Carmel to SLO Day 2 – Kirk Creek Campground to San Simeon State Park

Day 2 – 41.8 miles – 3,589 ft. elevation gain

We woke up at 6:00. Well our alarm went off at 6:00, I got out of bed at 6:15, and Dani got up around 6:40. We had some snacks for breakfast and took longer than Dani liked to pack up, so we didn’t leave until 7:40.

Ready to start the Day!

Ready to start the Day!

Foggy morning by the sea.

Foggy morning by the sea.

There's the Sun

There’s the sun!

We climbed a couple of fairly sizable hills – sizable enough to convince us that they were the two big hills we were anticipating today – and came to the adorable town of Gorda. There was a cute restaurant (The Whale Watcher’s Cafe) overlooking the ocean so we decided to eat second breakfast. The food was delicious. When we walked in an orange cat was sitting at a table drinking milk out of a cup. Just cute all around. We charged our phones and ate delicious omelets, then headed out. As we packed up our gear we saw three Brompton bike tourists! Stephano, Laura, and Julia are from Brighton, England and were traveling from San Francisco to Los Angeles on their Bromptons. What are the odds? They were super friendly and made us want to move to England. We sort of leapfrogged them and the father-daughter duo from the campground all day.

After we left Gorda we encountered the actual giant hill and chugged up to the top. Then we went down about two to three hundred feet and promptly gained it all (and a little more) back up the second peak. But that second hill was the last huge hill of the day (and the trip) so it was ok. Beautiful scenery of course and the sun came out as well. On the down side of the hill we stopped at Ragged Point, where we refilled our water bottles with cucumber infused water at the fancy-schmancy cafe and walked behind the restaurant to find a spectacular view of the bluffs and an awesome cove with turquoise water. We decided against hiking down to the beach, but we took lots of pictures.

Ragged Point Overlook

Ragged Point looking south

The terrain leveled out considerably after that. We also had a nice tailwind so the rest if the day was a breeze (HA!!). The highlight of the day was a vista point that had a gorgeous little trail to a lighthouse and a large elephant seal population. This was one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been, but the pictures don’t do it justice.

Taking the Brompton offroad

Taking the Bromptons offroad.

I wish you could have been there in real life.

I wish you could have been there in real life. So. Freaking. Beautiful.

We got to San Simeon after that and ate linner with our British friends. They are hilarious and fun and wonderful and we hope to visit them in Brighton someday. After lunch we hung out at the beach for a bit then did the final couple miles to our campsite.

Brompton buddies!

Brompton buddies!

Brommmies on the beach.

Brommmies on the beach.

The hiker biker sites at San Simeon were rather disappointing. Just a grassy corner of the campground, surrounded by car campers and right next to highway 1. The bright side of this is that we were also right next to the beach. We saw the best sunset of the trip, did a little coordinated stretching, practiced “Chi Running,” and drank the bottle of wine that we purchased in San Simeon village.

Sunset

Sunset again.

One more day to go before we finish our short tour!

Map and stats.

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