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I left the Ramada Inn in Marina after taking advantage of the complimentary breakfast. Self serve waffles - yummy! Rain was predicted for the day but the morning started out beautiful. I got back on the bike path making my way into Monterey. There were quite a few cyclists out and I stopped to chat with a local triker who was going the other way. The path went along the ocean and big sand dunes before coming to the picturesque town of Monterey and the harbor. I took a detour out to the end of the pier to watch the seals and sea lions. They were making such a racket barking at each other. I looked closer and sea lions were resting on the backs of boats and on the tire buoys. I could see Cannery Row across the harbor through all the sail boats. Once I got off the pier I ran into Team Krusti who had spent a rainy night camped at the Veterans Park with lots of homeless bums. They both said it was a good thing I got a hotel room last night. They told me where to find a Traders Joe's and highly recommended Whole Foods market for their generous samples. Kristin also gave me a glow-in-the-dark twirly for my helmet that had a turtle on it. I got lots of compliments, especially from kids, on that addition throughout the day. I made my way up Madras Street and stopped at Whole Foods for lunch and supplies. I missed the entrance to the bike path on the other side of Hwy 1 and climbed an extremely steep hill looking for it. I couldn't believe Adventure Cycling would put me on this road and managed to stop a local for directions. I turned around and flew down the hill finding the path at the bottom. The path was actually quite steep too and was difficult to find because it was covered with a thick bed of pine needles. I took this path into Carmel-by-the-Sea and got back on Hwy 1. At Carmel Highlands I noticed that I had used up enough juice that getting to Big Sur my batteries needed some topping off. I stopped at the Safeway and talked to Ed who was riding a wheelchair converted to a hand-crank trike. He had his sweet dog Riva with him. We said goodbye and I found some outlets outside the store and did some more shopping. Just as I was leaving Team Krusti rolled up. They had done the 17-mile drive through some fierce headwinds. They seemed unsure if they would continue today but I went on looking at the darkening skies with unease. There aren't many options for reasonable accommodation between Carmel and Big Sur but it was only another 25 miles to the campground. The winds were very strong and I kept getting hit by flying pine needles. The road has some deep rollers and at the top of one I met Mo and Dory resting. This is a mother/daughter team I had heard about. They started from Salem 3 months ago and were taking their time. Mother Mo was really unhappy about my having a motor but we still had a nice conversation. I continued on expecting the see them at the campground later. The rains started in earnest with another 10 miles to go and I pulled into a couple of motels checking on rates. $289 is way out of my budget and I continued. Andrew Molera SP wanted $25 but there weren't any showers and another private RV campground asked $35 for hiker/biker. You have to be wealthy just to camp in this area. I felt like a drowned cat by the time I got to Big Sur Pfeiffer State Park. This is a gorgeous campground deep in a redwood forest on the Big Sur River. There were a few other cyclists already set up. It was wet, really wet, but the big redwood trees provided good protection. For grins, I went to the lodge to see about a room and they wouldn't go any lower than $269. Much too much for me and so, reluctantly, I pitched my little tent in the rain for $5. At least tonight's accommodation wasn't going to break the bank. I charged up the batteries using the bathroom outlets while getting setup. Then I went to the lodge for dinner and a glass of wine. I took my Kindle and read by the fire until they closed at 9 pm.
Marina to Big Sur Pfeiffer SP