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Day 40: We slept under a bridge

2011/08/16

Day 40: We slept under a bridge (i.e., Andrew Molera State Park to Limekiln State Park in the middle of the Big Sur coast)

Miles: 31

What I rode by: Big Sur climbs, the same cars over and over again because they kept pulling out to take pictures

Even though the marine layer was positioned out over the water last night, our tent was quite wet in the morning. It’s been wet a lot on this trip. There was a bold squirrel running around the campsite in the morning, checking out everyone’s stuff.

This bold squirrel checked out all of our panniers at the campsite in the morning.

We were expecting Big Sur to feel rather treacherous given the hills and our proximity to the ocean but it didn’t turn out that way. Maybe it was because of all the steep, shoulder-less roads we’ve ridden recently. Maybe it was the weather. Things are always better when the sun is shining and generally seem worse when it isn’t. Today, the sun was out. The climbs were great. One thing was true about Big Sur: there really isn’t much of a shoulder. When climbing, it’s easy to stay in a six-inch wide shoulder. When descending, we would take the entire lane for three reasons: it’s hard to stay in a six-inch wide shoulder at 25+ mph, cars shouldn’t be going more than 25 miles an hour on all of those tight turns anyway, and it’s just a lot of fun.

We camped at Limekiln State Park. There are some old kilns in the hills (hence the name) that were used to purify limestone into lime that was shipped north to San Francisco for use in cement. In three short years, the lime was gone and so were most of the redwoods that provided fuel for the kilns. Now, it’s a state park (with one of the southernmost groves of redwoods in the state). The hiker-biker campsite is the closet one to the beach and is located directly under the Hwy 1 bridge that crosses over the park and partly on the concrete footing of a bridge pylon. There happened to be a crescent-shaped bench (a metal frame painted white with a vinyl seat cushion) on the other side of our bridge pylon that overlooked the water. It made for a most unusual campsite.

Big Sur coastline.

Beach at our campsite.

Our campsite came complete with a curved sitting bench up against the bridge pylon.

Watching the sunset from our sitting bench. Our tent is just in front of the bridge pylon.

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