Saturday, August 11, 2012

The Last of the Hills

8/11 Day 31- To explain the title, today was our last day of giant hills. After today we won't have anything over 300ft. Yay!

We woke up super early this morning around 6:15 (the earliest we have been up on purpose). We had about 60 miles to do and two pretty big hills. We left at about 7:15 and it was really nice to be out on the road alone. There was very little traffic until about 10:30 or so. It was great.

Our first stop was in Guadalupe. We pulled in to an American Legion that had picnic tables and ate some pop tarts. We decided we would eat little meals as much as possible because we knew it was going to be hot and a very long day. After that we went another 10 miles and stopped in Orcutt. The first big hill was about 8 miles ahead so we made PBJs and had an Arnold Palmer. On the way to the hill we went through more strawberry fields. It was hard not to stop and just smell the air.

When we got to the hill, the sun had come out and we were pretty far inland so it quickly became scorching hot. The hill actually wasn't too bad, we've definitely had worse. But it was so hot! We had to stop every time there was shade (which wasn't very often) to cool our bodies off and drink water. Ethan ended up in his spandex with no shirt and I ended up in mine with my shirt pulled up and tucked in my bra. We couldn't get up that hill fast enough. Finally we made it and we spent a solid 15 minutes cooling off in the shade.

As we came down the hill we rolled into the town of Lompoc. Odd name, but all we cared about was the temperature. Lompoc isn't really close to the coast, but there was an awesome cool breeze through the city that felt amazing. We stopped at Burger King to fill up our water bottles and fought the urge to buy a large fry. After that we found a park to chill and eat lunch. More PBJs.

We sat there for a while contemplating the next hill. It was 13.5 miles up hill and only 2.5 miles down. We decided to just go for it and stop when we found shade or sooner if we needed to. At first it wasn't too bad. It basically was a series of rolling hills that gradually took us higher and higher. Again, the worst part was the heat. After a while we came to a spot where there literally was no shade for miles. It was torture. It also happened to be a very long & slow uphill stretch. Finally I told Ethan that we had to stop even if there was no shade. We stopped at a call box that gave us about a 2ft square of shade. At this point I was on the struggle bus for sure. I'm not sure how much farther we had to go. I wasn't sure if I could go two more feet.

Somehow, as usual, we made it up the hill. At last! The final big hill! We took a picture at the top and sailed down the other side. Luckily the campground was right at the bottom and we were back on the coast. The breeze was cool and we felt so relieved. We paid for our spot at the hiker biker (stinkin $10 per biker & its usually $5. Crap. -Ethan) and set up camp. A father-son pair, Bob and Dante, were there too. We've ended up staying at the same place as them a few nights. We made dinner and spent most of the evening chatting with them. Their last day is tomorrow. We're super excited for LA (technically Redondo/Torrance) so we're going to try to get there on the 13th. Yay! The next two days are going to be long, but I think it will be worth it. The end is in sight!!

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