Colin's Journal

24 January 2006
50 miles
Pismo State Beach --> Paso Robles
12 miles run, 38 biked

This day starts early: I don't know if it was noise or needing to go to the bathroom, but I woke at 2:30am and got up to go to the bathroom. It was pretty warm out, and I thought I heard some people going through our bags. I shined my headlamp on our picnic tables though and saw nothing. Coming back from the bathroom, I saw a racoon scamper away from the top of the picnic table. I found one of our loaves of bread with the bag torn through. I looked around for other food we left out and found our Cocoa Puffs, put the open bread on the table farther away from our bags, and took the Cocoa Puffs back to the tent with me.

About 10 minutes later though, I heard our bottle of One-A-Day pills get knocked over, and now it was on. I went back out and saw four of the little buggers on and around the far table. I startled them and they split into two groups, east and west of the table. One of the east raccoons dropped the piece of bread it was dragging- the one I'd salvaged earlier. I tried charging these raccoons, but they would just back up a few feet, and keep watching me with their beady eyes glowing orange in the light of the headlamp. Kicking dirt also did very little to scare them, so I picked up a big pine cone and nailed one with it, which finally made him scurry back across the road. I gave up the bread for lost, grabbed two bagged pears and the cream cheese from the table, stuck them in the BOB bag with the rest of our food, and carried the bag right to our tent door. While I was doing this, the raccoons reclaimed their bread, but didn't come for any of the tent food. What was also weird was that a harmonica could be heard playing the whole time somewhere across the campground.

When we woke in the morning, we found the empty cookie package on the ground west of table, along with Corey's bread. Grant's bread was nowhere to be found, but everything else was in fine shape. We had Cocoa Puffs, pears and bananas for breakfast, plus Pop-Tarts roasted on a grill over an open fire- a delicate operation.

We started out on the beach for about a mile and a half, which I got to run- another beautiful section. Then I got onto Price Cyn Rd. (I finally found out that "Cyn" is short for "Canyon"... who knew?), and started jogging along while Corey rode. We made it to the end of the road, and an Anza sign without anyone catching us- very odd for a runner to stay ahead of four bikers like this for a full hour. Corey and I waited and waited at this intersection, asking two cars if they'd seen any bikers. Finally Corey goes and uses the telephone in a nearby house to call Grant. Just as he gets back, Stephen rides up.

He tells us that they had taken the street perpendicular to Price Cyn Rd, called Price Rd., then realized their mistake. They thought that we may have done the same thing, and Stephen rode ahead to find us. Rogo didn't hear that it was the wrong way, so even when Stephen came back because he didn't find us, Dave kept riding. Bill realizes Rogo wasn't there, and rides back in case he has a flat (Bill was on the sag bike) and they finally get Rogo a few miles later, grouping up and coming after us.

I put in a couple extra miles here, stopping before the mission in San Luis Obispo, and Corey finished getting us there. We toured the Mission de San Luis while having a lunch of bananas and that great trail mix. My favorite part of the mission was the bells in general, and in particular that there were only two bell ringers in its history, covering about 130 years.

We left San Luis Obispo and started a big climb up to La Cuesta Pass, elev ~1500ft. There was a neat bike path of dirt that climbed up a mountain across a valley from Rt. 101, probably climbing for 4 miles. We finally hit the top, adding a couple hundred more feet thinking it was a continuation of the bike path, when it was just a trail going up to the ridge. So we came back down, crossed a four lane highway (hence, 8 lanes of traffic), and Corey finished his 10miles on the way down, passing off to Bill. We got back off of 101 at the exit for Santa Margarita, went through there and got to Atascadera (sp?). Grant stopped and got a free waterbottle at "K-Man's Cyclery", (K-Man is Brian Holaday's nickname for Corey) while my rear tire was losing more and more pressure. We were planning on getting on a section of Anza trail, but Stephen and David missed the turn.

So we stopped on a corner while I pumped the tire, and Grant went and rounded up the two lost ones. Bill and Corey raided a walgreens, buying a bunch of junkfood for a dollar each (including a pound of Teddy Grahms). We grouped up again and rode out to the trail as a team.

The trailhead had an Anza sign on it, and four 2ft high hurdles blocking the way in, so that we had to carry the bikes and BOB trailer over. Then we had to get the bikes down a very steep bank to the Salinas River, which we then forded, getting our shoes moderately wet. The path on the other side we found to be covered in deep sand which the bikes had no chance in. So we went back through the river, up the bank and over the barriers to Rt. 101. We now stayed mostly on frontage roads, racing the setting sun. A fireman in Templeton gave us directions and offered us a place to stay, but we pressed on. Stephen was running, but he switched with Grant (who was far ahead, giving us a few extra minutes), as it was now definitely after sunset. When we finally found the exit, my back tire was starting to lose pressure at an alarming rate. We finally found Elizabeth Schumann about 1/2 mile beore Grant's cousin's bike became unrideable, and 30mins after sunset.

She was with a reporter friend who wanted a picture for a local magazine, so we took one in the lobby of Paso Robles Library/Town Hall. Then we all loaded into the Schumann's horse trailer and drove 12 miles to John and Elizabeth's ranch. They have 11 acres, their neighbor has 7,000, and nearby lives George Hearst, grandson of William Randolph. James Dean died at an intersection near here.

At the house we immediately jumped into the hot tub with beers and a chocolate bar, then took showers and had a delicious pasta dinner with See's candy for dessert. Elizabeth said she thought the major issues with the Anza trail is the friction between developers and those who want it open for walking, biking and horses. She is not a member of Amigos de Anza, but she has friends in it, and attends meetings to try to push for equestrian uses of the trail. She has two beautiful horses.

Line of the day: Man on street in Atascadero, to Rogo: "You are a liar, a blasphemer, and a thief!"

Day 24

Day 25

Day 25 Journal