A Small Part of the Big Sur - Poking Around South of the Border - CycleBlaze

March 24, 2022

A Small Part of the Big Sur

Elephant Seal Rookery

What an amazing day. After rereading Scott and Rachael Anderson’s journal about Paso we made a decision to head for the coast. Cambria is a beautiful half hour drive from Paso. Onto the rack with the bikes, and we were there in no time at all. 

It was just so beautiful!
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Scott AndersonGlad to see how green it still was. I wondered about that.
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1 year ago
Kathleen ClassenIt was unexpectedly amazing. We really had no idea how gorgeous it would be.
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We parked the car in Cambria and began the day with coffee at a charming little spot on the main drag because when we arrived it was quite foggy. Then, suitably caffeinated, we were on our way. It was great right from the start. There was a head wind, and it was building, but we knew it would blow us home so we weren’t bothered by it. The shoulder was wide, the cars respectful and the scenery was over the top. There was still some fog at the beginning but it burned off quickly. 

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Note that pesky fog.
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We were dreaming of ditching the vehicle and just getting home this way. There was that headwind though.
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The wind did keep building!   By the time we arrived at the elephant seal rookery a mutual decision was made that carrying on to Ragged Point wasn’t in the cards. Without my low gears I was almost having to stand up on the pedals to turn them around. It was going to be a quick ride back to Cambria. 

The elephant seals were so entertaining. They were so lazy we were worried a few were actually dead when suddenly a female would start splashing sand all over her back or two males would suddenly rear up and start an argument. We watched for quite awhile. 

They reminded us of enormous slugs!
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Rachael AndersonIt sure is an amazing sight! I’m glad you got out on a ride there!
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Kathleen ClassenI think there were more elephant seals when you were there, but we found them so entertaining. We wouldn’t have known about it if it wasn’t for your journal.
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Two bull seals about to have a vocal territorial argument.
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The ride back was even more scenic than the ride out because now the ocean was on our side of the highway. It was also effortless as we were blown along. It was terrific in every way. 

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We stopped frequently, including at Hearst Winery. We had little desire to see the castle and it was a moot point anyway as it was closed. But the winery?   Of course we stopped. 

What a beautiful day for a glass of wine by the ocean.
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On the way to the elephant seals we passed a pier out into the ocean, so on the way back we explored. It was on the right side of the street now. It turned out to be William Randolph Hearst Memorial Beach, donated by the Hearst family. What a beautiful spot. We had a good wander. 

The San Simeon Pier in the park.
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Scott AndersonI’m surprised to see we missed this - twice. We’ll have to go back.
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Kathleen ClassenWe will be back too. Thanks again for pointing us to Paso. We could spend a week there exploring on the bikes.
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A picture from the pier. This is a beautiful coastline.
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Then we continued to be blown back to Cambria, although Murphy’s Law had it that the wind was rapidly abating. Of course!   There was one funny moment on the way back. We were in Moonstone Beach riding along and Keith crossed the road and was pointing at something. I was looking at him while slowing to a stop to look around. Unbeknownst to me a turkey vulture was enjoying  a roadside lunch directly in front of me and I came to within a few inches of him. He flew up out of the way at the last second, practically brushing me with his wings and my startle reflex is strong.  Keith had been hoping to get a photo.  If we had that encounter on video we would win a million dollars. We both collapsed in laughter. As an aside, we have seen more turkey vultures here than we can count. They are everywhere. 

Bikes went back on the rack, we belatedly discovered we had parked in a two hour zone, but no ticket, and we were just as enchanted with the drive back to Paso as we were on the drive out. 

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Today's ride: 45 km (28 miles)
Total: 479 km (297 miles)

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Rachael AndersonGlad you had such a wonderful day!
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1 year ago