My latest adventure down the west coast is now over. Posts are listed by date on the right. In a departure from previous years, I am not asking for donations. Instead, I will be making a sizable donation on behalf of my father-in-law, father, and all the wonderful people who have supported me over the years.

My rides will continue to make a difference in the lives of families fighting lung disease and to increase awareness about the importance of lung health. Follow along … Together; we are improving life, one breath at a time.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Ride The West - Day 16 - Santa Cruz, CA to Carmel Valley, CA

I have been fighting a cold the last few days and this morning it finally took its toll.  After finishing the long 92 mile ride yesterday very strong, I was just the opposite when I woke up today.  Breakfast was a few miles from the hotel and provided what usually would have been a great energy boost (nice omelette and pancakes), but I left the restaurant feeling mighty crappy.  I pushed onward and was able to stay up with Jeff and Jim (new rider from England).  Joe had turned from saboteur to traitor and had gone up the road with Mark, Susan, and Gary. Our route took us through mostly agricultural areas with huge fields of crops ... artichokes, strawberries, kiwi, asparagus, lettuce, and more. Many of the fields were filled with workers picking the crops by hand.

A Freshly Planted Strawberry Field (Courtesy of Mike Munk)
The Harvest Was On
Toronto Mark Captured a Great Shot of Susan Joining The Harvest
We caught up with Mark, Susan, and Gary and kept a nice easy pace through all the fields.  My strength was really fading by the time we hit the SAG at mile 24.  The weather was still overcast and I was layered, but still cold.  Riding with the group kept me more focused and before I knew it we were on a nice path approaching Monterey.  The day and and my mood would take a nice turn for the better.  The sun magically came out, I started to feel stronger, and the sites got a lot more interesting.

The Gang Along The Path To Monterey
Sunshine Finally Had Me Smiling
There was no formal second SAG.  Instead, Barb set up the van just as we entered Monterey in case we wanted to shed clothes or get any supplies.  Mark and Susan headed to the wharf for lunch.  Jeff, Joe, Jim, and I headed to Cannery Row and had a nice light lunch overlooking the water.

Monterey Marina and Wharf
Great Spot For Lunch
More Smiles
Joe and Jeff On Cannery Row
After lunch the sites got even better as we rode along the peninsula and the 17 mile drive.  Great vistas, high end golf courses (Spanish Bay, Spyglass, Pebble Beach), and super high end homes. A few pops upward, but nothing too severe other than one wall into Carmel.  So many pictures to choose from ... here's a sampling.

Great Coastal Views Along 17 Mile Drive

The Lone Cypress Tree (Over 250 Years Old)

Pebble Beach

This House Was Particularly Huge
Carmel was bustling with people and shops.  Joe and I pushed on as Jeff had stopped with Jim for an up close look at Pebble Beach.  The last 10 miles brought us into Carmel Valley. We had to climb to get to the hotel.  We are staying at the Los Laureles Lodge which is a neat converted stable facility.  Pig might get a chance to ride (a horse that is).  Only 55 miles tomorrow, but a good bit of climbing to King City.  Here is today's map and data -

Carmel Valley - The Climbs Are Coming
Quaint and Rustic Lodge ... Great Dinner Too
Pig Gets to Ride

Good Night Moon ... Good Night Monterey ... Good Night 17 Mile Drive ... Good Night Carmel ... Good Night Cold and Cough ... Good Night Stables

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