Halloween? Hang on to that thought.
I headed south from Redding intending to stay at the Marin Headlands hostel. Stopped at a Starbucks on the way and got online to check if there were any vacancies. As it turns out, the Marin hostel is a concession on federal land, and our friends in the federal government have caused the government to shut down, sooooo… the hostel has closed for the time being. Same situation for the Point Reyes hostel and the Montara Point hostel. Even so, I wanted to get the Golden Gate bridge experience one more time, so I headed that way despite the hostel closures.
Decided to drive south all the way back to Cambria to stay at the Bridge Street Inn hostel again for a couple of nights, so I stopped long enough to call ahead and reserve a bunk for two nights, which turned out to be a wise move. Then I put my foot to the floor in order to get out of the Bay area before rush hour got going in full force. The hostel was half full that evening and I had the 4 bunk dorm room to myself.
The next morning after breakfast I kitted up and headed north on California 1 to ride to Ragged Point, which is at the south end of Big Sur. North from Cambria the road has some gentle undulations as you head past the Hearst Castle site, then it turns to rollers the closer you get to Big Sur. In the last couple of clicks before reaching Ragged Point, the climbing starts in earnest and you know you’re in Big Sur. There is a commercial site at Ragged Point, with a gas station, a couple of restaurants, and a hotel. There also are some very nice views from the property.
While I was there, a young British couple on loaded touring bikes showed up, on their way from Vancouver to San Diego. We chatted for a bit then I was on my way back to Cambria. The ride back was quite a bit easier – a lot more downhill along with a tailwind. When I reached Hearst Castle, I turned off the highway on the ocean side to go to the cafe at the old Sebastian’s store, which was recommended to me by Kim, one of the volunteers at the hostel. I ordered a 1/3 pound burger, made with the local Hearst Ranch grass fed beef. When it arrived, the complete burger was huge, but by then I had a huge appetite since I was near the end of a 50 mile ride.
Sitting on the front deck of the cafe, I had a chance to chat with a fellow named Rex who was touring by bike from Seattle south to San Diego. I mentioned to him that I had met the British couple back at Ragged Point and he knew exactly who I was speaking of. They had all been crossing paths in campgrounds while riding down the coast. Check out the bike Rex is riding – it has a wooden frame!
The frame is made by an Oregon company named Renovo. Rex said that he won the frame in a raffle at some bike convention he went to, and it wasn’t just a leftover frame they had nothing better to do with. Renovo actually custom built the frame for him after learning he was the winner. As we were talking and eating, the British touring couple rolled up and joined us on the deck, crossing paths once more.
I continued on back to Cambria by myself, and this is where the title of today’s post comes into play. The town is decked out in “scarecrows” for the Halloween season. Locals create these artistic works and they are positioned all over town, in commercial and residential areas. Here is a small selection of them: