It was quite tasty.
The last hill of the day (and the trip!) was actually very manageable. The road had nice wide shoulders and the grade was pretty shallow, so it was just a matter of not getting bored. I think I sang to myself. It works. Half way up I saw the Swiss tandem couple, and as I was going down the other side along the ocean the guys from the last few nights caught up to me. We rode into the Refugio campground together, hoping for a decent hiker/biker.
Turns out it’s one of the best hiker/biker sites yet. Right on the beach, under some palm trees, with some nice flat grassy spots for tents, and near a bathroom. Hard to argue with that. Unfortunately the camp store closed at 5 so no ice cream for me (or beer for the guys – they are bummed).
Tonight should be great – I don’t think it will be cold, and the sound of the surf hides any noise from the freeway.