CALIFORNIA COAST, LIKE NONE OTHER.

Well, we found the sun and lots of it.  When we left last we had just arrived in Santa Cruz, California catching up with the sun.  We drove back north out of Santa Cruz that night to park at a pull out along the highway that I had spotted on our drive in,  right where we spied a sign that said 5 avocado's for $0.99! Unfortunately the little stand was closing up just as we arrived but we did notice a number of fellow road warriors already set up in the pull out.

The night was a little loud with passing cars but the sunrise easily paid for it.  It's difficult to explain the kind of happiness you experience when, for the first time in a month, you feel the sun's warmth on your face.  We soaked up it up like a sun-sucking sponge.  

Alison and I both enjoyed some stellar riding that day.  I rode with Ian Stowe, a friend I met a year previous at a MTB team camp in San Francisco.  Ian and I share similar interests like bikes, beer and photography and plan to shoot a  MTB edit in the near future (stay tuned for that), he was generous enough to give us a shower which is always greatly appreciated when traveling and camping.  Alison had some routes planned out thanks to some locals on Strava and thoroughly enjoyed her ride.  

In the spirit of spending as little money as possible, Alison and I are becoming rather adept at finding free campsites.  The past three nights have exercised that skill, we've slept on the side of the highway, in the back corner of a parking lot and under a bridge.  This mode of camping has forced us to move around a fair amount meaning we never really get to sit and enjoy an area for very long.  I have to say it's taken away from the journey a little, so it was with immense pleasure that we arrived at Oceana State Beach and for the second time during our trip drove out onto the sand.  We quickly found a spot and set up to spend the next few hours eating good food, playing frisby and genuinely enjoying ourselves on the beach.

Side note: thus far on our trip we've spotted a coyote, a mountain lion, a bunny (on Alison's ride) and a beach full of elephant seals (which only appear in the area during birthing between Christmas and New Years).