Sept 26-30, Pacific Coast Highway 1/101, Morro Bay to Los Angeles
The cry of a coyote wakes me in the camp at Morro Bay. Sounds like it’s right outside my tent! But I’m not afraid, seems more like a small albeit wild dog than a dangerous vector. Amazing to experience the wildness of nature so close to the vastness of humanity just two days riding to the south.
I pack up camp and ride up the hill to San Luis Obispo. I spend a long time at Kreuzberg’s coffeehouse, drinking coffee and planning the rest of my trip. Will I head into the desert east of LA to visit Ray in Olancha? Or head on the LA and points south. The visit to Ray’s new place, the Jack Rabbit Project, would involve several days riding in the desert, with very little service or water available. And then there’s the elevation. Nearly 5000 feet of climbing, then descending out of Paso Robles and Bakersfield. I’m still not in my optimal bicycling condition.
I opt for the Los Angeles route. Maybe next time to the desert! The afternoon wanes, so I head down the hill to Pismo Beach. I’m camping at Coastal Dunes, a county RV park wedged between Route 1 and the Amtrak line. Both are quiet at night, though the last train barrels through nearly 9pm, sounding like it will roll right over my tent. The next day is a long ride, all the way past Lompoc and down to the Santa Barbara coastline. At Orcutt I opt to continue on 135 to Los Alamos, then turn south onto 101 through Buellton. I’m avoiding the climb over Lompoc Peninsula, and with a ten foot shoulder I feel safe listening to podcasts to help the freeway riding pass quickly. 101 crests and then descends down a narrow canyon towards Gaviota. I ride on the Refugio State Beach, with a lovely Hiker Biker site under palm trees, sunset views over the beach directly across from camp. Now this is Southern California dreaming!
The next day’s camp is Carpenteria, then I continue on through Ventura to Malibu and Leo Carillo State Beach. One more day’s ride and I’ll be in Los Angeles. I write to several hosts on WarmShowers.org, and receive an offer of hosting from Junu in central LA. I ride on through the rolling PCH through Malibu and into Santa Monica. Following Google directions for another 14 miles, I ride on LA bike ways along canals and busy through streets. I arrive at Junu’s with sense of relief, his hosting is an oasis of hospitality standing against the vast metropolis of LA.
We share wings and watch a silly movie, Moonfall, which posits the moon is actually a Dyson Sphere, and AI driving machine surrounding a white dwarf, constructed by an intelligent alien race. Of course the enemy is an AI virus, causing the moon to fall to earth. The campy and hilarious dialog make us wonder if the script was in fact written by AI. I’m staying up later than I should, since I’ve decided to make the turn north and catch a 7am Amtrak. But I can sleep on the train, and I enjoy Junu’s company after so many weeks in the solitude of the road.