U.S. 360 Tour III – Day 36 from Big Sur CA to San Simeon CA (Sluggish Sea Lions and Kindred Spirits)

Latest update on my purpose-driven cycling journey around the American perimeter.

42 miles (68 km) – Total so far: 1,816 miles (2,923 km)

Much of the scenery today reminded me of the Scottish Highlands. Thousand foot cliffs overlooking the thunderous waves below, rolling green and grassy prairies, huge boulders, and fog banks creeping inland over the ocean, kissing the cliffs and then rolling over the top of the Pacific Coast Highway like endless plumes of white smoke.

While the first half of today’s cycling run was hilly, if not mountainous, the morning felt more like a ski run than a bicycle ride. Surly Pearl was my set of metaphorical snow skis and together we swooshed around the curvy roads and wild landscape, sometimes perilously close to the open edge of sheer cliffs. Exhilarating!

In the middle of this wild country was an oasis of sorts, a little place called Ragged Point. As I pulled up to what looked like a little village of eateries in the middle of nowhere, I came upon probably 20-30 riders from the San Luis Obispo Cycling Club on a midday club ride. We all became immediate friends over lunch, and while I was envious of the awesome bicycling outings these folks enjoy on a regular basis, a number of the cyclists marveled at my rig and the adventure I’m undertaking, obviously longing for the open road, unsupported and untethered. Kindred spirits, I suspect.

Down the road from Ragged Point we saw what was to be the nature highlight of the day – a huge colony of sea lions on a protected beach. This beach was literally thick with these mammals sunning themselves and flipping sand on their massive bodies. With such a significant number of sea lions, one would have assumed there would be at least some activity. Honestly, these are the laziest animals I’ve ever seen. If I am reincarnated, I’ve decided to come back as a sea lion.

We passed through the town of Pacific Valley, Gorda, Ragged Point, and San Simeon today. A beautiful set of communities all situated in gorgeous surroundings.

Camping tonight at San Simeon Beach State Park. The bare necessities (ie., water), but not much else. I must say the location is pretty awesome, though. The Pacific Ocean is literally steps from my tent. I’m sure the constant wave motion will put me to sleep very quickly.

It’s All Good.

Surly Pearl overlooking the Pacific near Pacific Valley CA
Surly Pearl overlooking the Pacific near Pacific Valley CA
Selfie on a cliff high above the Pacific near Pacific Valley CA
Selfie on a cliff high above the Pacific near Pacific Valley CA
Near Gorda CA came upon this plaque.  Huge boulders everywhere.  Apparently an ancient landslide.
Near Gorda CA came upon this plaque. Huge boulders everywhere. Apparently an ancient landslide.
My new friends from the San Luis Obispo Cycling Club, near Ragged Point CA
My new friends from the San Luis Obispo Cycling Club, near Ragged Point CA
Sea lions as far as the eye could see near Ragged Point CA
Sea lions as far as the eye could see near Ragged Point CA
Surly Pearl overlooking a massive Sea Lion colony near Ragged Point CA
Surly Pearl overlooking a massive Sea Lion colony near Ragged Point CA
Overlooking a massive Sea Lion colony near Ragged Point CA
Overlooking a massive Sea Lion colony near Ragged Point CA
Relaxing on a chilly evening at San Simeon Beach State Park
Relaxing on a chilly evening at San Simeon Beach State Park
Camp for the night at San Simeon Beach State Park
Camp for the night at San Simeon Beach State Park

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