El Capitan

Day 25 • March 26, 2012 • Lompoc to El Capitan State Beach •  35 miles

The weather and terrain settled down nicely today.  Light headwinds and a long slow climb out of Lompoc transitioned to a long fast glide back down to the coast with a decent tailwind once we got onto highway 101.  Even though there was more traffic on the 101 at the end of the ride I preferred it over the 1 at the start because the shoulder was much smoother and two lanes in our direction instead of one kept the cars and trucks a little further away.   Traffic was pretty heavy the whole way.

We camped at El Capitan State Beach, named after José Francisco Ortega.  Ortega was a captain (El Capitan) in the Spanish Army who retired in 1795.  The campground was nice enough with shady camping among the oak and sycamore trees.  They have a $10 hiker/biker rate but no dedicated area of the campground which meant we stayed in a car camping site with no place to lock up our food.  I spent a chunk of the night fending off another raccoon attack.  At one point there was a raccoon paw inside the tent grabbing for our stuff.  We passed by Refugio State Park on the way to El Capitan;  we’ve since learned Refugio may have been the better bet.  Next time.

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