• Brian Rawson

Hitch Hiking and Whale Watching - U.S. 360 Day 33 from Half Moon Bay CA to Santa Cruz CA

My cycling journey around the American perimeter

58 miles – Total so far: 1666 miles

Woke up early to a heavy dew, having camped very near the beach at Half Moon Bay State Beach. Given how wet things are, including me, I’ll probably consider camping with the rainfly in the future, especially when I’m close to the ocean. I hit the road early, but ended up stopping off at a little grill on the outskirts of Half Moon Bay for a hearty breakfast and sufficient carb intake.

After regaining a good cadence after breakfast, I happened to look down at my front rack and noticed a beautiful, quite large ladybug had landed on my gear. On tour, I’ve found that sometimes the little things can become a big focus. I think that’s one reason I love to tour so much. So, my attention fixed on the little red and black guy, I wondered how long he could hang on. Granted, I wasn’t traveling that fast, nor was the wind blowing too hard, but the little hitchhiker stayed with me for another 38 miles into Davenport CA, and then disembarked like he knew exactly what he was doing. A free trip for him, a quirky story for me.

Today’s agriculture were some of my favorites. I saw fields and fields of strawberries, blackberries, raspberries and onions. I ended up stopping at a farm on the way to Davenport CA and picked up a pint of fresh blackberries and literally ate them on the spot. We ate lunch in Davenport CA. The town of Davenport got its name from a whaling captain named John Pope Davenport, and it is famous in the region for whale watching atop the cliffs above the Pacific Ocean. I looked for whales, which are a common site, but didn’t see any, probably because we didn’t drink enough beer…..

The coastline in this area of California is absolutely beautiful, and I suspect you’ll get tired of me saying that in these writings. But bear with me, because the coastline is indeed magnificent. Passing through the beautiful city of Santa Cruz, I was struck by the terrible roads, but still thrilled with the natural setting of this city settled by the Spaniards in 1791.

I passed two sets of touring cyclists and many overnight bikers on today’s fairly easy ride. We’re camping at New Brighton State Beach tonight, a spectacular campground overlooking the Pacific high on a bluff. We’re camping in a hike/bike area among a stand of tall, glorious pine trees. Ended up meeting some outstanding park hosts, Dave and Carol, and they let me charge my iPhone given that most California state parks are not equipped with electricity. We all exchanged “bucket list” stories, and they were confirmation that anyone can be adventurers, regardless of the adventure. They were adventurers in many ways like me. Also met a wonderful camper named Tobi from Reno, who is camping up and down the Pacific Coast with a wonderful companion, a long-haired dachshund!

Ended up getting a good tip and had pizza delivered to the campground tonight, courtesy of Pizza at Heart! Goodness gracious, only in California.

It’s All Good.

Photo of the Day: Surly Pearl looking down the coastline toward Santa Cruz CA

Click Here to read my daily tour journal entry on crazyguyonabike.com

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