Day 25 2021 – Over the Mountain and In N Out

Surprisingly, the sun had not broken through the overcast sky when we started today. I’m not sure we have started with the sun since Monterey. We made our way out of Lompoc without stopping at the Fosters Freeze. The murals on some of the buildings caught our eye, like this one.

Just 3 miles outside of Lompoc, we began our 1,000 foot climb over the mountains back to the Pacific shore. Once again, fog and clouds came rolling over the mountains to greet us.

Even though we were climbing 1,000 feet, we were doing it over a 17 mile span, not a 4 mile span. There were times when I couldn’t tell if we were going uphill or down without checking the elevation measurement on my GPS.

The mountain scenery was beautiful in its own way, but it was easy to get distracted by the roadside attractions.

There are some people that lose their pants and even their underwear along the roadside. I just don’t know any of them, thankfully.

These shoes were in good shape, but too small for me.

I saw two different deer along the road. I’m don’t know what might have gotten the first one, but I don’t think the second died of thirst.

Ron pointed out this owl to me. I got close to see if it had anything near its claws, like a rodent, but they were empty. I have no idea what would kill a predator like this one. Close by was a baby’s pacifier. My story is that the owl went after a kid and the parents took out the owl. You can make up your own.

Two years ago, I met two unique travelers on this section. One was on a skateboard, the other was riding a fixed gear track bike. This time, there were still some special travelers. They were on the way north, back to San Simeon, hoping to make it to Santa Maria today.

From the time we left Lompoc we had ridden almost 18 miles to over 1,000 feet above sea level. We had finally finished our climb. Clouds appeared to cover part of our descent. We were going drop about 1,000 feet in about 4 miles as you can see here (click on the analysis section). It was fun doing over 30 mph for miles without pedaling. I let Ron go first to see if it was really safe for me and Hidalgo.

When we got to the bottom, CA 1 merged with our old friend Highway 101 as we took it to the ocean at Gaviota. The skies were gray and clouds and fog hid most of the ocean from our sight. We had a strong wind at our backs most of the way as we headed east, separated from the ocean by railroad tracks that ran parallel to the shoreline. There wasn’t much scenery. However, as this marker and scenes from this viewpoint indicated, this road was key to the settlement of the area by the Spanish.

The Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail is unique in its location and historical context. It connects Mexico to San Francisco, and the 18th century to the 21st. It invites travelers to experience the interweaving of the three elements of the Spanish plan for the colonization of its northern frontier: presidios (military forts), missions (religious centers), and pueblos (civilian towns). By following the trail, it becomes easier to grasp the links between the presidios of Tubac, Santa Barbara, and San Francisco, and to see patterns in the location, construction and use of Spanish Missions. 

Some rare views of the shoreline. The rail line and drop to the ocean hid the shore most of the time for more than 20 miles.

From the time we left Lompoc, we knew there would be no place to get food or water until we got to within 5 miles of our hotel in Santa Barbara. It had been a chilly ride east, made even cooler by a strong tailwind off the ocean. We were happy to be off Highway 101 for the last 2 miles to the hotel. As we got closer to Santa Barbara, we had been dodging vehicles at the exit and entry ramps off 101. After we checked in, we both got hot coffee from the lobby. I had a Clif bar and some trail mix with mine. After showers and a little laundry duty, we were both pretty hungry.

Most of the dinner options involved a long walk or riding the bike. Neither of us was in the mood for that so we went across the street to an In N Out burger restaurant. Besides the burgers and fries, they also had MILKSHAKES! I counted 30 cars in line for the drive through, with another 5 in line on the street trying to turn in as well. The parking lot was full. The line to order was relatively short, but when we were given our order numbers, we were about 20th in the queue.

Considering the large volume of orders, they were very efficient. Ron got a double cheeseburger, regular hamburger, fries and a strawberry shake, which outbid my 2 regular hamburgers, fries and strawberry shake by 2 slices of cheese and an extra patty.

We watched television while we ate. We also started uploading pictures. I went outside to make a call home to Becky and get a banana and milk for tomorrow morning at a gas station next to the In N Out. Three hours after we got our dinner, there were still 30 cars in line, full parking lot, and more on the street waiting to get in. Good thing they don’t do breakfast or we would never get on the road tomorrow.

Not a good picture, but you get the idea.

The Not So Lone Rider

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