Around the block iii

Tue May 22

Tried taking advantage of sleeping in a bed and a short riding day tomorrow by sleeping in but my internal. Lock would ‘t have any of it. At 5:30 I’m wide awake so up I go, shower, pack up my gear and by 6:30 I’m on my way.

My intention was to head to San Francisco then south to my cousins place but in Modesto I missed the right hand turn and kept going south on 99. After a few miles of folks doing 80 or more and seeing signs only for LA, I exit and check the maps. Sure enough, I’m heading the wrong way. Fortunately though, the exit is actually the road south to 33 which leads to Monterey Bay.

It’s a nice ride though. Through one of the grassland parks. It’s also sort of chilly, about 62. Anyway, there are nice long stretches of road where passing is easy and I take advantage. At one point, me and a car are swapping places in passing the slower trucks.

At 33 I head west. On my way up the hill, I realize there’s a dam to the left. A big freaking dam. There’s a reservoir on the other side. It’s a nice ride up and down the other side. 2 lanes in either direction so a nice comfortable pace.

On the other side it’s windy and there are garlic farms. Up to then there were cherries and almonds. The smell of garlic was strong. Fortunately the wind was blowing so it wasn’t as strong as it might have been.

After 101, I continued on towards Watsonville. The road up and over the pass was pretty sweet. Near the top on the other side was a road crew so we waited and were escorted down to the other side.

I headed on to Santa Cruz, still on the cool side, about 72 degrees.  Rt 1 north wasn’t too busy, I thought to head back to Monterey however the southbound side was bcked up for miles.

Right now I’ve been hanging around on the Santa Cruz Pier. Checking out the sea lions and trying not to be tempted by all the restaurants here on the pier. I figured I’d hang out a bit so I locked up my suit and helmet, grabbed my camera and phone and went for a walk.

About the only real problem right now is my hay fever is really kicking my ass. I need to find something. Clariton maybe.

After some walking around, I headed back to the bike and sat down on a bench to people watch. I was sitting not far from the bike so I could see people who would stop to check out the bike. A few would stop talking as they walked by, others would stop and look while a couple would actually walk around the bike 🙂

As it got close to 3, I decided to head up to the area where Julie lives to be ready when she was done with work. I was looking for a park with shade or something.

I headed up Ocean Drive and missed the left turn, heading up 17 instead. This is supposed to be a crazy road (check out the I survived 17 website) and pulled off at the Sims Road exit. It’s not an overpass so I had to backtrack a little until I got to an underpass, then back up the other side. At a stop sign, I pulled out my iPhone and found that making a left would get me over to the right road. Left it is!

Making a right, I headed up looking for some place with shade and spotted a sign that there were picnic tables 4 miles ahead. Sounds perfect. I went by Roaring Camp and up to Felton. Again, I went the wrong way. I’m getting better at realizing it and checked the map, and turned around.

On my way up, I found a sign for the Loch Lomand recreation area (this was in Ben Lomand) and thought this might be an interesting place to visit.

This was a super convoluted and twisty road going back into the hidden valleys with the road covered over with tall sequoias (I think, I’ll have to check). So it was dark and cool. I followed a small stream up until I got to a turn up another hill. This was a one lane 10 mph or less steep road with houses up on the sides of hills. It took a good 30 minutes to finally get to the gate. At one point, it changed from looking for a picnic area to “just what could this area be?” curiosity.

Finally at the top I ended up at the park entrance. In reading the sign,mone thing specifically popped out. “Make sure your boat is clean of foreign matter before putting it in the water and after taking it out”

Your BOAT?! Someone actually brings boats up that road?? Maybe there’s another road up or something.

So I pulled into the first picnic area and hung out, playing my guitar and reading. Basically just relaxing in the shade. At 3:40 I suited up and headed down to the lake. Loch Lomand is a large man made freshwater lake that provides water to Santa Cruz. It is pretty large actually. There were a few folks hanging about and it looked like the lake was closed right now (as in you couldn’t launch a boat).

Going down the hill was easier of course but I missed the turn I took on the way up. The good point was I ended up in Felton again. I got some gas and called Julie. She gave me directions to her place and off I went. I pulled in and parked the bike 🙂

Julie came out and welcomed me with a hug. I snagged a couple of things off the bike and came inside. We chatted about family and work, her new position at IBM and mine at my work (they scrape websites for mention of work so I won’t name it here 🙂 ).

Later she had a Rolfing appointment so we went down together. I headed off to walk around town until she was done, then we went to a salad place with her son Keven (what’s with all the Kevin’s, there are two at work too).

Returning home, we chatted more about work and Kevin going to school, and family before hitting the sack at 11.

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