Lopez Lake - Winterlude 2020 - CycleBlaze

December 2, 2020

Lopez Lake

Rachael needs some new cycling socks - hers are getting Swiss cheesy and slip down and bunch up in her shoes.  This reminds me that I need a new pair of walking shoes - I’ve had mine for awhile and they’re getting thin soled and don’t give me as much support as I need.  Rachael does a bit of research and sees that there’s an REI store in San Luis Obispo (SLO), fifteen miles inland.  We decide to go shopping, start a ride from there, and end up back in town in time for dinner at Cafe Roma, an Italian restaurant with an appealing menu and outdoor seating.

The shopping spree is a big success.  Rachael comes out with a few pair of new socks and I have a pair of new Altra trail runners that I’m excited about.  The excursion feels completely safe - REI is very attentive to protocol, and the store is almost deserted.  The shoes are back behind the ropes, and candidates are handed to me by a masked salesperson.  No browsing by hand, hefting different models to see which has that perfect feel.

The good, the bad, the ugly. Maybe with new walkers I’ll be able to get around a bit better now.
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Bill ShaneyfeltAltra... Interesting. I sort of know the guy who invented them! His dad and I grew up together in Mojave. A big running family with a store in Orem, UT called "Runner's Corner." My old running buddy & family hold numerous distance running records for UT. He goes by "Hawk Harper."
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1 month ago
Jen GrumbyI've looked at the Altras a few times. Your toes will be happy!

Right now I have Topos, which also have a generous toe box and near-zero drop. Love them and the lower drop shoe has been great for my knees and hips.
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1 month ago

And, the ride is a big success.  We execute a ragged loop east of town along beautiful Edna Valley, a wine route; up to Lopez Lake where we stop for lunch on the concrete shoulder of a scenic bridge; south to Arroyo Grande; and then back to SLO again.  Lovely cycling country, worth a repeat visit.

Biking east of SLO, on Orcutt Road.
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Bruce Lellman25 years ago I visited the Orcutt Ranch and Horticultural Center north of L.A. It must be the same Orcutt.
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1 month ago
Scott AndersonTo Bruce LellmanYup. The ranch near LA was the vacation and retirement estate of William Orcutt, an early pioneer in California oil production. Orcutt Road is the road to the town of Orcutt, 100+ miles north of the ranch. The town was named after the same man though.
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1 month ago
Boot Hill.
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For the next several miles we bike the length of Edna Valley, a slender wine region tucked between low ridges. We’ll bike east on Orcutt Road on the northern edge of the region, and at the end of the ride return along its southern margin.
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The view north from Orcutt Road, at the ridge forming the northern rim of Edna Valley.
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The tasting room of Baileyana Vinyards, in a converted 1909 schoolhouse.
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Looking southwest across the western edge of Edna Valley. The nearest formation is Isla Peak, one of a chain of volcanic formations that runs to the sea and ends at Morro Rock.
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Along Orcutt Road.
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On Lopez Road. I don’t know what this elite property ahead is. Perhaps it’s associated with Talley Vineyards, just across the road.
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Lopez Lake, a reservoir formed by the damming of Arroyo Grande Creek. It provides the water supply for Arroyo Grande, Pismo Beach, and the surrounding communities.
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So what is this shrub or small tree that lines the road here?
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A closer look might help. Interesting finely serrated leaves.
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Bill ShaneyfeltMight be toyon.
https://www.calflora.org/cgi-bin/species_query.cgi?where-calrecnum=4140
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1 month ago
Scott AndersonTo Bill ShaneyfeltDefinitely. Thanks! I’ve never heard of this one before - also known as Christmas berry.
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1 month ago
Bill ShaneyfeltWas new to me too.
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1 month ago
On Lopez Road, following the perimeter of the lake.
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At the upper end of the Lake. The water level is quite low now. On the satellite view all of this area is underwater.
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Looking down from the bridge crossing upper Lopez lake. This wild pig is being chased back upstream by a park ranger tossing rocks at him.
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Jen GrumbyLove his shadow, especially the tail and ears!
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1 month ago
An elegant lunch stop, Lopez Lake.
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Looking across Arroyo Grande basin. This is near where we biked two days back on our ride up Huasna Road.
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On Corbett Canyon Road, on the slow road heading back toward SLO along the southern border of Edna Valley.
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On Corbett Canyon Road. Ahead is the chain of volcanic formations between SLO and Morro Bay.
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East of SLO, with Isla Peak at the end of the tracks ahead. I’ve ridden this line before, but never paid much attention. Before today my only awareness of San Luis Obispo was as an Amtrak stop.
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Video sound track: Air, by Jesse Cook

And, dinner is a big success.  Cafe Roma is very appealing.  The food is great, and so is the staff.  Also worth a repeat - we could just have a do-over of today but without the shopping spree, and be quite happy about it.  If it’s going to happen though, we may need to hurry.  The owner stops by to chat at the end of the meal, and says he thinks the restaurant may be shutting down again in a few days.  A new California directive is coming out tomorrow, and he talks as if he has inside information.  We haven’t dined indoors since the night we arrived in Chico, and it looks like our nights of outdoor dining are numbered now too.

Orecchiette pasta with Italian sausage, broccoli rabe and tomato sauce; over king salmon with white wine, a citrus suauce and fave beans.
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Ride stats today: 43 miles, 2,200’; for the tour: 409 miles, 11,300’

Today's ride: 43 miles (69 km)
Total: 451 miles (726 km)

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