May 23, 2016
Monterey to Kirk Creek CG
61.0 miles, 5:01 in the saddle, 4893 ft of climbing
Total Miles: 1028
I got up and headed out on a route suggested by Thomas, one of the colorful locals that were staying at the campground Hiker/Biker site. The route went up even more after the big climb yesterday. But soon enough I was descending into Carmel on 17 Mile Drive through the exclusive Pebble Beach community.
I then went to the last grocery store before starting down the Big Sur coast, and the last Starbucks, which again had a deja vu feeling as I had stopped here on my 3CR ride in 2014.
Fueled up I headed down Hwy 1. I got a text last night from Logan that he had stayed at a family friend’s place in Carmel, and was expecting to get to Kirk Creek CG for the night, so I was excited to possibly meet up with him again.
Sure enough when I got to the Bixby Bridge, there was Logan talking with a gentleman touring on a BMW motorcycle. He took some pictures of us.
Logan had heard great things about the Big Sur Bakery, so we planned to stop there. It took Logan asking to discover we had to keep heading south, and up a big hill to get to the Bakery. I arrived sweating buckets on the climb. I had a fancy grilled cheese sandwich which was delicious. While there we met some other cyclotourists, Kaitlin and Dan, who were traveling south. We shared information, and met another tourer that was from the area, who gave us good information on our intended destination. He said the campsite had a great view but no water.
I arrived Lucia to meet another tourist, Edric, who was planning a ride that ventured off into the hills on a road near Kirk Creek. When all the others had arrived in Lucia, there was a lot of discussion of what to do. I headed out eventually, loaded with all three water bottles planning on staying at Kirk Creek.
Logan and I finally got to Kirk Creek and I thought it was wonderful. The sun was shining and the site had a great view of the ocean. The ranger came by and we were able to buy a gallon of bottled water so that was not a problem. The others eventually arrived and they decided to stay as well. We all made our respective dinners together and enjoyed sharing stories.
Then night for me was interrupted by my first encounter with pesky raccoons. They came into our site and were up on the table messing around. Our food was in the food locker, bolted to the table. But it didn’t have much of a latch and I was concerned about them getting into it. I never though to worry about the water bottle. I got up and chased them off a couple times, and leaned out of the tent shining my light on them a couple more times. Eventually I got some sleep I guess. But in the morning we discovered the water bottle on the ground drained.
But it was a great day of cycling. The traffic was moderate on the narrow twisting road, but not as bad as I remember from 2014. We had some great tail winds in sections (blowing us into Big Sur) that made the ride even more fun. The ride had lots of climbing and I was certainly tired at the end of the day, but what a great day