Monday, September 10, 2007

The Great Bike Ride – Day 15

Monday, September 10, 2007
We took a leisurely pace getting up and going this morning as there was no use trying to fight rush hour traffic into San Francisco from our motel just across the Golden Gate Bridge. Our first stop was the scenic overlook on the Marin side of the bridge. This overlook was once a gun emplacement for batteries that protected the entry into the Bay.
Once we saw that the traffic had subsided, we crossed the bridge and John led us to a tour of the Presidio (a former Army post), and over the neighborhoods of the western edge of San Francisco, overlooking the ocean. We dropped down onto the beach road, and followed it until we connected with California Route 1, the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH).
We stopped at Sam's Chowder House in Half Moon Bay to meet old friend, coworker and boss, Peter Van Camp. The trouble is that we mixed up days, and thought our meeting was tomorrow. Nonetheless, he hustled over from his office (he's the Executive Chairman of Equinix - EQIX), and we got to spend a few minutes together. Thanks Peter!
We headed south on the PCH with no other goal than to reach San Simeon by dark. But the traffic in Santa Cruz was miserable, and the PCH, while incredibly scenic, once again returned to being a twisty two lane road upon which it is impossible to make good time. We never get tired of looking at the Pacific Ocean and the terrain, but these roads are wearing us out. Between here and Cayucos, there is about 25 miles more of these roads, then it becomes more freeway-like for the remainder of the run into Los Angeles.
The evening ended with the sun setting while we still had about 15-20 miles to go. It gets cold, and tonight the fog was rolling from offshore toward land fast enough that we thought it might envelope us. Fortunately the lights of San Simeon came into view and we piled into the motel about 8:30pm. After a fine dinner in the place next door, we crashed for the night.
Oh, and we heard from Jeff today. He stayed in Big Sur last night, and made it to San Juan Capistrano today. Jeff is a retired US Navy Senior Chief Corpsman who spent most of his career with US Marine units. San Juan Capistrano is just north of Camp Pendleton, one of the two major USMC bases in the US. We expect he's connected up with some old Marine buddies and having a good time. Not sure if he'll rejoin us on the run back toward home, but we're relieved he's okay.

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