Thursday, October 30, 2014

Pancakes to Skunks

After a wonderful night of sleep in a bed, we head downstairs and find our incredible host Bill already making breakfast. He is preparing aebleskivers, a Danish breakfast food which is essentially a spherical pancake. This was especially exciting for Danny and Leslie because making this type of pancakes is a thanksgiving tradition in their family. 
After packing up and fixing an unfortunate flat tire, Bill escorts us out of town on a beautiful quiet road. 
Bill and Kandy, we can't thank you enough for your incredible generosity! It was such a pleasure to meet you two and Olive.

After Bill turns back to head home, we take off on route 1 for about a mile before turning onto Harris Grade Road. This little back road has very little traffic and takes us over a fairly easy pass into the town of Lompoc. Even though it's still a bit early in the day we decide to have lunch because we won't be seeing another town for a while. Leslie treats us to quesadillas and nachos at a delicious little Mexican place.  Thanks Leslie!

After lunch we pick up enough food to get us to Ventura and hop back on the road. It's not great riding through town on the trafficked streets, but once we're away from the strip malls we have a large shoulder to ride on. All afternoon we trek across rolling hills covered in dry grasses and dotted with shrubby trees. Most of this area appears to be used for ranching. There's a fair amount of traffic, the road is bumpy, and we have a headwind so it's slow going. 
It's a relief when we descend back to the coast. All along the coast Route 1 merges with the 101 (a larger highway) so there's a lot of traffic. However, there's a nice shoulder and we develop a bit of a tailwind.

After a little over 50 miles we stop to camp at El Capitan State Beach. For $10 per person we are unimpressed. The hiker/biker area is the part of the campground farthest from the entrance, it's right next to the road and train tracks, and showers cost extra. 
We do get to watch the sun melt over the ocean in a vibrant display of color and meet another touring cyclist named Scott. Over dinner we sit and exchange stories. Originally from the UK, Scott has toured down the east coast, across the US, and now up the west coast. He's been having a fantastic time bicycling and we greatly enjoy chatting with him.
As we get ready for bed we notice a skunk sniffing our stuff. We carefully shoo him away, but a few minutes later he's back. Danny and I decide to sleep in the tent with Leslie tonight. Moving my shoes I notice that there are cockroaches crawling into them. This campsite gets better every minute.

Aiming for our friend Karis's house in Ventura tomorrow! Can't wait.

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