Half Moon Bay to Santa Cruz, CA

The missing rain from the forecast yesterday caught up with us today as we fought a headwind leaving Half Moon Bay.

We lost confidence in the hotel key last night, which made this morning a little interesting. I’m sure we could have gotten the hotel to fix it, but we didn’t want to spend the time. Instead, we went to get breakfast from the lobby in shifts. While we were emptying the room, Anne stayed out with the bikes, and I used the latch to keep it from locking. Ruth was distracted by the TV, but Max kept wanting to help, or play with the door. We were just a few feet from the parking lot, so we were able to keep an eye on him.

As we rolled out, it was cloudy with a moderate headwind to slow us down. During the morning grocery stop (too far to walk last night), the sun came out, lulling us into a false sense of security. Midway through the morning, it started to drizzle. We stopped at a state park to switch everything to rain mode.

We stopped for lunch at Bean Hollow State Beach. At the first parking area, there was a school group that had dumped their backpacks over all the picnic tables before wandering the paths. We decided to try our luck later, and found success at another area a mile or so down the road. The rain let up while we ate, but came back stronger while we were cleaning up.

The entry into Santa Cruz county is striking. Most of the ride was at about 100 feet up, with or without views of the ocean over the cliffs. Here, you get a nice descent to close to sea level. There’s a massive wall of rock to your left, where clearly a ton of excavation was done to make a place for the road. On your right, a great expanse of ocean, with huge waves appearing from pretty far out. There are signs for “earthworks information 3/4 mile”, then for “1/2 mile”. We were excited, for the chance to learn about the project, and hopefully have a good view for pictures. To our dismay, we couldn’t find any earthworks information. And the parking was around the corner, so no nice viewpoint. Just a large lot,a beach, and an inadequate number of bathrooms. Anne got in, but then a big line formed. Ruth woke up from her nap, and was pretty upset about us not wanting to do the line for her. We went a mile down the road and had her water some bushes.

The morning should have been the more interesting part, with some fun climbs and descents among the hills, while the afternoon should have been the grind, without many distinguishing features. Instead it was the opposite. The headwind was certainly a part of it, but we’ve also done part of Highway 1 south of Half Moon Bay. Compared to the novelty of the rest of the trip, even a nice vaguely familiar road is too much, I guess.

We had a literary road name day. First, we went on a path through Wilder Ranch State Park. Then, on the way to dinner, we walked on Ingalls Street. We are very nearly pioneers.

Ruth was rather tired today (which is true, but also a euphemism for grumpy). We decided to shake up the evening routine from what we’ve been doing. We all went to dinner, but then instead of everybody going grocery shopping/for a walk, Ruth stayed in the room with Anne and started bedtime. I took Max to the grocery store. It seems to be working okay, as it’s 10 and the kids are all in bed and quiet, instead of 11 like it has been. We’ll see if she’s less tired (grumpy) tomorrow.