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.