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Dec 08

Hills, Vineyards, Orchards, and cooooold

The hills begin.

“Refreshed” from our rest day, Tony and I got out of camp at 8:30 and headed for the hills, and for Lompoc.  I had about 365 meters (1200ft) of climbing to do that morning, but it went really smoothly.  Well, about as smoothly as riding a bike at 7kph on the shoulder of a freeway can be.

Following the advice of a friendly cyclist I’d met at Carpinteria, I was taking a detour today down to Buelton.  It was adding 10 miles onto the ride, but he assured me it would be worth it.  Buelton, as most of you probably know, is world famous for its pea soup.  Andersen’s split pea soup.  If you haven’t heard of it, then you must not be very worldly because they’ve been around for over 85 years now.  I didn’t stop in, (I’d had a bowl years ago), and Tony wasn’t hungry, but leading from the pea soup central to Lompoc is the gorgeous, winding, up-and-down country road known as Santa Rosa Road.

Pea Soup

The Santa Rosa road weaves its way through farmland, vineyards, and orchards.  It’s also a quiet road, I probably counted less then ten cars whizzing by during the 3 hours I spent zigzagging up and down its hills.  As beautiful and romantic as the road was though, it was also cold and by 3pm it was getting down to 12C  (54F) in the shade.  It was going to be a cold night.

I camped at River Campground just outside on Lompoc, and much to my pleasure I was soon joined by the charming and tenacious Christen, a girl who was determined to turn her two week holiday into an adventure by cycling from San Francisco to San Diego.  We got a fire blazing, and so were able to spend the evening in relative comfort despite the temperature dropping to below freezing.

Vineyards

Looking at the calendar though, the days are ticking by and the miles… not so much.  A change in strategy might be in order if I want to be back in San Diego by Christmas.

Orchards

And yes.  The bike is named “Tony”.

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