Saturday, July 15, 2017

2017_07_14 Puyallup/Tacoma to Santa Barbara Trip (Leon Matz & Mike Smith) (Day 14)

Author:  Leon Matz

King City to Morro Bay day 14; 89 miles 5,866 ft of climbing and 98.6 degrees of heat

With 100 degree temperatures forecasted for Pasco Robles, Mike agreed to start at first light. At 5:40, we were on our bikes!  It took awhile for us to figure out where the Adventure Cycling route started. It took us on a narrow path some of it gravel and one spot of 2 inch deep sand!  I thought the mapping was leading us on a wild goose chase, but it turned out fine!  We almost immediately started a 1-2% incline!  We talked and road along!  The first 2 hours was cool, but by 9:00 my Garmin 520 said it was over 70 degrees and by 10:00 80 degrees! 
The gentle grade soon changed, and there were sections of 10% and more!  I started to sweat heavily!  The road was not too smooth, and the steeper pitches made me wish we were on highway 101 with smoother roads and gentler slopes!
We were real grateful that we started early!
About 10 miles from Paso Robles, we went by a huge man made lake named Narimiento!  Many boats went streaming by!  As we went by, we had a steep descent and then another climb, so I decided not to stop for a picture.  Wish I could of stopped and jumped in, but we still had 40 miles to go to get to Morro Bay!
As we approached Paso Robles, we knew we needed to stop and get food, fluids and some ice. We were on the southwest edge, and I hoped we wouldn't have to go to far to find a convenience store.  Mike needed to recharge his 520 since his mapping had drained his battery.  Just as we hit the spot where we were supposed to turn right to go around the city a Mexican convenience store appeared!  It was a terrific stop!  Ice for both my bottles and my critical neck ice tube!  Ate a little, drank some Powerade and back on the bike! 
Mike had checked the weather and predicted that as we headed towards the hills and the coast the temperatures would moderate, but I had no idea how much! As we left town, it continued to get hotter topping out at 98.6. Hot especially when climbing!  We were grateful that the pitches were not too severe!  Within 6 miles of climbing, the temperature dropped 30 degrees!  As we got over the crest, we actually stopped and put our coats on as we were getting cold!  So strange!  Never experienced a temperature change like that!  When we arrived at the ocean, is was overcast and 64 degrees.  Only 4 more miles and we were at our hotel! 
It was a hard day but not as hard as I had expected! The neck ice saved me again!
Tomorrow we ride to Lompoc to meet up with former Cyclopath, Wayne DuPont, who lives in Santa Barbara! I think he is going to drive up and show us some sights!
It will be great to see him and see a few sights!
We have not had much time,energy, or a vehicle - other than our bikes - to look around at the places we visited!
Wow, just two more days on the bike!  It has been a tremendous experience! Such incredible beauty!!

Two riders headed into Morro Bay!
GAFCO restaurant, our dinner spot
Morro Rock
MB fishing fleet

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