So long Pacific!…

June 19, 2010

So the day finally came…so long pacific coast!  Heading inland we are.  It will be a long time before I see an ocean again.  Kinda strange, after having it be such a regular part of almost every single day for the last few years.  It was a quick shimmy down through Guadalupe, a town mostly arranged for industrial farming and the families that work there.  As my information provider Huoogle let me know, Guadalupe is the flower seed capital of the world.  I stopped in a market there for more citrus and beans, my regular diet on these days, and was chatted up by a man who was very surprised to know I would be riding my bike to Santa Maria next, being that it was a 10 minute car ride away.  Santa Maria proved to be a strip mall-ish town, acting as the last bit of commerce I would see for a while.  It also was the last bit of area I had on a map, until I reached the other side of the Los Padres.

I rode out on a frontage road and picked up 166.  There was no mistaking I had left the coast, as it grew more dusty and warm the more miles I headed east.  I stopped for water and loaded up not only my bottles, but also my MSR bladder, as water sources seemed to be getting more sparse.  These days I was getting used to riding until about 8:30 at night, or until it was just too dark to continue on.  I liked to know I had everything I needed so I would not have to worry about water to camp with or to head out with the next day.  166 was mainly just cow pastures and ranches.  The cows cracked me up!   They were really not the brightest.  Clearly not used to seeing cyclists, one would get a glimpse of me, get confused, and start running in the other direction.  All the other cows would then just take one look at that other cow and start running too.  Cows running is super hilarious, no matter how hot it is and how tired you may be.  Looked like I’d have to be extra sneaky if I wanted to capture any photos of these big bovines.

I camped not too far off the road that night, eager to rise early the next morning and get a jump on the day.  That night I saw the most amazing shooting star I had ever seen in my life.  It was as if someone had briefly dumped glitter all across the night sky.  Ever since this night, I have been making a habit of trying to keep my eyes open long enough to see at least one shooting star before falling asleep.  Indeed I was up early the next day and on the road by 7 am, taking advantage of the cooler air.

Heading east...

Along 166...

One of the many ranches along the road...

Sunny morning...

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