My Brother Bruce had an idea to do a mini tour down the coast. I have really bad luck when it comes to making plans in February as it always seems to rain. This year was the exception and we hit the jackpot. The forecast was an extended warm spell one of the benefits of global warming, I can’t imagine what Summer will be like.
This past Friday the 12th the start of the long presidents weekend my Brother Andrew caught the northbound Amtrak at Los Angeles Union Station and I boarded at the Bob Hope Airport in Burbank. The ride North was enjoyable as we could relax and catch up on life. We disembarked in the small farming community of Guadalupe located in the Northwest part of Santa Barbara County. Bruce met us at the train depot after riding over from Santa Maria. Before heading south we grabbed a bite to eat at the local Subway* and headed South to Lompoc where we made camp and had a fantastic meal at Sissy’s Uptown Cafe.
Saturday morning we woke to all our tents soaked from the dew. Since our tents were wet we had a leisurely morning drying out and prepared for another day in the saddle. Since we had a full day there was lot’s of time for lollygagging and picture taking. Before leaving Lompoc we grabbed sandwiches at Subway again and supplies at the local discount market. As far as we knew there were no services** between Lompoc and Refugio along our route.
Blue skies, rolling hills, pastures, perfect temps and the company of my brothers’s made this day spectacular.
After some climbing we had a miles long descent down to Gaviota State Beach for lunch before making for our final destination Refugio State Beach. When we arrived at Refugio there was some question as to whether there was room for us. There was a party in the hiker biker area, Cal Parks State trail clearing volunteers. The ranger inquired whether they were comfortable with some bikers making camp? We were given the greenlight and pulled into the fantastic site with front and center beach access. We were greeted with candied almonds and upbeat Denise Ludwig of Ventura. Treated to a quintessential California sunset we shared a campfire with Denise and friends.
Sunday morning we had a 9:08am train to catch in Goleta so we woke up before sunrise, brewed coffee made breakfast and high tailed it to catch that train. Along the way I had a rear flat so Bruce and I made the roadside repair rather hastily then Bruce pulled, me sitting in on his rear wheel making the station and train with time to spare!
I made changes to the A.Homer Hilsen and with the load I carried Homer was superb. Now that I know the Hilsen can be a decent light tourer I can let the Atlantis go. I’ll make a follow up post about the changes I made in more detail.
On the trip, I’d do this trip again in a heartbeat maybe start from San Luis Obispo.
More Flickr images of the trip on the left sidebar.
As always thanks for reading and keep the rubber side down.
*I’ve been going meatless these days and was a bit apprehensive on this trip as to whether I could do it. I have to say the vegetarian sandwich at Subway is fantastic. Everywhere I go people have been super supportive.
** We were later told there was a small snack store at Refugio but we didn’t verify that nor do I know its hours of operation.