Tuesday, April 26, 2016

4: And all for the want of a horseshoe nail . . .

If you recognize that line in the heading, you'll have some idea where this particular post is going to go. But first things first! Let's begin at the beginning, with a really beautiful ride up the coast (starting early, to beat the expected gale-force winds that plagued us yesterday.)

Today, views of the slightly more "pacific" ocean greeted us along the route.

Avocado tree ghosts
Along the route, I looked up and saw a condor sailing on the wind!  Didn't have binoculars to confirm it, but there were hawks flying nearby, and they were small compared to this bird. Spectacular!  What a great sighting.

It was the back end's turn to flat this time.  However, we reduced our time to repair it by a good 20%.  While these repairs are time-consuming, they do offer us a chance to observe the countryside.  I was pleased to see a ladybug visiting us during our time on the shoulder of the road.  I consider them lovely little tokens of good luck. Maybe this one was jinxed . . .
Gaviota Pass is a classic climb here in Southern California

A nice touch!

Just up the road a bit, it was time to climb the Gaviota Pass. This is usually one of the windiest places in California, but we lucked out with just a bit of a tailwind on the climb.

The scenery in the valley as we descended was beautiful. Lots of our cycling club members come out here to ride some of the centuries offered by the local clubs.  The road on the shoulder was treacherous, though.  Since we were climbing, it wasn't too bad, but at one point Roger caught the front tire in one of these cracks and we tipped over. Luckily we were right by a guard rail and were able to keep the bike from totally going over.

No trip to this region is complete with a stop at Andersens to eat pea soup. At lunch, Roger said, "we are trying to go too far.  I think we just have to realize we are going to average 10 miles an hour.  And we're too heavy." I had also been thinking of things we could do without, figuring that we would jettison some stuff when we reached Dana's. Roger said we'd never make it over the Sierras unless we lost the weight now, so we started naming stuff we could do without.

And then, as luck would have it, the bolt holding the rack (our "horseshoe nail") sheared and we had to stop.  We got a lift back to Solvang, where Roger got a bike shop to drill out the bolt and give us a new one. While he was gone, I went through the packs and found everything I thought we could do without. Roger brought back some of those "if it fits, it ships" boxes and we took 13 pounds off to the Post Office post haste!

My poor baby strapped to the gurney! 

Rick the tow-truck operator and the clerk at the post office both had their role to play in today's drama.

And so here we are, just in Solvang when we thought we would be camping in Santa Maria tonight.  Jeff and Gail, our friends in the San Juan Islands have invited us to stay when we get up there. Based on our plan and predictions, we were worried that we might arrive too soon, as they were not going to be in residence until late May. But I have a feeling that is not going to be a problem!

And, so, sleeping in a hotel room once again, I say, "when life gives you lemons, go find a wine bar!"

A final note:  The wine bars had all closed by the time we headed out for dinner.  Turns out that Solvang is a "roll up the sidewalks at 5:00 pm" kind of place.  But we had an excellent meal and a nice bottle of wine at Cecco.  Highly recommend it.  And so all was well, leading to another of those little life lessons:

g.  there is not much in this world that cannot be improved with a nice bottle of wine.


  1. Hang in there you too! The pictures are beautiful! There is nothing you too cannot master, I am sure of it! Enjoying the posts!

  2. Thanks, Bev. Have thought of you now and then during these windy days. Would you be scampering off in front, as you do, or hunkered down behind our big caboose?


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