Pacific Coast Bike Tour Day 33 & 34: Big Sur!
After a great nights sleep at KG’s in Seaside, we packed up and hit the road for Big Sur!
We hit some huge hills coming out of Seaside and Monterrey. I’m not sure if it was due to the directions we followed or what but we were on some back roads with some real steep grades on our way out to Carmel.
We heard there wasn’t much going on in Big Sur as far as grocery stores and food were concerned so we stopped off at the Safeway grocery store in Carmel and stocked up on bread, peanut butter, jelly, and protein bars.
Once we were all packed up we headed straight through Carmel and head first into Big Sur.
As soon as we hit Big Sur we encountered some serious climbs. There were two climbs that I can remember very clearly and the second one was far worse than the first. It was almost better that we didn’t know about these huge climbs going into it. It’s one of those situations where you see a surprisingly big climb ahead of you and you say to yourself, “there’s no way I’m not making it up this thing.”
Trying to remain positive as much as I could is what got me through some of the hardest parts of this trip. Although, in saying that, if it wasn’t for Will, I might not have been so positive at times. Cycling is so much mental as it is physical.
Then again, how could you not be positive when you’ve got views like this?
We ended up running into our friends and fellow cyclists Shelley and Meg at one of the vista points along the way. It was great to see them again, but unfortunately they had to cut their bike trip short due to a crash that left their bikes all mangled.
Note: Shelley & Meg, if you happen to read this post, get in contact with us!
Over the course of the rest of the day we did lots of smaller climbing. Still big, but smaller than the first few climbs. Some of the downhills later in the afternoon were really fun.
If you’ve ever thought about driving the coast of California, Big Sur is the place to be. It’s by the far the most scenic part of the entire coast of California.
Kirk Creek Campground
After a long, 67 mile day full of climbing we set up camp at Kirk Creek Campground and secured the best spot in the entire park. Here’s a view of our tent on the cliff side of the Pacific Ocean.
Did I mention our view of the sunset from our tent?
Today’s Mileage: 67 mi
Kirk Creek to Morro Bay
The morning started off with about 10 miles of climbing before we stopped off at the Whale Watch Inn in Gorda. Want to know where the most expensive gas in the nation is located? Right here in Gorda at a cool $6.69/gallon! Talk about gouging?
Attention cyclists: DO NOT stop at the Whale Watchers Cafe for food. While the restaurant looks decent from the outside, the prices inside are disgusting.
Here are some price examples below:
- $10.95 for canned chili
- $6.25 for a bagel w/ cream cheese
- $13 for an egg omelet
- $9 for a piece of blueberry pie
Should I go on?
Do yourself a favor and ride/drive another 10 miles to the next establishment on the right hand side. The owner is a really nice guy and his daughter (Jena Malone) was in several movies such as Into the Wild, Stepmom, Donnie Darko, The Ruins, etc.
We had lunch here and took a nice 1-hour break. After leaving Ragged Point we hit 2 smaller hills and from there on it was pretty smooth sailing from there.
We pushed another 20 miles to Cambria in search of a bike shop because Will busted a spoke on his rear wheel. The bike shop we stopped at had closed so we had to keep pushing on to Morro Bay. We spent the night at Morro Bay State Park and found it to be one of the nicer campgrounds in California so far.
Today’s Mileage: 67 mi