February 20 - San Luis Obispo

(This is written on Feb. 24, since I've been to sick to write until now).

One thing about cafes in California, the crapola is as good as it comes. That's a sperm whale jaw there.

We rode 13 hilly miles to breakfast at the crapola fest above, then it was 1200 feet of climbing to bring a close to the brutal Big Sur region. After Ragged Point, it flattens out considerably. This was good, because I had nothing all day, and it became apparent as the day went on that I was too sick to be bike touring. I set myself a very easy pace, and focused on making it to the nice hostel at San Luis Obispo, which I knew to have an Amtrak station. If I could just get there, I could keel over and die and it would be OK, because I could just put myself on the train to San Diego.

No matter how miserable you feel, there are some things you have to stop and photograph. One would be elephant seals.

Here's one in a close-up, so you can tell it from a rock.

Here are some more. You might wonder how to find the elephant seals given the miles and miles and miles of beaches. Well, it's really easy. You just look for a roadside parking area that is jammed full of cars, and then look out at the ocean and see that there are no waves. So all those people aren't surfing. They must be gawking at elephant seals.

The other thing that is worth stopping to photograph is Art.

This is in Cayucos. This is where Jim and I started planning what we were going to do if I was too sick to continue. Jim proposed stopping early, but I was determined to push on to San Luis Obispo and finish the day. Which we did. All 86 miles, with an extra determination bonus of a brief shower with hail, and a flat tire at dusk to ensure we got in after dark.

I can't believe I made it.