Thursday's ride stuck with the plan. I figured the route avoided the deep cuts into the canyons and I would be able to avoid the 100 degree temps that rule. Mid 50's at the start and kind of chilly, then cut up Ballard Canyon Road toward Los Olivos and it got hot, then out Foxen Canyon and into the breeze off the ocean via Santa Maria and it got chilly again...amazing temperature variation throughout the day. Passed this large field of flowers.
After 15 miles I gained 1600' and then a glorious and long down hill of 8+ miles, passing Foxen Winery on the right, then many fields of various veggies and then rolled into Garey at mile 28, where the bird house looks remarkably like the store at which I stopped. Worked my way over to Tepsuquet Road and into that canyon where it gradually became very hot. 3.6 mile climb gaining 775' and very moderate most of the way but the flying bugs and flies were bothersome and I was anxious for the down hill during which these pests would disappear.
Retraced my route back to Los Olivos and stopped at the market for a cup of crashed ice and sugar free Monster. Geez, did that taste great. All told, had 6 climbs of more than 200' and ended up with 83 miles and 5500' of climbing. Fairly uneventful day, as planned. Friday was a rest day and walked around Solvang, sipping a little of the local brew, drove out to Refuggio Beach to ensure there was a market open for Saturday's epic ride up the 3 mile dirt and rock section before reaching the top where Reagan's ranch is located, dropping down to the beach to refuel and then climbing what may be the hardest climb in the area back up the paved side of Refuggio and then following the ridge up to the satellite display. Views up there, with the ocean and coast on one side and the valley and mountains on the other are the best anywhere.
At Refuggio Beach, these kids successfully caught and released a sea gull.
The area is over run by these squirrel-like rodents. At the time I took this image, there were 5-6 within my field of vision, along with the gull.
There are many hawks that survey the fields looking for the squirrels. It's a target rich environment.