Day 21 • March 22, 2012 • San Simeon to Morro Bay • 28 miles
Today we made good use of flat terrain and strong tail winds to reach Morro Bay in time to do some studying at the library there. We closed the place down, not realizing that the oddly flickering lights weren’t an electrical problem but notice that the library was closing. We were just getting used to the practice of using a gong or other loud noise to denote closing times– Taps at the campground, gongs at the Monterey library and Exploratorium. We had transitioned from auditory to visual cues apparently.
The day was cloudy with occasional light fog, a good day to buckle down and get some riding in. Soon after getting on the highway I noticed the mysterious green Geo Metro from the day before in my rear view mirror. Rob was waving us down so we pulled over to see what was up. He told us he was glad he found us again because he wanted to invite us on board his ship. Turns out Rob is captain of the Irving Johnson, a brigantine tall ship that is part of the fleet of the Los Angeles Maritime Institute (LAMI). LAMI is a non-profit organization that uses the adventure and teamwork required in operating a tall ship to educate kids for success in life. At the time of our second meeting with Captain Rob we didn’t really understand any of this– we just knew that the persistent guy in the green Metro had offered us an adventure potentially as cool as the one we were already on. We agreed to keep in touch as we got closer to San Pedro bay where the ship was docked and continued on our ride to Morro Bay.
After getting booted from the library in Morro Bay, Zoe and I checked out the dive-looking Mexican restaurant we’d been eying. I was tentative but when we realized that most of the clientele at Taco De Mexico was speaking Spanish we figured we had chosen well. We were right– the man behind the till was friendly, efficient, and very much in charge, serving up some tasty, inexpensive Mexican food with incredible homemade salsas. This kind of Mexican food is hard to find in Boise.
By the time we finished dinner it was getting late but fortunately we had only a couple mile downhill cruise into a hiker/biker site under the eucalyptus trees at Morro Bay State Park. There we met Erik and Remko, a couple of Dutch touring cyclists. They were both riding Dutch-made short wheelbase recumbents, our first encounter with ‘bents on our ride. I think they had started in San Francisco and were heading to New York on a more northern route than us, planning to meet their girlfriends there at the end of the ride. They rode the 101 so we hadn’t had much route in common. They have a blog but better brush up on your Dutch. The Netherlands are renowned for there bicycle-friendly transportation infrastructure so I wondered how they found the automobile-centric US roadways. They acknowledged that priorities are different here but didn’t seem to be having much trouble. Zoe and I joined Erik and Remko at their camp fire and swapped cycling stories until bed time.