Pacific Coast Sierra Cascades Bike Trip Day 22 – Big Sir

I left my classy and comfy accommodations at 7 and rode a mile back to the bike path along Del Monte Ave. The path ran for 10 miles mostly along dunes and parallel to CA 1. In Monterey the path continued to downtown to a delightful French bakery, but it was closed. I headed up Munras Ave. past a parade of well-manicured inns and motels. To get on CA 1, I labored up Viejo Road, walking my bike at one point. The freeway portion of CA 1 ended and stop-go traffic began. I rode past creeping cars to Carmel where I stopped at a Safeway for food, coffee, and a hefty breakfast burrito. I dined on a bench outside the store. Onward for a steep climb to Carmel Highlands and the Big Sur coast. The fog mostly lifted revealing the ocean and accompanying sea stacks. The 17-mile ride to the town of Big Sur has to be one of the most spectacular anywhere. Orange Indian paintbrush, yellow lupines, and magenta ice plant flowers graced the roadside in places. In town, I ate lunch on a shaded bench at a restaurant. The route ran along the Big Sur River and redwood groves for a mile then climbed steeply for several miles to the coast. At one point, two ladies walking along the highway gave me cheers. The coast featured lots of lowest-gear climbs in addition to more breathtaking views. For about 20 miles, the steep slopes above the highway had burned recently exposing vast areas of bare soil. A huge rain last winter created massive runoff that wiped out a section of the highway and piled rocks and mud on other sections. I passed by the reconstructed section. I got chocolate milk in Lucia for the last 9 miles of the day to the Plaskett US Forest Service Campground. Fellow southbound bikers Frank, Todd and his wife Lucia were already there. $5 for a hiker/ biker site but no showers apart from some sun at lunch, overcast and fog dominated the day. The weather continues cool. 74 miles today.

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