Pat and Sari's Honeymoon Bike Ride

Monday, May 19, 2008
Carpinteria, CA to Gaviota, CA
44 miles (3963 total miles)

Not a bad day. It wasn't as hilly as we thought it would be and getting through Santa Barbara wasn't nearly as bad as going through LA and Long Beach. In fact, it was quite pleasant. We started out at 7 this morning. It was cool, but sunny. We rode alongside Rt. 101 which was packed with cars in morning rush hour. We were amused to be going faster than the cars on the freeway for a change. After about 5 miles, we came to the little town of Summerland which seemed like a resort town - lots of fine antique stores, little expensive cafes, country bed & breakfasts and inns. Breakfast was expensive but good and the town had a nice relaxed feel to it. We continued on our little side road right into Santa Barbara and continued following a major street down along the ocean and then through quiet little neighborhoods. The city was very clean and pretty, the streets were wide with lots of flowers and beautiful plants along them, people were out walking and biking and generally enjoying themselves. We stopped to buy provisions for today and tomoorow in a grocery store in the town of Goleta, which seemed to be a suburb on the north side of Santa Barbara. We got to talking with a woman who lived in Goleta and was heartily in favor of the 'no-growth' policy that Santa Barbara was trying to follow. When she commented that they did not want to become another Los Angeles, I had to agree that turning that pleasant, relaxing city into something more like the nerve-wracking place we got lost in two days ago would be a terrible shame.

Soon after we left Goleta, we got onto Rt. 101, but by this time the traffic was quite manageable and it wasn't a bad ride at all. It was more hilly here, though. For the rest of our day's route, we had ocean to the left and mountains to the right. Today the mountains were the most impressive - very tall, with deep canyons knifing through them every so often. The ocean was a bit farther away from us than it has been and was very calm today, so it mostly was a flat, deep blue presence poking through the trees, road, railroad tracks, and other obstructions. We passed 2 other state parks/beaches, El Capitan and Refugio, before we got to Gaviota, the one we were staying at.

Gaviota has a hiker/biker camp facility as well as regular camping. The hiker/biker is a cheap way to camp, reserved for people who arrive on foot or by bike. You get a camp site with a picnic table, fire ring, and access to water and bathrooms. The showers cost a quarter for every 2-1/2 minutes. We arrived nice and early, at 1:45, and so far we're the only ones in that category. There are a half-dozen other campers here. We wandered down to the beach and took some pictures of the few folks there, and then came back to work on the web site. It was a short day - 44 miles in a little over 4 hours of bike time. A good average, despite the hills today. Tomorrow we start with a major climb and lots of ups and downs all day, but we'll be ending in a motel room and the day after will be a rest day, so we should be ok.

The view across a lake coming into the outskirts of Santa Barbara

Boats in the ocean

A pretty fountain in a park area along the beach

Some interesting buildings near the ocean in Santa Barbara

Also note the nice, wide, clean street (and the biker)

The road on the north side of Santa Barbara where it was more industrial

A golf course with an ocean view

Out of the city, into the mountains, on Hwy. 101

An orchard in one of the canyons

A road shot of Hwy. 101, with the mountains dropping into the ocean up ahead

Hwy. 101 is apparently the historic El Camino Real of the Spaniards' day

The entrance to the El Capitan State Park

We saw these ghostly ships out in the ocean, which on closer inspection
looked like oil drilling platforms

Sari takes a short break and unfortunately leaves Pat with the camera

Views at the Refugio State Park exit - a tall, brown hill...

View of the mountains beyond...

The highway overpass with parked cars of folks who went to the beach

Back on the road, another view of the ocean and mountains ahead

The mountains start to look quite huge...

and the canyons very deep

We come to Gaviota, with less people (94) than feet of elevation (150)

The entrance to the park...

and the liability notice

Mountains surrounding the park

Our little campsite...

in the hiker/biker area

People down at the beach

A man casting into the ocean

A boat getting lifted from the water

The railroad trestle right up next to the ocean