Cycling The Pacific Coast Daily Travels

Daily Travels: Pfeiffer Big Sur Campground, CA to Plaskett Creek Campground, CA

The Ride

Route: Highway 1

Distance: ~55km/34mi

Weather: Low 20s, Mostly Sunny, TAILWINDS!

Total Climbing: ~960m/3150ft

Notable Climbs/Descents: A lengthy slog up a hill immediately south of Pfeiffer Big Sur Campground

The Rest

Breakfast: Coffee & Cinnamon Bun at Big Sur Cafe [Recommended!]

Lunch: Lucia Restaurant [Food is OK.. But The Patio Views are Delicious]

Dinner: Ramen

Snacks: Nectarine      Beverages: Water, One Beer

Previous Night’s Sleep: 10:00pm to 6:30am [8.5 hours]

Previous Night’s Accommodation: Pfeiffer Big Sur Campground

Quick Hits From Another Gift of a Day

  • Unknowingly, I stopped two-thirds up the long climb after Pfeiffer Big Sur Campground, to stop at the Big Sur Cafe, which was suggested by a fellow cyclist the previous evening. The coffee and cinnamon bun were both well worth the steep prices [not too much else going on for miles in every direction].
  • Since the first miles of Big Sur, I engaged in a friendly leapfrog with an SUV of twenty-something dudes. They would pass me along the highway, waving and yelling out support from the windows. Minutes later, I would pass them at a Vista Point, with another round of Hey-Yeah-Buddy bellows of support. The cycle continued into this afternoon’s ride, including an encounter at the entrance of Pfeiffer Big Sur Campground. Most likely a blip in their travels. For me, too. But, admittedly, these kind of moments lift my spirits more than those passers-by know.
  • I planned for a short day’s ride, to revel in the scenery and take my time rolling through Big Sur. As a result, following forty kilometres or so, I stopped for lunch with another cyclist at Lucia Restaurant for a burger, fries, and beer. The food was overpriced and forgettable. But, the oceanside patio made this stop more than worth my time.
  • I stopped for the day at Plaskett Creek Campground, located in the Los Padros National Forest. Finished in the early afternoon, leaving plenty of time to bask in the sun rather than sweat through it on my bike. One significant highlight was walking from the campground to Sand Dollar Beach for my first prolonged swim in the ocean. Both chilly and refreshing, for sure!
  • Concluded the day with a wander down a trail to catch the sunset. One of the best shows I’ve seen on the coast, with the light reflecting off the seashore cliffs and distant hills. I was particularly entranced by the sight of pelicans gliding above the water just off-shore and, then, suddenly, diving violently into the ocean to catch their dinner. A whole world of action happens in every moment; very cool to see something new in this one.

Pictures of the Day

Early morning view while climbing out of Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park. I was told by another cyclist that the hills are reddish and barren as a result of a major forest fire two years ago. Added a different layer of resonance to a scene I’d initially thought was simply beautiful.
Interesting view of a winding path below.
All kinds of beautiful here.
Snacktime view. The highway winds and cuts along the side of another hill in the distance.
Some of the most enjoyable climbs I’ve experienced on this trip. Lengthy ascents are made easier by forgiving inclines. My push to see the next view didn’t hurt, either.
Patio at Lucia Restaurant. No complaints here.
Reward for another short hike off the highway.
Sand Dollar Beach. A day-use park within walking distance of Plaskett Creek Campground. Took a long-overdue swim in the ocean!
Wandered a trail to a beauty sunset at Sand Dollar Beach.
Sun’s glisten slowly fading on the cliffs and hills. By now, scores of pelicans are fishing for dinner just off-shore. An unexpectedly wondrous sight.
Clifftop evening view of Sand Dollar Beach.
Gift of a day from beginning to end, no doubt.



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