Guess what we had for breakfast…oatmeal! Haha never gets old. Well, that’s what Joe would say at least. We knew we would have to stock up on groceries today. Were headed to the paragliding event for the weekend with no grocery store in a close biking distance. Someone told us there was a grocery store in San Simeon. After biking into town we figured out that there was a mini mart where the prices were x5. We decided to bike SOUTH 5 miles to the nearest full size grocery store. Not only did we have to turn around, but we had a headwind when we did. Double negative does not make a positive in this case.
If you’re curious, our groceries consisted of: muesli, rice, oatmeal, beans, avocado, pear, gummy bears (essential), couscous, tortillas, peanut butter, black olives…and I’m sure I’m missing something. After filling our panniers with food (by this time it was 12pm) we started biking back to where we were earlier. Guess what? The wind switched so we had another headwind haha
Eventually we made it to Hearst Castle. Well, to the bottom of the road that leads up to it. Again, we were told by multiple people that we HAD to see the castle. The only problem was that it was on top of a hill and debating if it was worth the climb. It would probably take us an hour to do that. We headed to the gift shop to see if there was any shuttle 😛 Geraldine was a super nice lady working there and she let us put our bikes in the warehouse and drove us to the visitor center where you take a bus to the castle. Turns out we couldn’t have biked it anyways! She dropped us off and said she would come pick us up once we were done. So nice! The next tour available was 2:20 so we took it. Figured we would have just enough daylight after to bike 20 miles to the campsite.
The castle was really cool to see. I’ll give you a quick rundown – this guy William Randolph Hearst had a lot of money and wanted to build a castle on the ranch where he grew up as a kid. It took him 20 years to build it and was still adding on to it when he died in 1951. A ton of celebrities hung out there and he also had a zoo with a lot of exotic animals. Anyways, we only got to see a few room, but I think more than anything the view from the top of the hill was my favorite…and the indoor pool. By the time we were done with the tour it was 430. Not too much daylight left and we still needed to stop and see the elephant seals only 4 miles north. We said our thank you’s to Geraldine and got moving.
We quickly realized that we weren’t going to make it to camp and decided to stealth camp wherever we found a good spot. Shouldn’t be too hard. California has a great policy – you can camp on any unimproved land or any national forest. Every place that looked good had a sign that said no camping or overnight parking. The sun was setting very fast and our best bet was to make it into the small town, Ragged Point, and ask if we could camp somewhere. Ragged Point was at the top of a steep hill so we weren’t stoked. Just at the base of the hill we see a perfect spot by that happens to be part of the forest service.
I was very relieved we didn’t have to bike up the hill at night. That was one of my favorite nights camping. We basically had our own beach and I made dinner as I watched the sunset. Joe set up our tent in the meantime. It was a beautiful clear night with an almost full moon!