Friday, August 10, 2012

Decisions decisions

8/8 Day 28 - Last night was rough... For me anyway. I woke up to a sniffing noise outside the tent. My mind immediately went to coyote or bobcat even though we were in the middle of town. It sounded like a dog and I couldn't imagine someone would just let their dog wander around the park in the middle of the night. Later we found out it had been raccoons. Side note - If there are food bins for our food we always use them - safety first! And if there aren't food bins we put the food in one of our thick plastic dry bags that is hard to get into and set it away from the tent or hang it in a tree. However, at this particular park there were no bins, and no signs about raccoons. We should have known better though. We put the food bag in the vestibule of the tent and I think they could smell it. We also had some candy wrappers in the tent that they could probably smell. Anyway, I was terrified that whatever was outside the tent wanted in and we were going to get attacked. Therefore I did not sleep well. After I got too tired to think about them I realized I had to pee. Dang it. That kept me up the rest of the night because I refused to go by myself. Some time very early in the morning I got a horrendous calf cramp that brought me to tears. It was the worst night ever.

So when we woke up I felt terrible. My whole right side was throbbing from my fall and my left calf was still cramped and seriously painful. I was not at all excited about our hilly day. Fortunately we decided to shorten the day that the book had planned making the next day about 55 miles. We would do two of the three big hills and do the next one the following day. It seemed like a flawless plan.

We headed out straight uphill. Somehow even though we were already way up we had more to go. It sucked but it wasn't too long until we were going back down. We decided to do a little side trip onto 17 mile drive. It's a private road that costs cars $10 to drive on. It takes you out onto the peninsula and through some very scenic territory. The Pebble Beach golf course is on that road. We only rode on it for a couple miles which is great because it was busy and very narrow. We got off and went through a very classy neighborhood from which you can see the golf course. It was a very beautiful place with white sandy beaches.

After we got through the neighborhood we ended up on the edge of Carmel and decided to stop at the grocery. We forgot to get breakfast food the night before so we stocked up on pop tarts and got some noodles for dinner. It was about 26 miles til we could stop for lunch at a state park that the book suggests to stay at to split the day in half (so what would be 60 miles in one day would then be 30/30 over two days). We were planning on going a bit farther to make our day more like 45 miles.

We rode along some very beautiful coastline. The sun was shining and we had a pretty strong tailwind, which was very welcome considering it was in our faces yesterday. We had to go over a few pretty large hills and at the top of one the wind was so strong we had to brake going uphill. While it was a nice break from peddling, when you're that high up and there is only a guardrail between you and a couple hundred feet of rocks straight down, it's a little scary. (We definitely agreed with the name of it, Hurricane Point.) We rode very carefully down the biggest hill trying to avoid getting thrown around by the wind. We made it just fine :].

After we got through those series of hills we came to a somewhat downhill part, but the wind was still very strong. We barely had to peddle for a couple miles and were going around 25 mph. It was awesome. That part took us away from the ocean though, which was not awesome. It quickly went from perfect weather to unbearably hot. We knew we were close to our lunch destination though so we kept on. After going through some construction and stopping to get an iced tea we finally made it to the state park. It took us a while to find a good place for lunch, but we finally found a nature center that had a picnic table out front.

We walked in to see if we could charge our phones and got talking to the rangers. They asked where we were planning on staying, but when we told them they asked if we had reservations. Umm no we don't. Why? Well that place only has two campsites and they are always booked and there are no hiker/biker sites. Well poop. We plugged our phones in and decided to make lunch while we talked about our options.

Option 1: stay here and then go 30 miles tomorrow putting us one more day behind schedule (2 days overall.) Option 2: stay here and go 68 miles tomorrow keeping us on schedule. Option 3: keep going another 30 miles to where the book had us staying in the first place.

We contemplated those for a while. My big issue was staying on schedule. I really don't want to add more days at this point because I want to have plenty of relax time in LA and SD. But I'm also still in a lot of pain from falling and the calf cramp. Ethan was mostly concerned about the hills we have to deal with over the next two days. Ultimately we ended up deciding to stay. It would put us another day behind, but we decided the benefit of having all day to get over the hills tomorrow outweighed the cost of losing another relax day.

Anyway, after we made our choice we decided to take a short hike to a waterfall nearby. It was really hot and the waterfall was less than spectacular. We were a bit dissatisfied. Oh well. After that we paid for a hiker/biker site and set up camp. We walked around for a while and got some snacks, two Dr. P's, and a beer at the store. Then we made dinner and charged our phones at the bathroom while cleaning dishes.

We ended up hanging out with another couple that we met a few days ago. They made a fire and we made s'mores. It was a good night. Early to bed (10pm) so we can get up and get those hills over with. :]

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