Getting There - Aneel's Travelogue

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Back to civilization Watsonville, CA, Monday, 23 October 2006 8:00pm

Tent cabin notes:

  1. If there are canvas flaps that cover the screen windows, close them before starting the fire in the wood stove. This will probably inspire you to burn your fuel more slowly and perhaps even...
  2. Save some wood for a fire in the morning. Morning is cold.
With the thick canvas blocking the light and the cold air making the prospect of getting up unappealing, we managed to sleep in until 9am. 11hrs! You'd think we were tired after that day of hills or something.

Our sloth meant that the park cafe/store was open by the time we left, so we were able to have some hot chocolate to wash down our Clif bar breakfast and to re-stock on Gatorade.

We went back over one of the hills (a relatively mild >> uphill) and made our way into Boulder Creek. We had lunch at the Boulder Creek Brewing Company. THe food was mostly unremarkable, except for its exuberant (excessive?) use of garlic. My insalata caprese was covered in it and my burger came with a side of garlic mashed potatoes. Jessica's bruschetta came with garlic balsamic vinegar.

The ride into Santa Cruz was pleasant. Narrow and curvy, with tiny shoulders, but it was largely gentle downhills (hmm... how did we gain so much altitude...?), so we were going fast enough to avoid annoying cars too much when they couldn't pass. The shade of the redwoods along Highway 9 was nice as the day got warmer.

Biking in Santa Cruz proper was not quite as fun. It would probably have been better if we'd pre-planned an exact route, but the city was pretty confusing to navigate.

Somehow, every espresso place that Jessica saw in Santa Cruz was closed, so we stopped in Soquel at a bakery/cafe and decided to press on to Watsonville, but not try to make it all the way to Castroville. It was about 4pm and we'd already gone 35mi and wanted a fairly short day after yesterday's hills.

Most of the way through Aptos, Jessica went over a patch of broken glass and got a spectacular flat. There was one big shard sticking out of the tire and another gash that we later discovered was the entry wound from an even bigger chunk that was inside the tube. It took us a little while to remove the wheel, since Jessica had never had to disengage her internal shifting hub before. We also had to remove the (non-quick-release) bolts with a wrench that didn't really provide much leverage.

After repairing the flat and duct taping the inside of the tire to try to prevent a recurrence, we continued on to Watsonville along a road that passed by lots of orchards and berry farms. The town itself seems composed entirely of strip malls. We spotted a bike store and borrowed their pump to bring Jessica's tire up to full pressure. The bike store worker gave us some tips on where to stay and where to eat. Cilantro's on Main Street provided some truly excellent Mexican food.

47.11mi in 4:04 (avg 11.58mph)

We're not so good at estimating distances on the map, are we? 45mi was supposed to get us to Castroville, but we're at least 10mi from there.