PCH Tour: Through Carmel and into Big Sur

Big Sur Lighthouse

Day 49 – I packed up as soon as I had enough light to see. Michael did the same. We both wanted to get out of that crazy park full of strange people. It was a nice downhill glide through the fog, back into Monterey. We found a coffee spot on the fisherman’s wharf and ordered some egg and ham crepes. I made my posts and relaxed while we waited for the sun to burst through the clouds. It looked like we were in luck.

From the wharf we took a bike path that went along the ocean. We kept seeing adults and children all dressed in silly outfits jogging down the path. It must have been a relay for cancer. Further down the path, we came across gates that said road closed. We snuck around them on our bikes and found ourselves in the middle of a triathlon. It looked like everyone was in the final stretch of their run. We got to the finishing line, where music pumped away and people cheered as the racers came through. I snapped a couple of photos and took in the energy of the experience.

From there, we continued along the peninsula on 17 Mile Drive. It took us through the heart of Pebble Beach, the famous golf course. Giant mansions stood on the cliffs overlooking the rocky course. The fog came back in and turned everything to gray. It was an easy level ride all the way around. Up and over some hills, we dropped into the town of Carmel. It was full of amazing little homes and a beautiful beach. The sun came out in force and turned the ocean blue again.

We took the scenic drive and came across a pod of whales out in the cove. There had to be at least 10 of them. They were swimming around a small boat and putting on a show for the crowed. Giant plumes of water burst into the sky and tails slapped the water. They were the most whales I had ever seen in one spot. We stayed for a good 20 minutes, enamored with the beauty of nature. Back in the quaint downtown of Carmel, we found a market where we got lunch and food for the night. It was getting later in the afternoon, and we still had 30 miles of hilly coastline to ride. We finished our food and made our way to Route 1.

It was about 10 miles before we really burst out onto the coast line. The afternoon sun, lit the mountainous terrain like a dream. We couldn’t help but stop every quarter mile to take photos. The mountains and oceans were vast. The hill climbs were large, but I didn’t feel tired. I felt revitalized. I couldn’t help but smile as we went up and down the cliff-sides. I remember being so nervous about riding through Big Sur at the beginning of the trip. Now all of my worries were gone, and I was enjoying this stretch of road more than any other.

Bixby Bridge Big Sur

We came to the famous Bixby Bridge, and I recalled the first time I saw it, several years ago with my sister, Candace. It was shrouded in fog then. Now it was lit by the setting sun. We snapped a bunch of photos and then sped across with smiles on our faces. The great scenery continued all of the way to Pfeiffer State Park. We pulled in just as the sun was going down. The lodge was still open and we grabbed a couple of tall cans of Budweiser and drank them on the bench. Beer tastes even better after a long day of riding. We drank and recalled the amazing day that we just experienced. We set up camp among the redwoods. I showered, ate a bit and went to bed. This trip continued to surprise me.

(Repost of my 2014 Pacific Coast Tour Instagrams)



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