We had a relaxing morning at Mark’s and took it easy. We had another Warm Showers stay setup not too far, and with the knowledge that we had been dealing with gale winds and a wind storm, which had now passed, everything seemed a little better. The winds even sunk a boat – not that that should make us feel good, but it did warrant our wind complaints, and no one was injured.
After breakfast and more conversation, we left around noon to make our way to REI. The way out of Monterey was beautiful, on pathways and right along the beach. Had we been more prepared we would have stayed another day and visited the Sea Otters convention (the cycling convention) that is apparently the largest in the US and possibly the world. We could have had bags of free protein and granola bars. Many people kept asking us if that was why we were in town, (including the woman in the grocery store – to which I replied “no we just missed them but we’ll go do the 17-mile drive” thinking she was talking about the Sea Lions).
We discussed our route with Mark extensively, and it always makes sense at the time, but somehow today we seemed to get lost on a few occasions. Getting to REI was a bit tricky because of the highway, but there was also blocks of abandoned military buildings which resulted in many roads being closed and not letting us across to the road we needed. Finally getting through, we made it to REI where Jesse purchased a different sleeping mat, and I purchased proper cycling gloves instead of the kayaking gloves I was using. The staff there was excited to hear about our trip and wished us well as we set off.
We found a shortcut through the base and returned to the bike path the way we came, trying to remember the advice we received. However, following Jesse’s map on his phone instead of the Adventure Cycling map, we ended up way off course in artichoke fields, however this added a stop at a fried artichoke hearts van where we, naturally, bought some fried artichokes and talked to a man from Lake Tahoe.
After a few more wrong turns we started making our way to what we had thought was only 55km away. Since the day was full of tailwinds and no hills we were still managing okay for time and pressed onward towards Alberta and Richard’s home in Aptos. We did accidentally riding on the ‘no cyclists’ section on the freeway for a mile or two however the shoulder did remain in this section and our tailwind pushed us forward enough that it wasn’t a completely terrifying experience.
Finally reaching our next Warm Showers location, we were greeted with a variety of home made pizzas to try and a salad, as well as lots of conversation, stories, and advise for the road ahead. Richard makes and sells his own cycling maps of the Pacific Coast which have far more information than the adventure cycling ones, so we received a couple that will help us as we continue northward. It was also fun meeting their many cats, including the sweetest but very shy foster cat they’ve had since she gave birth to kitchens in the winter.