Pacific Coast Sierra Cascades Bike Trip Day 24 – Inland to the Beach

On the road at the usual time with minimal traffic on CA 1. The route headed inland past crop fields, such as cauliflower, on flat land. After a short climb over a ridge, the route descended to more crop land, industrial-scale farming at its most intensive. At 14 miles on the day, at stopped at El Tapatio in Guadalupe for more breakfast. I sat at the counter between a friendly older woman and two older gents. The woman explained how the people at the cafe were related to each other. Onwards to Orcutt, where farmland dominated the landscape. Here the highway gained elevation and farming ended and ranching began. A typical scene included tawny dried grasses, dark green waist-high shrubs on gentler slopes, and oak trees on steeper hillsides (see photo). Rather than take the official route over Harris Grade, I stayed on CA 1 to Vandenberg Space Center (AFB) and Lompoc. I got food at Albertsons and ate lunch sitting in front of the store with two guys selling raffle tickets to a high school all-star football game next week. Well fed, I followed CA 1 as it climbed slowly for 20 miles. Just before the top, a woman in a white pick-up truck parked by the highway asked if I needed anything. She was driving the sag wagon for her husband and two other bikers on 4-day ride from San Francisco to Santa Barbara. After getting a drink, I pressed onto the top then whizzed down to US 101. I bucked a headwind for 4 miles to the coast then enjoyed a tailwind for the final 8-mile stretch to Refugio State Beach. I met the same woman again at the park entrance. She gave me a cold soda, Yum! I got a hiker-biker site  ($10) at the same excellent spot where Betsy and I camped in 2015 when we biked from Crescent City, CA to Santa Barbara. 75 miles today.

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