Although I promised a post last night, I didn’t because we couldn’t risk any of y’all calling the park rangers on us for camping illegally! Truth is, after a late start out of SF, we were behind schedule and didn’t reach our planned destination near Año Nuevo state reserve. So, we ducked into the San Gregorio State Park (no running water, no camping) for the night and it worked out beautifully! The picture below is from the next morning. Can you spot our camping gear and/or bikes?
So, as I mentioned, we had a late start out of SF. It took some time to get our bikes assembled and equipment in place. Also, it’s quite a transition from riding a “regular” bike to a loaded, touring bike that’s 40-50lbs heavier. I felt a bit unsteady handling the bike at first, but was comfortable by the end of the day. Whew! And before we were truly on our way, I was able to visit and have lunch with my best friend, Monica. Yay!!
I didn’t have a chance to take a picture of where we sat, but SF has these “parklets” that are built off of sidewalks in front of various establishments and they’re for public use. Very nice city feature and something NYC could use too!
After we exited the city limits of San Francisco, we entered Daly City, which has some of the weirdest/ugliest residential architecture around. I wish I took a photo of the rows of houses, but you can kind of see them below, in the background.
Shortly after, we had a grueling four-mile climb on Rt. 1. with narrow roads, non-existent shoulders and lots of traffic. We then went through a tunnel, which is always a stressful experience (well for me, at least) mostly due to the noise.
When we exited the tunnel, we noticed some people walking out of a path on our right, the ocean side, and asked them if there was a trail. And of course there was! A beautiful one that hugs the cliffs and was built specially for hikers and bikers. “You’ve got to be freakin’ kidding me, right?” What was really annoying is that there weren’t any signs about this bike path. Grrrr. But, you can’t be upset for long when your view is this all day!
On our way to Half Moon Bay, we had a very special treat–a whale sighting!! It was about 500ft from shore and some locals who were also watching said they have never seen a whale come so close to shore at this location.
As it started to get later, we began looking for potential campgrounds, knowing we would have to rough it. The terrain was tough–mostly cliffs, as shown below to the left:
But luckily, we found the perfect place. We were hidden from the road, it was flat (important for me as I’m sleeping in a tent, not a hammock like Jim), and beautiful. We were situated on a cliff, over looking the Pacific and fell asleep to the crashing waves. Although a hot shower would have been nice, this was definitely worth the sacrifice. And for bonus, we had dinner on the beach!
All-in-all, a great first day on the road. Dad and I feel a bit rusty on the bikes–getting used to handling them, figuring out the best way to pack our stuff–but we always have a smile in our face!
And now here is the route we traveled today. I’m still learning how to use this app, so you can see in some places there’s a straight line when it’s obvious there couldn’t be. A very cool feature though!
You can see some additional map details by clicking here.
Miles: 45 miles (approximately. My bike computer isn’t working for some reason so we relied on the Ride with GPS app for total miles)
Weather: overcast in the mid-to-high 60s. Jacket needed for downhills but way too hot for uphills.
Road conditions: Moderate on roads; great on bike paths.
Campground: B+. Location was hard to beat, but no running water and sneaking around as to avoid detection knocked off some points.